Tony Howard: Quest into the Unknown

Posted by Peter Burnside on 07/06/2019
Quest into the Unknown, a new autobiography from Tony Howard. Photo: Tony Howard Collection

Read the book and watch the interview from one of the old school greats. Tony Howard made the first British ascent of Norway’s Troll Wall, explored and traveled across North Africa and the Middle East while living with enigmatic Bedouin tribes, and was a pioneer in climbing equipment. Find out more here.

Tony Howard has dedicated his life to travelling the world in search of remote trekking adventures and unclimbed precipices. Growing up in the Chew Valley, at the northern tip of the Peak District, he started climbing in 1953 and became well known in climbing circles for putting up new routes and contributing to local guidebooks.

In 1965, he shot to fame as one of a group of young climbers to make the first British ascent of Norway's 1,000m Troll Wall, a feat described by Joe Brown as, 'One of the greatest ever achievements by British rock climbing'. He was one of the founding partners of Troll Wall Equipment – the company responsible for the world's first commercial range of nuts, the first sewn slings and the modern sit harness, now used invariably by every climber in the world. 

His new autobiography, Quest into the Unknown: My Life as a climbing nomad is a jaw-dropping account of his travels across North Africa, the Middle East, Scandinavia, Canada, Madagascar, the Himalaya, Antarctica and beyond. 

In this interview, adventurer Leon McCarron talks to Tony about the development of modern climbing equipment and developing climbing and adventure tourism in North Africa and the Middle East. 

For more information about Tony's book, Quest into the Unknown, find it in the BMC Shop.

WATCH: An interview with Tony Howard

BUY: Quest into the Unknown from the BMC Shop


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