A tribute to John Appleby from Jac’s sisters

We are so sorry to have learned that John Appleby, whose remarkable blog Footless Crow has given countless readers such pleasure, has died following an incident in Snowdonia.

He was a keen and most experienced climber who though the weather conditions on the day were perfect had a dreadful fall when a piece of rock broke away in a freak accident.

It is virtually impossible to find words in such a situation; words with which to condole with grieving partners and family and we are thinking about Christine and all those who loved him at this time of great sorrow.

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We first knew John when we questioned a review he had written of Jim Perrin’s book West, and we told him of the actual circumstances of our sister’s time with that author; of how the book was a travesty. He explained that he had formerly been a fan of Jim Perrin and had admired his climbing and that he had known Jac before the outset of their relationship, but when he learned how quickly it had deteriorated and how she had suffered at his hands he was appalled and said he wished to help to ‘put the record straight’. He went on to suggest that we ‘write a blog’. (We had no knowledge of the internet or social media and our instant response was ‘what is a blog?’)

Most generously John offered to set up a site for us and he did this incorporating pictures of Jac’s stained glass as well as lovely photographs of his own: we wrote the posts and he put them up for us. There can be no doubt as to the value of what John achieved for us in the years he was solely responsible for our website, Jacssisters, and we will never forget his kindness and commitment. We could not have done it without him  and his work on the site was invaluable to us. We will always remember him with gratitude and affection for all that he did and and for his enthusiasm on our behalf and for Jac’s memory.

There is a thread on UKC where several of John’s friends and fellow climbers have registered their memories, and one comment by Mick Ward is particularly moving.

Elisabeth Simpson, Caroline Hardaker and Alex Richardson.