Introducing Jesse Dufton

Jesse is a climber, best known for his trad climbing. Despite being born severely sight impaired, his parents saw no reason to let this get in his way and climbing became a large part of his childhood. As soon as he could walk his dad took him climbing and taught him how to lead trad in Cornwall, this in between many family trips to Fontainbleau, instilled a life-long passion for the sport. As he lost the little sight he was born with, he never considered giving up his passion and instead set about adapting how to climb without the use of his eyes.

Since then, Jesse has continued to push his limits and gained recognition when he became the first blind person to lead climb the Old Man of Hoy, which was recognised as an official Guinness World record and is the focus of the multi-award winning documentary Climbing Blind. However, this is but one of the many hard trad routes he has to his name leading these "non-sight". As well as his trad pedigree, he also has first ascents in Arctic Greenland completed in alpine style in winter conditions. He is also a competition climber, representing the GB Paraclimbing team and winning medals in multiple international competitions.

Key achievements

Notable trad on-sight leads:
International E3 5c, Kilt Rock, Isle of Skye, Scotland (Lead, on-sight)

Illusion Dweller 5.10b, Hidden Valley, Joshua Tree (Lead, on-sight)

Forked Lightning Crack E2 5c, Heptonstall, Yorkshire (Lead, on-sight)

Auricle E2 5c, Bamford, Peak District (Lead, on-sight)

Elder Crack E2 5b, Curbar, Peak District (Lead, on-sight)

The Old Man of Hoy E1 5b (6 pitches), Orkney Islands, Scotland (Lead, on-sight)

Left Unconquerable E1 5b, Stanage, Peak District (Lead, on-sight)

Flying Buttress Direct E1 5b, Stanage, Peak District (Lead, on-sight)

Sloth HVS 5a, The Roaches, Peak District (Lead, on-sight)

First ascents in Greenland:
Katalice (1,100m) on Boughfell, Stauning Alps
Sequoia Spire Route (800m) on Sue’s Spire, Stauning Alps

Indoor Competition Climbing:
Oct 2021 Los Angeles (USA) World Cup – BRONZE (B1)
Sept 2021 Moscow (RUS) World Championships – BRONZE (B1)
Jun 2019 Imst (AUS) Paraclimbing World Masters – SILVER (B1)

“Montane kit is at its best when it's protecting you from the environment and letting you get on with the climbing. Be that keeping you nice and warm while stood on a frozen riverbed for a day's ice cragging in Norway or when it's shielding you from the fabled wind atop Stanage.”

“Climbing, the mountains and outdoor adventure is deeply engrained within me and there is nothing better than being away with friends having fun, even if it is type 2 fun... I love the total immersion required for climbing at your limit and find immense catharsis in a great day at the crag.”

- Jesse Dufton

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