Jesse Dufton is a world class competition climber and GB Athlete who is completely blind whilst also holding a world record for his climbing exploits.
Jesse embodies the essence of triumph and courage amidst challenges. Born with severe sight impairment and once told he might never acquire literacy, he defied expectations. Now completely blind, his unwavering determination has propelled him to excel as an elite rock climber. Jesse’s journey is nothing short of extraordinary and we are excited to play a small part in that by aiding the communication between him and his team.
Jesse stands as a beacon of excellence in the world of climbing, revered as a world-class competitor proudly representing Great Britain in multiple world championships. His prowess on the cliffs led to his prestigious selection for the GB Paraclimbing Team, where he showcased unparalleled skill and determination.
While his achievements in competition are remarkable, Jesse’s legacy is best defined by his ascent of the iconic Old Man of Hoy in 2019. This historic feat, documented in the acclaimed BBC film “Climbing Blind” and honoured with a parliamentary motion, solidified his status as a pioneer in the climbing community.
Notably, Jesse’s resilience shone through amidst challenges. His ability to achieve peak physical and mental performance during unprecedented disruptions underscores his unwavering drive. Continuously pushing boundaries, he remains on a trajectory of growth and accomplishment, going from strength to strength in his pursuit of excellence.
2017: Orchestrated a self-supported, month-long expedition to arctic Greenland, scaling two previously unclimbed mountains in the inaccessible Stauning Alps—a groundbreaking accomplishment for a blind individual and a rarity even among sighted climbers.
2018: Selected for the GB Paraclimbing Team, marking the start of his international competition journey. Since then, he has excelled as a world-class competitor, earning medals while proudly representing Great Britain in multiple world championships.
2019: Achieved global recognition for scaling the renowned Old Man of Hoy, a 137-meter sandstone pillar in Scotland’s Orkney archipelago. Documented in the acclaimed BBC film “Climbing Blind,” this climb garnered parliamentary acknowledgment and solidified Jesse’s legacy in British climbing history.
2020: Became the first blind climber to attain the E2 grade by conquering the challenging Forked Lightning Crack in Heptonstall, Yorkshire, amidst a global pandemic. Highlighting his unparalleled determination, he demonstrated peak physical and mental performance despite unprecedented disruptions.
2023: Established a groundbreaking new route in the Anti Atlas mountains of Morocco, marking the first-ever traditional rock climb initiated by a visually impaired individual—a testament to Jesse’s continual progression and trailblazing achievements in the climbing world.