Jay was the best friend anyone could ever ask for. My wife, Jess, said to me everyone that knew Jay would have thought of him as their best friend. Whether you knew him for a day or for years he just instantly came across as the most trustworthy, reliable, modest and friendliest guy you could ever meet. His modesty knew no bounds, he led two routes underneath the Clifton suspension bridge whilst nursing a broken hand with no complaint just that quiet confidence. He would always be the guy at the top of the hill first, waiting to make sure everyone else was alright, not gloating, not showing off, an absolute legend. He loved mountain biking, climbing, kayaking, ice climbing, winter mountaineering, fell running. He thrived on the outdoors and being in the wild. He loved animals and from a young age always had pets (or random creatures he caught and took home!). Cath, his wife, he met at a young age and they had horses together. Jay loved the horses, but preferred to be sat on a bike. He was entirely devoted Cath and their life together, his business in safety netting and his life of adventure. I’ve climbed with Jay for 10 years or so now, we’ve been up Monte Blanc, had a couple of attempts on the Matterhorn (he managed it on one of them). Done lots of trad, sport, bits of ice, Mountain biked all over the UK and in the Alps. Run around Snowdonia, including completing the Welsh 3000s. He was an amazing climber, far better than he ever let on.
Jay would always ask for detail on how you were doing and remembered everything so would always ask again upon seeing you again how this event or that problem was going. I have never met, nor do I believe I ever will meet someone again as kind as that hairy Orang-utan. The hole that is left in his passing is huge, the dependable companion many of us had on the myriad of adventures we could at points never have completed without him is now gone. Those adventures are still going to happen, because he would still want them to. We can be inspired by what he could do, and not give up because Jay never did.
Cancer took Jay at the age of 47, it took 3 years and he led at E1 with a broken hand 3 months before he died. Walked 20 miles across gorse and heather in the Berwyn hills 4 months before and ran the Snowdon horseshoe 5 months before. An absolute hero, my hero, our hero.