Julian Sands: Actor spoke of how climate change had made mountain climbing dangerous before death

Julian Sands had spoken of his worries about hiking in mountains.
Julian Sands had spoken of his worries about hiking in mountains. Photo credit: Getty Images

British actor Julian Sands, whose remains were found last month after he disappeared during a climbing trip in a California mountain range in January, spoke of how "dangerous" the activity could be in his last UK interview before he went missing.

"I've found spooky things on mountains, when you know you're in a place where many people have lost their lives … You may be confronted with human remains and that can be chilling," Sands told Radio Times magazine last year.

Sands had been promoting his latest role in a BBC radio drama The Willows, when the conversation turned to his upcoming climbing trip.

"My version of LA isn't swimming pools and parties … It's rattlesnakes, bears, cougars, mountains," he said during the interview.

The Yorkshireman said climbing was about finding "solace" and "self-affirmation," Radio Times reported.

"If you can deal with dangerous mountains, you can certainly deal with life as an actor – the two are quite complementary."

Sands, who was 64 at the time, rejected the notion that he was too old to climb, although he admitted many of friends had stopped, partly due to age, and partly because "with climate change, the rock faces have become much more unstable."

"If you don't really have the desire, the focus for climbing a route, if you're not absolutely committed, it becomes much more dangerous and it's a much more deflating experience," he told the magazine.

"Finding folk whose company I enjoy in such stressful and intimate conditions is not easy."

Sands, who is known for his roles in A Room with a View and Arachnophobia, and shows such as 24, was declared missing when he failed to return from a hike in the Mount Baldy area January 13.

Human remains found in the area June 24 have since been declared to be those of the actor.