UKClimbing Limited

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UKClimbing Limited is the company behind the World's most popular climbing and mountaineering web site, and

Our aim is to bring our readers both the best of hillwalking, climbing and mountaineering from around the World and the best experience that Web technology can provide. We promise that:

  • We will give you the most up-to-date and most comprehensive information and news that we can, about everything to do with hillwalking, climbing and mountaineering from around the World.
  • We will run and as separate web sites but enable users to switch between them easily.
  • We will continue to develop the sites using the latest web technology, while maintaining a web site that is compatible with as many computer systems possible, old and new.
  • We will not over-populate the site with advertising.

We'd like to ask one thing from you in return: your participation - give us your opinions; take part in the discussions; submit your articles, photos and news items; use your logbook - because the more you take part, the more valuable this site will be to you and to everyone else. If you want to participate right now, then Contact Us, or go and start looking around.

+Alan James at Sella on the Costa Blanca, 39 kb Alan James - Managing Director
Alan climbed his first route in June 1971 when just 7 years old. Subsequent trips in the Peak and North Wales with his father through the 1970s planted the seed but it was only in the early 1980s that this grew into a full obsession. Since then he has climbed all over Europe and the UK and even toyed with Alpine climbing in the late 80s. An impressive debut solo of the Frendo Spur proved to be a false dawn and in 1989 he hung up his crampons after a perilous ascent of the NNE Spur of the Cortes. He then concentrated on high standard trad and sport climbing. A handful of un-noteworthy new routes on Peak Limestone followed before he turned his hand to producing cartoons for OTE. This led him to a meeting with Mick Ryan and his first venture into guidebook work by authoring the Peak Limestone Rockfax of 1992. After Mick Ryan's departure to the States in 1994 Alan took over the fledgling Rockfax company and turned it into the most innovative guidebook company in the UK. The Rockfax web site was set up in 1998 which included a small discussion forum called Rocktalk. Combining this forum with Andy's Hyslop's UKClimbing site led to the as it is today.

+Jack Geldard on the first ascent of Rocky E8 6c, 107 kb Jack Geldard - UKC Senior Editor
Jack started climbing in Yorkshire at the age of 12 - using a Whillans harness and a stolen washing line. As luck would have it, the science teacher at his school was a well known climber (Mick Ryan) and a source of inspiration (exasperation?!) that firmly planted the climbing bug. Since then it has been a whirlwind of mountain-based adventures all over the globe, including first ascents on several of the World's larger rock walls and a few of Wales' smaller outcrops. His real passion is trad climbing, but he has also been known to clip the odd bolt and fall off a few boulder problems. He is a qualified Mountaineering Instructor and resides in Chamonix. He joined in 2007 as Assistant Editor and graduated to Senior Editor in 2008.

+Björn Pohl Bouldering, 156 kb Björn Pohl - UKC International News Editor
Björn writes about the hardest ascents of routes and boulder problems all over the world, and the people who make it happen. Björn started his climbing news blog called the LowDown in November 2008. In June 2010 he brought his blog to under a separate news page called TheLowDown. This ran until September 2012 when the news coverage was combined into a single page. Having discovered climbing through skiing in around 1990, Björn has found himself focusing on increasingly smaller objects. The mountains turned into sport crags, which turned into boulders. If this continues, twenty years from now he'll be into gravel! So far, his favourite area is Chironico in Ticino, where the boulders are steep and the climbing powerful - he claims his poor technique may have something to do with it. Chironico is also where he did his first (and last?) 8A, back in 2005 - so not quite over the hill quite yet. Björn began his "career" as a climbing journalist back in 1998 and has kept writing news and the odd article ever since. He says, "there must be something wrong with me, but so far, no one has been able to find out just what."

+Duncan Campbell - UKC Assistant Editor, 56 kb Duncan Campbell - UKC Assistant Editor
Duncan started climbing at the age of 17 in South Devon as the next step after many years spent messing around in the outdoors as a Scout, and hillwalking throughout the UK. One day he saw some climbers on a tor at Dartmoor thought it looked more fun than walking! After convincing a friend to buy some kit, they began to sketchily teach themselves to climb. During a 'year out' he visited Mt. Arapiles, and ended up staying for 3 months. Upon returning from Australia he threw himself into climbing for the summer before heading to North Wales to start a degree at Bangor University. Since then he has climbed extensively throughout the UK with favourite venues being Pembroke, Pabbay and Gogarth. He has also travelled abroad on short trips to Spain, France and Turkey and as far as Canada and the USA. Variety is the spice of life and Duncan enjoys trad, sport, and bouldering. After doing various menial jobs Duncan joined the UKC Editorial Team in May 2013.

+Dan Bailey, 73 kb Dan Bailey - UKH Editor
Dan Bailey discovered a love for the hills on family holidays to North Wales, allegedly making it up Cadair Idris at three-and-a-bit (he has to take his parents' word for that), and never really looking back. Day walks expanded into backpacking trips, and a gradual progress through the classic scrambles led inevitably to climbing, for which he has endless enthusiasm but practically no talent. His passion for all things mountainous has led him from the Andes to Africa, the Pyrenees to the North Pennines; a cynic might point out that although he took nothing but photographs, he's sure as hell left a big carbon footprint. But Dan is usually to be found at home in Scotland, enjoying the world class mountains and seascapes on his doorstep. In lieu of a real job Dan produces words and pictures on the great outdoors, particularly hillwalking, scrambling and grand old traditional climbs. He is a regular contributor to print and online media, and the author of several guidebooks including Great Mountain Days in Scotland, Scotland's Mountain Ridges, The Ridges of England, Wales and Ireland and West Highland Way.

+Rob Greenwood UKClimbing Limited Advertising Manager, 59 kb Rob Greenwood - Gear Editor
Rob started work for UKClimbing in January 2014. Over the past 10 years he has been involved in just about every facet of the outdoor trade, from his University days working at Pete's Eats, through to Joe Browns, DMM and latterly the BMC. An active climber, runner and mountaineer, Rob has participated in a wide range of activities all across the world with personal highlights including the 1938 Route on the North Face of the Eiger, The Shield on El Capitan and having climbed over 150 routes at Gogarth.

+Wondering if I've done the crux on Moon Walk, 112 kb Paul Phillips - Assistant Gear Editor
Paul joined UKClimbing in May 2011 and is responsible for technical development of the UKClimbing and Rockfax websites. After being introduced to climbing by his A-Level physics teacher at the age of 18 (thanks Mr. Coghill!) he's been avid Grit climber and boulderer. When he's not working he'll either be training down the wall, in the Peak, in Fontainebleau or off in search of something else to climb. A holiday isn't a holiday unless there's climbing involved. He looks after the logbook submissions and technical development of the website.

+Mark Glaister climbing Acid Discharge Party Hat (E1) on the Culm Coast., 121 kb Mark Glaister - Photo Editor, UKC
Mark is a climbing writer and photographer who has traveled to crags near and far for 35+ years. Mark started out climbing at school with friends on the sea cliffs and inland crags of Devon. At 18 he packed up his flares and Whillans harness, tide back his long black hair (where did it go!) and headed for the North living between the Peak and Dales before moving on to the Lakes for work where he was based for around 20 years. During the 90's, Mark with his then partner Emma traveled extensively spending 1995 to 2000 in a van in the States, Canada, Europe, OZ and New Zealand. The last decade has been a transient one hopping between the Lakes, North Wales, Devon and Lancs, with trips away mainly on guidebook (Rockfax) work or for articles to places such as Sardinia, Finale, Ceuse, El Chorro, Lofoten, Mallorca and Turkey.

Jonathan Lagoe helps with the UKC forum moderation.

In addition there are others who moderate the photos database and who write articles. We are always keen for new input so please Contact Us if you wish to get involved.

1990 - The first 'Rockfax' guidebook published to Yorkshire Limestone by Ben Walker, Mick Ryan and Greg Rimmer under the company name of Vertical Brain.

1992 - Alan James authored the third Rockfax book to Peak Limestone. The book is published by Greg Rimmer.

1994 - Alan James took over the publishing of the 4th and 5th Rockfax books to The Lakes and Dorset.

1995 - created by Andy Hyslop and Adam Greenwood, and existed as a sub domain of various sites.

1997 - The Rockfax web site is set up.

1999 - Alan James combined his Rocktalk forum, which had developed on the Rockfax web site, with the existing web site. The technical development work from this point until 2012 was done by Nick Smith via his company.

2001 - became a fully-fledged limited company. From 2001 to June 2008 Limited had two directors: Alan James and Andy Hyslop.

2005 - Mick Ryan joined Limited as Editor.

December 2007 - Jack Geldard joined the company as UKC Editor and Mick Ryan moved to take up the role of Advertising Manager.

June 2008 - Alan James bought the whole company from Andy Hyslop to become the sole director.

November 2009 - Limited was bought by Rockfax Limited and both companies were established under a new single company called UKClimbing Limited, again with a single director, Alan James.

January 2010 - Sarah Stirling joined UKClimbing Limited as Gear Editor a role she stayed in until May 2013.

June 2010 - Björn Pohl moved his 'Lowdown' international climbing news blog to UKC.

February 2011 - was launched with Dan Bailey as Editor.

May 2011 - Paul Phillips joined UKC as Assistant Technical Developer for UKC, UKH and Rockfax web sites before becoming Senior Technical Developer in 2013.

May 2013 - Duncan Campbell became Assistant News Editor.

January 2014 - Rob Greenwood joined as Advertising Manager taking on the role from Mick Ryan who left the company.