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 Northeast Spur of the Courtes. 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 UKClimbing.com as it is today. Alan writes occasional articles, reviews some bits of gear and runs the business side of things but his main activity these days is editing Rockfax guides for the books and App.
Dan joined UKClimbing Limited as the part-time editor of UKHillwalking in 2011. His role became full time in May 2016 when he took on the role of Gear Editor for both UKC and UKH. Dan 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. Dan is 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 started work for UKClimbing in January 2014. Over the past 10 years Rob 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.
Nick started working for UKClimbing in December 2014 on a part-time basis. His role gradually increased until it became full-time in July 2016. He works on both the advertising side and editorial being largely responsible for our current video coverage. Nick is also now responsible for the increasing number of Digital Features including the superb one about Andy Earl and the film which was entered into Kendal in 2015. He followed that film up with Run Forever which won the Judges Special Prize at the Kendal Mountain Festival 2016. Nick is an experienced climber whose main activity is bouldering. He started climbing in his home in the southeast but is now a resident of Sheffield.
Theo joined UKC in January 2017. Theo started climbing at the University of Liverpool where he studied philosophy. He mainly climbs trad and especially enjoys pushing it onsight, but also enjoys sport climbing and has even been known to boulder. Theo uses his background in philosophy to examine and improve his climbing. He writes articles on this topic to give others an insight in to the weird world of a climbing philosopher. Theo has a background in the eLearining industry, particularly in digital marketing and writing blogs, articles and product reviews.
Louise Snape - Assistant EditorLouise joined UKC in Spring 2017 as an assistant editor responsible for gear testing and reviews on a part-time basis. She lives in Kirkwhelpington in Northumberland and has been walking and climbing for many years.
Natalie joined UKC in October 2014 and edits the news and articles sections of UKC. Nat is a Scousewegian (born in Liverpool but brought up in Glasgow). She has been climbing since she was 9 years old and is a member of the GB Climbing Team, having won multiple British titles and achieving podium places in European Youth events. She has also sport climbed up to 8b and has now progressed to trad climbing. Natalie graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 2014 with an MA in French and German and is also a climbing coach, instructor and an English language tutor. When she's not at the wall or the crag, Natalie enjoys skiing, baking and planning the next adventure!
Paul joined UKClimbing in May 2011 and is responsible for the technical development of the UKClimbing, UKHillwalking and Rockfax websites. After being introduced to climbing by his A-Level physics teacher at the age of 18 (thanks Mr. Coghill!) Paul has 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.
Martin joined UKC in March 2015 as Assistant Technical Developer. He does development work across both UKC and UKH in particualr the Digital features. He is also working on the Android version of the Rockfax App. Martin was introduced to climbing by his Dad on his 7th birthday with a trip down to the local climbing wall, proceeding to regularly climb indoors and compete in many competitions. At university Martin scraped together a few quid to make frequent trips down to his new local venue, Dumbarton Rock, moving on to excursions up to the hills around Glasgow and slowly moving from walking, to scrambling and eventually to climbing in the Scottish mountains. He says he is most motivated for summer and winter climbing on Scottish mountain crags but enjoys all aspects of climbing. Martin is a graduate of the University of Strathclyde with a degree in Computer Science. Outside of climbing, he enjoys skiing, mountain biking and programming.
Stephen joined UKClimbing Limited in 2010 to oversee the sub-editing of the Rockfax guidebooks. He introduced significant refinements to our editorial process which made producing guidebooks much more technically efficient. This technical proficency led him to develop his coding skills and he moved to take on the huge task of creating an App for the Rockfax guidebook information. This massive project took three years but the result is now out there in the shape of the most advanced climbing app on the market. He now overseas all our iOS App development and works full-time on the Rockfax App.
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 UKClimbing 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 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."
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 travelled 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. Mark looks after the photo gallery on UKC and works full time on Rockfax guides.
Andy joined the team in the tail end of 2018, and is working on many aspects of UKClimbing's websites. Having learnt to climb (and walk) through his University's mountaineering club, he favourite past time is eating cheese in Fontainebleau or Chamonix. Based near Kendal, you'll often find Andy out walking his collie Nell, looking out for new faces scale. Outside of climbing, he enjoys dog walks, squash, and eating.
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.