Billy Ridal


© Sytse van Slooten

Selston, United Kingdom
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Career Highlights: 

  • Two time BUCS National Champion (2016, 2017)
  • 4th place at British Boulder Championships and British Lead Championships 2016
  • 8b Riverbed, Magic Wood, Switzerland
  • 8a+ Voigas, Magic Wood, Switzerland.
  • 8a Careless Torque, Peak District, UK
  • 20 boulders of the 8th grade and above.
  • Sent the big 5 in Fontainebleau.
  • 8b sport outdoors
  • 2016 European Youth Cup finals
  • 2016 Semi-Finals World Youth Championships

Billy started climbing just for fun was he was 9, going out to do grit trad with his dad. When he was 12, he was selected for the GB junior lead team but since has taken to bouldering. Climbing in competitions inside as well as outside from a young age, Billy has a unique approach to climbing as an extremely well-rounded and versatile climber. Billy is the youngest person to climb the classic 8a boulder, Careless Torque, in the Peak District at Stanage Plantation.

'Careless Torque had always been one of those climbs you look at in awe, but never actually consider trying. It’s just so big and intimidating...When I first tried it I thought it was beyond me. It was the first problem I put time into, so it opened my eyes to what I could do. It’s perhaps the most iconic boulder in Britain which made it feel very special to stand on top of. It felt like a real milestone in my climbing, my first 8th grade boulder and without doubt still the best one.’

Billy is still a member of team GB and competes in the bouldering IFSC World Cup as well as being proficient in a variety of circus skills including a 4 ball juggle, slack-lining and unicycling. But unfortunately, he claims, not all at the same time…For this year, Billy’s goals include consolidating bouldering 8b and getting his dad to the top of The Old Man of Hoy.

‘Climbing is so many different things to me. It is a sport that I push myself to excel in, it’s a big part of my social life, it’s the medium that I use to express myself, and it’s the reason I travel to incredible places.’

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Reviews from the UKH editorial team

Stoves montage  © Dan Bailey

Gas Stove Systems

In this group test we look at four all-in-one tower-style canister stove systems, the Alpkit Brukit; Jetboil Flash; Primus Lite+ and MSR Reactor. Which wins the battle of the boilers?

Alpkit Softshell  © UKC Gear
Alpkit Softshell  © UKC Gear

Alpkit Resolute Jacket & Ardent Trousers

Through winter and spring on the Scottish hills, John McKenna puts this softshell jacket and trouser combo to the test.

Women's down jackets thumbnail  © UKC Gear
Women's down jackets thumbnail  © UKC Gear

Women's Midweight Down Jackets

Ten women's down jackets from leading brands go head-to-head in this comprehensive group test. What does 'midweight' even mean? And by that definition, which models stand out? All will be revealed...

Approaching Stob Coire nan Lochan just before dawn  © John McKenna
Approaching Stob Coire nan Lochan just before dawn  © John McKenna

Alpkit Prism & Qark Headtorches

John McKenna tests two higher end models from Alpkit's extensive torch range. Which did he prefer for all-round mountain use,...

Alpkit gloves thumb  © Dan Bailey
Alpkit gloves thumb  © Dan Bailey

Alpkit's New Glove Range

Decent gloves don't tend to come cheap, but this season Alpkit have pulled off an affordable range that we think compares well with...

Alpkit Tyrol thumbnail  © Dan Bailey
Alpkit Tyrol thumbnail  © Dan Bailey

Alpkit Tyrol Pack

We road test this retro-styled day pack made from waxed cotton...

Lightweight down jackets montage  © UKC Gear
Lightweight down jackets montage  © UKC Gear

Lightweight Down Jackets

Whether you're climbing, camping or walking - or even just out in town - a light and packable down jacket is a versatile layer...

Latest News from Billy's Sponsors

Annoucements direct from manufacturers

Korri Camsole  © Alpkit

Made for movement - or stopping for ice cream. New Alpkit clothing for summer.

Whether you're bouldering in the Val di Mello valley or scrambling your way up Helvellyn, your body will move in all kinds of dynamic ways, so why not wear kit that moves with you? Made for movement, these items have been developed with technical,...

New lightweight tent and bivvy from Alpkit

The Soloist is our first 1 man tent and the Kloke is our lightest ever bivvy bag.

New season down jackets

For this winter season we've been plumping up and reworking our down range of insulated jacket. Spawning and evolving from our very first offering back in 2005, our iconic Filo. Not much has changed, but a lot has.

Prism Slovenia  © Alpkit
Prism Slovenia  © Alpkit

All new range of head torches from Alpkit

See our new range of 6 headtorches available now so you can make the most of shorter winter days.

New from Alpkit; a range of 5 new backpacks from 10L - 40L

This summer sees the launch of 5 new packs (Artlu 10, Gnarl 15, Presta 20, Ledge 30 and Orion 40)...

Kantju  © Alpkit
Kantju  © Alpkit

Alpkit Colca and Kantju Gaiters

The Colca are waterproof and breathable high-cut gaiters for keeping out the elements and debris when hiking, trekking, and...

Ben Meakin using the Apogee  © Alpkit
Ben Meakin using the Apogee  © Alpkit

Alpkit Apogee Jacket

Tough and toasty Primaloft Gold winter belay jacket for keeping warm when resting, at belay stances, and between those stints of being...