Jack Geldard - UKClimbing.com's New Assistant Editorby UKC News Dec/2007
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Who is he?
My name is Jack Geldard and I'm addicted to Gogarth.
Where's he from?
West Yorkshire originally, growing up near the gritstone edges of the Aire and Wharf valleys. I'm a typical Yorkshire man and quite proud of my heritage. I wasn't amused last month when I went to Ilkley with James 'dirty Cumbrian' McHaffie and he burnt me off on my home crag.
I moved to Llanberis a couple of years ago, primarily for the climbing and it's been really good. I hope to stay in Wales for quite some time, if only we could put an umbrella over the Llanberis Pass.
What has he done and what does he do?
I'm pretty much a one sport man, and it seems to get in the way of any other activities. To quote Ed Brown (saviour of Yorkshire climbing), “Quit climbing, quit life!”
I like all the different forms of climbing, which helps with my motivation and helps me beat the weather. I enjoy eliminate limestone bouldering just as much as I enjoy perfect ice couloirs on blue sky days – well almost.
When did he start climbing?
I started climbing aged 13ish, around 1993. Mainly locally in Yorkshire, slowly progressing to the Yorkshire Dales, then to the Lake District. We used to hitch up to Ingleton for the weekend and bother the nice chaps in Inglesport until they lent us a rope. We almost never went south to the Peak or Wales – crossing Manchester and hitching on the motorways was far too frightening.
What has he climbed?
I've climbed extensively in the UK, managing a few first ascents here and there. I'd like to explore more of Northern Scotland, I had a two week cycling holiday around the north coast, Cape Wrath area, when I was a kid, and I loved it. I went up to do the Old Man of Stoer with my old man this year, but we were stormed off.
Abroad, I've climbed in a variety of places; a couple of winters in the Alps, one living in my old van – the diesel froze one night in Grindalwald and we had to light the MSR under the fuel tank (not recommended!). I've climbed in the USA, but not much; a quick trip to Yosemite and the High Sierras. I've been to South America a couple of times, climbing in Brazil and Peru and I was lucky enough to get a place on a BMC exchange to South Africa a few years ago, which was really good fun.
With work I've hiked around and done a lot of scrambling and easy climbing in Yemen, Oman and Libya and quite a while ago now I had a long climbing trip to Wadi Rum in Jordan.
More recently I've been sport climbing in France, Spain, Italy and Turkey, bouldering in Fontainebleau, climbing summer routes in the Mont Blanc range and in the Dolomites, and exploring some big walls in Morocco.
Next up is a trip to Madagascar in April/May of 2008, which I'm really looking forward to – we've got a great team together and hopefully it'll be a lot of fun – bolting routes whilst dangling from sky-hooks.
Climbing associated work?
I studied outdoor education after leaving school and went to work in various outdoor centres in the Lake District. I've juggled instructing with other climbing related work over the last few years; designing and building climbing walls for various companies, guiding on adventure holidays, and working on desert exploration projects as a mountain safety advisor.
I still manage to get out instructing in North Wales, mainly for Plas y Brenin, but most of my work these days is computer based and from home. I'm still actively involved in climbing wall design for the Beacon Climbing Centre and lately I've been working on several projects for Rockfax.
Journalism isn't entirely new to me either, having had pieces published in various climbing magazines, national papers and most exclusively on UKClimbing.com. I also recently won the Mountain Literature Festival writing competition with my essay; Under the Black Cliff.
Finally: What is he bringing to UKClimbing.com?
Atrocious spelling, terrible sense of humour, lack of credibility and poor dress sense.... my only appealing asset is the ownership of a spare room, right next to the Llanberis Pass!
UKClimbing.com is an amazing resource for climbers worldwide. Google searches, on almost any climbing subject, throw up UKC pages. My passion is making those pages useful and accurate and available to everyone.
We have many different styles of climbing and climber on our little island, and UKC is a broad church - welcoming all of those styles. That appeals to me. I want to work on our articles, blending professional and reader content. I want to build our databases, as I believe information is vital to the development of our sport. And, when I can, I want to share my knowledge and experiences with others.
Media is moving in to a new era, and I want to be part of it. I can do that with UKClimbing.com.
Brandler-Hasse - F7a+/E5, Cima Grande di Lavaredo, Dolomites: here
Ogwen VDiffs - "It is beautiful here in North Wales, it's just a shame it's so busy." : here
Super Hero Jacket from Marmot: here
First news reports: here
There is lots more in the pipeline and to come. Jack's own feature articles, destination articles, gear reviews, news reports and of course editing YOUR articles.
"Every so often you meet someone in climbing that makes you take a step back. Someone with a fire in their eye, passion in their... Read more