Richie Patterson, Wild Country
I am the marketing manager for Wild Country. I have worked for Wild Country for 10 years and before that I worked at a major retailer and so have been 'in the trade' since 1991.
At Wild Country I was Sales Manager for a while and I was also heavily involved with the design and creation of many new products e.g. Superlight Rocks, Matrix Harnesses, Xenon biners etc.
I have been climbing since the age of 11 - so 29 years, but have been on a bit of a hiatus for the last few years after two shoulder operations. However, i am getting back into it and have just built a wall in my garage to help me get fitter. I moved to Northern Spain a couple of years ago and i am enjoying surfing at the amazing beaches as well as exploring the many great crags around the Picos De Europa.
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Currently in Northern Spain
Best Climbing Experience
Wow, too many to mention but some which really stand out:
1. My first E4, Nagasaki Grooves at Black Crag in 1986 (i think) was when i first realized that higher grades were not impossible...and that the guys at my climbing club who were my heroes were not gods but guys who were trying harder.
2. Climbing Eagle Front, VS 4C, on Eagle Crag in Buttermere in a snowstorm in March and having the most brillant mini-epic and realizing how fantastic that the climbers of the that era were ast there is so little gear on that route it's incredible.
3. My first ascent of Born Slippy E8 at Curbar in 1996, gave a feeling of achievement as well as conquering fear.
4 Doing the first repeat of Sad Amongst Friends E6 6C at Stanage, 17 years after the first...cos it's a Jonny route and had been on the front cover of the Stanage guide...
Favourite Climbing-Related Discussion Topic
Generally I'd rather not join in but i love reading the grading debates...always good for a laugh!!
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Articles by Richie Patterson, Wild Country
Interests Outside Climbing
Surfing...the most difficult sport I've tried...especially when you're a fat 40 year old..
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Anything Else We Should Know
After 5 years out you learn a good perspective 'Don't take it too seriously have fun, fall off and try again!'