New content at this month

In the first week of each month we will be publishing a summary of new articles that we have published at in the previous month. This will include all Feature, Destination, FAQ, and Competition articles and also all Product News and Gear Reviews. Basically anything we publish apart from news reports and of course posts down the popular forums. This will hopefully assist you in locating content at which has rapidly become the most important climbing media in the UK.

The past month, as you can see, has been dominated by Competition articles, the My First Lead essays of which there are 122 in total. But in the last month's mix there are winter climbing articles by Rob Jarvis and Andy Kirkpatrick, Glacial Trekking in Patagonia by Colin Henderson, Dave Turnbull's BMC address to the mountain community and Kenton Cool on climbing with Sir Ranulph Fiennes - stay tuned for part two this week. Simon Yates takes us to the Cordillera Darwin Range and Roger Wilko describes the Best VS in the World.

This month there is some overlap into January.

We are committed to publishing submitted articles from grassroots climbers and articles from professional climbing journalists. We are also very interested in Destination and Classic Climb articles that we need to publish more of. If you have any ideas, drop us an email.

We hope you find this feature useful.

Happy reading and viewing.

Mick and Jack
Editors at

This month we've got 81 new articles, 4 product announcements and 5 independent gear reviews from the UKC testers.

Featured articles

Climbing with Sir Ranulph Fiennes - Part One 03-Jan-08
[Kenton, Ran and Ian Parnell on the Eiger, 2 kb]by Kenton Cool

"He has the common sense of a kitchen table and the climbing skill of an elephant... BUT he is awesome!" IFMGA Guide, Piolet d'Or Nominee and all round good bloke, Kenton Cool recounts his...

@ full article or forums discussion

Staying Alive This Winter 25-Dec-07
[Winter climbing is fun!, 2 kb]by Andy Kirkpatrick

Thoughts on how to reduce the death and injury rate among UK winter climbers. A brief insight in to the dangers of winter climbing, written by one of Britain's leading mountaineers, Andy...

@ full article or forums discussion

The BMC New Years Address: 2007 23-Dec-07
[BMC Christmas Address: 2007, 2 kb]by UKC News

The British Mountaineering Council (BMC) works on behalf of hillwalkers, climbers and mountaineers (including ski mountaineers) in England and Wales. Here Dave Turnbull, CEO of the BMC,...

@ full article or forums discussion

Winterising Your Rack 17-Dec-07
[Make sure your belay plate is compatible with your ropes, especially if they are modern skinny ones!, 2 kb]by Rob Jarvis

Rob Jarvis gives us a brief overview of adapting your current rock rack for winter use and a look at specialist winter protection. Also read 'Ice Climbing Gear Check' by Adrian Nelhams at

@ full article or forums discussion

A Good Day in the Cordillera Darwin Range 10-Dec-07
[Cordillera 1, 2 kb]by Simon Yates

Simon Yates and Andy Parkin navigate the Beagle Channel to Chile's Cordillera Darwin Range in search of adventure. "There was also map – a record of the exploratory journey on Celia Bull's...

@ full article or forums discussion

Just the Best VS in the World 01-Jan-08
[Rog enjoying ridiculous exposure on Syrinx, (severe) Mt Arapiles Australia., 2 kb]by Rog Wilko

Arapiles is home to over 2,000 quality routes, condensed into one, and let's be honest, fairly small mountain. There are climbs within a stones throw of the infamous Pines campground, and you don't have to walk far at all to access hundreds of worthwhile routes. Basically if you can't find a line you like at Araps, then you're in the wrong sport....

@ full article or forums discussion

The Cheddar Chain - 9 Pitch Sport Route 01-Jan-08
[Into the sun at last on Castles Made of Sand, 2 kb]by RichE

With a bit of planning, it's possible to link 3 multi-pitch sports routes in Cheddar to give nearly 250m of great climbing. Here's an account of how to do it.

@ full article or forums discussion

Glacial Trekking in Patagonia 01-Jan-08
[Cerro Torre, Torre Egger and Cerro Standhardt from Paso del Cuadrado, 2 kb]by Colin Henderson

Colin Henderson with Pedro Fina takes us on a tour of high granite peaks and glaciers of Argentina's Los Glaciares National Park including some climbing history of Cerro Torre, Torre Egger,...

@ full article or forums discussion

My First Outdoor Lead (99) - Scream 05-Jan-08
[Betti, Glen Ogle, route unknown., 3 kb]by Betti

A long-ago March Sunday. The sky pale, the sun warm. We've been to Auchinstarry before, Jim and me. It was here that we left the security of the climbing world within for the first inept...

@ full article

My First Outdoor Lead (104) - Move On 05-Jan-08
[Mark HW, 'Ginny Come Lately', circa 1982, 2 kb]by Mark HW

I've really no idea. It must have been in 1979 and it was probably on gritstone. Maybe Windgather. But despite the lack of recollection, it must have been a turning point. Because although I was never particularly any good, I did become particularly obsessed.

@ full article or forums discussion

My First Outdoor Lead (105) - One Hundred Years Ago 05-Jan-08
[Avon car park, 3 kb]by Jim Nevill

I was in the Avon Gorge, above the tennis courts and toilets (are they still there?), and presumably only thirty foot up, but in my defence I was wearing bendy walking boots (not ideal for...

@ full article or forums discussion

My First Outdoor Lead (95) - Internal Dialogue 04-Jan-08
[Another big hex moment on Hawk Traverse, Brimham, 2006, 3 kb]by Giz

Great this bit, could be tricky in the wet though. Slopey holds...smooth too. Glad it's dry. Bit steeper now, ah the ledge – big one too, lovely jubbly. Now how do I get onto holds to grab...mantle it...hup... yes! Huge ledge, slopes off left to... woah...that's a ruddy great gaping chasm! Am I that high already? Scary! Can't get any gear in here...

@ full article

My First Outdoor Lead (91) - It's a beautiful day 04-Jan-08
[My First Lead #1, 3 kb]by Dom Slater

Adam points upwards, calmly relating guidebook certainties to the myriad lines above. He's discussing, not instructing, conveying confidence. For me he's an ideal partner, patient when I'm...

@ full article

UKC Features

The Dao 16-Dec-07
[ Daoist on Dou Tuan Shan mountain, China, 2 kb]by Dennis Gray

"I believe that any climber, who wishes to gain an edge, should look into the martial arts of China. In March this year I spent some time at the Hai Deng Temple, and the feats that the Masters are capable of are truly impressive." writes Dennis Gray.

@ full article or forums discussion

Geoff Birtles: a story of Lindsay Griffin and MOUNTAIN INFO 15-Dec-07
[The Javelin girl from the UK's Crags magazine circa late 1970s., 2 kb]by Geoff Birtles - Editor of High Magazine

"I immediately realized that I needed help to sustain a long tradition of high quality reporting and looked to Lindsay Griffin who was still receiving medical care in China. When he got back, I drove to see him in hospital just outside Oswestry and took him out for a pub lunch. With Lindsay you know that you have to put up with a long introductory...

@ full article or forums discussion

Lindsay Griffin and Climb's MOUNTAIN INFO 13-Dec-07
[Lindsay Griffin, 3 kb]by Colin Wells

Colin Wells introduces Lindsay Griffin compiler and editor of Mountain INFO. Lindsay Griffin will be available to answer questions on the Rocktalk forum at on Monday, 17th December between 1pm and 4pm. Feel free to ask him how he puts it all together and probe his encyclopedic...

@ full article or forums discussion

Jack Geldard -'s New Assistant Editor 07-Dec-07
[Jack in the JoSiTo bar, aprés climb at Geyikbayiri, Turkey., 2 kb]by UKC News

By way of introduction we asked Jack Geldard,'s new Assistant Editor to explain himself. "My name is Jack Geldard and I'm addicted to Gogarth. I like all the different forms...

@ full article or forums discussion

UKClimbing FAQs

FAQ - and Censorship 11-Dec-07
[Zap Gun and Mr. James, 3 kb]by Alan James - UKC

At we often get accused of censorship; of infringing people's rights to free speech, but is that really the case. In this short article Alan James argues that getting the...

@ full article or forums discussion


My First Outdoor Lead (100) - Onsight or Nothing 05-Jan-08
[Relaxing at Sennen Cliffs, 2 kb]by Edd_Harris

I thought my first trad lead would never happen, but then I made a deal with myself, onsight or nothing.

@ full article

My First Outdoor Lead (101) - Swanage After Chapel 05-Jan-08
[Idwal Slabs, 2 kb]by nniff

My gear was utterly appalling by today's standards. My clothing was a pair of old brown cords and an even older Dennison para smock that I had acquired from somewhere. I had a pair of...

@ full article

My First Winter Lead (98) - Water and Rock 05-Jan-08
[Scrambling on Island Peak, 3 kb]by Alun Pugh

Many years ago, prior to global warming there were lots of winter mountaineering routes in North Wales. These days you will find more ice in the freezer in the Spar in Llanberis but...

@ full article

My First Outdoor Lead (97) - Rope Between Your Legs 05-Jan-08
[Me on Agags Groove a few weeks before, 2 kb]by Tom Stork

It was only last Wednesday, so I can just about remember! "Well you sort of have the rope between your legs, rather than hanging above you...."

@ full article

My First Outdoor Lead (107) - Slugs on the Whangie 05-Jan-08
[Slugs on the Whangie #1, 2 kb]by ShtevieB

The Whangie – a glacially plucked fin of rock or the result of a horned up Devil flicking his tail in anticipation of a night of naughtiness. Either way, the location of my first lead.

@ full article

My First Outdoor Lead (102) - Set up the Belay 05-Jan-08
[Fiona high above the Fournel Valley on Capitan Courageaux, 2 kb]by 'Hilda'

I thought again for a moment. A couple of climbers were shooting up Resurection to my right. Definitley couldn't shout down 'How do you set up a belay?' now. I'd look a complete dick! ...

@ full article

My First Outdoor Lead (103) - Outside, looking In 05-Jan-08
[DMM Comp - First Outdoor Lead - Outside, looking in. #1, 3 kb]by Wingnut

New rack and no idea how to use it. Sometimes life's like that and you just have to get on with it.

@ full article

My First Outdoor Lead (106) - A long time coming 05-Jan-08
[A long time coming and too long since. #1, 2 kb]by ROFFER

I can't remember the name of the route. In fact, I don't know if I ever knew its name but that wasn't important to me. And neither was the grade. The fact that I was about to lead my first...

@ full article

My First Outdoor Lead (86) - Leading in the Lakes 04-Jan-08
[The Fang, HS, Gouther Crag, Eastern Lakes, 2 kb]by Kyuzo

It was then that I understood what people meant when they said 'the sharp end'. The sharp end was stabbing violently deep into my belly, and the fear wasn't leaking out. There was something else jabbing into my heart but it didn't disrupt the terror broadcast. It was digging a hole – a small obstacle for the colossal fear-monster that was charging...

@ full article

My First Outdoor Lead (87) - Back Bowden Doors 04-Jan-08
[A poor phone pic, but the relief is quality, 2 kb]by mark237

There I was, at the foot of Back Bowden Doors looking up, with cams, nuts, quickdraws and slings – all shiny and reflecting my midlife crisis right across Northumberland.

@ full article

My First Outdoor Lead (88) - Moral of the Story 04-Jan-08
[Boisgran from Commando Ridge circa 1994, 3 kb]by Neil Atkinson

When I moved to Cornwall in 1991 I was introduced to Bosigran, a 190 feet granite face between St Ives and Lands End. This wonderful rock mass has been frequented by climbers of great...

@ full article

My First Outdoor Lead (96) - Water and Rock 04-Jan-08
[My First Outdoor Lead - water and rock #1, 3 kb]by moth

The weather forecast is wrong again, my Dad and I are crouched beneath a small, low overhang at the base of the lower tier on the Roaches trying, unsuccessfully to avoid the August rain and wondering where “cloudy with sunny spells” has gone. There is probably a good reason why we have the whole of...

@ full article

My First Outdoor Lead (90) - Tumbling Chocolate 04-Jan-08
[Tumbling chocolate #1, 3 kb]by Tore

Our first glimpse of that impressive granite dome we planned to climb was lit by the first rays from the rising sun: Hægefjell. Maybe Norway's most popular multi-pitch trad destination....

@ full article

My First Outdoor Lead (89) - Wreckers Slab 04-Jan-08
[wreckers slab first lead. #1, 2 kb]by Crimpchimp

The months started to pass and as they did I started to meet different guys around the area and I began to be known as a dedicated climber. Regular trips were made to the barn in Bude (which has now moved). I was getting strong but still I was not climbing high. All I could do was practice placing the few tatty bits of gear I could get my hands...

@ full article

My First Outdoor Lead (92) - Pythons and Banana Cake 04-Jan-08
[Pythons and Banana Cake #1, 2 kb]by broccoligirl

Sometimes it's better not to know what you are getting yourself in for. Leading is a bit like falling in love- you don't want to think of the pitfalls and the pain, just the great bits that make you grin and think 'yeah, it was worth it, I'd do it again'.

@ full article

My First Outdoor Lead (93) - Tony's Tango and Robot 04-Jan-08
[leading by Jallow

Ok, try this one? Nope too big, way too big. Something smaller? No, too small...shoot, my feet are slipping!

@ full article

My First Outdoor Lead (94) - Journey to the Edge 04-Jan-08
[Half way up Grotto's Slab, Stanage, 3 kb]by nikki_smilez

This journey to the edge started a month previously when I joined the university mountaineering club as a complete begineer! After my first trip down to the local wall I knew I was hooked. ...

@ full article

My First Outdoor Lead (82) - A First Lead, A First Fall 02-Jan-08
[Me on christmas curry, 3 kb]by Gandalf

It's early, far too early for a student to be awake. The door bell rings ... could it be ... yes! It's the delivery man with my new rack my parent bought me for my birthday. I open it and have the uncontrollable urge to use it right away! I ring my friend up. “We're going to Tremadog NOW!”

@ full article or forums discussion

My First Outdoor Lead (81) - Black Rocks for Beginners? 02-Jan-08
[Lone Tree Groove, Cromford, 3 kb]by climbingrev

Where to go for my first Trad experience? Stanage, equipped with uncountable, glorious easy first leads? Harborough Rocks, familiar limestone, not too high with some wonderful pockets and jugs, or Black Rocks, menacing, rounded, and maybe ten minutes closer to my home in Norfolk? The choice was obvious.

@ full article or forums discussion

My First Outdoor Lead (83) - Safe 02-Jan-08
[The Blue Mountains, NSW. The Tombstone., 3 kb]by timdawes

We'd become friends through a need to climb. Me, to push away from my safe, soft-edged life; him to try to return to it. I looked forward to Wednesday evenings as a chance to cut away from...

@ full article

My First Outdoor Lead (85) - A new life for old... 02-Jan-08
[Millstones at Apparent North, 2 kb]by Simon

New life for old... from darkened days to brighter times..."The school bus door hissed shut and the belching vehicle set off, as did lead feet stomping up the path home to another normal...

@ full article or forums discussion

My First Outdoor Lead (84) - On The West Coast 02-Jan-08
[Moments after my first ever lead, 1 kb]by jimbo999

My first memorable climb was at 8 years old, jumping out of a tree because the big boys did it first – I broke my arm but it didn't stop me. The climbing was fine, it was the falling that I...

@ full article or forums discussion

My First Outdoor Lead (79) - A Sense of Freedom 30-Dec-07
[Another natural drainpipe that I couldn't resist! (Yarncliffe Quarry), 2 kb]by hmc197

Pythagoras was probably a clever man. But he got one thing very wrong. The Hypotenuse is not a mathematical equation formulated by a Greek but the name of a route at Bamford Edge and it is...

@ full article or forums discussion

My First Outdoor Lead (78) - Games in Greenland 30-Dec-07
[1AM - Ben belaying Hauke, 1,800 feet above the glacier., 1 kb]by passerby

In August 2006 I set out with two friends to go new routing in arctic Greenland. Between us we had done a handful of climbs in Britain, a bit of Scottish winter climbing, and had a single...

@ full article or forums discussion

My First Outdoor Lead (80) - Mohammed the mad monk of...... 30-Dec-07
[Mohammed the Mad Monk..., Denham Quarry, Lancashire, 2 kb]by phil.targett

There are times when I close my eyes that I can be there. I can see the long thin emerald green stalks of grass stretching beyond the tufts of heather, to billow aimlessly in the short gusts of wind that roam this quarried hole. I can feel the rock, quite literally underneath my fingers. It's very texture. The rounded edge of a crack, too shallow...

@ full article or forums discussion

My First Outdoor Lead (76) - A lead climber, a proper... 29-Dec-07
[Placing a cam at Stanage High Neb, 2 kb]by mark20

"Much to the disappointment of my fellow cub-scouts, and to my great embarrassment, I was lowered off the climbing wall, defeated. " Then fast forward to: "After what seemed only a few seconds the impressive wide fissure of Trafalgar Crack towered above us. I decided at once that this was to be my first lead."

@ full article or forums discussion

My First Outdoor Lead (75) - New Year's Resolution Broken 29-Dec-07
[Cadshaw Castle Rocks, Blackburn Area, Lancashire, 2 kb]by unsy

I got to the crux, that little place where comfort turns to terror. Isn't it funny that whilst you desperately hang and place a nut or hex (Mike had banned me from placing cams as anyone...

@ full article or forums discussion

My First Outdoor Lead (77) - The Next Step 29-Dec-07
[The Next Step #1, 3 kb]by blackcurrant

"So, this was it. I'd left the pungent smell of chalk and the humus atmosphere of the climbing wall behind. The confines of the wall; plastic and plywood didn't exist here. I'd taken a trip along the M50 to Symonds Yat, an area I know relatively well, that has entertained me with hours of top-roping previously. Today was different however, the...

@ full article or forums discussion

@ more articles...


My First Outdoor Lead (71) - More Fun Than Indoor Climbing 28-Dec-07
[Nic on Hercules Crack, Stanage, 2 kb]by Nicola Schumacher

Although I was perfectly capable of climbing it and had found it an easy second, the lack of a top rope was starting to make me feel very nervous. I worried that I wouldn't be able to place my gear properly and that it wouldn't hold me if I fell. I thought that I might get half way up and not feel confident enough to climb up further or trust my...

@ full article or forums discussion

My First Outdoor Lead (72) - Shepherds Crag in the Rain 28-Dec-07
[Skiddaw and Derwent water, from Shepherds Crag, Lake District, 2 kb]by James

Being from London I don't get the chance to climb outdoors much as there's not much outdoors to be climbed. I'd been climbing for about 6 years on and off when I went to University in Manchester; I was eager to keep at climbing as I enjoyed indoor so much. My first outdoor lead was in Shepherds Crag in the Lakes just as it started to rain...

@ full article or forums discussion

My First Outdoor Lead (73) - Epic Exit from Eagle Falls... 28-Dec-07
[Also got quite familiar with exposure, which was an asset - Curved Ridge, June 2006, 1 kb]by Peter MacKenzie

My first rock lead was a neccessary escape of a canyoning trip gone wrong. "First abseil was just wonderful – we looped the rope around a log-jam and I dropped 20m beside this thundering waterfall down into the first pool. There was a perfect log-jam for the second descent, so I called John down after me, just in awe at the pure verticality of the...

@ full article or forums discussion

My First Outdoor Lead (74) - In The Footsteps of Cubby... 28-Dec-07
[My first outdoor lead -In the footsteps of the famous #1, 3 kb]by nileferd

It must have been in the late 70s, when camping was still allowed on the boggy bit beside the Clachaig and the pub was run by the rather eccentric Gardiner family. While dossing about...

@ full article or forums discussion

My First Outdoor Lead (70) - At 13 years old 27-Dec-07
[Myself in costa blanca, sitting in the sun just chilling..., 3 kb]by mrcog

Then the moment of truth came, who was going to lead first, Sophie reached into her pocket and brought out a 2p coin she flipped it, it slowly entered the air, gradually spinning faster, my partner calls out tails so out shout heads the coin lands onto Sophie's hand, she reveals it, it's heads...IT'S MY LEAD FIRST...

@ full article or forums discussion

My First Outdoor Lead (68) - A Reluctant Adventure 27-Dec-07
[A reluctant adventure #5, 2 kb]by Neil Henson

I felt physically sick as I approached the edge. The cliff soared away below me. My mind was in turmoil. What was I doing here? How had I been talked into this? Do I really want to be a...

@ full article or forums discussion

My First Outdoor Lead (69) - Full On Disco Body 27-Dec-07
[Max on Highland Fling, HS 4b, Stennis Head, 2 kb]by twm.bwen

Twm.Bwen describes a a Highland Fling with full pants and no gear at Pembroke. "As I was pulling up to it I felt some sudden jerks on the ropes followed a few seconds later by some little chinks and immediate silence from the previously chatting crowds on the deck. I Immediately knew that all my gear had popped out. No one said anything, and I...

@ full article or forums discussion

My First Outdoor Lead (66) - The Mists of Time - 1962 26-Dec-07
[mnjones on oaktree wall, Pontesford Rocks, 3 kb]by JonRoger

JonRoger searches the memory banks of his time. "I certainly do not remember as though it were yesterday (probably about right in my case; anyway what can an aging rocker remember about anything, right?). It was at an unheard of crag called Pontesford Rocks which is, I think, in Shropshire. Don't ask me what we were doing there? The rock climbers...

@ full article or forums discussion

My First Outdoor Lead (67) - The Howl Of The Wind 26-Dec-07
[The Howl Of The Wind, 3 kb]by W.Taylor

W.Taylor writes, "On that damp morning after a night up listening to the pitter patter of rain we set off, looking forward to my first time leading on some nice Welsh rock far away from many a time seconding the polished limestone of the north.

@ full article or forums discussion

My First Outdoor Lead (65) - Craig-a-Barns, Dunkeld 26-Dec-07
[Sour Milk Gill, Seatoller, The Lake District, 2 kb]by piku

While working in an outdoor centre in Scotland I learnt how to climb. After a few months of top-roping and seconding people I wanted a go at leading. This is an account from my diary of...

@ full article or forums discussion

My First Winter Lead (64) - Scafell Shamrock 23-Dec-07
[Matt G winter climbing in Glencoe many years later, 2 kb]by MattG

Aged 16 MattG makes his first lead in winter. "A few weeks later and my uncle and his girlfriend arrived from France to take us up the M6 and so to Wasdale. The evening we arrived the fells...

@ full article or forums discussion

My First Outdoor Lead (61) - One More Step Up 23-Dec-07
[Fred Sergeant, 2 kb]by Fred Sergeant

An account of my first ever lead climb. I completed it on 20th October 2007, my 25th birthday. As I'm sure most of the people reading this article will know: it felt amazing.

@ full article or forums discussion

My First Outdoor Lead (59) - It Takes Too To Tango 23-Dec-07
[Tonsai view point, Thailand, 2 kb]by Ben Dixon

The actual climb was perfect. Pristine, juggy Thai limestone. The kind of rock that makes you feel like a real climber, even when your shiny buckles and scuff-free shoes give you away as...

@ full article or forums discussion

My First Outdoor Lead (60) - VS? Easy 23-Dec-07
[My first lead #1, 2 kb]by Nom

My stomach turns over as I fight back the inevitability of the situation. I can't back out now after all my banter. So here I am: stood at the bottom of a rock face; miles from medical care with no bolts, mats or top ropes. The only way is up and the only thing that might save me is a mobile phone.

@ full article or forums discussion

My First Outdoor Lead (63) - Not The Modern Approach 23-Dec-07
[Alex Peace on Savernake on Raven Crag, Langdale, 2 kb]by a13x

The modern approach to learning to climb seems to me that you progress through a range of expensive indoor courses full of paperwork and safety padding before finally “moving out”. My story involves more “moving in”.

@ full article or forums discussion

My First Outdoor Lead (58) - Puttrel's Progress 21-Dec-07
[Great Buttress Arete E1 5b, Wharncliffe, 2 kb]by mammoth

"On arrival, I was baited into a solo... The nerves were making me sweat so much that no amount of chalk would dry my hands... I was so scared that I was shaking and couldn't clip the draw... I've got to say, I love it!" Mammoth takes on Wharncliffe in his first lead.

@ full article or forums discussion

My First Outdoor Lead (56) - Pigeon Hole Crack 20-Dec-07
[Leading Pigeon Hole Crack (severe) on Holyhead Mountain, 2 kb]by liam14

"The fingers on my left hand were slowly sliding out of the crack as my right hand desperately tried to find anything that I could hold onto. The wind was whipping around me and I looked down through the mist at the rocks eight feet below. If I could not hang on I would fall - not in a dramatic, call the helicopters out way – but in a painful...

@ full article

Not My First Outdoor Lead (57) - But My Renaissance 20-Dec-07
[AlisonS on Scavenger, Three Cliffs Bay, The Gower, 3 kb]by AlisonS

"My very first outdoor lead was an unmemorable afternoon on Little Tryfan a long time ago, so I will not dwell on that any more. It signalled the start of a slow, half-hearted and intermittent leading apprenticeship with culminated in 1992 when I led my first few VS 4bs. Then I had the baby." writes AlisonS.

@ full article or forums discussion

My First Outdoor Lead (55) - Growing Up 19-Dec-07
[Me on Idwal Slabs, 3 kb]by sarah79

"Forget Leo Houlding. I was the original kiddy climbing prodigy; a fat, gurgling pioneer who equipped with nothing more protective than a hand-me-down smock, cream tights and round-toed, patent shoes, made short work of the domestic arêtes of an art-deco semi on the blustery Southern coast. Pudgy-faced, dumbly determined and tiny, I claimed first...

@ full article or forums discussion

My First Outdoor Lead (52) - New Horizons (obscuring old... 19-Dec-07
[Martin Kocsis on Punch's Nose,  Kinder North, 2 kb]by Martin K

"By the time I got the top of the crag in my hands, I'd looked death in the eye. Dick's outstretched hand helped me haul over the top in a mess of fear, spittle, and dirt. The blood and retching became a celebrated comedy feature of my early leads. However, this was made up for by the friendships, beer and 'accidental' Sunday morning shoplifting...

@ full article or forums discussion

My First Outdoor Lead (54) - Extract from First Lead... 19-Dec-07
[Tommy on the first of his 4 star Southern Sandstone routes Anaconda Chimney 5a, 2 kb]by tommyzero

Tommyzero has been a controversial figure at the forefront of the sharp end for some time now. From his controversial upgrading of Southern Sandstone routes that broke into new grades, to...

@ full article or forums discussion

My First Winter Lead (53) - Sir Psyko, Vemork Bridge 18-Dec-07
[Fawksey on Forgotten Twin Anoach Mor, 2 kb]by Fawksey

"Nursing a splitting hangover, nursing a delicately placed front point of a crampon, calf muscles screaming for release, every fibre of being searching the ice for a lifesaver axe hold, no other thought beyond that. Forget the feel of vomit rising in the throat, I want the flood of relief when it appears at last (the axe placement, not the vomit)....

@ full article or forums discussion

My First Outdoor Lead (49) - The Calm After the Storm 17-Dec-07
[The Bold finale of Bachelors Buttress_Roaches Upper Tier, 1 kb]by timmy a

At the Age of 14 I had seen things that many thought would keep me from climbing forever, but the climbing bug just never dies.

@ full article or forums discussion

My First Outdoor Lead (50) - Confessions of a Coward 17-Dec-07
[My First Outdoor Lead: confessions of a coward #1, 3 kb]by nicolaw

How to climb like a grown-up. "I am a coward. Stuff scares me. Flying, tunnels, work, not having work, eels. Life is scary enough. I don't need to measure my own mortality by stretching it...

@ full article or forums discussion

My First Outdoor Lead (51) - Black Hawk Hell Crack 17-Dec-07
[Twisty, 2 kb]by Twisty

Black Hawk Hell Crack - a cold and crispy day, tingling ears and disco leg. A beautiful vista, a confident approach and a quick glance around to see how everyone else does it.... Twisty's...

@ full article

My First Outdoor Lead (48) - Park Nab 13-Dec-07
[Soloing Bow String, 2 kb]by Franco cookson

"The awe grew, a shiver of determination, summoned by the unadulterated fear, rushed through my body like morphine... I was certain of a fall, I was imagining the description of the route in the next guide book - follow the trail of brown." Writes Franco Cookson

@ full article or forums discussion

My First Outdoor Lead (62) - We Survived 13-Dec-07
[First Climb- And We Survived #1, 2 kb]by Martin Riddell

"First up was an altitude training day, up the telepherique to Aiguilles du Midi, through the ice cave and on with our crampons, and axe in hand start the descent into the Valle Blanche -...

@ full article or forums discussion

My First Outdoor Lead (47) - High on K2 11-Dec-07
[Tiny, tiny sheep. #1, 2 kb]by Peakology

High on K2, a dodgy single point belay slips. Near Disaster, A Sense of Mortality, and A Few Lessons Learnt. Peakology's first lead...

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My First Outdoor Lead (45) - Sunshine and Spiders Webs 10-Dec-07
[Leicestershire rock, 1 kb]by evil-goat

I sat in the sunshine amidst my spiders web belay, revelling in the glory of my first Lead... "That one just fell out when I touched it," and "This would never have held!" Evil-Goat has a ball...

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My First Outdoor Lead (46) - Don't forget the pro 10-Dec-07
[Commando Ridge near Bosigran, Cornwall about 1992, 3 kb]by KermitTheFrog

"When I moved to Cornwall in 1991 I was introduced to Bosigran, a one hundred and ninety foot granite face between St. Ives and Lands End. This wonderful rock mass has been frequented by...

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My First Outdoor Lead (44) - Walking the Plank! 10-Dec-07
[ne buttress, 1 kb]by jas wood

"With one eye on the clock and another on the drop, heart pounding we did the traverse and ended up at the gap with light diminishing. I was given the gear (no use what so ever!) and poked...

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My First Outdoor Lead (42) - Once upon a time a young lady 09-Dec-07
[Blea Tarn in Autumn, Lakes, 2 kb]by peas65

"That was me 18 months ago leading my first route, there is only one word for how I was feeling that day- Terrified. Climbing is now my first love, I spend as much time climbing as...

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My First Outdoor Lead (43) - Paper Round and Homework 09-Dec-07
[Big Smile after my first Lead., 2 kb]by IanJackson

"I continued with the boldness of youth. Fearing the worst for my arms, I mounted the top of a large flake. From here, if climbing with my school climbing club, I would have been lowered...

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My First Outdoor Lead (41) - Not An Easy One 08-Dec-07
[Inominate Crack, Kern Knotts VS 4b, 2 kb]by Henry Loveless

"It was a Sunday and our driver was Ian 'I was a motorcycle courier' Smith. He managed the bus as you might imagine, swaying in and out of the traffic; a rainstorm of gossip and opinion, his stops for breath were more sparingly tried than the brakes. " the start of Henry Loveless's first lead, not an easy one, Inominate Crack on Kern Knotts, Great...

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My First Outdoor Lead (40) - A Vague Recollection 08-Dec-07
[frst led #1, 2 kb]by hiu068

All this lark about 'my most trusted friend' and 'a day of enlightenment' when people consider the 'epic moment' that was their first lead; I feel is a ladling it on a little. My first lead...

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Latest Product News
Announcements direct from the manufacturers
Extreme Ultimate Jacket 23-Dec-07
[Mammut Extreme Ultimate Jacket, 2 kb]by Jack Geldard - Assistant Editor

A mix of different insulations, adjusted to the body′ s requirements, give this ultramodern Soft Shell jacket high breathability and durability; ideal for climbing, dry tooling, ice climbing and high-altitude touring.

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Stratus Hooded Jacket 23-Dec-07
[Stratus Hooded Jacket, 2 kb]by Jack Geldard - Assistant Editor

High performance insulated belay jacket from Mammut.

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climbing:08 18-Dec-07
[climbing: 08 Front Cover, 3 kb]by Keith Sharples Photography

There's still (just) time to get a copy of climbing:08 before Xmas from your local shop/wall or from me direct via my website. All orders placed via my website before Thursday will be shipped 1st Class to arrive before you start stuffing the turkey and Postman Pat heads off to nail his projects in Spain... Best Keith

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Link Cams 13-Dec-07
[Omega Pacific Link Cam, 18 kb]by Rock Technologies

With more range per unit than any other camming device in the world, Link Cam SLCD's provide faster, easier and more secure placements than ever before possible. Based on a concept by...

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Gear Reviews
Independent reviews from the UKC gear testers
Forever on the Mountain by James M. Tabor 15-Dec-07
[Forever on the Mountain by James M. Tabor, 3 kb]by Pete Monk

Forever on the Mountain - The truth behind one of mountaineering's most controversial and mysterious disasters. "In 1967 twelve mountaineers set out to climb North America's biggest mountain, Mount McKinley or, as it's now known, Denali. Seven of the climbers were trapped near the summit in one of the worst storms ever to hit the mountain. With...

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Exum Jacket and Trousers 14-Dec-07
[Exum Jacket, 2 kb]by Jack Geldard - Assistant Editor

The water flows down the next pitch like a blanket. I plunge my hand through the torrent, the water pushing hard and seeping up my sleeve. Madness? Probably, but I got a chance to test the Marmot Exum shell layer. The question is: Did I stay dry?

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Snap Pads 12-Dec-07
[Snap Action 1, 3 kb]by Tom Dixon

I was so excited to hear that Snap, the French bouldering company, were finally going to be given proper representation in the UK via the County Climbing Company that it actually made me...

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Moon Bouldering Mats 11-Dec-07
[Moon Warrior, 3 kb]by Tom Dixon

Tom Dixon begins his comprehensive reviews of bouldering mats with Moon Climbing's Warrior and Pluto pads. This review also includes a video of a pretty nasty fall.

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PSYCHE 09-Dec-07
[Andy Kirkpatrick, 2 kb]by Ashley Lewis - UKC Film Reviewer

PSYCHE is the brand new dvd from Posing Productions. Produced by multi-award winning film maker Alastair Lee. Incorporating the best of British climbing featuring Steve McClure, Andy Kirkpatrick & Ian Parnell and Dave Birkett. The three main films on the dvd are; MAGIC NUMBERS (sport), PATAGONIAN WINTER (alpine and KYE WALL (trad). Reviewed...

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