About the site

UKClimbing Limited is the company behind the World's most popular climbing and mountaineering web site, and

Our aim is to bring our readers both the best of hillwalking, climbing and mountaineering from around the World and the best experience that Web technology can provide. We promise that:

  • We will give you the most up-to-date and most comprehensive information and news that we can, about everything to do with hillwalking, climbing and mountaineering from around the World.
  • We will run and as separate web sites but enable users to switch between them easily.
  • We will continue to develop the sites using the latest web technology, while maintaining a web site that is compatible with as many computer systems possible, old and new.
  • We will not over-populate the site with advertising.

We'd like to ask one thing from you in return: your participation - give us your opinions; take part in the discussions; submit your articles, photos and news items; use your logbook - because the more you take part, the more valuable this site will be to you and to everyone else. If you want to participate right now, then Contact Us, or go and start looking around.

UKClimbing Limited
Company Number: 04297002
Company Address: 91 Western Road, Sheffield, S10 1LB
VAT Number: GB 648 1027 45
ISSN UKC: 2634-8926

Alan James - Managing Director

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 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 print and digital. In 2023 Alan sold his shares to UKClimbing Trustee Limited, an Employee Ownership Trust. He continues with the business as managing director.

Dan Bailey - UKH and Gear Editor

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 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 Greenwood - Advertising Manager and Director UKClimbing Limited

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 Brown - Digital Media Editor and Director UKClimbing Trustee Limited

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.

Tim Hill - Advertising Manager

Natalie Berry - UKC Chief Editor

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!

Xa White - UKC Assistant Editor

Xa started working for UKClimbing in 2022, and is responsible for writing and editing news and articles on UKC, as well as video presenting. He was born down south, but has been living in Sheffield since 2012. He discovered climbing whilst working on a PhD at the University of Sheffield in 2019, initially getting to grips with climbing indoors, before discovering the joys of trad in late 2021 and leading his first route in early 2022. Outside of climbing, he enjoys hiking with his dog, cooking, and writing.

Paul Phillips - Technical Developer

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 Mckenna - Technical Developer and Director UKClimbing Limited

Martin joined UKC in March 2015 as Assistant Technical Developer. He is the lead developer for Android for Rockfax Digital and also manages the subscription and payment system. 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 Horne - Rockfax Technical Developer

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 proficiency led him to develop his coding skills and he moved to take on the huge task of developing Rockfax digital guidebook information for iOS. This massive project took three years but the result is now out there in the shape of the most advanced digital climbing information on the market. He now overseas all our iOS development and works full-time on Rockfax Digital.

Andy Ovens - Technical Developer

Andy joined the team at the end of 2018 and is working on many aspects of the UKC, UKH and Rockfax websites. Having learned to climb (and walk) through his University's mountaineering club, his 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 to climb. Outside of climbing, he enjoys dog walks, squash and eating.

John McKenna - Technical Developer

John joined UKClimbing in October 2020 as a Technical Developer to assist the Rockfax Digital development team. Climbing was a regular part of the week as a kid, climbing with his brother Martin down the local climbing wall. Since university, he has enjoyed everything from bouldering to winter mountaineering, but it is trad climbing in the Scottish mountains and sea cliffs - as well as the odd trip further afield - that he forms most of his memories. John graduated with a Masters in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Glasgow and has since gone on to retrain as a web developer.

Mark Glaister - Photo Editor

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 traveled 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.

  • First Rockfax

    The first 'Rockfax' guidebook published to Yorkshire Limestone by Ben Walker, Mick Ryan and Greg Rimmer under the company name of Vertical Brain.

  • Alan James authored the third Rockfax book to Peak Limestone.

  • Alan James took over the publishing of the 4th and 5th Rockfax books to The Lakes and Dorset.

  • Created created by Andy Hyslop and Adam Greenwood. It existed as a sub domain of various sites.

  • Created

    The Rockfax website is set up.

  • Rocktalk moved to UKC

    Alan James combined his Rocktalk forum, which had developed on the Rockfax web site, with the existing web site. The technical development work from this point until 2012 was done by Nick Smith via his company.

  • UKClimbing Limited became a fully-fledged limited company. From 2001 to June 2008 Limited had two directors: Alan James and Andy Hyslop.

  • New Editor

    Mick Ryan joined Limited as Editor.

  • New Editor and Advertising Manager

    Jack Geldard joined the company as UKC Editor and Mick Ryan moved to take up the role of Advertising Manager.

  • Alan James bought the whole company from Andy Hyslop to become the sole director.

  • UKC and Rockfax merged Limited was bought by Rockfax Limited and both companies were established under a new single company called UKClimbing Limited, again with a single director, Alan James.

  • Gear Editor

    Sarah Stirling joined UKClimbing Limited as Gear Editor a role she stayed in until May 2013.

  • Lowdown blog merged with UKC

    Björn Pohl moved his 'Lowdown' international climbing news blog to UKC.

  • created was launched with Dan Bailey as Editor.

  • New Technical Developer

    Paul Phillips joined UKClimbing Limited as Assistant Technical Developer for UKC, UKH and Rockfax web sites before becoming Senior Technical Developer in 2013.

  • Assistant News Editor

    Duncan Campbell became part-time Assistant News Editor.

  • New Advertising Manager

    Rob Greenwood joined as Advertising Manager, taking on the role from Mick Ryan who left the company.

  • New UKC Editor

    Natalie Berry joined as a full-time News Editor, taking on the role from (part-time) Duncan Campbell who left the company. Nick Brown also joined as part-time editor.

  • New Assistant Technical Developer

    Martin McKenna joined as full-time Assistant Technical Developer.

  • Rockfax App Launched

    The Rockfax App was launched on iOS.

  • Major Role Changes

    Dan Bailey became Gear Editor in addition to his role as UKHillwalking editor. Nick Brown moved to a full time role as Assistant Site Editor. Natalie Berry became UKC Editor and Jack Geldard stepped down from his role as UKC Chief Editor.

  • New Advertising Role

    Theo Moore joined to work as part of the Advertising team.

  • New Technical Developer

    Andy Ovens joined the company as a Technical Developer.

  • A Change to Rockfax Digital


    The Android version of the Rockfax App is launched and the system changes to a subscription service across both platforms.

  • UKC Supporter Scheme


    During the Covid crisis, the UKC Supporter Scheme is launched.

  • New Technical Developer

    John McKenna joined the company as a Technical Developer.

  • New UKC Assistant Editor

    Xa White joins as Assitant Editor on UKClimbing.

  • UKClimbing Limited becomes and Employee Ownership Trust


    Alan James passes control of the business to UKClimbing Trustee Limited and the business is established as an Employee Ownership Trust.

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