Jack Geldard has stepped down from his position as Chief Editor at UKClimbing. Thankfully we won't be losing his services altogether since he is still going to be writing articles for us from time to time, but he will no longer be involved in the day to day running of the site.
Jack's first appearance on UKC was in July 2007 when he submitted an article on the Brandler-Hasse route on the Tre Cime. He officially joined the team in December 2007 and his impact was rapid and significant. The site at the time was a very different place as you can see from this snapshot. Traffic was about half what it is now and much of that was on the forums. Jack has been the driving force behind making the site into the content rich news, articles and features site that it is now. His series of 'I Want That Job' articles started in January 2008 with Tim Neill and ran through the year for another 18 different jobs! There were also such classics like How to Shit at the Crag which became good forum fodder in October 2008.
Jack has put his considerable climbing experience to good effect over the years with many excellent and informative Climbing Skills and Tips articles. The well named Top Ten Tips for Staying Alive is worth a read if only to remind yourself of a few seemingly obvious things that we all forget from time to time. We also have things like Get Ready for Summer: Climb Harder Without Training which maybe gives away Jack's own occasional approach to climbing, although that said, he has been an obsessive trainer himself from time to time, acheiving high standards like climbing 8c sport routes, E8 trad routes, 8A boulder problems and hard Alpine new routes.
The three videos below show Jack at his best climbing in the Alps, at Almscliff and Gogarth.
Jack is currently mid-way through his Guides Training and UKC has benefited from some of his acquired Alpine climbing knowledge in the shape of articles like SKILLS: Acclimatising for the European Alps. We are hoping that he will be able to keep supplying us with quality pieces like this over the next few years as well. His 1938 Route Eiger article from 2011 has already become a popular and authoritative source of background reading for people aspiring to this major classic route.
As the site grew, Jack's role changed from being a news and articles editor to being general site editor. This meant that he covered a lot of gear work over the last two years and was responsible for a number of gear reviews and comparison reviews. This massive Cam Review from September 2015 was largely Jack's work as was the Down Jackets review from October 2015.
He also introduced the Digital Features format that we started running in March 2015 with the brilliant Starlight and Storm about Alison Hargreaves and her son Tom Ballard. This was followed up by the nail-biting Rive Gauche about Jeff Mercier and Nick Bullock.
As mentioned, Jack is currently on the British Mountain Guide Scheme doing his training to become an IFMGA Mountain Guide. I have every confidence that he will complete this demanding training and succeed in setting himself up as a guide in his home of Chamonix. He keeps an active blog on jackgeldard.com where you can read articles that never made UKC like this one about Mountain Media for example.
From a personal point of view, Jack joined before I became the sole owner of UKClimbing Limited in 2008, and has always been there as an integral consultant and contributor to the way we have grown the site since. He has been a joy to work with for the last nine years and I wish him and Emily every success with their future plans in Chamonix.