I am the owner and director of UKClimbing Limited, the company that runs both UKClimbing.com and Rockfax. I have been involved with ROCKFAX guidebooks since authoring my first book in 1992, and with UKClimbing since its early days in the mid-90s. I am married with 3 children and I live in the longest house on Crookes Mountain in Sheffield. In a former career I used to draw the Pokketz cartoons for OTE, print T-shirts, make trousers and several other hair-brained self-employment ideas.
Best Climbing Experience
I have had many great climbing experiences over the years - early days on grit and in North Wales in the 80s, creeping up the grades; sport climbing in the early 90s in leafy Chee Dale and sunny France; holidays on the Spanish Costas in the mid 90s; and more recently with taking my children out for their first experiences. Probably the best climbing time I have had (so far) were the years I spent obsessed with Pembroke from 1987 to publishing the Pembroke Rockfax in 1995 - great climbs, great routes and great company in one of the most beautiful areas in the world for rock climbing. To pin point an actual moment would be difficult, so I'll choose three: sitting on top of Star Gate after cruising this peerless climb and experiencing "most of the Atlantic Ocean beneath my feet" on the final moves; finding Darkness at Noon in perfect conditions and grabbing an ascent late one day when we were expecting "just another Leap E5"; and clawing over the top of Trevallen after a tenuous ascent of Orange Robe Burning, forearms burning, eyes on stalks, friends waiting at the top.
Favourite Climbing-Related Discussion Topic
Guidebooks, the internet, UKC, Rockfax,... all a bit predictable really.
Articles by Alan James - UKC and UKH
Photo moderator, checking new photo submissions.
Moderator for 49 crags, checking missing climbs added to the logbooks: Stanage North, Stanage Plantation, Stanage Popular, Water-cum-Jolly, Radford Quarry, Stoney West, Santa Ponca, S'estret, Valldemossa, Sa Gubia ... plus 39 more, Fraguel, Port de Sóller, Ca'n Nyic, Es Queixal, Alaro, Caimari, La Creveta, Es Fumat, Xon Xanquete, El Calo de Betlem, Cala Magraner, Can Ortigues, Gorg Blau, Indoor Climbing Wall, Ermita de Betlem, Morro Falqui, Cala Figuera, Chee Dale Upper, Chee Dale Lower, Craig Cwm Silyn, Terminal Area Crags, Sa Mola de Felantix, Alto Crags, Es Grau des Ruc, The Woolpacks, Ploumanach, Caprauna Area Crags, Bausu Crags, Orihuela, Callosa, Martinetto Area, Torre D'en Beu, Cala Llamp, C'an Formiga, Colletta Crags, La Glaciere, Antro di Castel Bianco and Ciusa, Eskal-Colosseo, Erli-Cerisola
Interests Outside Climbing
Road biking especially ticking the big climbs of the Tour de France. I also have indulged in plenty of juggling over the years, and diabolo, although I do less now. I enjoy watching most sports, except ones involving horses, or boxing gloves, or both.
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Been Climbing For
More than 20 years
Trad - E6
Sport - 7b+
Trad - 7c
Trad Rock Climbing
Awesome Walls Sheffield
In the UK
Valentine/One Night Connection E1 5a, 5b
The European Female 7a
Sergeyenna E1 5b
Hergiani E2 5b
Absent Friends E3 5c
Nostradamus E1 5a
The Gravity Hill 6a
The Max Works 6c+
Max Pact 6b
Sit Up and Beg 6b
Sit Down Wall 6a
Stand Out Arête 6b+
The Thief of Mad Dad 6b+
Thieving Magpies 6a
... list all 1474 climbs
Chee Tor Extreme Trad 100%
Extreme Rock 18%
The High Tor Top Ten 100%
ROCKFAX Eastern Grit (2006): Top 500 36%
London Wall Training List 100%
ROCKFAX Eastern Grit: Top 50 47%
Top 23 UKC Climbed Climbs 70%
Classy Peak Lime 7a to 7b+ 10%
Pembroke Rockfax Top 50 50%
The Tremadog 'V's' 100%
... list all 11 ticklists
... not setup