Climbers

Climber Name # Ascents Recorded Notes
Adam Ondra 64

Adam Ondra is widely considered to be the best rock climber in the world.

He has established or repeated many of the worlds 9bs, put up the first 9b+ with Change and the first 9c with Silence. He's onsighted multiple 9as and became the first person to flash 9a+ when he climbed Super Crackinette on his first try. He is also an extremely strong boulderer with multiple ascents of boulders up to 8C+.

While his hardest ascents are notable what sets Adam apart from his contemporaries is his depth of experience. At the time of writing he has onsighted 64 8cs, 21 8c+s, 3 9as and climbed 188 routes graded 9a or harder. He has also won the world cup 7 times and the world championships 5 times.

References

[1] Adam's logbook https://www.adamondra.com/list-of-routes

Steve McClure 51

At the forefront of british sport climbing. Put up the UKs first 9a+, Mutation and first 9b, Rainman as well as a raft of routes from 8c+ upwards. Also a dab hand on trad with several very hard ascents to his name and some very impressive onsight ascents.

The first time I came to Malham it looked like the easiest crag in the world...

http://www.niallgrimes.com/jam-crack-climbing-podcast/2018/7/5/jcpc-042-steve-mcclure

Interview on The Nugget Climbing Podcast

James Pearson 44

Interview with Tom Randall

Dave MacLeod 42

Scottish lone wolf who has performed at a very high level across many disciplines. Dave has established or repeated almost all the hard climbing in Scotland, from 8B+ boulder problems to grade XI winter routes.

https://twitter.com/davemacleod09

Features in Cutting Loose.

Daniel Woods 35
Jerry Moffatt 34

At the forefront of british climbing form the early eighties to mid-nineties. Along with Ben Moon Jerry established many hard firsts in the UK, Germany, France and USA including historic ascents such as The Face, Revelations and Liquid Ambar.

He was an early proponent of bouldering in it's own right. From early ascents on the Bowderstone he went on to put up a host of hard classics such as The Ace at Stanage and Dominator in Yosemite.

Features in The Real Thing, Stone Love, 80's Birth of Extreme, Statement of Youth.

Portrait by Chris Gore

https://www.facebook.com/climbing.in.the.80s/photos/a.270388289694020/2732067140192777

https://www.facebook.com/climbing.in.the.80s/photos/a.270388289694020/876401569092686

https://www.facebook.com/rockarchivist/photos/a.115405983249621/121210252669194

Will Bosi 34

One of the new generation of British climbers who has come up through the comp scene and applied his talents to the rock.

Aidan Roberts 32

Owner of some of the steeliest fingers in UK climbing.

https://www.thebmc.co.uk/aidan-roberts-interview

Johnny Dawes 32

Interview with Niall Grimes.

Features in 80's Birth of Extreme.

Dan Varian 30

Prolific first ascentionist with some of the UKs hardest problems to his name. Part owner of Beastmaker.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/beastmaker/

Features in Life on Hold.

John Redhead 30

Features in E96c and Clown Ascending.

On E96c:

It was from my warehouse home here that my involvement with E9 6c was filmed and recorded. This happened within the last few weeks of my departure from this special perch. John Mortimer’s son, Jeremy, produced an excellent piece for Radio Three called, ‘Between the Ears’. Dominic Clemence produced and directed the film for BBC2. This was the attempted story of The Indian Face, a fierce route on the cathedral of rock, Clogwyn Du Arddu, on the flank of Snowdon. I liked the bit where I am sat under my climbing wall in the studio flippantly explaining the image I painted on the scar where the flake had been. This small granite flake had come away in my arms whilst testing the peg that had been smashed into its side. I drew a quick sketch on the wall of ‘the hunt‘, something that had stayed with me from viewing the Lascaux Caves in France. Only two people had seen it. Paul Williams had photographed it and Johnny Dawes had scraped it off (or rather, an acolyte had scraped it off). One had died and the other had seemingly gone mad! [1]

[1] http://footlesscrow.blogspot.co.uk/2011/11/sacred-ground.html

Alex Megos 29

Alex Megos (born 1993) grew up in the Frankenjura area Germany and specialises in sport climbing and bouldering. He's famed for very fast ascents of hard testpieces as well as establishing some of the hardest sport routes in the world.

Notable Ascents

Alex was the first person in the world to onsight 9a with his ascent of Estado Crítico in Siurana. Amusingly he didn't actually realise which line it was he had climbed at the time and he only realised afterwards when someone told him!

Sources

[1] Interview with RockClimbingUK

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Megos

James McHaffie 29

Prolific north wales based trad machine who's also a very capable sport climber. One of the best onsight climbers in the UK with over a hundred E7 onsights to his name. He's also completed some impressive challenges, such as the 100 lakes extremes in a day.

On the 26th May James climbed Revelations at Raven Tor, the last route of 180 on his way to ticking every route in the book Extreme Rock. This incredible effort demonstrates a huge breadth and depth of experience, from relatively pedestrian climbs such as The Strand at Gogarth (North Stack And Main Cliff) to bold and intimidating leads such as Johnny Dawes' Indian Face and Jerry Moffatt's Master's Wall.

https://dmmwales.com/journal/may-2021/mchaffie-completes-extreme-rock

https://chalkbloc.com/climbing-interviews/james-mchaffie-the-dark-lord-climber-interview

Interview with RockClimbingUK

Interview with March Langley on UKC

Joe Brown 28

Born in 1930, Joe Brown was one of the pivotal figures in post-war climbing in the UK. In the 1950s and 60s, and alongside contemporaries such as Don Whillans, he pushed the standard of rock climbing in the UK to new levels with the first ascents of classic routes such as Cemetry Gates (E1), Great Slab (E3) and Right Eliminate (E3). Joe's routes frequently ventured in to territory that was previously considered off limits, often tackling bold and uncompromising features with minimal protection.

It is sometimes suggested that he was one of the inventors of jamming. Though this seems unlikely, though it is certainly true that he employed the technique to great effect on many of his new routes.

With all the other greats of my time, I could understand how they climbed: fitness, physique, supple gymnasticism or sheer application. With Brown, there was something else at work. He was quite short, not heavily built, his muscles corded rather than developed, his movement smooth and deliberate. When I climbed with him, sometimes I would watch the way he made a move, copy it when I came to that point, and his way, that he had seen instantly, would be the least obvious and most immediately right. He was climbing's supreme craftsman, unerringly aware of the medium. [1]

An extended biography written by Ollie Burrows is available here https://www.theclimbersshopjoebrownblog.co.uk/blog/joe-brown-biography including a list of many of Joe's first ascents.

Interview with the BMC

[1] Obituary on UKClimbing written by Jim Perrin.

Andy Pollitt 27

Features in Statement of Youth.

North Stack Wall, 1980s.

Pete Dawson 27
Ron Fawcett 27

Ron Fawcett was at the top of the UK climbing scene in the mid 70s and early 80s and one of the first professional climbers in the UK. He took up the mantel from climbers such as Pete Livesey and helped cement the E5 and E6 grade in the UK. He also put up some of the early hard sport routes in the UK with lines such as Sardine, Body Machine and The Prow at Raven Tor.

Ron famously climbed 100 extremes (i.e. routes graded E1 or harder on the British Trad grading scale) in a day in 1986 starting at Froggatt then going on to Stanage, Burbage and finishing at Curbar. This feat is even more impressive when you consider that Ron was not just picking the easiest routes available: Downhill Racer (E4), Heartless Hare (E5) and Ulysses or Bust (E5) feature among the hard routes that he climbed. See [3] for a full list.

References

[1] Rock Athlete, by Sid Perou https://youtu.be/tdRfqD125-g?t=1522

[2] Interview with Andy Pollitt https://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/features/andy_pollitt+big_ron_fawcett-9483.

[3] Ticklist of Ron's 100 extremes in a day https://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/set.php?id=548

https://www.facebook.com/climbing.in.the.80s/photos/a.270388289694020/282305001835682

Ben Moon 26

Helped push the cutting edge of sport climbing in the 80s and 90s. FA of many hard sport routes and boulder problems in the UK including classics such as Voyager SDS and Hubble.

Interview with Simon Lee

Features in The Real Thing, Stone Love, 80's Birth of Extreme, Statement of Youth.

https://www.facebook.com/climbing.in.the.80s/photos/a.270388289694020/942618999137609

https://www.facebook.com/climbing.in.the.80s/photos/a.270388289694020/876401569092686

Chris Sharma 26

When Chris started climbing he reinvigorated the US sport climbing scene, quickly repeating many of the hardest lines before establishing his own hard lines such as Necessary Evil, the first 8c+/14c in the US.

Through the rest of his career he took sport climbing in to the modern era by cementing the 9a+ and 9b grades with a string of cutting edge ascents throughout Europe and the US.

Features in Rampage, Best of the West.

Interview with Alex Honnold on Climbing Gold.

Dave Graham 25

The wizard.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2bZsFZdpgs

Giuliano Cameroni 24
Ned Feehally 24

Prolific explorer and first ascenionist in the peak district. Has also repeated many hard problems at home and abroad. Part owner of Beastmaker.

Sources

[1] Interview with Niall Grimes

[2] Interview with Simon Lee

[3] Wedge Climbing profile

Features in 56° Underground, Life on Hold, UKC Profile of Ned.

Ryan Pasquill 22

http://www.niallgrimes.com/jam-crack-climbing-podcast/2019/9/10/jcpc-072-ryan-pasquill

Alex Barrows 21
Hazel Findlay 20

Hazel is one of the co-hosts on The Curious Climber Podcast.

http://www.niallgrimes.com/jam-crack-climbing-podcast/jcpc-076-hazel-findlay

Jordan Buys 20
Sébastien Bouin 20
Jim Pope 19

Peak district based climber's climber.

Author of the seminal Big Balls and Ground Falls.

http://www.niallgrimes.com/jam-crack-climbing-podcast/2019/12/2/jcpc-074-jim-pope

Mina Leslie-Wujastyk 19

The Curious Climber Podcast

http://www.niallgrimes.com/jam-crack-climbing-podcast/jcpc-044-mina-leslie-wujastyk

Interview with RockClimbingUK

Pete Robins 19

Prolific North Wales developer.

http://www.niallgrimes.com/jam-crack-climbing-podcast/2020/11/4/jcpc-089-pete-robins

Interview with RockClimbingUK

Pete Whittaker 19

One half of the WideBoyz.

Features in Without a Partner: Rope Solo of El Cap in Under 24rhs

Molly Thompson-Smith 18

Very capable comp climber who has a solid track record on rock too.

http://www.niallgrimes.com/jam-crack-climbing-podcast/jcpc-034-molly-thompson-smith

Nick Dixon 18

Interview with Niall Grimes.

Ben Bransby 17

Nearly ticked every route on stanage (only Mother of Pearl and Marbellous remain at the time of writing).

https://vimeo.com/user6214329

https://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/showlog.php?id=16901

Buster Martin 17
Drew Ruana 17

Interview on The Nugget Climbing Podcast

James Squire 17
John Gaskins 17

John Gaskins is a controversial figure in British climbing. He has claimed a number of very hard boulder problem first ascents as well as several hard repeats. Almost all his hardest ascents lack clear evidence as to whether they actually happened.

For a long time John had a lot of support within the British climbing community. For example, he claimed to have repeated Markus Bock's problem Gossip which Bock thought was very unlikely. Many in the UK climbing scene supported John's claim. It was only much later that doubts were raised about many of John's first ascents which then cast doubts over his climbing as a whole.

References

[1] Interview with Simon Lee from UKBouldering.com https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbZALxPdjZg

[2] From the same interview as [1], footage of John climbing on his board https://vimeo.com/82936059.

Malcolm Smith 17

An early adherent of training on a woody who put his strength to excellent use, putting up many of the hardest problems in the UK from the early 90s to early 2000s.

Features in Splinter, a short portrait by Ben Pritchard, and Stone Love.

Fred Nicole 16
Emma Twyford 15

North wales based crusher.

http://www.niallgrimes.com/jam-crack-climbing-podcast/jcpc-069-emma-twyford-part-1

http://www.niallgrimes.com/jam-crack-climbing-podcast/2019/7/2/jcpc-070-emma-twyford-part-2

Stefano Ghisolfi 15

https://www.instagram.com/steghiso/

Dan Turner 14

Owner of one of the all time great psyche screams. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9TLH-1Vv_Q.

Dave Mason 14
Jack Palmieri 14

The king of Parisellas Cave.

Jakob Schubert 14

Bronze medalist in the Tokyo 2020 olympics.

Jimmy Webb 14
Matt Fultz 14

Interview on The Nugget Climbing Podcast

Neil Gresham 14

Interview with Dave Macleod

Phil Davidson 14

Pex hill resident and prolific North Wales activist in the 70s and 80s.

Phil sadly passed away from cancer on 15th February 2021.

Obituary by Mike Owen.

Urban legend (round Pex Hill at the time [early 1980s]) had it that after pulling through the crux of Right Wall, he called across to the photographer and asked him if he had enough shots, or did he need him to down climb it and do it the crux again! [1]

As somebody from Warrington he was an inspiration and legend. Never forgot the time I saw him turn up at Pex on his motorbike. Then reverse soloed Dateline in his leather jacket with his helmet hanging for in his arms. I could swear he was wearing trainers. [2]

Though our favourite stomping grounds often overlapped I only met Phil a handful of times. The first time, appropriately, was at Pex. The quarry was empty and I was committed about two thirds the way up Hart's Arete. Phil appears and I ask if the top is ok. "Aye" Phil mutters, and walks off. Of course, the top of Hart's is the only place at Pex where the top slopes. Next time we met he'd forgotten his earlier sandbagging of me and accused me of playing the same trick on him in the Peak (I don't know who had, but it wasn't me). He was the ultimate competitor, though one that I know had many deeply loyal friends. [Andy Popp, 3]

Phil used to claim to Joe [Healey] he didn’t train. Joe told me about calling round for him to go climbing one day. His mum answered, said he was training with weights in his bedroom, told Joe he was always training! [4]

UKClimbing logbook

[1] https://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/rocktalk/phil_davidson_rip-731360?v=1#x9407295

[2] https://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/rocktalk/phil_davidson_rip-731360?v=1#x9407396

[3] https://ukbouldering.com/board/index.php/topic,31125.msg629980.html#msg629980

[4] https://ukbouldering.com/board/index.php/topic,31125.msg629981.html#msg629981

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