Climber Name # Ascents Recorded Notes Exclude reason
Adam Ondra 60

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.

Steve McClure 48

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...

Interview on The Nugget Climbing Podcast

James Pearson 43

Interview with Tom Randall

Dave MacLeod 35

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.

Features in Cutting Loose.

Daniel Woods 33
Jerry Moffatt 30

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

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]


Dan Varian 29

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

Features in Life on Hold.

James McHaffie 28

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.

Interview with RockClimbingUK

Johnny Dawes 27

Interview with Niall Grimes.

Features in 80's Birth of Extreme.

Will Bosi 27

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

Ron Fawcett 26

At the top of the scene in the mid 70s and early 80s and one of the first professional climbers in the UK.

Ron famously climbed 100 extremes (i.e. routes graded E1 or harder) 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.

Interview with Andy Pollitt.

Aidan Roberts 25

Owner of some of the steeliest fingers in UK climbing.

Alex Megos 25

German power house who was forged in the Frankenjura.

Interview with RockClimbingUK

Ben Moon 25

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.

Pete Dawson 25
Andy Pollitt 24

Features in Statement of Youth.

North Stack Wall, 1980s.

Chris Sharma 23

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.

Giuliano Cameroni 23
Ned Feehally 22

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

Interview with Niall Grimes

Interview with Simon Lee

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

Ryan Pasquill 22

Dave Graham 20

The wizard.

Jordan Buys 19
Mina Leslie-Wujastyk 19

The Curious Climber Podcast

Interview with RockClimbingUK

Pete Robins 19

Prolific North Wales developer.

Interview with RockClimbingUK

Alex Barrows 18
Jim Pope 18

Peak district based climber's climber.

Author of the seminal Big Balls and Ground Falls.

Pete Whittaker 18

One half of the WideBoyz.

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

Sébastien Bouin 18
Buster Martin 17
Drew Ruana 17

Interview on The Nugget Climbing Podcast

Hazel Findlay 17

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

James Squire 17
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.

Molly Thompson-Smith 17

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

John Gaskins 16

Breaker of hearts.

Interesting interview with him here, courtesy of Simon Lee. Some footage of John climbing on his board is also available from the same interview

Many ascents disputed. In particular, problems like Pill Box Wall and Shadowplay do not stack up. Some legitimate ascents (e.g. Anaesthesia is on video) but none of his super hard problems.

Good analysis from Dan Varian on this thread

Because of the uncertainty around so many of his ascents he's been excluded from all lists.

Ben Bransby 15

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

Fred Nicole 15
Dave Mason 14
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





Stefano Ghisolfi 14

Dan Turner 13

Owner of one of the all time great psyche screams. See

Emma Twyford 13

North wales based crusher.

John Allen 13

John was a prolific and gifted climber who established a host of hard, classic routes on his local gritstone crags in the peak district.

Lines that had been eyed up by many fell to this prodigious young talent. He climbed Old Friends when he was just 14 and continued adding quality new first ascents from there, such as Hairless Heart, White Wand, Profit of Doom and London Wall which were climbed within a 2 week period at age 16!

While later climbers pushed the numbers up John added a plethora of high quality lines such as West Side Story at Burbage West.

Obituary on UKClimbing by Graham Hoey.

Tom Bolger 13

Tom is an expat living in Spain, where he has done most of his harder climbing.

Eliot Stephens 12
Jimmy Webb 12
Matt Fultz 12

Interview on The Nugget Climbing Podcast

Micky Page 12

Features in Life on Hold.

Neil Gresham 12

Interview with Dave Macleod

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