Dave Birkett (UK)

A brilliant climber and certainly one of the finest the lakes has ever produced (if not the finest) Dave Birkett has amassed one of the biggest and best trad climbing ticklists imaginable.

In a way that’s lucky because as a member of the Birkett dynasty Dave may have been born with climbing in his blood but he also had a lot to live up to. His grandfather Jim, was responsible for a host of Lakeland classics, including Overhanging Bastion etc etc as well as climbing possibly the first E1 in the country in 1941 with Harlots Face…His Uncle Bill was no slouch either, responsible for another slew of routes in through 70s and 80s and was part of the second big Lakes renaissance.

And although his forte is ‘Trad’ routes Dave is no weakling and has also excelled at bouldering, putting up many desperate problems up to Font 8A, and has many sports ticks to his name including the Lakes only 8B+. Dave is a fantastic climber and a full time worker to boot which makes his achievements on many of the more remote crags, which take an amazing amount of time to complete, even more remarkable.

More Info + Routes

About Me

Address: Little Langdale, centre of the universe. Started Climbing: At age 21. Climbing Goals: To stay fit enough to repeat all cheating *******s routes. Favourite Climbing Areas: Scafell, Lake District. Cederberg Mountains, South Africa.
Outgoing, romantic M, 37, green eyes, slim build, GSOH. Likes the countryside, long walks, real ale and Bob Dylan.

Lake District Repeats / New Routes

  • Breathless E10 7a Tophet Wall Great Gable Second Ascent 2004
  • If Six was Nine E9 6c Iron Crag Thirlmere First Ascent (unrepeated)
  • Talbot Horizon E9 6c East Buttress Scafell First Ascent (unrepeated) 2000
  • Welcome to the Cruel World E9 7a East Buttress Scafell First Ascent (unrepeated) 2003
  • Impact Day E8/9 6c Pavey Yark Langdale 1999 First Ascent
  • Dawes Rides a Shovel Head E8 6c Raven Crag Langdale First Ascent
  • Bleed in Hell E8 6c Hell’s Wall Borrowdale First Ascent
  • Hellish E8 6c Hell’s Wall Borrowdale First Ascent
  • Caution E8 6c Gillercombe Buttress Borrowdale First Ascent (unrepeated)
  • New Horizons E8 6c East Buttress Scafell First Ascent (unrepeated) 1998
  • Another Lonely Day E8 6c East Buttress Scafell First Ascent (unrepeated) 2003
  • Death Arete E8 6c Deep Ghyll Buttress Scafell First Ascent (unrepeated) 2004
  • Eulogy Direct E8 6c Raven Crag Langdale First Ascent 2005
  • Nobbut a Fleein Thing E8 6c Cam Crag Wasdale Screes First Ascent 2005
  • The Darkest Hour E8 6c Dove Crag Dovedale First Ascent 2005
  • Fear of Failure E8 6c Dove Crag Dovedale Onsight 2003
  • Disorderly Conduct E8 6c Reecastle Borrowdale Second Ascent
  • Peppered Boursin E7 7a Bright Beck Crag Langdale First Ascent,
  • And many many more....Sheep Rescued: Many. Please send donations


  • Symbiosis E8 6c
  • Tunnel Walls Glencoe Second Ascent
  • Dalriada E8 6c The Cobbler
  • Drifting too far from Shore E7/8 6c
  • Rubbahunish Isle Of Skye First Ascent
  • Zodiac Mind Warp E7 6c Aanoch Dubh Glencoe Second Ascent


  • Countdown to Disaster E8 6c Ilkley Moor Third Ascent
  • E8 6c (? can’t remember) Brimham Second Ascent
  • Strangeness E7 6c
  • Marrow Bone Jelly E7 6c Caley
  • Beau Geste E7 6c Froggatt.

Sports Routes

David has redpointed routes up to 8b+ and onsighted 8a.


David has bouldered up to Font 8a

Winter Routes

David has climbed up to VIII,8 onsight and has done WI6.


David has climbed in Morocco, South Africa, Canada, USA, India and throughout Europe.

22nd Feb 2012 Wild Country UK Climbing Team 2012 Unveiled

Wild Country are proud to unveil their 2012 UK climbing team - a group of reckless and hardy individuals who help us test and promote our gear whatever the danger and cost to themselves...! Well, it’s not exactly like that, but, led by James Pearson, the Wild Country climbing team is peopled with climbers that we feel help represent the values and ideals of Wild Country across the spectrum of the sport.

So, leading the way with a slew of hard ascents in 2011, from almost flashing E10 to multi-pitch monstrosities like Joy Division and flashing 8b+ is James Pearson, now living in France but originally a Buxton lad and working with Wild Country since 2004. There’s a superb video of James in action on his E10 flash attempt here - http://vimeo.com/25140891.

James Pearson seen here on his flash attempt on Muy Caliente E10

Hot on his heels are the incredibly talented ‘Wideboyz’ team of Tom Randall and Pete Whittaker, who as well as tackling the worlds hardest offwidths – and the first ascent of Century Crack E9 (as you may just have heard about) have produced a load of awesome grit routes in the past few years filling some very cool gaps on the Peak District edges – you can see some Century Crack footage here - http://vimeo.com/35270800.  Sheffield based there’s also Ben Heason who’s been working with Wild Country for years and is still sending 8b+ and E8, and the enigmatic Miles Gibson – the quiet man of the legendary super-desperates ‘Superstition’ and Superbloc’ on the gritstone. Also Peak based the youthful Hamer brothers have both been performing superbly in 2011: Ed probably outdoing his brother Sam with his fantastic results in the youth world cup climbing comps with a  couple of 2nd places – but Sam showing he’s no slouch winding his neck out with few E8’s on the grit to even the scales – see the Hamers’ in action here - http://vimeo.com/26593785.
Last, but not least, long term teamer, Katherine Schirrmacher is hoping to build on her hard trad and grit E7 ascents after a year out to have a baby and build a very successful guiding business and will be starring in and sharing her technical knowledge in Wild Country’s ‘how to’ video series later this year.


Then up in Lancs the super psyched Jordan Buys is joined this year by his wife and partner Naomi to make an all action team. Both are multi discipline masters, mixing bouldering, trad climbing and sports climbing to a very high standard Jordan to 8c and E9 and Naomi to 8a+ and E7.  See Jordan in action here: http://vimeo.com/34862987

Over in Yorkshire, Jenny Woodward, has an incredible resume and after a bit of a stop start year last year after having a baby and suffering a few injuries and only sending up to 8A+(!!!) has some even harder projects on the go...watch this space!

Further north, in the Lake District, Dave Birkett and Adam Hocking are both climbing at the highest level and still doing stunning new trad lines and bouldering at the highest level – there’s a great video of Adam on a new E8 here – http://vimeo.com/25808567


New team member Naomi Buys in action on Snap Decision E7 6C Ilkley...

Meanwhile in Scotland the evergreen Malcolm Smith of has been relentless on rock with a recent new 8c+ Blood Diamond, while the fearless Kev Shields simply sets new standards for his bold soloing and some great winter ascents. And across the ‘pond’ in Ireland Andy Marshall has been representing Wild Country and has also sent some pretty rad lines including E8 2nd ascents and plenty more.

Our boulder team (thought that terms a bit restrictive as they’re more than that) is headed up by the amazing Ned Fehally who seems to be taking bouldering up a notch as well as blurring the lines between highball and routes making some very hard ascents in 2011 including Samson E8 7a, and the Prow E9 7a both solo. See Ned in action here: http://vimeo.com/33103583. Nigel Callender also manages to continually impress, sending 8b+ - http://vimeo.com/20435941 - while studying to be a doctor in Newcastle and taking advantage of the awesome sandstone of Northumberland. Then in the south east the strong Ben Read is helping  establish a new wave of sandstone desperates as well as writing guidebooks and promoting the excellent climbing around there. Joining these guys this year is year is Stewart Watson, a very strong climber who’s been competing internationally in boulder comps for a number of years and is adding 8c ascents to his pretty awesome bouldering CV.


We also have some young climbers doing well and with Tara Hayes we have one the most up and coming of the UK junior competition climbers who in her first year managed to grab an overall 6th place in the European Youth B standings.

So a big thanks to all those I’ve mentioned and anyone else who’s been flying the Wild Country flag - and you can see more about all Wild Country’s UK team at our website here:

And to get any news from the team first and fastest you can follow Wild Country on:
Twitter - @wildcountryuk
On our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Wild-Country/97486098594
Or to watch all our videos our Vimeo page is here: http://vimeo.com/wildcountry/videos


Here's young gun Ed Hamer doing what he does best - climbing very very well on something that's very very steep!!!!!!

Ed Hamer