Wild Country is a major manufacturer of rock climbing equipment, and is most noted for introducing the Friend, a spring-loaded camming device. The company is based in Tideswell in the English Peak District, close to some of the UK's most popular climbing areas.
Wild Country was founded in 1977 by British climber Mark Vallance, after he met American climber Ray Jardine who had made and used prototypes of the camming devices he had invented but could find nobody to produce them in volume.   Vallance was convinced of their commercial potential and, with the collaboration of Jardine, set up a factory in the Peak District to manufacture the devices which they had for a long time called Friends. Friends, though expensive, became immediately popular with climbers, selling over 5 thousand units in the first year, and establishing Wild Country as a major climbing gear manufacturer.  Soon the company started expanding its range which now includes climbing harnesses, nuts, carabiners, and other climbing equipment. In 1986 Wild Country acquired Clog, a Welsh climbing equipment manufacturer; the Clog brand is now used to market some of Wild Country's cheaper ranges of equipment. The company also distributes various other international climbing brands in the UK. In 1979 Vallance, introduced the Wild Country Rocks; passive protection which used three contact points compared to the usual two of other designs.[ citation needed ] The range of classic nuts has now been superseded by anodised rocks, which feature coloured anodising on the material to make identification easier . Both these ranges are produced in China, though their smaller superlight range is still produced in the UK.For a while they also produced tents, backpacks, and technical clothing.
His book describing the creation of the company, "Wild Country: The man who made Friends"  was shortlisted for the Boardman Tasker Prize for Mountain Literature. The Boardman Tasker Award for Mountain Literature is awarded annually to the author or authors of the best literary work, whether fiction, non-fiction, drama or poetry, the central theme of which is concerned with the mountain environment. In the book he also mentions his numerous Wild Country sponsored Himalayan climbing expeditions, most notably to Broad Peak.   
In February 2012 Wild Country was bought by Italian climbing equipment manufacturer Salewa. 
A climbing wall is an artificially constructed wall with grips for hands and feet, usually used for indoor climbing, but sometimes located outdoors. Some are brick or wooden constructions, but on most modern walls, the material most often used is a thick multiplex board with holes drilled into it. Recently, manufactured steel and aluminum have also been used. The wall may have places to attach belay ropes, but may also be used to practice lead climbing or bouldering.
Climbing protection is any of a variety of devices employed to reduce risk and protect others while climbing rock and ice. It includes such items as nylon webbing and metal nuts, cams, bolts, and pitons.
A spring-loaded camming device is a piece of rock climbing or mountaineering protection equipment. It consists of two, three, or four cams mounted on a common axle or two adjacent axles, so that pulling on the axle forces the cams to spread farther apart. This is then attached to a sling and carabiner at the end of the stem. The SLCD is used by pulling on the "trigger" so the cams retract together, then inserting it into a crack or pocket in the rock and releasing the trigger to allow the cams to expand. A pull on the rope, such as that generated by a climber falling, will cause a properly placed SLCD to convert the pulling force along the stem of the unit into outwards pressure on the rock, generating massive amounts of friction and preventing the removal of the unit from the rock. Because of the large forces which are exerted on the rock when an SLCD is fallen on, it is very important that SLCDs are only placed in solid, strong rock.
Traditional climbing is a style of rock climbing in which the climber places all the necessary protection gear required to arrest any falls as they are climbing, and then removes it when the pitch is complete. Traditional bolted aid climbing means the bolts were placed while on lead and/or with hand drills. Traditional climbing carries a higher level of risk than bolted sport climbing, as the climber may not have placed the safety equipment correctly while trying to ascend the route, or – in some cases – there may be no protection available to keep a climber from a ground fall or serious injury. For some of the world's hardest climbs, there may not be sufficient cracks or features in the rock that can accept protection gear, and the climb can only be safely attempted by bolting as a sport climb.
This glossary of climbing terms is a list of definitions of terms and jargon related to rock climbing and mountaineering. The specific terms used can vary considerably between different English-speaking countries; many of the phrases described here are particular to the United States and the United Kingdom.
Rock-climbing equipment requires a range of specialized sports equipment, for training, for aid climbing, and for free climbing. Developments in rock-climbing equipment played an important role in the history of rock climbing, enabling climbers to ascend more difficult climbing routes safely, and materially improving the strength, conditioning, and ability of climbers.
Black Diamond Equipment is a manufacturer of equipment for climbing, skiing, and mountain sports, based in Utah, United States. The company also has a global office in Innsbruck, Austria. The company is owned by Clarus Corporation, which also owns Pieps, ClimbOn! Skincare, and Sierra Bullets.
Joseph Brown was an English mountaineer who was regarded as an outstanding pioneer of rock climbing during the 1950s and early 1960s. Together with his early climbing partner, Don Whillans, he was one of a new breed of British post-war climbers who came from working class backgrounds in contrast to the upper and middle class professionals who had dominated the sport up to the Second World War. He became the first person to climb the third-highest mountain in the world when he was on the 1955 British Kangchenjunga expedition. Some of his climbs were televised and he assisted with mountaineering scenes in several films; Brown died on 15 April 2020 at the age of 89.
Clean climbing is rock climbing techniques and equipment which climbers use in order to avoid damage to the rock. These techniques date at least in part from the 1920s and earlier in England, but the term itself may have emerged in about 1970 during the widespread and rapid adoption in the United States and Canada of nuts, and the very similar but often larger hexes, in preference to pitons, which damage rock and are more difficult and time-consuming to install. Pitons were thus eliminated in North America as a primary means of climbing protection in a period of less than three years.
A piton in climbing is a metal spike that is driven into a crack or seam in the climbing surface using a climbing hammer, and which acts as an anchor for protecting the climber against the consequences of falling or to assist progress in aid climbing. Pitons are equipped with an eye hole or a ring to which a carabiner is attached; the carabiner can then be directly or indirectly connected to a climbing rope.
Ray Jardine is an American rock climber who, along with Bill Price, in May 1979, was the first to free climb the West Face of El Capitan in Yosemite Valley. Jardine is also a mountaineer, sea kayaker, sailor, hang glider pilot, sailplane pilot, small aircraft pilot, skydiver, long-distance hiker, bicyclist, motorcyclist, and gear designer.
A belay device is a mechanical piece of climbing equipment used to control a rope during belaying. It is designed to improve belay safety for the climber by allowing the belayer to manage their duties with minimal physical effort. With the right belay device, a small, weak climber can easily arrest the fall of a much heavier partner. Belay devices act as a friction brake, so that when a climber falls with any slack in the rope, the fall is brought to a stop.
Hard Grit is a 1998 British rock climbing film directed by Richard Heap and produced by Slackjaw Film, featuring traditional climbing, free soloing, and bouldering on gritstone routes in the Peak District in the North of England. It is considered an important film in the genre and regarded as a historic and iconic film. The film starts with a dramatic fall by French climber Jean–Minh Trinh-Thieu on Gaia at Black Rocks. Hard Grit won ten international film festival awards.
CAMP manufactures equipment for climbing and associated activities such as ski mountaineering and industrial safety. The company is based in Italy.
A hex is an item of rock-climbing equipment used to protect climbers from falls. They are intended to be wedged into a crack or other opening in the rock, and do not require a hammer to place. They were developed as an alternative to pitons, which are hammered into cracks, damaging the rock. Most commonly, a carabiner will be used to join the hex to the climbing rope by means of a loop of webbing, cord or a cable which is part of the hex.
Ron Fawcett is a British rock climber and rock climbing author who is credited with pushing the technical standards of British rock climbing in traditional, sport, bouldering and free soloing disciplines, in the decade from the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s, and of pioneering the career of being a full-time professional rock climber. At the end of the 1970s to the early 1980s, Fawcett was widely considered the best and most notable rock climber in Britain.
Camalot is a brand of spring-loaded camming devices manufactured by Black Diamond Equipment used to secure ropes while rock climbing. Camalots use a dual-axle system, resulting in a slightly higher expansion range than similarly sized single axle units, however that results in significant weight penalty. Dual-axel was patented and for decades was only used by Black Diamond, however the patent has expired in 2005 and several other manufacturers began producing dual-axel cams, often also replicating Camalots sizes and coloring. Most notable Camelot look-alikes include DMM Dragons and Wild Country's New Friends.
Alpine climbing is a branch of climbing in which the primary aim is very often to reach the summit of a mountain. In order to do this high rock faces or pinnacles requiring several lengths of climbing rope must be ascended. Often mobile, intermediate climbing protection has to be used in addition to the pitons usually in place on the climbing routes.
Metolius Climbing is an American rock climbing gear manufacturer. Named after the Metolius River in Oregon, USA, it is headquartered in the city of Bend, Oregon.
Mark Vallance was a British rock climber, mountaineer and founder of Wild Country, a climbing equipment company.