I founded Bigstone nearly 15 years ago after serving my "apprenticeship" with one of the climbing hardware manufacturers, teaching, being a climbing bum, labourer and working in climbing shops. For the first 5 years I pretty much ran everything myself but as sales grew the business expanded.
I always planned to have a "cool family" type business with 4 or 5 good people and hopefully we are getting there. Still trying to get more play time, like most people, but we are all continually busy.
I'm a climber, have been since I was 15, and it's pretty much dictated the direction of my whole life. I'm still super keen to boulder, big wall, sport/trad, alpine, anything, anywhere in Europe and North America really. I've always run in the hills a couple of times a week (I live in Grindleford) and generally love the "outdoors" be it Mtn Biking, walking, just being in it! I do all this stuff with a bunch of different friends as well as my family who are growing now and starting to get better at it than me!
I had lots of plans this year alongside time with family and work but it looks like the major climbing projects are going to get pushed back till next year. So it's Nose in a Day next May!
Favourite Arc'teryx products:
- Alpha Comp Jkt: Unique futuristic Jkt. Combines Goretex on the hood, shoulders and upper back with the main body made of Tweave Stretch Woven fabric, taped, weatherproof, super breathable, bombpoof and for most conditions perfect. No one else can or will ever make a Jkt like this! We have a bunch of amazing Hardshells that could pip this but I'm leaving it here because it's unique. Oh yeah, we don't make it anymore!?...
- Blade 21: My work bag and day bag. Use it every day for the laptop/paperwork and also when working away if we ski or hike on the back of a work trip to Vancouver etc. it's a perfect day bag and beyond durable. Premium Arcteryx fabrics, construction and comfort.
- Gamma MX Hoody: The all-round climbing, hanging out piece, super stretchy, super durable, just too easy to use when it's cold to cool on the crag, riding or walking...mines 8 years old now getting that stone washed look but still no snags or pills.
- Phase: Arcteryx make loads of different weights, SL, AR and SV and colours. It's one of the few products where Arcteryx don't apply their magic apart from a beautiful cut and amazing fabrics; versatile and durable. Use it everywhere.
- Atom LT: This replaces the Solo as my new multi-purpose all rounder. Outerwear, layering, supa lite, the usual Arc fit. We sell more of these things now than pretty much anything else so lots of folk agree.
Favourite 5.10 Products:
- Anasazi Velcros: My first 5.10 shoes. They do what they do always, never change, super super durable, Stealth Rubber confidence. Unique again, part of the history of climbing.
- Moccasym. Super classic all round slipper perfect for US granite cracks, the Grit, the 'Works' etc etc...
- Camp 4: Burly approach, hiking shoe that fits and lasts plus Stealth. Deep lugs are good for wet Britland as well as dry dusty California.
- Spitfire. My everyday shoe!