The philosopher behind Up and Under, Norman (MD) has a keen competitive streak which has taken him all over the world with his triathlon, adventure races and his new love of sailing. Catch him for a chat in the boot fitting area when he's not on the seven seas.
The quieter of the two directors, whose ever-growing enthusiasm for world travel has taken her to the dizzy heights of 6000m+, and sports diving in the Galapagos and the Barrier Reef. She has recently sailed across the Pacific and takes a 3000 item Palm Equipment stock check in her stride.
Chris has worked at Up and Under since 1998. Chris set the ball rolling for the first Up and Under website and spent until 2011 developing and maintaining it. The latest incarnation of www.upandunder.co.uk has been designed, created and developed by VSI-thinking but still utilizes Chris' experience for development and maintainance work within his role as General Manager of Up and Under as a whole. Chris began walking near his home in the Lake District after having been carried around the hills in a papoose for a few years a long time ago. He advanced to rock climbing whilst still at school and now has a large amount of U.K. winter and Alpine summer and winter seasons behind him. Chris has 2 young children so can help advise on papooses and top crags and walking destinations for families with young kids.
The second General Manager of Up and Under has a degree in Computing with artificial intelligence from Leeds University and is the expert knowledge behind Up and Under's SAP B1 ERP system that drives the stock of this website. Ben is keen to talk forever on the training aspects of climbing and bouldering. He is also qualified through Lyon Equipment to sell PPE for work at height. As well as an active rock climber and gymnast he is a keen practitioner of winter sports especially snow boarding.
James is the Up and Under Contract Manager specializing in Outdoor Centre and Education group equipment and orders. He has been working for Up and Under on an extended year out since he left college - many years ago! As a keen paddler he has paddled more new boats than he has eaten hot meals. He has vast experience of paddling in the French and Austrian Alps, however, he is more regularly found around the rivers and coast of South Wales. James has competed in slalom and Whitewater racing including races on the Teifi, Taff and Dart and marathons including the Exe and Liffey Descents. James also enjoys playing in his sit on top and polo. He has also paddled in Scotland and North Wales with a group of friends from the Cardiff Kayakers.
Dave’s love affair with the mountains began in 1979 with hill walking in the Peak District progressing on to back-packing, scrambles in North Wales, rock climbing, mountaineering in Scotland and the European Alps and latterly trail running. He has plenty of high altitude experience also, summitting Mera Peak (6476m) in Nepal and Spantik (7027m) in Pakistan, and Cho Oyu (8201m) and Korzchenevskaya (7105m) in Tajikistan as well as several peaks in Peru and first ascent in India. Dave has also trekked in Nepal, Morocco and around the Ecrins National Park in France but Highlands of Scotland remains a favourite place. He became a holder of the Mountain Leader Award (Summer) in 2003 and is qualified through Lyon Equipment to sell PPE for work at height. Dave is one of our footwear and electronics specialists, so contact him with your tricky GPS, altimeter and digital mapping enquiries">
After a protracted length of time at Cardiff University, Elan joined the staff late in 2008 to look after the Watersports department. He has a wealth experience in teaching and coaching various outdoor sports after spending time atElan Winter Dolygaer OEC, but his main background is water-based. He started paddling aged nine with Aberfan Canoe Club and never looked back, the South Wales rivers, coast and Canoe Polo pitches are his normal haunt. Numerous trips on the best of British rivers and to the French, Swiss, Austrian and Italian Alps were his first love, and with an ever increasing love of salt water, Canoe Polo still takes up too much time. After spells representing Wales Youth and Senior Polo teams as well as a brief jaunt with the GB u21 Squad, playing wise Elan now competes Aberfan, but coaching plays an important role, training with, and coaching a number of other local clubs and individuals, including Cardiff Canoe Polo Club and a number of GB athletes and potential athletes. He has also coached the GB Senior Womens team to undefeated World Games, European and World Championship glory in 2008-2011. Due to other commitment, international duties are now taken up with refereeing, being one of the most senior ICF referee’s. Away from the water, Elan can be found walking, running, caving or climbing around Cardiff and the Valley’s; or the Beacon’s, as well as further afield.
George takes a keen interest in climbing, wild camping and mountaineering. In the past few years, he has travelled to the Himalayas several times for trekking and expeditions, lived a short while in the Arctic Circle and climbed in the Alps and Norwegian ice. His first climbing trip was in fact Yosemite where he climbed "Snake Dike" and "Royal Arches" and he hopes to return for something on El Capitan. He first got the mountain bug (and became a customer of Up and Under) on a family trip to the Canadian Rockies at 12 years old and has been hooked ever since! You can usually find him out at the crag or at one of the local climbing walls on his days off. He'll also talk your ear off about epics, cold winter routes and his fun and envy-inducing trips.
Deliveries guru! John paddles with Rhondda Paddlers and enjoys a rich and varied country life. He also keeps fit rushing to the front of the shop, heaving those delivery boxes to the back of the shop and unpacking them in super-quick time so that all your favourite products are on the shelf in time, all being well!
Holiday cover and climbing star Beth is the one for all your technical sports climbing and bouldering questions. If you need a rockshoe or quickdraw and harness advice as well as help on how to become a youthful rock star she's the one to ask. Beth favours sport onsight and bouldering having onsighted 7a across Europe and climbed Font 7a+. Beth regularly competes and is a previous member of the Dynamic Rock Climbing Team.
Heather selected most of our ladies outdoor clothing. With a wealth of experience with instructing at outdoor centres, riding schools and local kayaking clubs as well as being enthusiastic about most outdoor sports, Heather was perfectly suited to this role. Most days off she can be found on a rock face somewhere, horse riding or taking in some scenic views walking in the Brecon Beacons. She now runs her own massage business Heather Ward Massage Therapy.
Andy is sadly no longer with us as he tragically passed in September of 2017. He was an incredible person who was also the biggest gear geek we know and worked for Up and Under for 4 years before moving on to Patagonia Clothing. He is sorely missed and we continually strive to match his passion for great gear and catching "the gnar".
Lucy is a mountain lover! Whenever possible she can be found running, climbing, skiing, mountaineering or just messing around in the mountains. Lucy is a keen trail runner and loves to get out and about in the Brecon Beacons whenever possible. She loves running with friends or solo across the hills and also likes to test herself by entering trail events. She is also a keen triathlete entering events across south wales. Lucy’s passion for climbing started when she joined Cardiff University Mountaineering Club. She enjoys climbing trad in the peak district, north wales, and the wye valley. When conditions allow she enjoys the challenges of winter climbing in Scotland and the Lake District (and on rare occasions in the Brecon Beacons). However, the best place to be in the world is the Alps where Lucy can be found ‘tapin’ the gnar’ climbing mountains, trail running, ski touring, and generally being bad ass...
Started outdoor life as many do; being dragged up the hills of the UK by determined parents. Having begrudgingly completed the four highest peaks in the UK by the age of ten, venturing to the more remote areas of the Scottish highlands was a priority of the teenage years (with a particular keenness for the Isle of Skye and the dramatic ‘Black Cullins’). In recent years Joe’s attention has turned to the alpine. In doing so the disciplines of rock, ice, and mixed climbing have been a focus of his and dabbling in trail running also. This interest has lead to many trips in the UK and abroad, in all seasons, with only one hospital visit. With an under-developed fashion sense, Joe’s gear priorities fall within the bounds of (often luminous) efficiency, as such he is keen on trying different layering and equipment combinations in search of the perfect set-up for the occasion.
After a childhood spent romping over every mountain, valley, and moor her parents could drag her across, Kate finally resigned to the fact that being out in the wilderness is actually pretty good. Since then every holiday, spare weekend, and free evening has been spent in pursuit of fun and adventure. Previous exploits have included backpacking several long-distance treks including every 'Great Walk' in New Zealand, the Haute Route, the Tour de Mont Blanc, the Cambrian Way, and many others around the UK, she is also a reluctant surfer and recently spent a month trying not to drown whilst catching waves in Indonesia. Current ambitions are to become more hardcore and she has started running mountain marathons, Alpine climbing, and overcoming her fears of the dreaded 'lead climbing on trad'. Her work as a documentary filmmaker has also led to some awesome adventures including a year spent living with nomadic communities in the Gobi Desert, Nepal, and Northern Siberia where she was attacked by drunk Russians in the middle of the night whilst stranded on the Tundra in -56, and travelling across South East Asia making films about deforestation and the illegal wildlife trade. Kate lives with her husband Joe on their tiny boat #theostrea but they dream of one day owning a tiny house in the mountains with a massive shed! She also blogs for 'Outdoor Chics'
Ollie is an avid climber of all disciplines who dabbles in running long distances to distract himself when the weather is rubbish. After getting Ollie into climbing with the "old boys" around South Wales he moved away to Sheffield and North Wales to continue his apprenticeship in all things hilly. Having been on trips to the USA, the Alps, Norway, Spain, Germany, Patagonia, and Scotland he has amassed a well-rounded climbing CV with some half decent running accolades to his name. Always looking to push his limits Ollie has onsighted multipitch E5, redpointed 7c, climbed Scottish grade VI, aided up A3, bouldered V6, and completed the MCN Brecon Ultra in 8hours and 15 minutes. In his mind, there's always something to get better at.
Luke has always had a passion for the great outdoors and exploring the British countryside with his wife, LJ. From wildcamping across Scotland, hiking through Wales to paddling around the Northern Irish coast, he's just happy to get out there. With a background in journalism, he's all about telling stories and creating content (video/photography etc.) to help promote the Up and Under ethos.
A Canadian in Cardiff, Chelsea joined us with her vast experience in the Outdoor Industry. Chelsea's experience comes from the cycling industry where she was a clothing buyer for Westwood Cycle (now Trek Bicycles), Vancouver. Her bike has taken her all over the world where she rode up volcanoes in Chile, up and down the mountains of Punta Ala, Italy, and even in her own backyard of Whistler, British Columbia. Chelsea is now living the dream on her bike in Amsterdam! We wish her all the best!
Emily first started caving when she went to Kent Uni to study a degree in Physics. After suffering hypothermia in Swildon's Hole, she decided it was the sport for her and was hooked. She's explored the underside of most parts of the UK, including ANUS cave in Scotland. After uni Emily spent the summer climbing in Chamonix, hiking in Scotland, and caving in Dachstein in the Austrian Alps. Following that, she woke up in Cardiff and started working at Up and Under in 2015. Taking a leave of absence, She spent the summer of 2016 again caving in Austria and also the Picos de Europa in Northern Spain, where she managed to turn a gentle walk into a 13 hour epic involving 80m sheer drops and clinging on to mountainsides. In the autumn she completed the GR20 trail in Corsica, then flew straight to do a bit of scrambling and climbing on the Cuillin ridge on Skye. Emily also likes to keep fit running and cycling. She knows a lot about destroying kit, and so can offer advise on quality durable gear.
Stuart has been hooked on sea kayaking since 2009 after buying his first kayak from Up and Under. His biggest achievements have been crossing the Irish Sea and a non-stop circumnavigation of Anglesey with Elan in 13 hours. When Stuart is not kayaking he spends most of his spare time making his own Greenland paddles or getting involved with the local club teaching his son to kayak. You will find him most weekends exploring the Welsh coastline along with Elan.
Ed started rock climbing on a summer camp in 2008. From that week in North Wales he hasn't looked back since and on starting at Cardiff University in 2011, he immediately joined Cardiff University Mountaineering Club and served as Vice President for 2014-2015. During his time in the club he took part in and organised trips that included bouldering in Fontainebleau; winter climbing in the Cairngorms and trad climbing across the UK. In June 2015, he attended an alpine mountaineering course run by the Jonathan Conville Memorial trust in Chamonix. All this whilst completing a masters degree in Mechanical Engineering! After graduation in July 2016 he spent the summer travelling through Europe taking in a return to Chamonix; Via Ferrata in the Italian Dolomites and completing a Single Pitch Award (SPA) instructors qualification. On his return he has started an engineering job in Bristol but on visits to Cardiff is a regular at Up and Under and keen to chat about all types of climbing and mountaineering. Follow Ed's adventures on twitter here.
Mark’s first expedition into ‘Up and Under’ was way back when they were in Tudor Road, and he was still in his early teens. He has since then tried many outdoor pursuits to feed his addiction to their stuff. Spending most weekends in the Welsh hills, he trained as a Mountain Leader. Later in life he felt that ‘ice axe’ training in Snowdonia was a good way to attract a girlfriend. This seemed to work having recently been married. Mark has tried climbing but it never quite seemed enough. Unless he can see the whole of the Brecon Beacons or the Lake District in a day he feels he has missed something. To fix this he has taken up Mountain Ultra Running and recently completed the South Wales 50 and Lakes in a Day events. You can find more on his blog - The Reluctant Ultra-Runner
Rheanna is an ex-member of staff, working part-time on weekends and holidays while studying pharmacy at Cardiff University. Her specialism is whitewater kayaking. Rheanna started kayaking at the tender age of 10 with Reading Canoe Club where she mainly did flatwater marathon paddling. When she was 15 she started her white water career with Chippenham Sailing and Canoe Club, where she soon earned the nickname ‘snorkel-bum’ for her refusal to swim…EVER! Since then she has paddled all over the UK including several trips to the French Alps. She is was also Vice President of Cardiff University Canoe Club and enjoys (although doesn’t like to admit it) canoe polo. Rheanna is also a qualified lifeguard, paddle-sport coach, first aider, and raft guide. Rheanna’s other passion is travel, which has taken her around Asia, South America, and Europe. She also lived in Canada for 3 years. She is full of useful tips to make the most of your trips abroad, especially for girls travelling alone.
George is one of our best male climbers we've had working in the shop, while he was studying at the University of South Wales. Having flashed up to fr7a and headpointed E3 he has climbed plenty over several disciplines. He has also competed in several competitions both local and national and is always happy to talk about his experiences, and recommend tips and tricks for training. He is also breaking into the ultra-marathon running world, competing in his first 50-mile race in November 2015. Since completing his degree he's putting it to good use having spent most of his time in exotic climes - including Thailand, studying Banded Kraits (A super venomous snake surrounded by many other, including Pit Vipers and King Cobras); and Honduras, where he'll be the venomous snake specialist on an expedition in the remote rain forest. You can follow George's exploits here.
Jules is the eldest of the Carter clan and is an avid enthusiast of the outdoors and the environment. Caving was the first key sport that he delved into as a youth, and the exploration of the underground remains a prevailing passion. However he is also easily distracted and enjoys skiing, cyclo-cross bikes, and regularly joins Elan on sea kayak journeys around the coast of Wales. Irregular accounts of adventure and misadventure can be found on his blog - Welsh Random Adventures.
Aidan is keen for anything outdoors, and is always up for a chat about mountaineering and kit, especially if it involves Scotland… or Patagonia! As well as being interested in hill walking, trail running, and paddling, his personal favourites and specialities are climbing on both rock and ice, and surfing, where both sports have taken him all over Wales, England and Scotland; he's all about chasing the swell and the good climbing conditions. He is now moving up to Scotland where he will be an outdoor instructor.
Emma grew up a white water paddler from a young age. At the age of 18, she left Northern Ireland and moved to the mainland to become an outdoor activity instructor. It was then she started rock-climbing and gained a variety of outdoor qualifications including Archery, Bushcraft, Fencing, Lifeguarding, Level 1 Coach in Paddlesport, Climbing Wall Award, and Single Pitch Award. She has worked all around the UK before moving to Cardiff and working full time at Up and Under. She has a love for adventure and traveling and has been away on trips abroad from hiking in Iceland to Gibraltar sailing; from there sailing on across to Morocco and back, in doing so she gained her Competent Crew Award. She plans on gaining more extreme outdoor qualifications in time such as skiing, white water rafting, deep-sea diving, and skipper award. Her love is still surf kayaking in the sea around the North coast back home where she grew up.
Rhos is our best climber- even better than Ben, and the only member of staff who has climbed Fr 8a… FOR NOW! She has also flashed Fr7c, bouldered V10, and is an ex-member of the British Junior climbing team. Rhos would love to get more confident at trad climbing in the next few years...
Connie is passionate about being outdoors in any capacity, but she is particularly keen on climbing and mountaineering. She initially found her love of adventure through Scouting and worked her way through the ranks to become an Explorer Scout Leader. In her first year at Cardiff University she joined the Kayaking Club, before moving onto the Mountaineering Club (CUMC) for the latter years. She was chosen as Wellbeing Officer for CUMC which essentially translates to the role of ‘Mum’, making sure the entire group are happy, safe and getting the most out of the sport. She spent 2015-2016 living and working in Oregon, where she devoted her free time to climbing and hiking in the stunning surroundings; including the Columbia River Gorge, the Cascade Mountains and the legendary Smith Rock. She spent her last month in the US travelling through Oregon and California via as many National Parks as possible including, of course, Yosemite, where she climbed the most run-out route ever – Snake Dike. Despite this, she feels her biggest achievement was coinhabiting the tiny MSR Hubba Hubba for a whole month without any arguments! She’ll be spending this Summer mountaineering in the European Alps so be sure to ask her about it when she’s back!
Raft guide and passionate kayaker James has been working in the outdoors since leaving school, with recent surgery pushing him into retail. Over the last few years James has worked hard as a freelance instructor, taking groups gorge walking, kayaking, hill walking, climbing, surfing & SUPing. Now studying Primary Education, he's rehabbing hard to get back onto the water and have some new adventures, including heading to Everest base camp in March! Drawing on experience from paddling all over, you'll usually find James upstairs in the watersports department, ready to advise you with first-hand experience of the positives and negatives of much of the stock. When not working, studying, or doing his physio, James is volunteering as a director of 'River Legacy', a charity aimed to promote participation and improve access for kayaking and canoeing, by providing funding and support for projects all over the UK.
An avid outdoor enthusiast who has been playing in and around the mountains for the past 25 years. Jason is also a freelance outdoor instructor who specialises in caving and climbing. In his free time, he is a volunteer with the South and Mid Wales Cave Rescue Team and enjoys trips abroad to go Mountaineering or climbing. Jason has been fortunate to have climbed in the Italian Dolomites, The Austrian and French Alps, and the Costa Blanca region of Spain. You will often find him either underground or at your local crags on his days off.
Jen's key interest is running... the further the better. She regularly competes in ultra-distance events and represents Wales and GBR at both the 100km and 24-hour disciplines. She is the 2014 British Champion for 100km. Jen can help you with all things running/ultra-running related - whether you are about to run your first 5km or planning to win your next 100 miler she can advise you on the most suitable kit for both training and racing.