Danielle is the one throwing those funky dance moves on the floor and the odd dyno here and there on the wall.
Kids absolutely love her on session and so do we!
When Danielle isn’t working or climbing there isn’t much time for anything else but eat and sleep, however, she still manages to find time to practice her aerial silk skills!
“Climbing completely took over my life, there was no looking back and I love it! Working in the climbing industry has a positive influence on my psyche level for climbing.
Being constantly surrounded by climbers trying hard, putting in the time and effort and most importantly enjoying themselves reminds me everyday why I love this sport.
Instructing and coaching allow me to help climbers progress through the sport that we all love and I’m constantly being challenged, reflecting and learning from it.
I’m lucky enough to have found Danny through climbing, the sport allows us to explore beautiful places, motivate and learn from each other, make memories together, and live like cosy dirtbags in a van at the side of a crag, living the climbers dream!”
His pre Boardroom work experience was somewhat extensive and varied, from territorial army, to photographer, to life model, to teacher to outdoors instructor, he’s always been active whether that be via swimming, cycling or climbing and he has always remained intensely creative.
He and Lee make the place work because they compliment each other so perfectly. While Lee keeps the place ticking over behind the scenes, The Boardroom looks and feels the way it does because of Dave and a passion to create something beautiful, unique and visually striking.
“There’s something truly magical about climbing. Those moments on a climb were time stands still and the earth stops spinning.
Pushing our bodies and souls, strength combined with a still, calm mind. The vertical dance, a moving meditation. Intricate shifts in the hips seeking balance in a three dimensional world. Pushing friction to its limit, grasping at those fleeting moments of effortless flow…
“We are game-playing, fun-having creatures, we are the otters of the universe.”
…And in pushing ourselves to our limit, chasing those moments and succeeding on harder climbs, it takes more from us; more tries, more attempts, more effort and more time. Precious time.
As a result we slowly become aware that climbing is teaching us to enjoy the journey, whether we succeed or not. That climbing is more than just a way of life, it is life.
Creating The Boardroom was and is a way of sharing that journey. Enabling more people to experience what climbing has to offer and how it can enrich our lives.
Seeing so many people climbing together, working together, enjoying this place… that’s what it’s all about for me now. A happy place, a place for us to experience and share our journeys together. “
You’ll most likely meet Ella if you’re one of the early birds. She’s been climbing here since the early days and when she isn’t climbing she is working as a piano tuner/fixer, she also enjoys a spot of trail running.
“I danced a lot when I was younger and climbing felt like dancing again. I soon met lots of new people and that helped to keep me coming back and trying harder!
My most favourite climbing experience was at Waterval Boven in South Africa. High mileage, accessible, great rock and amazing climbing. Just had to ignore the occasional baboon and terrifying lightning storms.
My best climbs usually come from the least expected, and Raquel 6c+ in Albarracin was one of those. I didn’t expect to get it and my head wasn’t in the game that day, but it’s a super techy slightly highball beauty and my best grade to date.
I love the community I have met through climbing, I have watched The Boardroom grow from pretty much the start and it has been a big part of my life. If such a thing as soulmates exist, I’ve met them here.”
If you climb at the wall you will recognise Emily, managing both reception and the shop, as well as managing and maintaining the “Engine”!
Emily’s favourite thing about climbing is that “it takes you to places that you might never see if you didn’t climb. Really beautiful obscure little places in the middle of nowhere sometimes. I can’t pick my favourite place that we’ve climbed cause there’s just so many!! Kalymnos and Yangshuo are definitely up on the list, but Wales is still my favourite country of all time!”
Emily has been on a climbing mission since lockdown, and recently sent one of the North Wales classics, “Axel Attack”.
“I’ve wrestled with poor mental health since my early teens, and sport of one kind or another along with creative hobbies have always been a crutch. I got hooked on climbing on Christmas Eve of 2019 at The Ballroom bouldering gym in Coventry whilst visiting family – I was captured by both its physicality and creativity! I found this hybrid between my two emotional support worlds irresistible and started climbing at The Boardroom as soon as we got home to Chester.
Climbing is my emotional container: a vessel into which I can pour all my fear, rage and self depreciation, feel it all in its purest form, and filter it into hope, peace and motivation. On a rope is where I feel most calm and centred. It’s just us and the wall. Time doesn’t exist. I am weightless and free.
I have had a love-hate relationship with bouldering since an injury took me out for a few months in the early days of my climbing obsession – but I am working hard on overcoming
my fear of bigger moves and high cruxes and looking forward to crushing some V3-5s. I’m also gunning for my first 7a on top-rope and 6c on lead by the end of 2022.
I adore and appreciate the climbing community that has welcomed me and changed my life in so many ways.
Alongside climbing I’m a huge nerd and proud! I love all fibre crafts and try to fit as much knitting, crochet, spinning, sewing and weaving into my life as I can (which isn’t much these days with all the climbing to be honest). I also love gaming and really enjoy D&D RPGs such as Baldur’s Gate – which I have been playing for 20 years! During the lockdowns, my partner and I remodelled our garden and I’m super stoked to be in my second year of our cottage-garden adventure. I love being able to pop into the garden and pick a handful of different veggies for James and I, and some herbs for our beautiful bunny boy, Orion.”
Erica is one half of The Boardroom’s Colouring-in Department. Erica draws and paints on things, she also runs around with a camera annoying the setters!
She helps with social media and marketing and posters, and sometimes on reception too.
She is a bit scared of heights but still enjoys climbing, especially the nice easy non scary roped routes.
“I started climbing when I started my job, it’s something I never before thought I would ever
do as I was/am still very scared of heights! But I have been climbing now for just over 2 years and I do love it, for me it’s most definitely quite often type 2 fun, when I am on the wall I am usually absolutely bricking it!
I’ve loved pushing my mental boundaries and seeing improvements, but I do get frustrated that the head game is taking longer for me to get over then my physical ability, it’s all just development though and I must remember to enjoy the journey.
I love working at The Boardroom, mostly for the people, everyone is just so wonderful and friendly and the place itself so uplifting to be in, I love just having a coffee and watching all the climbers try their problems, working them out, and watching the individual climbing styles.
It’s been a real joy to be welcomed in to the fold and I can’t wait to see how the place and its community grow in the future. It’s massively inspiring! I basically love it!”
Freddie is our head coach/instructor/Lattice assessor, “specialist in exotic rest positions and making climbs look difficult”!
His favourite/epic climb to date: Castleton Tower.
He recently sent My Piano E8 6c and Mussel Beach 8a at LPT.
Freddie instructs here too but mostly he coaches, runs our Academy, Lattice assessments and our beginners free coaching. He can make your climbing much improved.
Top conversation pieces include climbing, climbers, climbing movement, broccoli, food in general and flow.
“I’ve always needed challenge to feel inspired, so naturally, I was drawn to activities like climbing which take you out of your comfort zone. I’ve always felt that to willingly face difficulty transforms you from who you are into someone stronger mentally and physically, it shows you what you are truly capable of. The evolution of self that comes with climbing has kept me hooked for over a decade and I cannot imagine my life without it.”
Ghandy is our resident safety inspector, gear checker, instructor and conversationalist. Handy, very handy!
He is a lighthouse of positive energy and a jack of all trades, having worked at one time or another in about every type of job going, teaching Cubs, Scouts, Duke of Edinburgh gold and lots of multi activity instructing.
He has climbed for about 38 years, all over Britain and Europe “living the dream”.
About working at The Boardroom; “I instruct to be able to pass on skills and encouragement so that others may have as much pleasure from climbing as I still get, kids are just honest and funny and generally without any expectation other than fun!”
Grace has been climbing at the wall for a long time often with her dad John and with The Academy. Now we are pleased to welcome her behind the desk too. Grace works on reception and is training to be one of our instructors.
“I fell in love with climbing immediately. It has become part of my everyday life and I use any excuse to spend time at The Boardroom. As well as the climbing itself I also look forward to socialising with other climbers and eating all the cakes! It’s something I always look forward to and I couldn’t imagine life without climbing. The climbing community as a whole is a very friendly and welcoming one.”
You’ll meet Jack on reception, welcoming you in and keeping you supplied with coffees and tiffin, as well as ensuring there’s always hands on deck and the magic happens.
He is an avid whitewater kayaker and long distance trail runner and rekindled his love for climbing during his time at Bangor Uni.
“Climbing is super addictive and with good company there is nothing better. For me there is no expectations, just cool, beautiful movements up some rock.
I love sport climbing and bouldering. The process of looking at the climb, figuring out the moves, falling off, making tiny adjustments and repeating until you get it is so satisfying. Sport is like a long intricate dance with the rock and bouldering is a short burst of pure power, they’re both unforgiving but that’s what makes it worth it in the end! P.S. trad is scary.”
Lee started The Boardroom with Dave and together they have built quite a wonderful place to work, climb and hangout.
His favourite music is still happy hardcore.
He wasn’t always a climber believe it or not, in fact he was much more comfortable throwing himself down monstrous rapids in a man sized fibreglass banana.
“I once said to Dave, “are we gonna build this climbing wall we’ve been talking about for years?” He said yes, one thing led to another and now The Boardroom is a thing, the best thing! (maybe I am a little bit bias).
We have tried to create a place people wanted to be, as well as include the best climbing we could imagine. We are climbers, we like climbing, so we built The Boardroom.
It isn’t really just one persons dream or one persons idea, its grown organically through the interactions and input of all the wonderful staff, wonderful customers and even Bob the Milkman. Collectively the community makes it what it is today.
Before The Boardroom, I was a paddler, not the best but not bad, reaching international level with a few races in Europe.
I’ve been a climbing instructor since 2004 and now, well, I mainly fly a desk and do boring Director type stuff.
If I’m not doing the paperwork or business development or being a dad, then I’m bouldering whenever I can, with as many people as I can, and avoiding being a grown up as much as I possibly can.”
Luke works on reception and started climbing about 5 years ago with friends.
He uses climbing as a way to relax and decompress, get a great workout and also give his brain something to focus on. “Climbing helps to keep me focused on other aspects of life and relieves all kinds of stress”
He has some outdoor sport climbing goals but is currently working towards V6-V8.
Nick is two fifths of our Head route setting team alongside Liam Halsey and Joe, he also does a spot of coaching on request “No I don’t”. He has been here since day one and we’re extremely privileged to have him on the team. He has bouldered V11 (recently Diesel Power at Cromlech) and climbed 8b+.
He started climbing at school, mainly trad in the quarries of Lancashire and on Peak District grit. He worked at Boulder UK when he was 16, on reception, washed holds and watched master setter Ian Vickers intently.
He spent a lot of time at Longridge and started to really focus on his training and technique.
He began competing when he went to uni, visiting walls all over the UK and Europe, he was also on the Senior British Lead climbing team.
‘I used to visit Thailand every winter and I’ve been to most places around Europe but I really love Yorkshire Limestone, there’s nothing like it. I’ve got my eye on a few things at the moment, on my list amongst others are some projects at Kilnsey, Bat Route 8c at Malham and Liquid Amber 8C+ at LPT.”
“Climbing often presents scenarios that invoke that lesser being in me. That sad little creature is always telling me to give up when I feel scared, tired, or hurt.
I wouldn’t particularly say I’m well known for my optimistic approach towards challenging situations… because I’m afraid of failing.
Since my climbing journey began in 2020 there have been many failures, but I always seem to keep coming back for more, never really knowing why. But, I do know why I keep coming back even though it scares me half to death- I’ve discovered this phenomenal environment!
The other staff members, the customers, this community is giving me the courage to overcome my biggest fears. I’m becoming a competent climber and I’m thanking you all for it.
One day… maybe, just maybe I’ll get over my fear of the outdoors. For now I enjoy playing indoors.”
Rhys does a bit of everything here, especially if it involves making, building, designing or fixing. Let’s just say he runs the place!
The Drawing Room exists because Rhys was nice enough to build it for us, and the shop, the climbing twister, the slackline pit, most of the kitchen for little sis Erin, the list goes on and on.
Dave and Rhys met when they both worked at Llandegla. Rhys worked in the bike workshop building and customising.
He left for a bit to live and work in Canada and when the dream of The Boardroom started to become a reality Dave knew that he wanted Rhys to be part of it.
He makes us all very happy.
Outside of work he likes owls, and trees, he churns mud about in Enduro and goes on many a weekend adventure exploring mountains and welsh wilderness. He lives with lovely Jen, new baby daughter Edie and the two cats Gary and Margaret.
Robyn is one half of our amazing kitchen team, she loves to draw and practice yoga alongside cooking. She started climbing after her rugby team disbanded in 2019 and thought she would try some indoor bouldering, she’s been climbing ever since.
“Climbing challenges my mental game as much as the physical effort which I love. I am keen to start sport climbing outside and eventually learn to trad climb as I would love to try some multi pitch routes.
I’m also looking forward to returning to Font and linking it up with a visit to Magic Wood and Albarracin”.
Tom works here as an instructor and when he isn’t working enjoys running and paddle boarding to relax amongst other things.
When he was younger he would drive 4 hours to Portland for a day of climbing, and his love of the outdoors never faded.
“I enjoy all types of climbing from trad to bouldering, but I really love Welsh slate, it’s unique and there is nothing else really like it. I also love Scottish winter climbing because type 2 fun is the best”!