Wild Country came about when Mark Vallance, a climber from the UK, decided that there was a gap in the market and he would be able to fill it. He set up a company and began to manufacture what was to become some of the world's top rock climbing gear – including, most famously, the Friend. This piece of equipment was the brainchild of a man called Ray Jardine, an American climber that Vallance had met during his travels around the US several years before. Founded in the year 1977 in a modestly sized factory hidden in the heart of the Peak District, Wild Country was a success from the very beginning, going from strength to strength. Its name became synonymous with serious rock climbing.
Aiming for innovation
Wild Country's ethos has always centred around the idea of utilising the experience of the people who work within the company, to design and create the kind of rock climbing products that are relevant and of the highest quality. The founders of Wild Country view themselves as the 'keepers of the torch' and feel that it is their responsibility to encourage climbing innovation in Britain. Because of this, every season, whatever products they happen to be launching, should be a step forward. Whether the step is a minor one, such as a clever twist on an old rope design, or a major one, like the Friends Rock Ropeman, the founders and their team of designers always aim to bring purposeful, practical and innovative climbing gear to the public each year. It is Wild Country's constant striving for perfection that has resulted in the brand remaining a favourite with professional rock climbers around the world for over thirty five years, as other climbing manufacturers have risen and fallen from the limelight.