Ben West: the climber intent on sharing his passion with the world

WE TALK to Ben West about climbing and photography and how he intends to share his passions with the world.

Ben West

Ben West started climbing when he was 14 and hasn’t look back.

BEN WEST started climbing on a school trip when he was 14. As for many boys his age the opportunity to climb freely had him hooked and he began to crave the buzz of the sport. His passion only grew and he has gone on to be one of the UK’s most prominent climbers.


In this exclusive interview Ben talks to us all about his style of climbing, his passion for photography and what inspired him to start coaching. Read on to hear about his biggest climbing successes and the future climbing goals he’s set himself.


Ben is sponsored by Five Ten Footwear and Climbskin Hand Cream.


To find out more about Ben, his photography and how you can benefit from his coaching visit www.ben-west.co.uk.


When did you start climbing and who inspired you to give the sport a go?


I started climbing when I was 14 after a school trip to Undercover Rock. At the beginning I guess it was just the sport that inspired me, but once I got more knowledgeable it was people like Ben Moon, Jerry Moffat and Andy Earl, that inspired me.


Tell us about your style of climbing and some of your most memorable climbs to date?


You could consider my style to be quite athletic,I love big dynamic moves as well as being a massive fan of compression climbing (fridge hugging).


One of the most memorable climbs is Fiesta de los Biceps at Riglos, such a fun route on these crazy stuck on pebbles. However, climbing the first ascent of Helvetica (8b+/c) at Shipwreck Cove on the Gower Peninsula in Wales was also really memorable. It is the most time I’ve spent working a route and it is still considered to be one of, if not the hardest route in South Wales.



Ben enjoys making big dynamic moves when climbing and is also a massive fan of compression climbing (fridge hugging).

What have been some of your biggest climbing successes in terms of competitions and events?


Internationally, I placed 15th in the World Youth Championships in China in 2005. In 2006 I placed 18th in a Senior Bouldering World Cup.


Nationally I was junior British Bouldering Champion 2006


I’ve also made finals at the Climbing Works International Festival a few times in more recent years, which is the UK’s biggest bouldering competition.


Ben West

You can find out more about Ben West at www.ben-west.co.uk.

As a coach what is the message you try to instil in those you work with?


I guess I’d say the freedom of movement and don’t be afraid to think outside of the box and try something new. The great thing about climbing is that there is no right or wrong way to do something. You could have three totally different climbers of all shapes and sizes climb the exact same route but all in totally different ways.


Ben West

Ben pictured at the Innsbruck Euro Champs in 2015.

Tell us about your passion for video and photography and how you combine this with your love for climbing?


In the beginning taking pictures and video was just a way to document climbing trips, particular routes or boulders. This has grown into a bit more than just a hobby with both photography and videography playing a bigger role in my life and making a bigger hole on my wallet. All the sports I do regularly (climbing, surfing & snowboarding) take me to incredibly beautiful places, which goes hand-in-hand with taking pictures and video.


What can our readers find on your website?


Haha not much, it really needs updating. The way social media is now I have neglected the website in recent years. But if people want to keep up to date it would be best do it through my Instagram www.instagram.com/ben.west_/ or my Vimeo page https://vimeo.com/user17685725. I use both of them to document all my travelling and video projects.

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