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Who are Needle Sports?

 
Needle Sports is a specialist technical climbing equipment shop based in Keswick in Cumbria in the north of the English Lake District National Park, close to the Scottish border. The shop was founded in 1990 by Stephen Reid and is now a Limited Company (Ltd Co No 7438637). The shop is named after Napes Needle, a famous rock pinnacle in the Lake District.

Needle Sports has always had a policy of only employing experienced climbers so that customers may be sure of speaking to shop staff who understand and are sympathetic to their needs. However the shop is not just about climbing - all our staff are experienced hill-walkers too and much of our stock is as relevant to hill-walking as it is to climbing. In fact we stock just about everything you need for climbing mountains, be it Everest, El Cap or Cat Bells. Of great concern to us is that the shop, whilst offering the best equipment and the best advice available, should not appear elitist, and should provide a welcoming environment for all climbers whatever their experience and ability. We were all beginners once and we never stop learning about the mountains.
Needle Sports was officially opened by Ivan Waller (then aged 83) who was famous for his pre-war partnerships with such climbers as Jack Longland and Colin Kirkus. He seconded the latter on the first ascent of Mickledore Grooves (VS) on the East Buttress of Scafell in 1931. Perhaps his best known route though was his daring first ascent of Belle Vue Bastion (VS) on Tryfan in 1927 when he mentally prepared himself by playing a record on a gramophone on the terrace above the climb! One route of his that should be better known perhaps, is the obscure Waller's Crack (HVS) on Harrison's Stickle in the Lake District which he climbed with Longland ca 1925 and which was one of the hardest routes in the Lake District in its day. The photo shows Ivan cutting the ribbon at the opening of Needle Sports, watched by a youthful Stephen Reid.
 
Needle Sports' Staff:
 
   
 
 
 
   
 
 
      Needle Sports' Part Time Staff:
 
   
Will Veitch