We established Rock+Run in Ambleside, May 1983. We didn't know much about running a business in those early days but we did know that the technical equipment needs of climbers, runners and mountaineers were poorly catered for in the Lake District at that time. We thought about our customers and our own activities in the hills and by the end of our first year we came up with a slogan that attempted to encapsulate who we are and the customers we were trying to reach.
The same slogan still rings just as true for us today and is just as relevant to way we operate as it was all those years ago.
Through the years we've had shops open in Ambleside, Sheffield and Manchester as we sought to equip our customers with the very best kit for their climbing, hiking and running adventures in the mountains. Moving with the times, we were the first outdoor retailer to set up an online platform as we created the Rock+Run website in 1994. With our website still going strong today, our small team operates out of our Sandside base in the Southern Lake District as we distribute specialist equipment around the UK and across the world.
Some of our magazine ads through the years.
Having been in business for over 30 years, we've built the Rock+Run business and brand around some core values. At our heart we're a team of climbers, runners and mountaineers and we're passionate about the kit we sell - we only sell it if we'd use it ourselves. Our customer base is the cornerstone of our company and ensuring we meet the needs of like minded mountain enthusiasts is our main mission.
Founded by Andy Hyslop in 1983, Rock+Run has always gone hand in hand with big adventures and new ideas. Building the business around his own missions in the mountains, Andy assembled a Rock+Run team that embodied this way of doing business and, although the faces have changed throughout the years, the spirit of our Rock+Run team remains the same. From Cuillin Ridge records on the Isle of Skye to climbing around the world in revered locations like Yosemite and the Himalaya, Rock+Run's reputation has always been tied to Andy's personal successes and he used this to benefit and grow the UK's outdoor community. Creating events like the original Rock+Run mountain marathon in Scotland and providing the original space for the famous Lake District cafe, Wilf's, are just two of the ways in which we've contributed to our local outdoor scene and we're proud to have had some part in developing this for our fellow mountain enthusiasts.
Still an active member of the company as director, Andy has recently traded the nail biting first ascents, FKTs and type 3 fun for safer (and much warmer!) bikepacking and climbing holidays in Spain. Leaving the rough stuff to Rock+Run's younger guns, our small team has got through their own fair share of adventures in the last few years. From hard bouldering in Fontainebleau and long distance running challenges like the Bay Limestone Round and the Kong Mountain Marathon on Arran to regular outings at local Lake District fell races - our Rock+Run team has taken up Andy's mantle in the mountains.
Below: MD Andy running the original Three Shires fell race, on the Bonatti Pillar and recuperating after a record setting attempt on the Cuillin Ridge.
Over the years we've dabbled in making our own branded bits of kit. Having done so largely off the back of our equipment needs not being met by the kit already on sale, we've developed a few legendary pieces that are still knocking about today. Nearly 38 years old, the Rock+Run Hipsac is our longest standing product and is just as effective today as it was way back when. Developed as the first bum bag with side compression straps (technology later adopted by the big bag brands of the time), the Hipsac could 'carry anything from a banana to a brick without bounce' as our original slogan stated.
Today we sell a range of Rock+Run Essentials. Through the years we've come to appreciate what climbers, hikers, runners and campers really want from their kit - high quality, cost effective products that do exactly what they say on the tin. Our Essentials range is designed with this aim as its foundation.
Above: Team members Mike, Dave and Morgan (wearing the Rock+Run Hipsac).
Get exclusive access to all the latest news, deals and offers