Dan McManus

Name: Dan McManus

Hometown: Penmaenmawr, North Wales

Sport: Climbing

Growing up on the Lleyn Peninsula and going to school beneath the crags at Tremadog, for a long time I didn’t know climbing existed. I was fortunate to be introduced to climbing by Pat Littlejohn at around 15 and gradually, over the years, became drawn in. This might also explain why I would describe myself, first, as an adventure climber and some of my earliest outings involved new-routing on the Lleyn.
Since then I have mainly thrown myself at UK trad climbing, preferring to climb ground-up than to headpoint and have now climbed many E7/8’s ground up or on-sight. Nowadays, I live and work in Sheffield and am more motivated by climbing than ever. I’d describe myself as an all-rounder, but I am primarily drawn to long adventurous traditional climbs. Over the last few years climbing big walls has been my focus and I have climbed El Capitan eight times in four trips, totally free on four of those occasions.

Get to know Dan


There are a few highballs I’d love to do in Wales this spring, Mur Gwyn and Devil’s Blade both around the 8a mark. I don’t have any big trips away lined up just yet so my goals will be to find fun things to do around Wales/UK, it would be good to do Infanticide (8c) to get in shape and also The Very Big and the Very Small (8b+) for something different.

Then there's trad, lots of it, first things to come to mind are Nightmayer (E8) and to try and free the Groove on Cilan head.


Climbing the classic Eiger north face route when I was 20; Freeing El Capitan for the first time via the route Golden Gate, 5.13a and 38 pitches; Free climbing El Capitan in a day, via Freerider, partner-free in a gruelling 22 hours; Flashing Heaven in Your Hands, a superb Font 7c+ arete.       

A few recent highlights have been climbing The Shaft on El Cap with Maddy last Autumn and, also last year, climbing an awesome new highball wall (Black Mirror) in the Pass at around 8a.

-Favourite Scarpa-

I’m into the Booster S at the moment, but the best all-round super-shoe for freeing El Cap in a day or North Wales bouldering is the Instinct VS.

-No Place too Far-

Yosemite is my favourite place to climb, if I could I’d probably spend years there working the various free routes. It’s obviously not the wildest or the most peaceful with it being such a tourist hotspot, but the climbing is like nothing else I’ve seen. The size and scale of the walls and the ridiculous features there are to climb make it a free-climbing paradise. The fact that the weather is almost always good helps a lot too. If weather wasn’t a factor, it’d have to be North Wales!