WHO IS PONGOOSE?
WHERE DID IT ALL START?
In a chat with Robin, he told the story of where it all started... "I’m always looking to push my grade, like most climbers, and after trying various clipping devices I knew I could make something more robust and easier to use with less limitations. The concept of using a single piece of flat aluminium to hold a carabiner with its gate open was actually my Father’s idea. Then after a lot of thought and consideration, I designed the unique head of the Pongoose Climber. I ‘knife and forked’ several different head designs using materials from my brother’s sheet metal stash before settling on an effective solution. Originally my design was for my friends and I to use but after getting great feedback from climbing buddies, the concept of starting a climbing brand with this as a flagship product seemed possible.
This is where the hard work and sleepless nights really started! I bought a fly press and then over the course of approximately five years of trial and error and perseverance, I made a series of press tools by hand. Finally, the shape of the head and supporting bracket was perfected, a working prototype was made and has been tried and tested by myself and other climbers over a number of years. I make all the brackets and heads individually by hand, so the quality of each one is consistent. After a lot of work, commitment and help from family and several good friends, the product was complete and the brand was born".
WHAT ON EARTH IS A 'PONGOOSE'?!
The word pongoose comes from Katie’s sister, Steph, who made it up as the name for a slug when she was five years old, and it stuck. As you often see a pongoose or two down at the crags in the UK keeping you company whilst you climb, Rob and Katie thought it was a fun and different name for the new brand.
If you see any out climbing, send in your Pongoose photos!
Pongoose is a brand that represents quality, fun and inspiration. Their ethos is to support all forms of climbing into an exciting new future with innovative products that do what they say on the tin, and do it well. With the arrival of the Pongoose Climber at a time when climbing is becoming more and more popular, and you hear of more and more injuries, it is evident that the old-school approach of refusing to clip the first bolt on a dodgy start because it’s ‘cheating’, has all but disappeared.
Pongoose firmly believes in celebrating and supporting the normal climber, whatever your grade, whatever your ability, whatever your age. They believe in having fun, challenging yourself and reaching new heights in your abilities, whilst avoiding injury. They hope to shake up some of the outdated approaches and attitudes that can sometimes exist in the climbing world and support individualism, self-belief and confidence for a more accessible climbing community.
Pongoose is a big advocate of bolt funds that maintain the sport crags in both the UK and other countries. Sea cliffs can suffer from erosion, landslides and huge areas of rockfall which can be very dangerous to climbers, not to mention bolts that have worn out, gone rusty or were poorly positioned 20 – 30 years ago. Pongoose donates money and time to the local bolt fund in Dorset and helps maintain the paths and crags as much as possible for a safer climbing environment for everyone.
Please consider that the bolts, lower offs and chains all cost money. Most bolt funds are run by individuals who re-bolt and make the routes safe in their own time and rely on donations to pay for new kit. If you are regularly climbing on bolted routes, please take the time to see how you can help your local bolt fund, either by donating or helping in person. There's always overgrowth to be cut back too so why not think about cutting some back if you're finding a path is overgrown and difficult to pass?