About Us

Vertical Frontiers is a Rock Climbing and Mountaineering company. We offer friendly, professional courses through out the UK and Europe. Climbing, Walking and Mountaineering is our passion, both at work and pleasure.

Based on Dartmoor in Devon,  and Chamonix in France our instructors and guides are qualified to a high standard and have extensive experience with a wide range of groups and abilities.

We specialize in working with small groups or individuals on tailor made courses and trips, taking people on adventurous climbs to match their ability and ambitions.

Our philosophy for Outdoor Training is to provide a safe, informative and relaxed atmosphere to allow clients to gain as much as possible from their time with us. Our passion for Climbing and Hill-Walking is evident and is an essential part of the business.

Chamonix Mountain Guide
Owner and Director of Vertical Frontiers Ltd

Vertical Frontiers is run and managed by Ben Bradford.

Ben holds the IFMGA Mountain Guide certificate.

The British Mountain Guide Scheme is the highest recognised award for climbing and mountaineering in the UK and worldwide which conforms to UIAGM standard.


I started Rock Climbing and Instructing in Devon during 1998 and now enjoy being an “all round” climber on rock, ice and skiing on hills at home and abroad.

Mountaineering and Rock climbing has taken me all over the world including expeditions to Tibet, Nepal, Alaska, Argentina, The Tien Shan and New Zealand. I have led expedition clients on technical mountains in some fantastic areas, with Nepal being the favorite spot I keep returning too.

During the summer and winter months I base myself out of Chamonix, France. Running scheduled trips and bespoke private guiding all over the alps.

Matt Knapp bouldering at Hound Tor
UK Rock Climbing and Mountaineering Instructor

A keen climber, mountaineer, skier and runner, Matt has been working in the outdoor education industry since leaving the Royal Marines. For a few years Matt lived in the southern French Alps during the winters, returning to Devon in the summer to work and enjoy the UK trad climbing in the south-west. Now based on the edge of Dartmoor year round, he is “forced” to make the odd pilgramage to La Grave or Chamonix just to keep his hand in…

Matt works on our courses in the south-west and takes charge of the emails and admin when Ben’s away on expedition.

He holds the highest Climbing and Mountaineering qualification in the UK scheme – MIC.

Joe Stock climbing the Frendo Spur, North Face of the Aiguille du Midi, Mont Blanc, Chamonix, France. Photo by Andrew Wexler.
IFMGA Mountain Guide
Joe is an IFMGA Mountain Guide with a passion for mountain adventure in Alaska. He has been climbing and skiing around the world for 30 years with significant time in New Zealand, Australia, Asia, Alps, and throughout South America and the western United States. Of all the places he’s visited, the mountains of Southcentral Alaska are his favorite.
Joe has an undergraduate degree in geology and geography from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand and a graduate degree in watershed science (snow science focus) from Colorado State University. In addition to guiding, Joe works as a writer and photographer. The second edition of his guidebook for backcountry skiing in Southcentral Alaska, The Alaska Factor, was published in 2016. He lives in Anchorage with his wife Cathy.
Gavin Pike - IFMGA Mountain Guide

Gavin is a British IFMGA Mountain Guide based in Chamonix. He has been a keen rock climber, skier and alpinist for the past 15 years, and enjoys sharing the mountain experience in the Mont Blanc massif and surrounding areas of the Alps.

Climbing and guiding trips have taken Gavin to the mountains of Pakistan, Nepal, New Zealand and Alaska. Expedition climbing remains a great passion, and he looks forward to planning future adventures to remote and far-flung corners of the planet.



Vertical Frontiers Instructors
The majority of courses and days are run by Ben Bradford or Matt Knapp. Occasionally we use select local instructors to run courses. The select leaders are highly experienced, friendly and enthusiastic for all the activities they coach and instruct on. They also hold a national First Aid Certificate, qualifications and all the relevant Insurance.