Ellis Brigham Mountain Sports, Covent Garden, London

Ellis Brigham, Covent Garden is our Flagship store; it spans two large floors and stock extensive range of all outdoor brands and product lines, with enough space to try out products like running shoes and tents before you buy. Our Covent Garden store is the only place in central London where you can ice climb and demo new kit on the indoor 8 metre Vertical Chill ice climbing wall.

Here are some of the key services provided by the experts in our Covent Garden shop:

  • Travel equipment & advice
  • Skis & ski boot fitting
  • Ski binding mounting
  • Ski & snowboard mounting
  • Snowboard & snowboard boot fitting
  • Walking boot fitting
  • Rucksack fitting
  • Climbing equipment & advice
  • Running shoe fitting
  • Camping equipment & advice
  • Mountaineering equipment & advice
  • Peter Darch - Store Manager

    Climbing Expert

    Store: COVENT GARDEN

    Peter first tried rock climbing at the age of 15 on a visit to the Plas y Brenin activity centre in Wales, and having enjoyed the experience then went on to join the climbing club at his school in the Manchester suburb of Hyde. As his interest in the sport grew, Peter made good use of a local quarry within cycling distance of home, before moving on to more adventurous trips across the UK.

    More recently, he’s climbed routes of varying difficulty in the French and Swiss mountains, Norway and even Morocco, but when he isn’t ice climbing in the Alps, Peter travels across the UK to find new routes, his most recent discovery being the granite cliffs of Cornwall.

    Favourite Place/Resort:

    The Roaches, Staffordshire. “The Roaches is full of classic climbs, there’s plenty of bouldering in the forest and the more you look the more hidden climbs you come across. See if you can find the bizarre house in the rock face.”

  • Des Rhule

    Running Expert

    Store: COVENT GARDEN

    A true running veteran, Des has competed at local, national and international levels. He participated in his first ultramarathon in 2005, tackling the Ultra-Trail Du Mont Blanc (UTMB). He has gone on to undertake another seven ultramarathons, and considers the 2012 UTMB to be a highlight.

    For all his own achievements, Des loves to help others reach their goals and ambitions, no matter what scale they’re on. In his spare time, he is a race performance trainer for King’s College London, and has helped countless people achieve their targets, making him a fantastic contact for any running advice you might have.


    This year Des will once again be taking the UTMB head-on, will be running The Fellsman ultramarathon in the Yorkshire Dales, and is determined to complete a marathon sub-three hours after his 50th birthday in April - a feat most younger athletes would shy away from!

    Favourite Place/Resort:

    The Alps. "I'd like to run in North America and the Himalayas, but so far my favourite place to run is the European Alps."

  • Richard Searles

    Camping Expert

    Store: COVENT GARDEN

    Richard was brought up on a farm in rural Buckinghamshire, and has had a love of the English countryside from an early age. He first got in to camping when he took the Duke of Edinburgh award with the scouts, and it has been a passion ever since.

    Previous trips include a six month backpacking and camping holiday across Europe, trekking and camping in Nepal, hiking in Machu Pichu, and this year he spent the month of February on a winter camping trip in Scotland. If you’re new to camping, or you’re a seasoned backpacker and want to share stories and talk about the camping essentials you shouldn’t leave home without, come in and talk to Richard.

    Favourite Place/Resort:

    Red Squirrel camp site in Glen Coe, Scotland. “This camp site is great because it’s essentially wild camping, but it’s organised and safe and not too commercial. It’s an incredible spot, near a brook, but despite having a good pub not too far away it still remains deserted and beautiful.”

  • Nacho Garcia

    Climbing Expert

    Store: COVENT GARDEN

    Nacho began ice climbing when he joined Ellis Brigham's Covent Garden shop over five years ago. Immediately realising he had found his niche, he became an ice wall instructor and now manages our London Vertical Chill indoor ice wall.

    Nacho loves his job, and the opportunity it gives him to train his skills and technique on the ice: "Most people go ice climbing once or twice a year, I do it two or three times a month plus at least one trip a year somewhere outdoors. That has allowed me to improve and polish my technique quite fast. It also gives me access to quite a wide range of gear that I can test and try."

    He also relishes the chance he gets to learn from some of the world's top athletes: "Meeting good ice climbers in the ice wall and learning from their experience also helped me, but I learned the most when I had ice climbing training classes with top worldwide climbers Tim Emmett and Dave Mcleod."

    Favourite Place/Resort:

    The Alps. "My favourite destination for ice climbing is the Alps. Lovely food, French or Italian depending on which side you are on and it's not overly cold, so the ice is soft and nice to climb."

  • Chris Bowen

    Skiing Expert

    Store: COVENT GARDEN

    Ski expert Chris took the opportunity to immerse himself in skiing at the first opportunity. Getting his turns in at age five, he undertook his first season at 18 in Quebec, before joining Ellis Brigham and working alternate seasons through New Zealand and Whistler ever since.

    7 years of ski hardware retail has seen him gain a wealth of experience in ski boot fitting and customisation, making him a dab hand when it comes to special requests. "Working in ski resorts I have learned from the best and most experienced in the ski hardware business, sold almost every brand available and used various different modification and customization tools," he says.

    Chris's favourite discipline of skiing is backcountry and touring, and loves the Spearhead and Duffey Lakes area in British Columbia for its variety and the accessibility of challenging terrain: "Ski touring is the best way to enjoy the beauty of these mountains; the solitude, silence and snow conditions are just fantastic!"

    His next aims will be to visit Chamonix and Zermatt to complete the Haute Route, using his cardio gains to qualify for the Ironman World Championships in summer...

  • Tom 'TC' Clinton

    Snowboarding Expert

    Store: COVENT GARDEN

    TC has been snowboarding for 15 years, and tries and get out for at least two weeks each winter. Studying French at the University of Leeds meant that he was able to spend an entire season in the French Pyrenees, riding every weekend predominantly in Cauterets (a great idea if you ask us!).

    TC has ridden a huge variety of terrain and helped every kind of customer you can think of. On his travels, he helped teach children to 'snowboard' on sand dunes in Mozambique, and has assisted Lewis Hamilton in choosing his set-up!

    Favourite Place/Resort:

    "I regularly go to the Portes-du-Soleil, mainly due to its size – on the French side, Morzine and Avoriaz are legendary within the snow-sports community – my favourite run being Prolays thanks to all its super-fun side-hits and general mellow nature (plus it’s right next to the Stash). My favourite resort to which I have been though is Wengen/Kleine Scheidegg in Switzerland – there's something truly awesome (in the original sense of the word) of snowboarding in the shadow of the North Face of the Eiger, plus it has a ton of varied terrain, from lush off-piste to the icy steeps of the world cup run the Lauberhorn.'

  • Elena Rodriguez

    Trekking Expert

    Store: COVENT GARDEN

    Elena has only just arrived in the UK but we’re really pleased that she chose to come and work in one of our shops, because she brings with her a wealth of outdoor sports experience and knowledge, which she gained growing up in her home in Seville, Spain.

    The Andalucia region draws visitors from far afield due to the huge diversity of its terrain, and Elena was lucky enough to live on its doorstep, where she started trekking at an early age, then gradually progressed to skiing, canyoning, climbing and mountaineering. If you’re planning any kind of mountain holiday in Spain, then be sure to come in and talk to Elena – she spent the last 7 years in Spain working for a mountain outdoor activities company, when she was able to spend literally every day out in the hills hiking and climbing.

    Favourite Place/Resort:

    Elena struggled to name a favourite destination, because mountains are so different and each place offers different attractions. Andalucia will always stay close to her heart as it's a region that she knows so well, and a recent trip canyoning and climbing in the Caceres region was one of her favourites so far, where the scenery was breathtaking.