Carl McKeating and Rachel Crolla hail from Bradford and began their hiking careers in the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District. They went on to walk and climb all over Europe, exploring all the major mountain ranges. In 2007, Rachel became the first woman to climb to the highest point of every country in Europe. The couple’s resulting guidebook Europe’s High Points was published by Cicerone in 2009. It was during this challenge that Carl and Rachel first visited the Auvergne. They liked it so much they bought a dilapidated old house there in 2005. In between extensive DIY nightmares and renovation projects they found time to travel around the Auvergne's four departments and enjoy the wealth of hiking all over the region. The couple's first child, Heather, was born during the writing of Walking in the Auvergne.
In recent years Carl and Rachel have also spent much of their free time rock climbing and particularly finding another tick list to complete in Ken Wilson's Classic Rock. The couple have also travelled extensively in the mountain ranges of North America. Other interests include winter sports - as well as skiing in the Auvergne's resorts, Carl and Rachel have worked a ski season in the French alpine resort of Courchevel. Carl has also recently developed a passion for swimming.
Rachel's background was in writing for newspapers and she has now become a teacher. Carl currently works in Further Education and hopes to complete more research in the field of mountains and literature.