Way back in 1978, when I was 27 and I was a few years into my full time mountaineering life I contacted Scarpa and asked if they would sponsor my first Himalayan expedition to Jannu. They agreed to supply boots and an association began with Scarpa and the Parisotto family that has continued until this day.
I am constantly out on the hill or crags - with clients as an IFMGA mountain guide, working on film location safety, logistics and rigging with my own company Film and Mountain or for my own pleasure. I use my experience to work along side Scarpa and give my input into footwear design testing and training.
My hero when I first started in the mountains was Walter Bonatti and I was always attracted to climb his routes. Later Doug Scott inspired me for his vision of what constitutes ethical and pure mountaineering and I had the great pleasure of climbing Nuptse with him. Dozens of rock climbers stand out for their talent but three in particular; Pat Littlejohn, Johnny Dawes and Paul Pritchard (and even more recently for his new life as a disabled adventurer). Sir Chris Boninton I admire for being so enthusiastic to climb in his 70’s. And then to a new generation; the likes of Ueli Steck and Alex Honnold for their amazing fitness, talent and vision to break new boundaries.
However I grew up with a group of characters far more talented than myself who have all passed away … to list a few …John Syrett, Alex MacIntyre, Mick Geddes, Alan Rouse, Roger Baxter-Jones, Tim Lewis, Al Harris, Joe Tasker, Paul Nunn … they will always be my inspiration.
In 1980 I was a climbing bum in the Lakes and alongside a few mates started the Kendal Mountain Film Festival that developed into one of the top Mountain Festivals in the world. In 2008 the Festival was passed to a new team and turned into a Community Charity but I still work on the Adventure Film Academy that has trained hundreds of people to make outdoor sports films.
With the film expertise and knowledge gained during Kendal, together with working in the film industry on films like ‘Touching the Void’ I have embarked upon a new and exciting project called ‘SteepEdge’ which distributes mountain adventure sports films throughout the world via the web.
For the future I want to get out into the mountains as much as I can. Develop SteepEdge into a successful business. Keep fit and healthy by road cycling more (cycling has replaced fell running as my knees do not work as well as they used to!). However I am still at my happiest out on the rock and it was a real motivation to hear that my good mate Rab Carrington had climbed 8a just before his 60th birthday.
I still take great pleasure and satisfaction from 30 years of working with Scarpa. Working in a team striving for a boot with the perfect fit and great performance that will enable trekkers, climbers and mountaineers to enjoy their time in the hills.