I am based in Grantown on Spey, a typical Scottish village that would easily make the cover of any Scottish shortbread tin. On my doorstep I have the Cairngorm National Park which offers an abundance of exciting adventures to be had, and within a 90-minute drive I can be at the foot of Ben Nevis; gazing up to the Torridon Giants; be exploring the Far North or sitting in an airport or ferry terminal departing to various Islands or foreign places.
I’ve been working as a full-time mountaineering instructor for over 26 years now and have been fortunate to travel the globe chasing the world of mountains and the adventures they provide.
I successfully climbed the World’s 7 summits before I completed my round of Munros and have admitted that I am now bagging the Corbetts. I spent 4 Antarctic seasons based at Patriot Hills (Antartica) as a Guide and then as Field Operations Manager which enabled me to fine tune my cold weather experience. I’ve led over 30 commercial expeditions to mountains including Everest, K2, Manaslu, Cho Oyu, Ama Dablam, Himlung Himal, Muztagh Ata, and Khan Tengri to name a few. This is on top of the numerous alpine seasons that any climber will experience. I represented GB in the International Ski Mountaineering World Championships and I'm the director of Skimo Scotland - the home of ski mountaineering racing in Scotland.
Although I love summer, I really love winter. I love the harshness, the suffering that is endured and the experiences that are gained in a small team. It’s the working with small teams and watching them experience mountain adventures and to potentially achieve their ambitions that now gives me the biggest pleasure.
In 2016, I led the first British Expedition to K2 in 12 years, but success was not be when an avalanche completely destroyed Camp 3 ending the season sooner than expected. Despite attempts to return in 2017, this did not occur so to console myself, I went off to climb on Cho Oyu (8201m), Manaslu (8163m) and Himlung Himal (7216m) and spent no less than 17 weeks living at high/very high/extreme altitude.
|Grantown on Spey, Scotland.|
|High Altitude Mountaineering, Scottish Winter Climbing/Mountaineering, Ski Mountaineering. Biking - mountain and/or road.|
|Inductee into University of Strathclyde’s Sports Hall of Fame. Snowsport Person of the Year Award.|
|Phantom 8000 (because I still have all my toes!)|
-No Place too Far-
|KC Base camp with a solid team and a valid permit because I have unfinished business.|
Photo Credit - Ed Smith
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- Mountaineer, Ski