Richard Bentley

I did use to have a real job years ago, but it seems hard to remember that now! I have been climbing and skiing all over the world for over thirty years! eek!

For the past eighteen years I have been running my mountaineering business from the foot of Ben Nevis, living closer to the North Face than pretty much anyone. I suppose I am best known for coaching and teaching Winter climbing and my knowledge of Ben Nevis in winter. During the summer I am involved with training and assessing of mountaineering awards within the UK and am found guiding on Skye lots. When not doing this it's a quick trip out to the Alps.

If climbing is my work then skiing is my passion, and I love the fact that you can continually improve no matter how long you have been doing it. I work as a ski patroller, give courses and lectures on avalanche awareness and winter safety and run off-piste workshops.

My enthusiasm for the mountains is as great now as it was thirty years ago, in particular I am passionate about winter climbing and am happy to discuss routes and epics (not ethics!!) with anyone.

My favourite day? Getting the first bin up La Grave on a powder day or seeing the grin on clients faces after they have just led their first serious graded winter climb.

My ambition? To never become blasé about the amazing job that I have.


-Hometown-

Fort William, the Highlands, Scotland.

-Projects-

Winter climbing, Skiing, Summer climbing and mountaineering. Hobbies outside sport: A pretty handy guitar player and I’ve just taken up speed wing flying!

-Successes-

Coaching and helping hundreds of people over the years to improve and become better climbers, mountaineers and skiers. It’s a nice feeling to be fairly well known and respected when it comes to coaching and guiding winter climbing in Scotland, and particularly Ben Nevis in Winter.

Specific achievements? Putting up Shooting Star, one of the longest winter lines on the Orion Face as a new route. Another day that stands out is the Tasch-Dom traverse in the Alps.

-Favourite Scarpa-

Sorry, the question is just too hard as they are all great at what they are designed to do!

For summer I loved the Zodiac tech for working this year. Technical enough to climb severe graded rock yet flexible enough to be comfortable all day. For winter it has to be the new Phantom Tech's, the finest technical winter boot that has ever been. For skiing I adore my Freedom RS. If the day doesn’t involve too much walking or distance on the skins, they are always the first choice.

-No Place too Far-

A beautiful aesthetic unclimbed line on a unclimbed Himalayan peak. It doesn’t need to be too big, anything around 6000m would do.

I have a good friend who is currently on the mend from surgery and getting strong again. We promised that once it all went well we would have a big adventure together in 2018. The planning has commenced, watch this space!


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