Growing up in northern Scotland I felt a natural affinity with adventure sport. As a teenager, solo trips through the Cairngorms and North West Highlands had a great influence on me. Whilst studying biology at Aberdeen university I learnt to rock climb, and weekends spent in the winter mountains enforced humility and respect for serious environments.
My professional career began in climbing walls and with local schools where I solidified my ambition to specialise in coaching, training and guiding climbing. I moved to North Wales where I furthered my training , working alongside well-respected coaches, instructors and guides at the National Outdoor Centre, Plas y Brenin. I’m a qualified Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor (MCI) as well as trainee Winter MCI and Development Coach.
I’m widely experienced in and enjoy most forms of climbing and mountain travel. Bouldering, traditional, sport climbing and mountaineering, summer and winter. I find these activities immersive and rewarding. Basing myself in North Wales but travelling periodically to Scotland, a typical year involves a big spread of work, from introducing novices at Tremadog and lead coaching at Gogarth, to guiding ice on Ben Nevis and classic rock on Skye.
I’ve worked through many of the classic climbs our islands have to offer and made a few first ascents along the way. In a normal year I’ll climb regularly at E5, F7c, f7b, VII and a grade or two higher if I’m going well and conditions are right. Maintaining currency and being prepared is important to me in professional delivery and personal performance so I put a lot of effort into keeping my practices up to date.
The variety in my work is a great source of excitement. In climbing, variety is a defining feature of the challenge. It’s present both in the environment; an evolving snowpack or change in rock texture as well as in ourselves; a new technique or altered perception. Every boulder, wall and mountain is unique and every persons aspirations, experience and interests infinitely variable. My task is to tune in, to adapt to people in a dynamic environment. Engaging in this process is something I don’t tire of.