Growing up in Glasgow, the Scouts took me on many adventures, close and far, mainly by foot. I studied Topographic Science (the making of maps), thinking I’d get paid to walk up hills, but ended up working offshore on boats and rigs making sure all the infrastructure was put in the right place, then surveying it once it was there. Having spent over 30 years in the offshore survey sector serving the energy industries, with nearly half of that time offshore, my career has taken me all over the world from Australia to Brazil, and Angola to Vietnam – always looking for a hill to walk or run up – although living in Aberdeenshire at all times. I gained a few outdoor qualifications along the way in my adult Scouting roles, and I’m now able to ‘work’ in the outdoors, which truly is my passion.
I regularly orienteer competitively, including winter night-time events, so my navigation skills are well-honed! I have twice competed in Finland at Jukola an 11-person relay and the world’s largest orienteering event where approximately 1700 teams compete through the night. I have also completed 17 mountain marathons in various regions of the UK. These involve 2 days running over mountainous terrain while navigating a route and carrying all the kit you need.
Hiking and biking are my two main passions nowadays, but I’ve been known to sail and ski too, mostly in Scotland. My wife says I have an addiction to bikes – buying them!
Place to Play
Living on the edge of the Southern Cairngorms, much of my ‘play time’ is spent here and it is a great place to bike and hike. The journey over to the west coast is one I enjoy and there is always a sense of excitement when I’m in the campervan heading west. It is hard to leave Scotland for adventure though I have managed the occasional trip – climbing Mt Toubkal in Morocco, cycling and sailing holidays in Mallorca and skiing trips to the Alps.
Not a lot of people know this
I spent five summers in a row as a teenager on some form of Scout camp/expedition: Switzerland, Massachusetts, Austria, Bavaria and Norway. Scouts played a large part of my teenage life and the reason for my love of the outdoors, camping and adventuring. My first Munro was Ben Nevis, aged 12, at my first summer camp on the banks of Loch Sunart – 38-years later I compleated (yes, correct spelling) my Munros on Beinn Sgritheall, overlooking the dramatic Loch Hourn, Knoydart and with stunning views to the Skye Cullins and beyond. I’ve also managed 50 Corbetts so far but still climb Munros too.