After a long career in retail management, I decided my desire to be outdoors needed to come first, so as the children were independent now, I took the plunge!
I started out on the hills at an early age, being taken to the Peak District and Lake District of England by my parents, graduating to holidays in Scotland, but it wasn’t until I first visited the Alps with my wife Tracey on our motorbike that I realised how deep my passion was for all things mountainous. We bought a pair of boots each in Chamonix, and have never looked back!
I ‘completed’ my first round of the Munros in 2009, (Scottish mountains over 3000ft), the 4429th person to do so, and am well into my second round. I have walked, scrambled and climbed all over the UK, the Alps, Dolomites, Carpathians, Sierra Nevada and Kilimanjaro in Africa. I have several trips to the Urals and Kamchatka planned for 2016, which I am really looking forward to.
I am particularly fond of the Scottish mountains in winter, and a keen winter climber and Alpinist. I also like to cycle, and will be riding the Etapes Loch Ness and Caledonia with my wife in 2016, which is about the only time we manage to spend time together!!
The Northern Corries, Rum, Skye, the Alps.
I love old scooters, especially my 1967 Lambretta SX200.
“I ‘completed’ my first round of the Munros in 2009, (Scottish mountains over 3000ft), the 4429th person to do so, and am well into my second round. I have walked, scrambled and climbed all over the UK, the Alps, Dolomites, Carpathians, Sierra Nevada and Kilimanjaro in Africa. I have several trips to the Urals and Kamchatka planned for 2016, which I am really looking forward to.”
– 20 years + of walking, scrambling and climbing all over the UK and abroad. I have nearly ‘compleated’ my second round of the Munros, and am well into ticking off all the highest points of all European countries.
I have led expeditions to the Argentinian Andes where we summited Aconcagua, the highest mountain outside of the Himalaya and highest in the Western and Southern hemispheres, the Ecuadorian highlands where we managed to combat the ever-changing weather to summit various volcanoes including the iconic Cotopaxi. In the Himalaya, I led a trip to Annapurna base camp, and then summited Tharpu Chuli, (or Tent Peak). I have trekked across Kamchatka in Russia, (again climbing volcanoes!), climbed Elbrus twice, and have also climbed on Lenin Peak in Kyrgyzstan. In Africa, I have summited Kilimanjaro, and I have also enjoyed both a summer and winter ascent of the Mulhacen in the Sierra Nevada, the highest mountain in mainland Spain.
Nearer to home I have climbed and walked many Alpine 4000m summits, and recently spent my 6th trip to the wonderful Brenta Dolomites in Italy with my wife, where we celebrated her birthday and our 27th wedding anniversary in an alpine hut at 2700m.
Whilst I enjoy going further afield to walk and climb, I feel most at home amongst my Scottish mountains in all seasons, in all weathers, and with all company, especially sharing stories over a dram in a cosy bothy as the snow falls outside!
The next one!
Seriously, I don’t like to rank experiences and like to live for the moment. I suppose falling ill in Kyrgyzstan and having to evacuate the mountain was quite an experience, but not one I would like to repeat. Learn from yes, but certainly not repeat!
I feel over the years I have developed a wide knowledge of the hills and people that walk and work amongst them, as well as the wildlife and flora that live on them. I live in a sheep-rearing community and spent a year working on stock fencing and deer exclusion work, so understand some of the hard work that goes into maintaining the man-made environment. I have a deep interest in history, and Scotland has such a depth of wonderful history, mixed as it is with myth and legend to allow hours of discussion. I have a ‘working’ knowledge of whisky, and make it my business to expand this where possible! ;) Finally, I feel it is important to appreciate the Gaelic, and how the environment shaped the language and took its nomenclature from it.
Contributed/Co-authored article on UK Hillwalking website recounting what we believe was the first winter ascent by a British team of the NE ridge of Musala, the highest peak in Bulgaria.
Always friendly and supportive
Reviewed on 10/10/2019
Excellent. Some of our people did not like getting pointers on riding/gear usage, but we were a group of people who are not used to being told what to do. And everyone communicated well so it was a good source of humor. They dealt with us well!
Reviewed on 26/09/2019
John and Dave were excellent guides giving us all the background, being supportive and safety conscious. We missed a day's cycling because of the strong wind, but appreciated that they explained to us it would not have been safe to cycle. They were both flexible with regard to Plan Bs on some days and generally fun to be with
Reviewed on 19/09/2019
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