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    John Walker

    Passionate | Safe | Talkative

    Mini Bio

    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!!

    Place to Play

    The Northern Corries, Rum, Skye, the Alps.

    Not a lot of people know this

    I love old scooters, especially my 1967 Lambretta SX200.

    Qualifications Read More


    Experience Read More

    – 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!

    Biggest Adventure Read More

    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!

    Specialist Subject Read More

    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.

    Publications Read More

    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.

    Adventurer's Stories about John

    Always friendly and supportive

    Doreen Cantrell
    19WSPD_Private Departure
    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!

    Pamela Schwartzberg
    19WSPD_Private Departure
    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

    Brigitta Stockinger
    19WSPD_Private Departure
    Reviewed on 19/09/2019

    I have mentioned the excellence of the guides throughout

    Anne Cooke
    19WSPD_Private Departure
    Reviewed on 19/09/2019

    John did an amazing job of being aware of everyone's needs and abilities. I also appreciated that he took time to walk and talk one on one with each member of the group. (I've been with other guides who either don't talk to anyone, or find one or two members of the group engaging and stick to those folks.) His knowledge of both the landscapes we walked through and the history of Scotland and England was shared with clarity and enthusiasm. He provided gentle encouragement when I needed it, as well as slowing me down when I was pushing myself too hard. If I am able to do another week with Wilderness Scotland, I will definitely look for one that is guided by John

    Elisa Welch
    Wilderness Walking - Cairngorms National Park & Royal Deeside
    Reviewed on 12/09/2019

    John was terrific - able to multi-task, recognize the level of the group and individuals, and work with it. He taught us a lot, both about walking and hiking and about Scotland. He selected interesting walks with just the right amount of challenge, as well as differing landscapes and settings. He was flexible and careful to consider everyone.

    Jessica Wolf
    Wilderness Walking - Cairngorms National Park & Royal Deeside
    Reviewed on 04/09/2019

    our guide was terrific - incredibly knowledgeable, patient, high level of social competence, prepared to be a leader, sense of humour, absolutely dependable and last but not least someone who can communicate respect and love for the hills.

    Helen Stellner
    Wilderness Walking - Cairngorms National Park & Royal Deeside
    Reviewed on 04/09/2019

    Johnie Walker is amazing! He taught me so much in such a short time. I often wondered how someone could know so much. He even taught me at the age of 65 why I eat so slow. “Keep the knife and fork in your hands, don’t set one down” Still working on that Johnie, not working just yet!

    Gary Fruland
    Wilderness Walking - The West Highland Way
    Reviewed on 04/09/2019

    Our guide knew his stuff, genuinely loved the history and landscape, and kept us safe and looked after in a seemingly effortless way which is quite a feat in itself. He conducted himself with humour and seemed very authentic which are lovely things. The only note i’d say is sympathy, concern or empathy are kindnesses that can sometimes help people redouble their efforts. Interweave those with the ‘get on with it’ approach and it will reduce the complaining

    Eleanor Ashton
    Wilderness Walking - The West Highland Way
    Reviewed on 26/08/2019

    John Walker was fantastic! I was the slowest and definitely the weak link in the group but he was very encouraging and understanding. Loved his knowledge of Scottish history!

    Susan Magen
    Wilderness Walking - The West Highland Way
    Reviewed on 22/08/2019

    John Walker was an excellent Guide- very knowledgeable about the trails, the history of the surrounding areas, as well as the amazing Scottish culture. He was very patient and supportive of each of our skill levels and interests. He was adept at every aspect of our experiences during the week- equipment, trail conditions, weather, water and food on the trail, and flexible. In fact, this was our SECOND time with him and we were excited to be hiking the trails with him. He is truly a consummate expert whose broad skill and knowledge-base blessed us at every turn of the trail. We will cherish our time in bonny Scotland for years to come because of all that he did for us.

    Teresa Preston-Patella
    Wilderness Walking - Isle of Skye
    Reviewed on 30/07/2019

    John Walker was a good guide. He was flexible and accommodating. Very knowledgeable about the history in the places we walked. We walked at a good pace and he was very mindful as not everyone in our group was confident with the terrain.

    Martin Lambooy
    Wilderness Walking - Isle of Skye
    Reviewed on 29/07/2019

    We loved our guide! John was knowledgable and energetic and extremely patient with the group.

    Kathryn Lunetta
    Wilderness Walking - Argyll & the Isles
    Reviewed on 22/07/2019

    Our guide, John Walker, was excellent. I was not an experienced hiker and could not have had such a great experience without him.

    Peg Henry
    Wilderness Walking - Isle of Skye
    Reviewed on 22/07/2019

    We will definitely be back. When we book again we will be looking to see what trips John is guiding. He is an outstanding guide.

    Catharine Scott-Moncrieff
    Wilderness Walking - Argyll & the Isles
    Reviewed on 21/07/2019

    Our guide was super. I especially liked how kind he was to some of the more challenged individuals in the group. I don't know how he does it, putting up with strangers week after week.

    Donna Peehl
    Wilderness Walking - Argyll & the Isles
    Reviewed on 20/07/2019

    We all just loved John.

    Gina Dokko
    Wilderness Walking - Argyll & the Isles
    Reviewed on 18/07/2019

    Stu and John were wonderful! We loved their knowledge of the history, geography, culture, and spirit of the Scottish people.

    John Patella
    Wilderness Walking - Glencoe and the Highlands
    Reviewed on 17/07/2018

    Maybe some further golf-course navigation lessons might be necessary. Besides that, great trip!

    Birger Strohdeicher
    Wilderness Walking - High Points of the Cairngorms National Park
    Reviewed on 09/07/2018

    John Walker is a fantastic guide: professional, experienced, compassionate, and extremely capable of meeting the needs of a diverse group of hikers. He's also a excellent driver; I'd rate him in the top 2% of all drivers I've experienced in my lifetime.

    Janet Leonards
    Wilderness Walking - High Points of the Cairngorms National Park
    Reviewed on 09/07/2018

    John Walker was an excellent guide and ensured that everyone made it to the top which I very much appreciated.

    Maureen Mitchell
    Wilderness Walking - High Points of the Cairngorms National Park
    Reviewed on 02/07/2018

    Our guide, John Walker, was excellent. He was very friendly, experienced, professional, safety conscious and helpful. He was also flexible and ensured that each person in our group had a great hiking experience according to our abilities. John is very knowledgeable about Scotland's mountains and all of its natural beauty and we appreciate all of the information that he shared with us. We highly recommend Wilderness Scotland tours and plan to hike again with this awesome company. Thank you, John!!

    Teresa Preston-Patella
    Wilderness Walking - Glencoe and the Highlands
    Reviewed on 26/06/2018

    Again, see previous notes. We were generally self guided, but we had guides on 3 days and they were the BEST. The days when we had guides would not have been memorable without the guides, as they all fell on days with spotty weather, but they each took those days and made them into our absolute highlights. They were all consummate professionals, kept us safe and comfortable yet challenged, taught us a lot, and worked flawlessly with our group dynamic.

    Arnie Macdonald
    18WSTM Tailor Made trips
    Reviewed on 26/06/2018

    self guided notes were good and maps were informative

    Thea Moore
    18WSTM Tailor Made trips
    Reviewed on 25/06/2018

    Self guide - piece of cake.
    Loved all 3 guides. Felt very comfortable with and confident of their skills and experience. Very easy to talk with.

    Liza Moore
    18WSTM Tailor Made trips
    Reviewed on 25/06/2018

    John Walker was exceptional. He was able to assess our abilities and tailor our walks to meet all of our needs and interests. I especially liked it when he offered choices. I couldn't have asked for a more personalized experience. He is very personable and an expert in his field.

    Laurel Thayer
    Wilderness Walking - Cairngorms National Park & Royal Deeside
    Reviewed on 07/08/2017

    See previous comments, with notes about the guide. John is fantastic. HIs enthusiasm for the area, the history, the mountains, is contagious. He really made the trip for us.

    Kathryn Lunetta
    Wilderness Walking - Cairngorms National Park & Royal Deeside
    Reviewed on 31/07/2017

    John Walker was an excellent guide for our trip. He is extremely knowledgeable about the Cairngorms and was able to tune our walks for our abilities as a group and for the expected weather.

    Mark Duffield
    Wilderness Walking - Cairngorms National Park & Royal Deeside
    Reviewed on 31/07/2017

    Book a trip with John

    Trip / DepartureAvailabilityStatusPriceBook
    Wilderness Walking – The Knoydart Peninsula
    15th Jul - 22nd Jul 2023
    8 place(s) leftUNCONFIRMED£1,865Book Now
    High Points of Torridon and Wester Ross
    2nd Sep - 8th Sep 2023
    6 place(s) leftUNCONFIRMED£1,625Book Now
    The West Highland Way
    18th Sep - 25th Sep 2023
    7 place(s) leftCONFIRMED£1,825Book Now

    Make Trip Private

    Sometimes it's nice to get family and friends together and travel privately for some quality time. This means you benefit from all the features of the group departure, including hand-picked accommodation and expert local guides and we'll take care of it all. Then you can make your choice of departures dates and we'll get back to you to finalise the details.

    We work together with our team of guides to decide which departures they lead each year. As part of that, guides provide available dates that they are free to be booked. This means that any of the dates you see in the first field of the form below, could be perfect for your private departure or customised tour.

    John's Gallery

    © John Walker / Wilderness Scotland

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