- International Mountain Leader
- Winter Mountain Leader
- Summer Mountain Leader
- DofE Assessor
How did your career in the outdoors start?
I became an outdoor instructor by accident but I've never looked back. A company I was working for paid for me to do my Mountain Leader training because they needed someone to make up the numbers, and not long after I changed jobs and I started working for the RSPB. Some of my time I was leading walks and so I decided to pursue my ML and before I knew it I was working in the hills and loving it. These days I particularly enjoy my Duke of Edinburgh Award work, and this now takes up most of my summers, while I supplement this with stuff in the winter hills and abroad in the "off season".
What's been your most memorable outdoor experience?
I'm a bit of a wildlife geek, so if I'm really honest, my best ever outdoor experiences have included some element of wild nature. I've been lucky to lead some amazing trips abroad as part of my work and one of the most incredible wildlife memories that I will treasure for ever is seeing a rare harpy eagle in the Amazon rainforest in Peru. I've been slightly obsessed with this bird since I was a kid and never imagined that I'd ever see one in the flesh. The best bit was that the group of young people that I was with managed to sit patiently for an hour in total silence (unheard of?) until the bird swooped in right above our heads. They were awesome! The eagle was very impressive too.
What's your one piece of "can't do without kit"?
I feel the cold more than is reasonable for an outdoor person so always carry a warm puffy clothing layer with me, such as a down jacket. It is bliss around camp and especially for getting up in the mornings!