I realised early on that I needed an outdoor job (I still get claustrophobic on office days). So having discovered it was possible to make a living by introducing other people to the mountains I embarked on the lengthy process of gaining the appropriate skills and qualifications.

This involved working through the summer and winter Mountain Leader Awards for taking walking groups into the hills before progressing to the Mountaineering Instructor scheme. The MIA (for summer) and MIC (for winter) are the highest UK climbing and mountaineering qualifications.

Gaining qualifications for working abroad was the next step. First as an International Mountain Leader for leading walking tours before embarking on the most involved qualification process of all – to become an internationally recognised (IFMGA) British Mountain Guide. By holding this award I am able to work worldwide with clients in the mountains during summer or winter on snow, ice or rock.

Of course qualifications form only one part of quality assurance, equally as important is depth and breadth of experience. My instructing and guiding experience spans 25 years including phases working as an instructor at the National Mountain centres Glenmore Lodge in Scotland and Plas y Brenin in North Wales. The work at these centres includes skills training at all levels as well as training and assessing future leaders and instructors.

I now work as an independent Instructor and Guide as well as co-directing the North Wales based guiding company Llanberis Guides. Meeting new clients, designing the best instructing or guiding days possible and then building a guiding relationship over a number of years is the essence of what I do. After all these years I still think I have the best job in the world!