Professional Life as a Guide, Instructor and Coach

Peru Expedition with Alpamayo
Peru Expedition with Alpamayo

Mike has worked in the outdoors all his working life. Over the 25 years he has worked with a wide range of groups and clients. Starting off working in Mountaineering and Outdoor Consultant Management Centres mostly based around North Wales. Also in his early Professional life he worked for Private outdoor companies, Mountain Guides and in Local Education Outdoor centres with young people of all ages.
Mountaineering has always played a major part of Mike’s work whether it is guiding clients/groups up rock or ice climbs in Wales, Scotland in Winter, in the Alps or on Worldwide Expeditions. For 18 years he worked for Plas Y Brenin, The National Mountaineering Centre, 15 years of which as Senior Instructor and fronting up Rock Climbing (Head of Rock climbing) and the Mountain Instructor Certificate. Much of his work was Directing all of the National Governing Body courses, training trainers leaders and instructors. He has been a member of the Association of Mountain Instructors (AMI) since its creation.
As a IFMGA Mountain Guide he has worked extensively around the Alps mountaineering on foot and on skis, since 1993. For three years he partnered a small Guiding Company ‘Alpine Guides’ which he helped start. For the last 3 years he has run his own business Mountain Training and Guiding, based in the Alps. For the last 6 years he has been involved with training Mountain Guides to become fully qualified for the British Mountain Guides.

Professional Work in the Outdoors
Working with young people

Mike has worked with young people throughout his career. Starting working in residential centres many years ago. He has run many multi activity courses and Development courses helping young people develop their personal skills in activities and their social awareness of others.
Mike has worked with Young people include : Mountain walking; Rock climbing; Alpine climbing; Alpine Skiing; Gorge Scrambling; Via Ferrata; Coasteering and Team building exercises.
Organisations he has worked with include: Schools; Youth Training Scheme (YTS); Scouts; Management Training Centres; Local Authority Educational Centres; British Mountaineering council, Young Offenders Institutions and Voluntary Youth Organisations.
Much of the work Mike undertook at Plas –Y-Brenin (National Mountaineering Centre) was training and Assessing Leaders, Instructors and Guides to work with young people. Teaching them the skills and leadership to deal with young people in the Outdoors. He played a major part in setting up ‘Assessor Workshops’ for the MLTB, which many organisations like the Scouts, Guides, D of E used for training their own Assessors.
As a climbing coach he has worked with the British Youth climbing team through the British Mountaineering Council. Coaching young climbers on indoor walls and teaching them to lead out on the Mountain side using climbing protection. He has run many Young person climbing courses in North Wales. During his stay at Plas –y-Brenin he has run many climbing competitions for young people. Mike was a member of the British Mountaineering Competition Committee for many years.

In recent years Mike has worked with young people on ski touring trips with his own business and with Aiglon College in the Alps. He regularly works for schools bringing pupils to the Alps for Alpine climbing expeditions. This summer also for a Private School- Rydal School of North Wales.
Coaching and Instructing
As a high performer climber Mike has always taken an interest in how to improve in a sport. Through his own experiences and training he has developed a keen interest in coaching others to improve their technical and mental skills for climbing. He has run 100’s of climbing courses at many levels. His field covers Instructing beginners through to coaching other climbing coaches and Instructors. Mike was instrumental in starting coaching climbing courses at the National Centre and developing a variety of courses:
Climbing: Introduction to climbing, Learning to Lead Climb, ‘On the sharp End’
Ran many rock climbing courses/holidays in Spain-Costa Blanca, Colorado, Utah and Nevada.
Skills based Improver Courses: Improvised Rescue, Ski Touring, Avalanche and Big Wall Climbing Courses.
Conville Foundation Alpine Courses for Young People and PYB Alpine Young Person Courses
Mike has attended and spoken at many Coaching climbing seminars based in the UK for organisations like the BMC, MLTB, and Scouts. He has written a chapter in the BMC coaching manual on lead climbing.
Working with a variety of ages and abilities he is fully aware of any issues that relate to safety procedures and norms while working with people in such a dangerous situation.
As part of the Mountain Instructor scheme, Mountain Instructor Certificate, Mountain Leader Award and the Single Pitch Award Mike has developed the awareness and coaching skills of many other leaders, Instructors and Mountain Guides. Mike has introduced people to the sport who have grown into capable climbers, mountaineers, instructors, Guides and now Assessors!

Training, Assessing and Moderating National Body Qualifications and IFMGA carnets.
Mike has extensive experience, over last 20 yrs, with working on and Directing training and Assessment Courses for the National Governing Bodies and British Mountain Guides.

Summer Mountain Leader Award ML: Director and provider. Worked on 50+ Training and Assessment courses.
Directed and run 40+ Winter Mountain Leader Courses (WMLA) in Scotland’s winter.
Provider for SPA (Single Pitch Climbing Award). Was greatly involved in the development of the scheme initially. Has run 50+ training and Assessment Courses. Has run many workshops for providers of the award.
Director (one of a few) for 15yrs of the Mountain Instructor Award Training and Assessment Courses. MIA
Director of courses for the MIC (Mountain Instructor Certificate). Winter climbing training and Assessment Courses based in Scotland. (1 of 3 at PYB).
Have worked on Training and Assessment courses for the International Mountain Leader Award. IML
Have sat, as a representative for the British Mountain Guides (IFMGA) and National Centres, on many working Committees and Governing Boards who deliver the Awards and Qualifications.
For 6 years was a full member of the IFMGA British Mountain Guides Training Committee. Directing the Summer Assessment in North Wales. Also assessing on Winter Assessments and have Directed Winter Training courses in Scotland.
Providing Leadership Lectures e.g. Merseyside Fire Service.

Some of the Areas of Training associated with the above courses:

Avalanche training and Assessing
Winter Walking and Climbing
Snowshoe training
Via Ferrata
Leadership Training
All types of rope work
Mountain Rescue and its training of.
Snow holes and shelters
Navigation training
Assessing leaders in the outdoors.
Coaching climbing and use of climbing walls.
Climbing wall route setting

Work as an IFMGA Mountain Guide in the Alps
Mike started his training in 1992 and was fully qualified by spring 1995. Since then he has worked every winter and summer as a Mountain Guide in the Alps. Mike is as happy on his crampons as he is on his skis. For ten years he was based in the Alps each summer for PYB. But for the last 4 years based from St Gervais where he had lived prior to moving to Chesiere. He regularly runs a wide range of courses including:
Introduction to Alpine Climbing (For young and Old)
Coaching Alpine Skills
Ski Touring Introduction Courses
Off piste skiing and safety days
Avalanche and survival training
Established Ski Tours e.g. ‘Haute Route’.
Guided Ascents of Grand Courses e.g. Matterhorn, Mont Blanc, Swiss 4000 peaks.
Technical Snow and ice courses
Alpine Rock Routes.
High Treks of the Alps e.g. Walkers Haute Route.
Alpine Via Ferrates

Working as a Guide in the Greater Ranges
Mike enjoys exploring new horizons. Over the last 20 years he has travelled, many times with Louise, to remote areas. Pioneering new climbs little frequented by mountaineers. He has developed his organisational skills for large Expeditions from his personal trips. Many Expeditions have taken up to a year to organise e.g. Pakistan Expeditions, Baffin Big Walls, etc.

Extensive personal experience of travelling with groups in remote areas. Has travelled to all continents except Antarctica.
Enjoys dealing with different cultures
Experience with High Altitude, severe cold, Desert heat, jungle life and illness!

He has connected with many organisations across the world to help organisations. For 15 years he has been a committee member of the BMC ‘Expedition Committee’ helping provide funding and assistance to Expedition climbers from the UK. He has major ‘gear stashes’ in ‘Patagonia, Pakistan and Alaska’. In recent years Mike has lead and organised successful Guided Expeditions to Canada, Peru and Alaska.

Technical Advisory Work
Guidance, Risk Assessments, Incident Procedures, Staff Training,
As part of my work at Plas –Y-Brenin Mike ran various departments. Part of this work was to write and manage Guidance for staff and the Centre. This work was a very important part of managing risk. Mike also ran the ‘in house’ training and assessments of any staff working on Rock climbing courses throughout his stay at Plas Y Brenin.
Mike is familiar with writing Risk Assessments as part of his working life to help promote safe practise. Incident procedures are also part of the safe management of working in the outdoors; again Mike is familiar with writing and working with such documents.
Mike has worked as a Technical Advisor from time to time for individuals, groups and organisations providing Professional advice and training. He is familiar with UK guidelines and European laws of working in the outdoors.

Publishing Articles, books and manuals
Mike has written many articles technical and inspirational. Some examples include:
Climbing magazines: Climber, High, Climbing, Trail
Journals: Alpine Club, American Alpine Club
National Governing Body guidance booklets
BMC –Summit magazine
Climbing Guide books-
AMI (Association of Mountain Instructors) journal

Inspirational Speaking
Mike is a keen photographer and enjoys giving inspirational lectures. He regularly gives lectures about his Mountaineering, travels and Guiding. He has given lectures to:
Kendal Film Festival
Merseyside Fire Service ‘Leadership Master class’
Climbing Clubs, Shops, PYB etc.
Ramblers Association
For 3 years ran the BMC ‘Winter Lectures’ around the UK.
Mount Everest Foundation
BMC and Mountaineering Council for Ireland

Associated Professional connections
Mike has been a member of AMI (Association of Mountain Guides), Climbers Club, Merseyside Mountaineering Club, BMC(British Mountaineering Council) Committees Climbing Wall, Competition Climbing, Expedition and Welsh Area, Mountain Guides area committee, BMG training Committee.


phone: 0041(0)79 958 84 12

First Aid
Mike has completed 7 first Aid training and Assessment Courses over the years. He is currently a Mountain First Aider with the REC scheme.