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Election of President and Directors

This year we will be electing a new President. The only nomination received is Brian Shackleton.

There are also nominations for two other posts on the Board. Lucy Fraser has been nominated as Director (ClimbScotland) and Nigel Clark has been nominated as Director (Mountain Safety).

You can read more about the candidates here.

The hills of Scotland were introduced to me early whilst growing up in Aberdeen where I was born and raised. Hill walking in the Cairngorms in all weathers and skiing at Glenshee in all manner of conditions became a regular activity and laid the foundation for a passion which I still hold today over 50 years later.  Following my university education I moved to Edinburgh where I developed my interests to include summer rock climbing, winter climbing and ski mountaineering, starting in Scotland and then extending this to the Alps and further afield to the Arctic, Antarctic and the Himalaya.

I have been a member of the Ferranti Mountaineering Club most of my time in Edinburgh, serving as secretary and president on two occasions. I joined the Scottish Mountaineering Club in 1987 and served a term as vice-president and more recently as the SMC representative to Mountaineering Scotland although I had already attended many AGMs of the Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCofS) in earlier years. I have also been a trustee with the Scottish Mountaineering Trust  which has had a long association with MCofS /Mountaineering Scotland.

When MCofS took the decision to incorporate, with the need to have Articles of Association, I sat on a working party to help draw these up in a way that would not disrupt the general operation of the organisation and maintain the relationship between it and both individual and club members. As the SMC representative, I pushed for greater priority to be placed on access, landscape and conservation and was pleased to see the establishment of a full time Access & Conservation Officer and other related initiatives. More recently, I have been helping to establish a Climbing Advisory Group to assist the board in deciding how best to encourage and support the various technical climbing disciplines and also participated in the recent working party looking at the club voting structure.

My working life was spent in the aerospace industry in project and business management, delivering complex technical programmes which could often span several years and which required dealing with national or international funding agencies. Along with my passion for Mountaineering in all its forms, and with considerable knowledge already of how Mountaineering Scotland operates, I believe I can help the organisation to develop further to face the considerable challenges ahead as it looks forward to its 50th year and beyond representing its many member clubs and individual members.

Since my first experience at a parent learn to climb course, climbing has become a passion for me and my family. I now climb with my children three times per week and have been a regular volunteer with ClimbScotland since January 2017. My eldest daughter is a successful youth competition climber, whilst I enjoy climbing as a social sport.

My enjoyment of indoor climbing is balanced with a lifelong love of the outdoors. I grew up walking, cycling and sailing and moved to Scotland in 2003, partly to spend more time having outdoor adventures. I am a member of the Glasgow Gorillas and Borestone Climbing Club.

I have spent my adult life volunteering, including eight years as a Director and Company Secretary of Bannockburn Riding for the Disabled. I am currently Chair of our School Parent Council, a role I have had since 2014. As a parent and volunteer, I am impressed by ClimbScotland’s work and realise much of this is only possible through the support of many dedicated and talented volunteers; I am proud to be part of this team.

My professional background is as an IT consultant, and I have a Masters degree in Engineering from Cambridge University.

I was brought up in the Lake District where I stood on top of Scafell Pike at the age of 8 and this started a life-long passion for being in mountains. I started rock-climbing aged 10 and was hooked on what is now called “trad” climbing and have enjoyed exposure to this day. I discovered climbing, skiing and walking in the expanses of Scotland in my early teens, completing my first full traverse of the Cuillin Ridge aged 16. I was also fortunate to work as a rock-climbing instructor and be a member of the Keswick Mountain Rescue Team for some time in my youth, which helped develop a keen sense of safety awareness.

My working career as a geologist gave me the opportunity to travel the world for many years, learn several other languages and eventually take responsibility for remote operations, particularly in Brazil, Indonesia and China. Work with various non-profit organisations was also a very useful addition to my boardroom experience.

Whilst abroad I was fortunate to be able to enjoy the thrill of high altitude expeditions in North and South America, Africa and the Himalaya as well as trips to the European Alps, New Zealand and even sport climbing in Thailand. However, I have now settled in Scotland and live in the West Highlands, near Glencoe.

As it is never to late to learn more skills in the hills, I have recently passed my Summer ML and intend to take the Winter ML assessment shortly. My aspiration to complete the Munros should be satisfied soon having completed 260 of them so far. I am also now a proud member of the Oban Mountain Rescue Team, and I hope that this aggregate experience can be applied to help Mountaineering Scotland and its members.