Mountaineering Scotland has a small but dedicated team of staff who implement the work of the organisation in representing mountaineers and mountaineering and delivering services to members.
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Stuart was born in Inverness, grew up in Moray, and has been a member of Mountaineering Scotland for most of his adult life. He developed his love of the Scottish highlands from an early age learning to ski at Cairngorm, then going on to start climbing Munros whilst at school and learning to rock climb whilst at university.
Stuart has a BA Honours degree in Recreation management specialising in countryside studies and has over 20 years’ experience working in the sport and recreation sector. He brings a wide range of senior management experience to the post of CEO, including strategic planning, business development and operational delivery. Before joining Mountaineering Scotland he managed the Sports Development and Outdoor Education Services in Perth and Kinross for ten years, working closely with volunteers, local clubs and schools. He was also a voluntary director of the Scottish Sports Association for 6 years stepping down from the board in 2018.
As well as his own love of the Scottish hills he is keen to promote the physical and mental health benefits of an active lifestyle and being outdoors. He lives in Kinross with his wife and three young sons and also enjoys fly fishing, mountain biking and trail running.
Mountain Safety Adviser: Ross Cadie
Ross was born in Northumberland and started his love for climbing and walking at secondary school where he had an inspirational PE teacher who introduced him to adventure sports. After completing a degree in Adventure Recreation and enjoying lots of climbing and mountaineering with the university club, Ross crossed the border north.
Since moving to Scotland Ross has worked in Outdoor Education and progressed through many different outdoor qualifications, which include the Winter Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor (WMCI) Award, Mountain Ski Leader Award, as well as kayaking, sailing and mountain biking qualifications. Ross has spent most his working life introducing people to the joys and challenges of the mountains and loves sharing the skills and knowledge of how to access beautiful places in a safe way.
Ross Lives in Argyll with his wife and two children where he is a member of a Mountain Rescue team which he joined in 2006 and is currently involved in the Scottish Mountain Rescue (SMR) rigging courses which run across the country.
Mountain Safety Adviser: Ben Gibson
Ben grew up in Northern Ireland spending a lot of time in the Mourne Mountains, where at the age of 19 he started his apprenticeship as a keen climber and mountaineer.
From having worked in various outdoor education centres within the UK and spending a year on the Instructor Development Program at Tollymore Outdoor Centre, Ben then moved to Scotland to continue his career as a Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor (MCI). Since then, he has completed his Winter Mountain Leader (WML), WMCI (Winter Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor) training and other various Climbing Development Coaching awards. He also holds the Alpine Ski Leader and Mountain Bike Leader awards. Ben thoroughly enjoys the mountain environment and has a great passion for sharing knowledge and helping others to develop their skills for staying safe in the mountains.
Ben is also a keen mountain runner and has competed in various Skyline races and Ultra Marathons throughout the UK and recently completed his first 100 mile Ultra Marathon!
Mountain Safety Adviser: Kirsty Pallas
Kirsty is an outdoor instructor based in Oban, and has been instructing across Scotland and beyond for over 10 years. She holds the Summer and Winter Mountain Leader awards and the Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor award.
She said: “I'm passionate about making the mountains and the outdoors as inclusive as possible, whether that's identifying barriers, outreach to community groups or making the courses more accessible.”
When not working, Kirsty is still out in the hills. “Best days always include great company and exploring somewhere adventurous, whether that’s cragging, a remote beach for a wild swim, or a winter climb."
She has been a member of Oban Mountain Rescue Team since 2013 and is a callout manager and the Training Officer on the team. She is also a founding member of Our Shared Outdoors, set up to tackle and change the lack of diversity in the outdoors and promote underrepresented groups.
Access & Conservation Officer : Davie Black
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Our Access and Conservation Officer post builds on the previous role of Access Officer to include a strong conservation slant, in line with our vision and policy statement ‘Respecting Scotland’s Mountains’ and with the results of recent consultation with members, who have underlined the importance they place on conservation in the mountains.
Davie Black describes himself as a stravaiger and scrambler, who has always loved getting out into the hills, enjoying the wildlife and landscapes, the colours, the textures of the vegetation, the sound of wildlife, of wind through trees and heather. He has been involved professionally in nature conservation and countryside access for about 20 years, as a reserves manager, wildlife surveyor, ecological consultant, and also in access and countryside campaigning for outdoor recreation interests. With Mountaineering Scotland he is involved promoting and protecting access rights and campaigning for good management of the uplands of Scotland.
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Jamie leads the ClimbScotland team and has a passion for helping young people develop through climbing and the club scene.
He has been working with young people in a variety of settings for over 10 years and has a wide range of experience in the field. Starting as youth worker, then working in secondary education and coaching at his local youth-focused climbing club.
He has been climbing for over 12 years both indoors and outdoors, varying from bouldering to multi-pitch climbs throughout Scotland. Jamie has obtained his Single Pitch Award, Climbing Wall Award and Climbing Wall Leader Award.
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Kev has worked at Mountaineering Scotland for several decades now and has seen it grown and change significantly in that time. He has held a variety of roles within the organisation and is also author of 'Rock Climbing in Scotland' (1990 &1995), the first modern selective climbs guide to the country.
A member of the Scottish Mountaineering Club (SMC), he has climbed nearly 1000 new routes in Scotland up to E7 and grade VI and has contributed to many of their guidebooks. He has also pioneered climbing in areas such as Mingulay, Pabbay, Berneray and Sandray, Dirc Mhor, Mull of Kintyre, Eigg and Loch Maree, as well as previously neglected crags in Perthshire and Stirlingshire.
He has a Degree in Zoology from Exeter University. He taught windsurfing, climbing and sailing and been involved in the development of many indoor climbing facilities.
Jack joins the ClimbScotland team after more than six years of experience working as an indoor climbing instructor and coach. Now based in Inverness, Jack started out at The Castle in London before moving to Scotland. He has previously worked at Ice Factor and at 3 Wise Monkeys Climbing Centre, where he was head coach.
Jack started out climbing himself after a small boulder wall opened near his work. He credits the great staff and community there as part of the inspiration for wanting to become a coach, adding that he has “found a real love for sharing the sport and building knowledge around it.”
Since moving, Jack’s been making the most of having the Scottish Highlands on his doorstep, getting out as much as possible to hike, climb, run, and even enjoying the occasional cold-water swim.
Before joining Mountaineering Scotland Robert was chairman of and played a key part in the creation of the Glasgow Gorillas Outdoor Climbing Club, which was founded in October 2015, and has previously been head coach for the Glasgow Climbing Centre youth team and a lead coach at ClimbScotland Youth Academy events.
As a youngster, Robert was a GB Junior Climbing Team member from 2004-2010, giving him considerable knowledge about the competitive world of climbing and the demands of competing at all levels as well as of the demands of running these events. His experience has already allowed him to guide young climbers into the world of competitive climbing and he looks forward to encouraging more young climbers into both competition and outdoor climbing.
Calum got into the world of climbing and mountaineering through joining the Dundee University Rucksack Club, which quickly led to an obsession with getting out to the hills and crags of Scotland at every opportunity. After university, Calum decided to pursue his passion for climbing and the outdoors and started working at various climbing walls, as a coach, route-setter and duty manager. These roles allowed Calum to share his passion for climbing with the next generation and provided a stepping stone for the work he now does as a Regional Development Officer.
When he’s not working, Calum can often be found climbing at the crags and mountain cliffs in the north-west of Scotland which he discovered a love for as a student. When it gets a bit chilly in Scotland over winter, he can also often be found at the sunny sport climbing and bouldering destinations of Spain for some much needed vitamin D.
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Helen came to Mountaineering Scotland following five years at an Edinburgh-based carer organisation where she played a key role in developing the communications and social media, and supporting staff and volunteers. Despite growing up in the Fens of East Anglia, Helen always dreamed of being in the mountains and childhood trips to Wales, the Lake District and Scotland fuelled her fascination with the mountain environment. Following an introduction to the Munros by her now long-term partner, she has spent the last 20 years exploring Scotland's mountains by foot and bike, and compleated the Munros in 2014. She enjoys hillwalking all year round. In recent years she has begun to explore mountain areas further afield, with trips to the national parks of Washington state, the Pyrenees and in 2017 completed the 10 day Tour of Mont Blanc.
As well as hillwalking, Helen is a qualified archery coach and enjoys road cycling and mountain biking.
Fiona, who also edits Scottish Mountaineer magazine, is a keen hillwalker with a love of landscape photography.
Originally from the Trossachs, Fiona spent much of the past eight years living and working abroad as a freelance writer, copywriter and blogger, having travelled to countries across Europe, Asia, Australia and North America. Alongside walking in Scotland, she’s also hiked in destinations like China, Italy, Tasmania and the Pacific Northwest.
Prior to travelling, Fiona lived and worked in Glasgow as the editor of a local and regional newspaper group, later becoming the PR, Communications and Marketing Executive for a Scottish charity.
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Based in Perth, Karen brings more than 10 years of experience as an events manager to the role of Membership and Events Officer.
An outdoors enthusiast, Karen is a keen hill walker, runner, cyclist and CrossFitter. Alongside currently learning to snowboard, she loves to try her hand at any new outdoor activity, from scrambling to climbing and outdoor swimming.
After travelling widely and living in destinations like South America, Australia and South Africa, Karen returned home to Scotland where she has become a passionate user and supporter of Scotland’s great outdoors. It was this, alongside her shared values with the organisation, that led her to apply for the role at Mountaineering Scotland.
She also took part in the Artemis Great Kindrochit Quadrathlon Bronze in 2019 and is a member of the Perth Masters Swim Club.
Denise joined the Mountaineering Scotland (then the MCofS) team in 2006 after returning from seven years living in Munich. She lives in Perth with her husband, one excitable but ageing dog and two boys who are mainly away from home.
Her hobbies include sailing, skiing, walking and, for her sins, she is a St Johnstone season ticket holder. Sailing is her main passion and she has been a member at Loch Tummel Sailing Club since she was eight years old. She has spent many years on the sailing club committee and now sails regularly with her sister.