Hi. I am Pete, the Chief Instructor for the Ice Factor in Kinlochleven and the Snow Factor Ice Wall at Braehead. I escaped from my former life as a Special Needs teacher in 1999 by becoming a free-lance Outdoor Instructor and then spent 10 years as an Outward Bound Instructor in the Highlands before moving on to a series of senior instructor roles around Lochaber and Speyside.
I started climbing, winter and summer, back in the early 70’s! I have collected a broad spread of outdoor experience and qualifications since then in sailing, powerboating, kayaking, mountain biking and skiing as well as in mountaineering and climbing, but in my spare time these days I am most often to be found out with my dog! In the winter, skiing and ski touring feature highly on the radar while in the summer short days I am generally to be found on the bike while longer spells of time are spent on the water (away from the midges!)
My favourite route of the moment is probably the East Ridge of Beinn a Chaorainn next to Craig Meagaidh – it may be neither hard nor famous but it provides a fantastic day out in a beautiful place and most importantly is usually really peaceful and empty! My least favourite one is probably William the Conqueror at Anglezarke, the scene of my first lead fall which led to a badly sprained ankle, just before my first ever alpine trip….great timing!
Despite my advancing years I still have loads of ambitions left – one of which is to visit Alaska, not to climb Denali, but to climb up and ski down some of the less well known mountains on the famous Alaskan powder!
Finally, if you are thinking about taking up climbing, I have a serious piece of advice:
Disciplines: Rock Climbing, Ice Climbing, Guiding
First Summer Climb
1st summer lead possibly ‘Ling Butress’ S 4a on the Wainstones on the N Yorks Moors. circa 1973
First Winter Climb
1st Winter lead ‘Cust’s Gully’ Gd 1 on Great End in the Lake District, solo in around 1975
Hardest Route You Have Ever Done
Hardest lead ‘Cup & Lip’ F6B Parrock Quarry, Hodge Close, Coniston – 2nd with a defending traverse(!) Grand Alliance E4 6A Black Crag Borrowdale.
1st fall from some very forgettable HS in Anglezark Quarry in Lancashire resulting in a sprained ankle and lots of lost time!
Favourite Piece of Equipment
A pair of still ice-worthy Chouinard Zero axes complete with 1970’s leashes!