After a childhood spent climbing in the UK, I ventured into the Alps 13 years ago with my first experience being a snowy and cold three-day ascent of the West Face of the Dru. This intense introduction created an instant affinity with Alpine climbing and a desire to pursue it full time.
After many summer and winter seasons both in the Alps and in Britain, I joined the British Mountain Guides, and trained for four years to become a fully qualified International Mountain Guide. I now work and live mostly in a very beautiful spot above St. Gervais in the French Alps, looking onto the highest mountain in Europe – awesome!
I've a depth of experience in Arctic guiding and exploration including a crossing of the world’s largest inland icecap in Greenland, an ascent of the highest mountain in the Arctic and numerous unclimbed peaks and ski descents.
Highlights of my climbing career so far include:
- Winter climbing at VIII,8 including new routes such as Soul Vacation and The Gnomon.
- Summer climbing up to E7 6c, including new routes such as Fever and Revival.
- Alpine Climbing up to ED2, including the North Faces of the Dru, Grandes Jorasses, Eiger, Droites, Courtes, Matterhorn as well as Scotch on Rocks.
- First Ascents of Battement Du Coeur (Scottish VII) and Jottnar (VIII,8).
- Record holder for the Lakes 15 Classic Routes link up, in 17 hours and 16 mins.
- Record holder for the most routes climbed in 24 hours in the Langdale Valley - 156 routes.
- Personal Best for Mont Blanc from Bionnassay - up and down in 6 hours and 53 mins.
- 1st guided ascent of Bananiere Republique, Grepon, ED1 E4 6b
- 1st guided traverse of the Chamonix Aiguilles, including a reverse of Grepon- Charmoz traverse in 3 days.
- 1st ascent of Arctic Monkeys in the High Arctic (Baffin Island), on an unclimbed 1400m vertical face on an unclimbed peak, living on the wall for 3 weeks.
- Completed the 1st circumnavigation of Pembrokeshire - 120 km Run, 40 km Kayak and 130 km bike ride in 28hrs and 36 mins.
Working and climbing in the high mountains worldwide requires physical and mental stamina. Equally importantly, the kit that you wear needs to be bombproof and functional. Jöttnar gear will give me the performance edge when the elements around me are less than favourable. I'm excited by their commitment to the fine detail and it’s these small differences that will make my life as a guide and mountaineer a more happy and comfortable one.
Mark is also a co-founder and Director of Elite Mountain Guides, a Chamonix-based guiding company. We welcome him onto the team and commit to keeping him happy, comfortable and at the top of his game for many years to come.
Jöttnar's Pro Team pass on their frontline experience in helping us create the exceptional gear that bears the Jöttnar logo. Their ideas and feedback allow us to focus on the demands of those who live and work amongst the mountains and to ensure that what we produce has been validated by the most challenging of users in the most demanding conditions.
You can contact Mark here.