More About Me

About Me

I have been actively involved in, and continue to enjoy outdoor pursuits for over 25 years, initially through cycling then mountain bike racing, to touring abroad, including a four week fully self contained Mountain Bike expedition across the central dessert of Iceland. I have competed in events including two-day mountain marathon, various fell races and LDWA events from 20 miles to 100 miles. Solo expeditions included the Welsh and Lakeland 3,000ft’s, Howgill 2,000 ft and Cairngorm 4,000ft’s; a Tour of Mont. Blanc, solo in under three days. In addition to above activities I have also been climbing, cycling, running and hill walking, both in the UK and various countries including, France, Canada, Poland, Austria, Thailand, Peru, Indian Himalaya, Patagonia, Greenland, Mongolia, Japan, Nepal and continue to do so.

I currently have several NGB qualifications; International Mountain Leader, Summer ML, Winter ML, SPA, Expedition Mountain Bike Leader, First Aid,  Kayak/Canoe, amongst others.
Presently to add to my experience of the hard skills; I have a Teaching Certificate in Further Education and a JNC Youth Work Qualification. I have also completed a TEFL course, NLP Practitioner, Facilitation Skills Development at Brathay, Soft Skills Facilitation at Outward Bound, Child Protection, MLTB Disability Awareness, MLTB Mountain Assessors Workshop.

 I am a full member and current Northern Regional Representative of the British Association of International Mountain Leaders, Mountain Leaders Association and Institute for Outdoor Learning, and am a Leading Practitioner with the Institute (LPIOL). I am also an APIOL mentor and assessor and D of E Gold Assessor and member of Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team, Long Distance Walkers Association and life member of the Fell Runners Association.

During the last few years I also worked on outdoor product development/ testing for a few well known rucsack and lightweight kit manufacturers. Over a period of six years I have been responsible for co-ordinating Montane MMAD days with customers such as Cotswolds, Go Outdoors, Craigdon and George Fishers taking the shop staff onto the hill to test equipment. In the last year I have recently been asked to be a judge at the Innovex Conference, sponsored by Pertex, based at Lancaster University and organized jointly by Mike Parsons (ex CEO of Karrimor, OMM) Professor Mary Rose who both co-wrote Invisible on Everest.
My current work involves leading expeditions to Morocco, Peru, Patagonia and Tanzania involving jungle, desert, and mountains; including an ascent of Killimanjaro and Torres del Paine Patagonia in Winter, Ladakh, Mongolia, India, Japan, Everest BC and Greenland.
Up until recently I have been lecturing at UCLAN Newton Rigg on the Outdoor Education Degree Course to 1st and 2nd year degree students. This covered a broad range of topics leading the students into best practice for their careers in the diverse Outdoor world.
Over a number of years I also have had articles published in various outdoor, running and cycling magazines, including on-line publications; Trail Magazine, Trek and Mountain, Cycling Weekly, Mountain Pro- magazine amongst others. These have covered a range of topics from kit lists used at altitude and kit reviews to articles on expeditions.
Throughout my twenty five years as an Outdoor Instructor I have been working on an educational personal development process with various groups/ individuals/ organizations  including disaffected young people, disability groups, inclusion units, NVQ apprentices, youth achievement awards, special needs, primary schools, eight weeks Summer schemes, prefect training, adult skills training etc. My responsibilities also ranged to programming and directing a number of simultaneous courses and staff, including the liaison with and briefing to visiting staff. This work has covered canoeing/kayaking, climbing, high ropes, hill walking and expeditions, gorge walking, caving, mountain biking, archery, team building/initiative games and power boating. I also include as much of the soft skills and of reviewing practice and theory as practicable on my courses. This reviewing therefore enables an enjoyable learning experience that will easily transfer to other life skills.
 I have also been involved in the training and assessment D of E expeditions, Expedition Medicine, Film Crews, BELA courses and WGL and Summer ML training and assessments. I also work with The BMC along with the training of Mountain Runners for events such as The OMM, Dragons Back, GL3D, The Spine, Dark Mountains, Lakeland 100 along with others on their Navigation courses. I also work on other endurance and fell and trail races as part of the safety team.
I thoroughly enjoy passing on my passion for learning safely to work in the outdoors including the gear we use.
I hope my experience, qualifications, skills and enthusiasm will continue to grow with all my contacts and networks and develop with the greater experiences I am able to gain.

Stuart Smith IML, LPIOL

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