Born in North Yorkshire, Adrian's climbing career began with a typical British apprenticeship on the gritstone outcrops of Northern England, working through Scottish winter climbing and European Alpine mountaineering before moving to Wanaka, New Zealand in 1996 (age 29). It was here that he started his guiding career, and is now a qualified IFMGA Mountain and Ski Guide.
He has climbed and skied extensively around the Mt Aspiring and Aoraki / Mt Cook National Parks as well as enjoying trips to Canada and back to Europe. His favourite climbs in NZ include the South Faces of Douglas and Hicks and the SW Ridge of Aspiring. Places he's itching to get to include Antarctica, a return trip to Corsica (tick, as of 2015) and ice climbing in the Pyrenees.
When we asked Adrian what his most memorable climbing experience was he had trouble narrowing it down to just one. His list includes: climbing Curtains on the East Face of Mt Walter before skiing back to to Tasman Saddle by moonlight; ice climbing in the Dolomites; sea-cliff climbing in the UK; long limestone routes in the Verdon; and his native gritstone. With a list like that who can blame him for not being able to pick just one!
He also shared the following memorable guiding experience with us..
My most memorable guiding experience is undoubtedly this short conversation with a client just before reaching the summit of Mt Aspiring... Client (who has not climbed Aspiring before and is 79 years old!) “Ahh – this is great – I’ve been looking at photographs of this mountain for years.” Me “Err – how many years is that, Ron?” Client pauses and stares into the distance for a moment “Oh – about sixty."
When not in the mountains Adrian travels "a lot", runs "not enough", makes his own jam "about the right amount" and "very occasionally" plays the bassoon.