Hello I'm
James Desmond 169036
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Membership Mountain Training Association

Membership Type Full Member

Membership Number 169036

Renewal Date 25/05/2022

FLD - CUMBRIA’S RAINFORESTS: An introduction to a forgotten aspect of our natural heritage 10/09/2020 1.00
FREE intro to mountain running 26/10/2019 0.50
FREE FOLD workshop: Birds & habitats of the Lake District National Park 02/05/2018 1.00
LNT Ireland / Centre of outdoor ethics - Leave no trace - Trainers course 27/05/2017 2.00

I am an Expedition Planner and Mountain Leader with a wide-array of international adventure experience from Alpine Mountaineering to long-distance cycle touring and fell running.
Through gaining my mountian training awards I have been able to travel the world both in a planning and leading capacity. I have undertaken assessments and recces of treks in destinations such as Bolivia, Norway, Iceland, Poland, Nepal, Mongolia, Croatia and travelled on expeditions to Ecuador, Croatia, Norway, Thailand and Laos.
I have also planned school expeditions and trekking holidays to Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Patagonia, Kilimanjaro, India, China and more. I strongly believe in the positive impact and uplift adventure travel can have on small communities in developing destinations around the world, along with the importance of protecting these unique environments we travel to.
In 2017 I founded The Grand Adventure Company - offering ethical trekking and adventure travel holidays around the world.

I have worked with James since 2013 at World Challenge, in this time I have seen James' feedback from two overseas expeditions and been out in the hills on personal days. The pieces of feedback from his expeditions were both brilliant and both qualified expedition leaders suggested that James would be ready to lead trips of his own. He has gained a lot from being away with groups for extended periods and it will serve him well in his pursuit for the ML. In my professional opinion James has shown great drive with his own professional development and has thrown himself into as many training opportunities as possible with a positive attitude. On the hill James is methodical and organised as well as incredibly physically fit, all useful attributes as an ML.

Activity

  • Hill walking
  • Other

Relationship

  • Friend / partner
  • Colleague

Have walked on many occasions with the candidate and have seen him gain / demonstrate experience in hill walking competencies with regards to his personal skills. He has experience of both single and multi day long treks in the UK and abroad, he has demonstrated skills in UK mountain environments including days with adverse weather conditions where good navigation and appropriate route judgement were required.

Activity

  • Hill walking

Relationship

  • Friend / partner

I have climbed and been mountaineering with James in the Alps and in the UK (Scottish winter walking, UK rock climbing, and climbing peaks such as Mont Blanc together). I also know him as he runs trips for World Challenge, who I freelance with. James is a strong, competent mountaineer with both a solid skill set and excellent decision making. In particular I like the way at critical moments he methodically thinks about the best solution for the group, and then acts on it. He has good ropework, navigation and group management skills that he has honed over years of experience in the UK mountains and abroad. Through his work with World Challenge, James also has extensive experience of planning and delivering trekking expeditions across the world. For instance I worked under James' directions in Bolivia when he was Expedition Planning Manager for the country. His attention to detail stood out, and demonstrates his ability to plan and deliver exciting trekking days for clients. James is a cheerful and approachable character who will go far in both his awards and in the outdoor industry as a whole.

Activity

  • Hill walking
  • Indoor climbing
  • Rock climbing
  • Winter walking
  • Winter climbing
  • Other

Relationship

  • Friend / partner
  • Colleague

I have worked with James for over three years at World Challenge. During that time I have seen him excel in many areas. He assisted me in managing potential leader groups in the hills (Snowdonia) and demonstrated excellent group management skills and proved to be a competent and confident navigator. He has worked hard and been driven in his pursuit to be the best leader he can be. I have also spent personal time with James in pursuit of quality scottish winter days as we work towards international and winter mountaineering awards. James has impressed with his attention to detail and confidence in challenging conditions. He is someone that is both fun to be with and gives confidence to all those around him. He has also worked to broaden his complementary people and facilitation skills and his feedback is always nothing short of excellent. He is already a good mountain leader, but as he achieves his goals I believe he has the capacity to become an exceptional technical leader. His experience with World Challenge, developing destination products that are adventurous, challenging and safe, demonstrates maturity, good risk management awareness and a passion to drive engagements with local communities that leave lasting benefits for all those involved.

Activity

  • Hill walking
  • Winter walking

Relationship

  • Friend / partner
  • Colleague

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