Outdoor Instructor Staff Biographies

Outdoor Instructor Staff Biographies

Tim Ferguson

From: Holmfirth, West Yorkshire

Education: Tim went to Sir John Moores University, Liverpool gaining a BSc (Hons) degree in Sports Science in 1992 followed by a PGCE in Physical Education in 1995.

Tim competing in “Les Deux Alpes”, the Mountain of Hell, 2008, French Alps

Outdoor Experience: Tim is a self-confessed ‘sports addict’ – a compulsive & obsessive sportophile (if this isn’t a word it should be).  Tim is a     qualified SPA climbing instructor, which was his passion and obsession for over 10 years, although his approach to climbing is a much more relaxed   these days.

Mountain Biking has become Tim’s all consuming passion, originally mountain biking was a mechanism for getting Tim through from one winter   snowboarding season to the next.  Tim is a Level 6 qualified Mountain Bike Trainer & Assessor.  When not running mountain bike courses Tim sends his weekends and holidays competing in a variety of mountain and road bike events.  In the recent years these have included the Mountain of Hell in the French Alps, UK based Polaris races, the Enduro Downhill at Fort William, the Whinlatter Duathlon in the lakes and a multitude of cyclo- sportives (Howgill Hammer, Keswick Sportive, Ripon Revolution etc) on his road bike.  Future events include the Mega Avalanche, a return to the MoH and a Fatboy Race.

Caving – qualified Level 1 cave leader with the BCA (British Caving Association) and Level 2 Trained.

BCU Level 2 Canoe Coach, 1, 2 & 3 star canoe award and CST.  In the planning is a 3 week ‘canoe the wilds of Canada’ in an open boat.  More of a dream at the moment but it will happen, it’s a sort of 5 year away holiday plan.

Pictures of Tim mountain biking in the Mountain of Hell, Les Deux Alpes; snow shoeing in Chamonix, French Alps and caving in Goydon, Yorkshire Dales:

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First Aid – qualified 4 day 1st Aid at Work and qualified 1st Aid Trainer & assessor.

Hill Walking – qualified summer Mountain Leader.

Archery – GNAS qualified archery instructor.

Tim is also a PCV (Passenger Carrying Vehicle) minibus driver in addition to his DL entitlement, qualifying him to drive 17 seater minibuses.

Tim started in the outdoors with a passion for rock climbing, but has since become much more interested in snow boarding, mountain biking & road biking although ‘all things outdoors’ is of interest ranging from kite surfing & surfing to canyoning & caving.

Pictures of Tim mountain biking in the Mountain of Hell, Les Deux Alpes; snow shoeing in Chamonix, French Alps and caving in Goydon, Yorkshire Dales:

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Other general Information: Tim spent 7 years working as a PE Teacher, in that time he worked as an examination marker for the NEAB (now AQA), wrote a book on ‘GCSE Physical Education – a revision guide’ (published by Human Kinetics) and moved away from the typical PE teacher sports and into a variety of outdoor sports.

Tim, Pete & Chris set up High Adventure Outdoor Education Centre & Pro-Active Education in July 2001.  Tim has always been obsessed by sports, initially participating and then in coaching, teaching, instructing & leading. Starting with a passion for games, football, basketball & racket sports before getting the opportunity to rock climb.  He became an obsessive rock climber (climbing seven days a week wasn’t enough), but in recent years he has turned this obsession into a love of climbing and an obsession for mountain biking & road biking and back country snowboarding.

Tim’s dream and long term aim is to find a quiet bit of the French Alps to call his own as near to Alpe D’Huez as possible and then spend his years snowboarding, downhill and XC mountain biking and dragging himself up the Tour de France passes.

Chris Jepson

From: Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire

Education: Chris went to Sir John Moores University, Liverpool gaining a Bed (Hons) degree in Physical Education and English in 1993.

Outdoor Experience: Chris has always had a keen interest in the outdoors.  Prior to High Adventure his personal interests included: climbing, scrambling, hill walking, mountaineering, mountain biking, sailing and a heavy involvement with Staffordshire County basketball.  Since setting up High Adventure with Tim those personal interests have turned professional, in addition to being a qualified and experienced teacher

Chris has the following qualifications: Climbing instructor (SPA), Caving instructor (BCA), Summer mountain leader (MLTE), archery instructor (GNAS), Mountain bike leader (MIAS), First aid instructor and assessor (1st4aid ), qualified coach driver, holder of national pool plant qualification and Canoe instructor (BCU L2).

Pictures of Chris climbing in the Yorkshire Dales; hill walking in the Lake District and surfing in Devon:

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Chris’s professional goals for the future include progressing through the Caving awards to gain CIC status, gaining the MLTE Mountain Instructor Award and of course maintaining High Adventure’s excellent reputation and pushing the business forward.

Outside of work Chris is a keen caver, surfer, mountain biker, snowboarder, climber and mountain walker. He has recently trekked up Killamanjaro in Africa and Fansipan in Vietnam (not on the same day!)

Other general Information: Chris spent 6 years teaching in secondary and middle schools, finishing his teaching career as Head of Department in a Staffordshire Middle School.  Interspersed in this Chris spent two years travelling and gaining all important life experience and the occasional headache!


Mick Ellerton
Centre Manager

From: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Education: Mick studied Physical & Outdoor Education at Victoria University, (Melton, Australia),(1997 & 1999).  He then completed a Bachelor of Arts in Outdoor Education at La Trobe University, (Bendigo, Australia)(2000-2002)

Outdoor Experience: Mick is a Outdoor Educator with a range of qualifications from both Australia and the United Kingdom.

Pictures of Mick mountain biking in the Mountain of Hell, Les Deux Alpes; kayaking down Low Force, Tees Barrage and climbing Great Western at Almscliffe, Yorkshire Dales

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United Kingdom qualifications include:

Lyon PPE Inspector for work at height and adventure activities

ActiveIQ Level 3 In Education and Training

AoFA Level 3 Outdoor First Aid

MREW Casualty Care

Virtual College Level 2 Food Safety and Hygiene

MREW Rescue 3 Swiftwater and Flood Rescue Technician

MREW Module 2 Water First Responder

BCA Cave Instructor Certificate (CIC)

BCA  Level 2 Cave Instructor 

BCA  Level 1 Cave leader 

MIAS  Level 1 + Level 2 Mountain Bike Instructor, Level 3 trained

MLTE  Single Pitch Climbing Instructor

PCV D1 driving license, Current CPC Drivers card & Tacho

BCA Mines LCMLA Level 2 Conversion Course

Yorkshire Dales Guides   NEW CAVES IN FLOOD COURSE

M.L.T.E.  Mountain Leader Training

First Solutions  Workplace/outdoors First Aid


Australian qualifications include:
Leaders Wilderness First Aid (2001) (updated 2004)
Canoeing Victoria – River Rescue (Intermediate River Rescue)
Canoeing Vitoria – Flat-water level 1 Instructor (BSI)
La Trobe University Majors in – Climbing Instructor & White-water Instructor
Heavy Vehicle Driving License & Hazardous Area Endorsement (up to 30 seated bus)

Other general Information: Mick has been involved in Outdoor Education since he started as Cub-Scout when he was 8 years old, getting involved in sailing, climbing canoeing, biking and anything that allowed him to explore the great outdoors.  In that time he has been involved in arrange of outdoor adventures such as The Mountain of Hell Mountain Bike race in the French Alps in 2008, 2009 & 2010. 

In Australia Mick worked for a range of of Outdoor and Adventurous activity programmes such as; expeditions on the Murray River for Mowbray College taking year 9 students on a canoe/raft/walking journeys over two weeks, taking university students on a range of single & multi pitch climbing trips as well as working with a St Luke’s Anglcare running a positive mentoring outdoor activities programme for ‘Youth at Risk’ groups. Prior to leaving Australia Mick would spend large amounts of the winter volunteering as a ski patroller on Mt Stirling in the Victorian Alpine area.  

Now settled in the UK Mick is an active member of the Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Association, currently holding the position of Assistant Underground Leader. He is also involved in local caving and cycling clubs, however most of his time is now spent introducing his young family to the great outdoors. 

Henry Exon
Centre Operations Manager

From:  Oakley, Bedfordshire 

Education: Henry went to The University Of Central England, Birmingham completing the first year studying Engineering Product Design in 2002 before deciding that the outdoor industry was where his passion really was.

Outdoor Experience:  Henry has been involved in the outdoors since joining the 6th form to study for his A levels when he joined the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme at Gold level and became involved with the Outdoor Ed department.

Since this start Henry has gained a variety of different coaching and leading awards across a range of activities including:

Summer Mountain leader and Rock Climbing Instructor from MLTE.
Level 5 MIAS mountain bike leader and trainer/assessor.
Level 2 BCA cave instructor and CIC aspirant.
Level 2 canoe coach, Level 3 kayak coach under the BCU paddle sport coaching scheme. 
FSRT provider & Level 2 coach with Moderate Water Canoe Endorsement under the new UKCC paddle sport awards scheme. Also currently working on 5 star leader qualifications.

Henry is also a qualified Cytech bike mechanic, a MIAS mechanic and maintenance trainer, a High Ropes Course and Climbing Wall Operational Inspector and a PPE Inspector.

Other General Information: Henry’s focus in the outdoors was initially climbing, paddling and mountain walking with a lot of time spend introducing students to these activities and helping to run and supervise Duke of Edinburgh’s award expeditions on foot and in canoes.

Initially working from schools and an LEA centre in Bedfordshire he then spent a year at university heavily involved in the walking and climbing club before moving on to do seasonal work in the Lake District and North Wales and finally settling at High Adventure.

In his own time Henry has competed both locally and nationally in Archery, Mountain Biking, Climbing, Freestyle Kayaking and plays for a local division 2 Canoe Polo team.  He is a keen caver, snowboards and winter mountaineers when he can and is often be found out in the woods with the volunteers building new biking trails.

Pictures of Henry canoeing on Lake Windermere, kayaking on the Tees Barrage and mountain biking in the Yorkshire Dales: [nggallery id=27]


Dan Irving
Offsite Operations Manager

From: Holmfirth, West Yorkshire

Education: De Montfort University, 1998 – 2001, Gaining a HND in Outdoor Recreation Management and BSc (Hons) degree in Recreation Management.

Outdoor Experience: 

Dan started in the outdoors at a very young age; as soon as he was walking he was climbing!  The outdoors has remained a lifelong passion ever since, with him travelling the world climbing and mountaineering, mountain biking, caving, kayaking and canoeing and various snow sports.  Dan is now currently responsible for the management of the Pro Active outreach programme and the co-ordination of the trainee scheme at High Adventure.  He also holds the CIC cave instructor qualification, the highest qualification in cave instruction with currently only 80 people holding the award in Europe and only 129 ever awarded.

Other qualifications include: L3 kayak coach, L3 canoe coach, 5 star open canoe leader, white water safety and rescue, Level 3 swift water flood and rescue technician, RYA powerboat level 2 and safety boat driver, SPA Climbing instructor, basic expedition leader award, L2 wild terrain Mountain bike instructor, remote area emergency first aid and life support.

Other general Information:

Dan participated in many first ascent climbing expeditions, with over 75 new routes to his name in countries such as Egypt, Mozambique, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Botswana, Zimbabwae, Namibia.  He spends the summer period in the European Alps each year mountaineering, including twice successfully summiting Mt Blanc, and downhill biking including some of the infamous downhill world cup lines at Pila, Italy. A full time active member of Mountain Rescue England and Wales with the Upper Wharfedale team, Dan helps climbers, walkers and cavers who find themselves in difficulty this often finds him out in the middle of the night in harsh weather, hence his love of good strong coffee!

Dan hopes to continue his adventures around the world both under and above ground, constantly pushing his personal limits and goals. He will continue to encourage others into the amazing world of the outdoors, advocating the opportunities it can offer and helping the next generation of instructors to achieve their goals.

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