Rob Johnson & Huw Gilbert
We are both mad about mountains, have spent our lives exploring the most beautiful mountains in the world and are lucky enough to make our full time living teaching you to enjoy them safely too.
Winter Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor
& International Mountain Leader
I am a full time instructor living in the mountains of North Wales with my wife, Kate and our 4 children. I have climbed around the world and seen many beautiful places but love living and working in the mountains of Snowdonia.
I have been hillwalking and riding mountain bikes all of my life thanks to my Mum & Dad who share a passion for the outdoors. (I joined my Dad for his last 4 Munros in May of 2014)
I took up rock climbing as a teenager and have been climbing ever since. I love adventurous climbing, favourite rock climbs are routes like the Old Man of Hoy, big multi pitch routes on Cloggy or Gogarth. Winter Climbing for me captures the adventure element that I love, the short days, sunsets, cold crisp air and the uncertainty of catching the routes in condition all combine to give a magical experience. Trips to the Alps manage to combine the best of each, warm sunny rock, blue skies, soaring snow aretes and steep ice – often all in one day! I have been lucky enough to climb classics like the Matterhorn, Frendo Spur, North Face of the Grande Jorasses, Mont Blanc and many more. I visit the Alps for fun with friends a couple of times each year and have also climbed in the States, Norway, the Himalaya, Africa and across Europe. I have made a list of some of my favourite climbs, with photos and a description below.
Winter Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor – formerly Mountaineering Instructor Certificate (MIC) – the highest instructional qualification in the UK. Passed in 2009
International Mountain Leader (UIMLA)
Mountain Bike Leader (British Cycling level2)
American Avalanche Association Level 2
Alpine Ski Leader (Snowsports Scotland)
REC Mountain First Aid Qualification plus various Mountain Rescue first aid courses.
I am a full member and past secretary of the AMI (The Association of Mountaineering Instructors).
I am a member of the AMI complaints panel and also a member of the AMI marketing group. I have also been instructed by the AMI in an Inquiry Instructor capacity.
Full member of BAIML (British Association of International Mountain Leaders)
Full member of MTA (Mountain Training Association).
Approved provider and course director for Mountain Training (Wales)
Full Member of British Cycling
Full team member of Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team (LLMRT)
Co-Ordinator for LLMRT (The Llanberis equivalant of a team leader)
Committee member of LLMRT and Team Chairman from January 2015.
Past search dog handler for 5 years for SARDA Wales.
Press & Media
I feature in a six part series “The Mountain” broadcast on ITV Wales in February 2015.
I am a regular contributor to various magazines in the outdoor press including having a monthly “ask the expert” column in Trail Magazine and for the Simply Hike website.
I have made a series of scrambling videos for the BMC TV channel and the AMI.
I have also written for the BMC Summit Magazine, The Professional Mountaineer, Mountain Rescue Magazine, TGO and more.
I have worked as a remote cameraman and safety consultant for a number of TV shows, adverts and films and have appeared on a number of TV shows including Caroline Quentins National Parks program, The One Show and ITV’s Mountains program.
I have been involved as the face of advertising shoots for Timberland and Fujitsu.
I have a host of videos online that you can view by clicking the YouTube link in the menu on the left of this page.
Here is a list of some of my favourite climbs that I hope will inspire you!
Winter Climbs – just some of my favourites
Arch Gully, Glyder Fach (V6)
Savage Slit, Cairngorms (V,6)
Pot of Gold, Cairngroms (V,6)
Orion Direct, Ben Nevis (V,5)
Hadrians Wall Direct – V,5
Boomers Requiem, Ben Nevis (V,5)
Vanishing Gully, Ben Nevis (V,5)
The Pumpkin, Creag Meghaidh (V,4)
Pillar Chimney, Clogwyn Du – V, 6
The Cascade, Ben Nevis – IV, 5
Pyramid Gully, Black Ladders – IV, 5
Devils Pasture (III) & The Screen IV, 4 – Cwm IdwalTower Ridge, Ben Nevis IV, 3
Comb Gully, Ben Nevis IV, 4
North Buttress, Buachaille Etive Mor IV, 4
Dorsal Arete, II and Twisting Gully III, 4 – Stob Coire nan Lochain
Curved Ridge, Buachaille Etive Mor – III
Castle Ridge, Ben Nevis – III
Glovers Chimney, Ben Nevis – III, 4
East Ridge of Beinn a Chaorainn – Grade 1
Alpine Routes – just some of my favourites
The Petit Macintyre, North Face of Grande Jorasses TD
Pellissier Gully, Pointe Lachenal, TD
Albinoni Gabarrou Couloir, Mont Blanc du Tacul, TD
Baquet Rebuffat Route, Aiguille de Midi TD
Contamine Route, Pointe Lachenal TD
The Frendo Spur, Chamonix, D+
Traverse of the Matterhorn, D
Migot Spur, North Face, Aguille de Chardonnet D Mont Blanc du Tacul – North Face – Chere Couloir & Contamine-Grisolle Routes
Mont Blanc via the three Monts
Cosmiques Arete, Auiguille de Midi
Ice Climbing in Cogne & La Grave
Mera Peak, Nepal
Ski Touring the Gran Paradiso
Summer Rock – a tiny selection of my favourites
The Exterminating Angel E3 5c, & Efnisien E1 5b, Cwm Pennant
Llithrig, Cloggy – E1, 5c
Cemetry Gates E1 5b & Cenotaph Corner E1 5c, Llanberis Pass
Super Direct E1 5b and Diagonal HVS 5a, Dinas Mot
Gogarth E1 5b and Lighthouse Arete VS 4c, Gogarth, Anglesey
A Dream of White Horses, Gogarth, HVS 5a, 5a, 4c, 4cMain Wall & Gambit Climb, North Wales – HS & SGrooved Arete, East Face of Tryfan – HVD – 8 pitches
The Old Man of Hoy, Scotland – E1, 4b, 5b, 4b, 4c
Old Man of Stoer & Am Buachaille, Scotland
The Roaches, Peak District
The Sloth HVS 5a, Saul’s Crack HVS 5a, Valkyrie VS 4c
Symonds Yat – Wye Valley
The Longstone Pinnacle – Vertigo, Severe and Whitt VS 4c
I have been riding since I was a teenager in the golden age of the nineties! In those days we rode with no suspension, steel frames, 18 gears and purple anodised everything! I have been lucky enough to ride in some of the worlds most beautiful point places and to live amongst some of the best riding in the world here in Wales.
I love ski mountaineering, its a great way to travel in the mountains in winter. I have been lucky enough to ski for about 6 weeks each winter for the last few years with the vast majority of this being off-piste. My passion is ski mountaineering and my trips have taken me to most areas of the Alps but I am always trying to explore somewhere new.
Winter Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor
I hold the Winter Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor – formerly Mountaineering Instructor Certificate (MIC) and have 15 years experience of leading groups in the mountains of both the UK and abroad. Fortunate enough to be the son of an enthusiastic mountaineer I was introduced to the hills at an early age, more often than not upon the Brecon Beacons of my native South Wales. With my mum perhaps not holding the same aspirations as my dad for me I duly found myself at University studying Rural Resource Management in Aberystwyth. This didn’t however result in a respectable career, merely a geographic stepping stone that lead to me settling in the beautiful village of Corris in Southern Snowdonia with my equally beautiful wife and our 2 young children.
During my instructing career I’ve worked with groups and individuals across the full spectrum of mountaineering activities that Great Britain can offer; from the sunny sea cliffs of Cornwall to snow covered peaks in Sutherland. Abroad I’ve worked on ice climbing trips in Norway, lead trekking groups in Pakistan and run climbing sessions in the UAE.
As an aside to working as a mountaineering instructor I have since the age of 18 been a member of the Army Reserve. Whilst I can’t claim to have spent a huge amount of this time fighting Her Majesties enemies I have been on a whole load of army mountaineering expeditions. Highlights include; establishing new routes on seldom climbed peaks in Greenland, trekking in Borneo, rock climbing in South Africa and California and a dozen or more mountaineering, climbing and via ferrata trips across the European Alps. All of these have been in the capacity of a leader or instructor.
When not in mountaineering employment I seem to lack imagination in finding something else to do. With mates I’ve pottered about in the Alps, traversed Spitzbergen in winter and crossed the Darwin Range in Patagonia. Closer to home I have two big climbing related passions; sea cliff climbing particularly in North Pembrokeshire and any form of climbing in Southern Snowdonia. Of the latter, I have along with others from the local crowd spent the last few winters establishing new “mixed” winter routes on the steep cliffs of Mynydd Moel, Cadair Idris.
Although nowhere near as photogenic as Rob I have on occasion popped up in the odd Trail Magazine article or climbing guidebook. Like Rob I am also a full member of the Association of Mountaineering Instructors.
Winter Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor – formerly Mountaineering Instructor Certificate (MIC)
Joint Services Alpine Mountain Leader
Favourite Welsh Rock Climbs (In no particular order and maybe not even my top 5):
1. Obsession (VS,4c) on Cyfrwy, Cader Idris
2. Main Wall (Hard Severe) on Cyrn Las, Llanberis Pass
3. Mur y Niwl/Pinnacle Wall (HVS,5a) on Craig yr Ysfa, Carneddau
4. Act of God (VS,4c) on Craig Coetan, North Pembrokshire
5. Grooved Arete (V Diff) on Tryfan, Ogwen Valley
Favourite Welsh Scrambles (once again in no particular order and maybe not even my top 5):
1. Dolmen Ridge (3) on Glyder Fach
2. Crib Lem (1) on Carnedd Dafydd
3. Cyfrwy Arete (3) on Cadair Idris
4. Clogwyn y Person Arete (3) on Garnedd Ugain
5. Bristly Ridge (2) on Glyder Fach
Favourite Welsh Winter Climbs (yet again in no particular order and maybe not even my top 5):
1. Waterslide Gully (V,6) on Crib y Ddysgl, Garnedd Ugain
2. Virgin Falls (IV,4) at Blaencwm, Rhondda Valley, South Wales
3. Y Gully, Left Hand (V,5) on Clogwyn Du, Cwm Cneifion
4. Steps Through Space (IV,4) on Mynydd Moel, Cadair Idris
5. Right Hand Trinity (III) on the Trinity Face, Snowdon