In 2015, St John Scotland funded a new mountain safety project developed jointly with Mountaineering Scotland, ensuring university students coming into the sport have the skills and knowledge to stay safe in treacherous Scottish hills during the autumn and winter months.
Mountaineering Safety Instructor, Nick Carter works with university mountaineering, hill walking and rock climbing clubs to provide skills and safety training in the Scottish mountains. St John Scotland funds the project entirely and students don't pay anything for Nick's skills and expertise. In 2018, St John Scotland and Mountaineering Scotland agreed that, due to the success of the scheme, it would be extended for a further two years.
Since the project began, Nick has trained more than 340 young people from 12 university mountaineering, climbing and hillwalking clubs. The courses are taken in some of the country’s most challenging mountain terrain, including the An Teallach area, Cairngorms, Glencoe, Creag Meagaidh, and Lochaber.
In winter, students are taught skills including avalanche awareness, ice axe arrest and cramponing, while training during the autumn and spring months provides the chance to learn scrambling and rock climbing. Nick also helps the clubs brush up on their navigation skills, and advises on choosing the right kit for the conditions.
Inverness-based instructor Nick holds a Mountaineering Instructor Certificate, the highest qualification in the British Mountaineering Instructor scheme and has worked in both the National Mountain Centre for England and Wales and at Glenmore Lodge, the Scottish National Outdoor Training Centre.
You can follow Nick on Twitter here: twitter.com/StJohnScotMSI