- In excess of 30 years of professional experience in the mountains.
- Qualified International Mountain Leader ( Accompagnateur en Montagne) fully registered with the relevant French authorities (as required by French law) and member of the French Syndicat Interprofessionnelle de la Montagne (SIM).
- Mountaineering Instructor Certificate (UK) with recognition in France as a “Moniteur d’Escalade” (rock climbing instructor).
- Prior experience as a trainer and assessor for UK Mountaineering awards including the International Mountain Leader award.
- Glencoe Mountain Rescue – team member for 7 years
- Fluent French speaker and resident near Albertville in France since 2005
- I share my life with a French partner from Savoie giving a good insight into the French culture and way of life.
I also enjoy skiing in all its forms in particular ski mountaineering, cross-country (ski de fond) and alpine skiing. Away from the mountains I enjoy reading, photography and keeping abreast of international affairs.
I, Mark, personally lead Simply Savoie’s tours and walks ensuring you of a personal service second to none and to always aim to exceed your expectations.
“Mark – “a guide extrordinaire!” – Susan from New York”.
More about Mark …
I started climbing and walking in the mountains with my father in the 1970’s and since then the mountains have been my passion. For me the mountains have shaped my life.
I specialised in Outdoor Education at Bangor University and completed a Bachelor of Education degree. I then went on to work within the outdoor industry in the UK.
In 1988 I went to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and was commissioned in 1989. In the Army I specialised in training and development being attached to the infantry where I was frequently involved in mountaineering activities.
Leaving the Army I set up my own mountain guiding business in Glen Coe, Scotland which I operated until 2001’s outbreak of Foot & Mouth disease. This prompted a return to the Army as a mobilised reserve officer. In Kosovo I helped train the ex Kosovo Liberation Army in their new role as the Kosovo Protection Corps providing specialist mountain training.
After demobilising I returned to Kosovo as a civilian continuing to work with the KPC an enjoyed spending time in the mountains on the frontiers with Macedonia and Montenegro. I learned to paraglide in Macedonia and have great memories of flying over Lake Ohrid on the border with Albania. I maintain my friendships with Kosovars and Macdonians from this time.
In 2003 I fulfilled a security and logistics consultancy role in south-east Afghanistan providing support to the UN’s election team. The voter registration process led to the election of Hamid Karzai.
Returning to Scotland from Afghanistan I was contacted by the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office. I was offered a contract for a role as an international ceasefire monitor in Sudan’s Nuba Mountains. I later became the mission’s Liaison Officer to the Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement based in Nairobi “under the wing” of the UK High Commission.
In 2006 under the auspices of the European Union I acted as a Military Observer in the Darfur region of Sudan. A testing time in a harsh climate with temperatures regularly above 40 degrees centigrade.
I’ve now settled permanently in France and live in a small hamlet not far from Albertville in the Savoie department.