Stuart Ritchie - International Mountain Leader

Stuart Ritchie

What do you do for work?

After a 16 year career in the Army, I now work full time in the outdoors for Outlook Adventures Scotland, conducting outdoor learning days, expeditions in the UK and overseas, residentials and Mountain Training courses. I also carry out freelance quality assurance visits on outdoor leadership courses.

How did you get into the outdoors?

My passion for the great outdoors started in the Scouts, my leaders were very ‘outdoorsy’ and took the Scouts out mountaineering, canoeing, biking and caving. This passion then grew through military Adventure Training (AT).

Stuart Uhuru Peak

Have you always been active/sporty?

From school I probably didn’t think I would get a job in an office, but I didn’t realise just how ‘out of the office’ I would end up working! I also enjoy climbing, mountain biking, running, canoeing and skiing.

What do you love most about working in the outdoors?

Meeting new people, facilitating new learning experiences, seeing challenges and fears faced and witnessing achievement!

When and why did you decide to become an International Mountain Leader?

After getting to the stage of being involved in a lot of UK outdoor work and expeditions it seemed like the logical progression to use my enjoyment and previous international experience to go through the IML scheme.

Walking in to Uhuru

What were the best and most challenging things about the scheme?

Travelling for fun and experience! Meeting new people, new cultures, new ways of life... can be both enjoyable and challenging!

What advice would you give to anyone thinking about becoming an IML?

Get as much international experience as possible, both on your personal logbooks but also leading, assisting or volunteering on international jobs, both with UK and overseas companies. This broad background will help to set you up for the IML assessments and actually being an IML.

If you had a day to go for a walk anywhere, where would it be?

The stunning and dramatic ridges of the Alps make any day an enjoyable challenge.

What are your (leadership) plans for the future?

My leadership plans for the future are to go on more expeditions... more countries!

Stuart in the Alps