Meet some of our Expedition Leaders & Mountain Instructors

We are very proud to employ a small number of the UK’s very best and most experienced freelance Instructors, Expedition Leaders and Guides. They are carefully and personally selected to deliver our UK Instructing & Guiding, Worldwide Expeditions and Expedition Specific Training.

All of our freelance leaders are chosen on their individual merits which we base on their mix of vast mountain experience, interpersonal skills and of course, qualifications:

  • Summer/Winter Mountain Leaders (SML/WML)
  • Rock Climbing Instructors (RCI)
  • Mountaineering & Climbing Instructors (MCI/WMCI)
  • International Mountain Leaders (IML)
  • International Mountain Guides (IFMGA)
  • Wilderness First Responders (WFR)
  • Mountain First Aid (FA)
  • Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician (WEMT)

Mountain Expeditions leaders are quite simply the best in the business and we will pair you with the leader that is the most suited to helping you achieve your goals. Our leaders and guides are both friends as well as colleagues, they understand the Mountain Expeditions ethos and always deliver to the highest standard. Here’s a selection of some of them:


Jon Gupta (WMCI(t), MCI, WML, FA)

Jon is the founder of Mountain Expeditions and has lead all of the Worldwide Expeditions on offer numerous times. Over the past 14+ years he has organised, climbed, guided and summited mountains on over 100+ major expeditions all over the world. This includes organising and leading the current world speed record for the 7 summits and guiding a client on six 8000m peaks (including K2) in just 7 months.  In 2022 he organied a expedition to Kanchenjuna and Makalu successfully summting both and becoming the only Brit to have guided the worlds Top 5 highest mountains. In 2018 guided Everest, lead the first team ever to finish the Yukon Arctic Ultra 430 mile race, set a new British speed record on Kilimanjaro of 8hrs 11mins and ran around the iconic Bob Graham Round in 22hrs 28 mins!

His passion for all things mountains and expeditions started young and his enthusiasm for sharing this with his clients is impressively never ending. 

Jon has an unprecedented track record of success at high altitude and is always either in the mountains climbing, skiing and guiding, or planning a trip (or more often – both!). Recently Jon has been enjoying delivering keynote speeches and inspirational talks to schools, private audiences and large corporate events.

Notable Ascents: Toubkal (x4), Mont Blanc, Elbrus (x14), Mt Meru, Kilimanjaro (x37), Carstensz Pyramid (x2), Mt Kenya (Batian), Kangchung 6069m, Louche East, Kyajo Ri 6186m (New route high point 5900m), Island Peak (x7), Ama Dablam (x13), Mera Peak (x2), Cotopaxi, Aconcagua (x3), Denali (x2), Peak Korjenevskaya, Peak Lenin (x3), Khan Tengri, Peak Pobeda 7439m (High point 7350m!), Peak Communism, Himlung Himal 7126m, Nuptse 7861m (High point 7600m), Lhotse, Everest (North x1 & South x3), Makalu (x2), Manalsu, Dhaulagiri, K2 and Kanchenjunga. Plus expeditions to Iceland, Greenland, Jordan, Namibia, Ecuador and Bolivia.

Rob Smith (WMCI, MCI, WEMT)

Originally from Northern Ireland and now based in Fort William, Scotland, Rob has been climbing in remote locations around the world for over 20 years.

Graduating from Scottish Winters to the Alps to the Greater Ranges, he has summited Mount Everest four times from the north and south sides. Other 8000m expeditions include K2, Cho Oyu, Lhotse, Makalu and Manaslu. He has climbed 6 of the world’s 7 summits and spent an incredible 15 seasons in Antarctica, including a winter. On Denali he abandoned his summit to assist an ill climber. In Antarctica he has climbed new routes and peaks including Mount Vinson multiple times and Mount Sidley. He also skied to the South Pole from the coast.

Rob enjoys helping others fulfill their ambitions and he also enjoys sharing his passion for challenge and wild places. He lives in Scotland with his wife and young son and is a qualified Emergency Medical Technician and OffShore Medic.

Notable Ascents: Denali (x2), Mt Cook, Mt Aspiring, Everest North & South (x4), K2, Lhotse, Makalu, Cho Oyu, Carstenz Pyramid, Ama Dablam, Island Peak, Peak Lenin, Peak Korjenevskaya, Vinson, Stok Kangri, Mt Toubkal, Elbrus (x2), Kilimanjaro, Aconcagua, Kharut Pyramid, Huayana Potosi, Illimani, Pequeno Alpamayo, Cabeza de Condor, Ala Derecha, Mt. Popocatepetl, South Pole, Last Degree ski, Mt Shinn 4660m, Sublime Peak, Winter ascent of Mount Liotard, Mount Sporli.


Tim Neill (IFMGA Guide, WMCI, FA)

Tim Neill is our go to British Mountain Guide – active, experienced, and current in all the traditional aspects of climbing and mountaineering….from rock climbing, through to mountaineering summer and winter, snow, ice and mixed climbing, to all aspects of alpinism from classic 4000ers to Grande Courses. He has oodles of experience and loves whichever he’s doing with equal passion.

He started climbing in Snowdonia, North Wales, where he’s managed most of the rock climbs in the book(!) from the juggiest easier ones to some of the harder E6s. (Many of them he’s done lots of times, with a few first ascents along the way!). The Scottish Winter is a big inspiration for Tim as well. Numerous classics from Torridon to Lochnagar, but especially Ben Nevis where he’s tallied well over a 100 different climbs from IV to VIII.  Tim has been Alpine climbing since the early 90s, every year enjoying ascents of classic peaks alongside technical routes. Highlights include many North Faces, the Peuterey Integral and Freney on Mt Blanc as well as summiting Fitzroy, Patagonia.

Tims own ethos marries perfectly with ours: guiding and instruction for people who have big goals just out of their own reach, or who simply want to have the best time they can climbing and mountaineering! Over the years he has guided for numerous well-respected outfits both in the UK and in the Alps, in addition to a long stint at Plas Y Brenin, training and assessing qualifications, and is currently involved with the training of fellow British Mountain Guides at their foundation level.

Away from the rock…Tim as done some fun work with the BMC too, delivering their Alpine Lectures, helped with the production of their Hill skills and Alpine Essentials DVDs, as well as helping to run some of their International rock climbing meets based in North Wales. He’s also had work published in Climb, Climber and Summit magazine, and also on-line at UKC.


Angus Kille (MCI, RCI, ML, FA)

Angus is one of Britain’s top all-round rock climbers, with 14 years of climbing experience and an impressive logbook to show for it. No stranger to the crags of North Wales, Angus has made bold ascents of numerous E9s in the area including a rare ascent of the infamous Indian Face. However, Angus’s climbing exploits aren’t limited to the traditional crags of North Wales, with European 9a sport routes under his belt, adventures to exotic Asian climbing areas and big wall ascents in Yosemite and Brazil.

Naturally, Angus specialises in teaching rock climbing and uses the enthusiasm and experience he has for pushing his own limits to coach others to push theirs. His experience in the Alps and on American big walls means he’s well accustomed to integrating rock climbing into the bigger objectives of the mountains. Anyone who has spent a day with Angus will remember his infectious passion for climbing.

Notable ascents: Indian Face E9 6c, Clogwyn D’ur Arddu; El Corazon 5.13b/8a (free), El Capitan; Mind Control 8c, Oliana, Spain; Trauma E9 7a, Llanberis Pass; Very Big Springs E7 6b (onsight), Ailladie, Ireland; Runnel Vision (big wall new route) Pedra Baiana, Brazil (attempt); The Colonist 8a+ (flash), Geyikbayiri, Turkey; Toubkal


Tom Lawfield (WMIC(t), MCI, IML, FA)

Tom loves helping people achieve their dreams in the mountains – whether that be on a skills course in the UK, or away on expedition: 

“I love my job for a lot of reasons, but I think the biggest is the sense of reward when people progress and achieve their goals. It’s so rewarding when I see someone learn a new know or get to a summit and I feel like I’ve been a part of making their dream happen.”

Tom is an MCI Trainee, International Mountain Leader, and BASI ISIA Level 3 Ski Instructor. Based in North Wales, Tom works in Snowdonia and the Highlands of Scotland in both summer and winter. Further afield, he has done eight ski seasons, including Austria, Switzerland as well as ski guiding on the volcanoes of Hokkaido, Japan. He has overwintered in Antarctica while working as a Field Guide for the British Antarctic Survey (2017 – 2019) and has led over 20 commercial expeditions, including trips to Spantik (7027m), Stok Kangri (6153m), Kilimanjaro (5895m), Elbrus (5642m), Aconcagua (6962m), Kinabalu (4095m) and Toubkal (4167m).

Personal trips have seen him cross Greenland on skis, complete a round of the Munros of Scotland, walk from Land’s End to John o’Groats with his Dad, ski tour along the spine of the Canadian Rockies and complete a solo crossing of Elbrus – as well as multiple ascents of many of the 4000m peaks of the European Alps.

Tom brings a relaxed charm to the groups he leads and loves nothing better than helping people realise their goals in the mountains – whether that be skiing, mountaineering or climbing! He juggles and loves pesto pasta (green obviously).

Notable ascents: Kanchenjunga, Spantik, Kilimanjaro (x4), Meru, Elbrus (x6) – south, north, traverse and ski, Toubkal (x2), Kinabalu (x2), Mont Blanc (x3), numerous 4000ers of the European Alps, Aconcagua (x2), Chimborazo, Cayambe, winter ascents of Liotard & Barré in Antarctica & an entire round of the Scottish Munros!


Mark Hendry (WMCI, MCI, WML, FA)

Mark has been fortunate to travel widely leading mountaineering and sea kayaking expeditions around the world from Patagonia to the Himalayas. He has worked in the mountaineering industry for the past thirty years and currently combines work as a seismic mountaineer in the Middle East with guiding and technical advising.

He is a fully qualified Winter Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor (WMCI), he holds a caving leadership awards and he is a very enthusiastic BCU Sea Kayak and Inland Kayak Coach!

Mark has a penchant for ice climbing trips to Europe (15 times!), winter seasons in Canadian Rockies, summer climbing in Alps and new routing summer and winter.

Notable ascents: Cotopaxi, Illiniza Norte, Ama Dablam, Elbrus, Kilimanjaro (x3), Mt Meru (x5) and Mera Peak. Expeditions to: Alaska, Yukon, NW Territories, Queen Charlotte Islands, Cascades, High Andes in Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Nepal, Tibet, China, Caucasus, Yemen, Kurdistan, Mexico, Guatemala, Kenya, Tanzania, Morocco, Norway and Iceland. Mark has also completed a source to sea kayak descent of Rio Serrano in Torres del Paine and undertook a sea kayak expedition to Arctic Norway.

Alex Langdon (MCI, WML, IML, FA)

Alex is a qualified Mountaineering & Climbing Instructor (MCI) and International Mountain Leader (IML). Most of the time she can be found living and working as a freelance instructor and guide in the Alps although she also travels extensively leading expeditions to the High Atlas Mountains, the South American Andes and the Himalayas. When she ventures onto British soil she works with youth groups running Duke of Edinburgh training and assessment courses.

Alex thinks that she is incredibly fortunate to work in the mountains, even on the rainy days. She first completed the Tour Du Mont Blanc in the late 1980’s backpacking with a friend and she has now lost count of how many times she has trekked or run the route since (and still love every minute!)

She is a firm favourite with our groups and recently received more outstanding feedback: “Alex was an A++ guide. She was highly motivating, very steady under fire, and brought a personal care and charm to the adventure that was integral to our experience. She treated everyone involved with respect and is amazing at what she does” John Jaeger (Kilimanjaro)

Notable ascents: Kyajo Ri, Mera Peak (x2), Island Peak (x2), Pokalde, Lobuche East, North Col of Everest, Lhakpa Ri, Aconcagua (x2), Khuitan & Nairandel, Dhaulagiri Circuit & Damphus Peak, Kilimanjaro, Mt Mgoun.


Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required