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"My favourite place was an island called Spitzbergen, it's between the top of Norway and th

A brief insight into Ian Martin - Chief Instructor – Outdoor Education

Ian, what would you consider your greatest achievement? “Oooo, tricky one this,” said Mr Martin.

“Off the top of my head, it's probably passing the highest level and most difficult mountaineering test in the UK (the Mountain Instructors Certificate).”

He continued: “As part of the training for this, I climbed the North Face of Ben Nevis fourteen times in six days! But getting a first -class Degree is something that I'm very proud of too.”

And, your greatest SDC moment? “There are so, so many,” said Mr Martin.

“But the Year 10 expeditions are always a highlight for me.”

“Mountaineering in the snow-capped Picos de Europa last year, or the Tour of Mt Blanc, will take some beating.”

He continued: “I love being able to show students amazing wild places and taking them out of their 'normal life' away from all the creature comforts.

“The best conversations get started when no one is distracted by their mobile phones. They really soak up the destination and experience more.”

You have been to many places in your time, what would be your favourite destination? - “Way too many, and so many more to discover,” said Mr Martin.

“I love the Alps for the convenience and mix of activities - you can ski in the winter and rock climb all summer.”

He continued: “However, I do like 'getting away from it all' - my favorite place was an island called Spitzbergen. It's between the top of Norway and the North Pole. I spent a summer there once in it's amazing polar wilderness.”

“On the other extreme, I was lucky enough to go to surfing Hawaii earlier this year and can report, it is as good as it looks in the photos.”

Do you have any aspirations? “I'd like to keep the St David's history of adventure and exploration going,” he said.

“Personally, a journey into remote Greenland or the Himalayas to find an unclimbed mountain always appeals.”

SDC is always amazed by what you do in your spare time, what did you do this Summer?

Ian said: “The day after Speech Day, I locked up my house and flew to Copenhagen in Denmark with my wife.

“We spent the next few weeks peddle and solar powered as we traveled by bicycle up the west coast of Sweden.”

“We carried a tent and bought food along the way as we journeyed north. We then continued east to Finland via lots of islands and a few ferries.

“After nearly a month 'on tour' with the bikes, we swapped paniers for rucksacks and crossed the Atlantic (in a plane!).”

“We arrived in Seattle in America, then drove north to Canada to climb a huge cliff (called the Chief, in a place called Squamish).”

Ian added: “From there we moved to Montana to stay with friends on a ranch, before returning to Seattle and finally home in time to start the term!”


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