Alex Kay – Assistant Instructor

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ABOUT

I feel extremely fortunate to have grown up only a stone’s throw away from the Snowdonia National Park and, having lived here for almost 20 years, I know it really well. Snowdonia has everything an outdoor enthusiast could want, and I absolutely love the fact that you can be in two completely different landscapes in a very short space of time.

I currently work as an Assistant Instructor at Plas Y Brenin, undergoing the 2018 Instructor Scheme. When it comes to outdoor sports, I’d consider myself a ‘Jack of all trades’. But that’s what I love about my job – every day is different. I spend most of my time these days in the mountains or out on the water. You’ll rarely find me on a mountain bike, but I have delved into the dark art in the past…

Recently I’ve dedicated a lot of time overseas, both in Europe and further afield, to finish off my International Mountain Leader award. I’ve experienced a great variety of landscapes and environments in the last few years and am always interested in sharing my knowledge.

 

Qualifications

  • International Mountain Leader

  • Rock Climbing Instructor

  • Advanced Canoe, Kayak and Sea Kayak Leader

  • British Canoeing Coach

Achievements

One of my most recent achievements was made during my trip to Nepal last November. I completed a ‘first ascent’ on the 6’103m-high Himalayan peak known as “Kangchung”, by successfully climbing a previously-unclimbed line. I also managed to summit two other 6’000m peaks during the trip. However the 5 weeks didn’t pass without a few struggles along the way, and I learnt a great many lessons during my time out there.

I’m very proud to have completed my International Mountain Leader award at the start of 2018. The consolidation period was really fun and I’ve had the chance to visit many amazing mountains over the last few years and guide on some of the World’s tallest ones, such as Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Elbrus. It felt really nice to get my PASS after a lot of dedicated time and practice.

However, I’m just as happy at the moment watching my climbing grade improve after only a short period of focused training and commitment. It feels nice to climb a hard route after putting the work in at the climbing wall a few weeks’ before!

Ambitions

Whilst based in North Wales for the year, I am currently focused on completing my Mountaineering Instructor Award and hopelessly trying to rattle through an ever-increasing list of UK-rock climbs. I want to go on and complete the Mountaineering Instructor Certificate in the future, and who know’s if I’ll aim higher after that!

Outside of the UK I’d love to test myself at even higher altitudes and in harsher environments. I’d love to visit Alaska and summit Denali in the next few years - I’ve been told by a good friend that it is the most beautiful mountain on earth. South America is also calling, for it’s incredible mountain landscapes and cultures. I also need to go climbing in Yosemite, visit Canada before I’m 30 and kayak some first descents in Kenya… That’s as much as I can think of at the moment, but I’m sure there are loads more!