About

Thanks for visiting James Thacker Mountaineering - the instructional and guiding services provided by James Thacker.

I should tell you a little about myself...   I am an IFMGA Mountain Guide and Mountaineering Instructor (MIC) who has been working professionally in the mountains for over 12 years. I grew up on the edge of the Peak District and it's there that I realised I had a passion for the mountains. The "Peak", with it's gritstone edges and limestone dales has been the foundation for many people's climbing.  Like many others, I have gone on to seek adventure in North Wales, the Scottish Highlands, "The Alps" and Himalayas.

James Thacker - a chilly day on Stanage Edge...After completing my degree in Environmental Geoscience and a brief spell working as a Civil Servant, the pull of the crags and mountains became too much and I started a career in Outdoor Education.  My first job was at Derbyshire County Council's Local Education Authority Centre: White Hall OEC. Where I worked with a wide variety of people of all ages. This gave me an invaluable early apprenticeship in helping people to get the most from their time in the mountains.

After leaving White Hall I became a professional Mountain Instructor and Guide working with personal clients and freelance for Plas Y Brenin, Westcoast Mountain Guides (winter climbing in and around the west coast of Scotland) and Alpine Guides (High profile guiding company based in UK and Alps).

My guiding work involves creating flexible and tailored programmes for clients, whether a single day, a couple of weeks or a Himalyan trip.

I enjoy selecting itineraries that are highly flexible, meet the needs of my clients and take into account the constantly changing weather and conditions of the mountains.

As well as my own climbing and Guiding work I have pursued other interests associated with the mountains. For over 16 years I was an active member of Edale Mountain Rescue Team and developed an interest in altitude medicine and the management of trauma in the mountains.

More recently I have also published work in Climb Magazine, BMC Summit Magazine, Trek and Mountain, Mountain Rescue Magazine and online at UKClimbing.com as well as providing product feedback to my sponsors Haglofs and Edelrid.

I am also a Trustee of the Chris Walker Memorial Trust (CWMT) established after the death of a friend and colleague in the Scottish Highlands.  Annually the CWMT offers funding for expeditions overseas as well as continuing professional development in avalanche education for Instructors and Guides.

I feel confident that when out on the hill with me, you will not only have a great day out, but will receive high quality instruction and guiding that is based on broad and real experience.

Some personal highlights include:

  • Climbing Gritstone E5 on sight - 'Science Friction' E5 6a, Froggatt Edge
  • Soloing E6 (headpoint) - the protectionless 'Benign Lives' E6 6b, Froggatt Edge
  • Scottish Winter first ascents in Lochaber and the North West Highlands
  • First ascents in Greenland's Lemon Mountains up to TD+
  • Ascents of classic Alpine North Faces: North Face of the Eiger (1938 Route) ED1, North Face of the Petit Dru TD, North Face of Les Droites (Voie Ginat) ED1, North Face of Cima Grande di Lavaredo (Comici/Diamai) VII-, North Face Piz Badile (Cassin) TD.
  • Attempt on the North Face of Phari Lapcha in Nepal's Khumbu region.
  • 3rd Ascent of 'Snotty's Gully' Dawa Peak, ED1.