Scotch on the Rocks Guiding - Who are we!

All the team at Scotch on the Rocks Guiding are full qualified Mountaineering and Climbing Instructors and members of the Association of Mountaineering Instructors (AMI) as well as being active recreationally and professional in all the areas that they instruct they are experienced, professional and friendly. However each member of the team brings a  little something different to support your training, development, safety and enjoyment.


Sandy Paterson

Winter Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor, International Mountain Leader & Development Coach

In a former life Sandy was a Geography teacher for 8 years, this experience along with coaching rugby has given him a great basis to develop his coaching and instruction in the outdoors. He has now been working in the mountains for 15 years full time and works on all the qualification courses from Lowland Leader through to Winter Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor (formerly MIC). He has developed his coaching knowledge and experience over the last few years and was one of the first WMCI’s to gain the Development Coach Award. He has delivered a number of coaching workshops for the Mountaineering Associations and Glenmore Lodge. As well as this he also delivers the Training and Assessing Skills Workshop for Mountain Training Scotland. When not running SOTRG and in the mountains he works as the Technical Officer for Mountain Training Scotland. Most importantly though loves being in the mountains be it with aspirant Mountain Leader and Instructors or novices taking their first steps.


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Jonty Mills

Winter Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor & International Mountain Leader

Jonty has had the privilege of walking, climbing and ski-touring in many parts of the world, but still thinks that nowhere can beat the Scottish Highlands. He worked full-time for over 10 years as a hospital doctor, before succumbing to his true passion and deciding to also train as an outdoor professional. Based near Inverness, work is now as a Winter Mountaineering & Climbing Instructor, International Mountain Leader and as a doctor holding the Diploma in Mountain Medicine. He loves to help others develop their mountain skills to allow them to safely enjoy their own adventures, or to become outdoor professionals themselves. Away from work he still as keen as ever for his own mountain adventures, and has sadly realised that one lifetime just isn’t enough!

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Kirsty Pallas

Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor

Growing up on the West coast of Scotland, Kirsty spent a lot of time in the mountains and the sea, which she continued after leaving school and becoming an instructor. She has been working outdoors ever since, gaining qualifications and experience, allowing her to pass on her passion for the hills to others. She has been a member of her local mountain rescue team for over 10 years, and is involved in training and shout management. Kirsty also works part time for Mountaineering Scotland, as part of the mountain safety team, delivering courses and training to members. In her free time, she’s usually out climbing or biking in the Highlands, or having a little dip in the sea!

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Ian Stewart

Winter Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor & International Mountain Leader

Ian’s enthusiasm for the Scottish mountains and enjoyment of exploring new areas means that he completed his Munro round in 2019. These were largely done as mountain runs over the last 12 years of living in Scotland. Ian has competed in many Mountain Marathon events over the years, combining mountain running with the challenge of technical navigation. This has led him to develop his own navigation skills and consider how best to coach them and adapt them for mountain leaders. Ian also spent 3 years on the board of directors for the National Navigation Award Scheme and delivers their tutor training course. Last year Ian also worked for Mountaineering Scotland as their Mountain Safety Advisor, delivering training and lectures across Scotland. With the final hurdle of the winter assessment passed in January 2020, Ian has recently completed his International Mountain Leader (IML) qualification. This recent experience of going through the process has been a really good reminder of what it is like to be on the other side of the table and has emphasised the importance of delivering a high quality training and assessment process.

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Dave Chapman

Winter Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor

Dave has been working in the mountains of Scotland for over 10 years guiding and instructing in summer and winter conditions. Outside of work Dave has climbed and skied all over the world including expeditions to Alaska and the Himalayas. As a member of a local mountain rescue team Dave has plenty of hands on experience of mountain safety issues and incident management. He has also worked conducting ecological surveys in the Scottish mountains giving him a deeper knowledge of upland ecology and ecosystems. He currently lives in Aviemore and enjoys introducing people to the amazing Scottish mountains and equipping them with the skills to have their own adventures.