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All our clients are invited to review their experience of James Orpwood Mountaineering on our Facebook page. Here’s what they have to say...


"James led us on a great full day walk on Thursday. He is supremely confident, clearly skilled in mountain craft, very knowledgeable on flora fauna, history and geology and has a pleasant, easy, engaging manner. We genuinely enjoyed each other’s company even though we’d never met till today. Our walk was particularly arduous given six hours of mist, rain and high winds but we felt very confident at all times. The hills offer adventure and challenge - even on fine days- but it really is good to know that the guy leading knows the way and works the trails in all weathers. James is that man! Highly recommended."

Judy Banks, July 2021


"I can’t recommend highly enough a day out with James. Not only is he a super chap and a congenial walking companion but his teaching skills are excellent. He breaks down navigational skills into component parts that are easy to understand and practice. When put together, they are a very powerful aid to keeping safe in the mountains. I found some of the walking hard but with James’s calm encouragement I achieved way more than I would have thought possible. I can’t wait to have another day out with him!"

Andrew Doig, June 2021 


"Myself and my friend spent a fantastic day yesterday doing a private Introduction to Navigation course with James. James is very experienced and full of knowledge and he tailored the day perfectly to suit our experience and the weather conditions. He has a relaxed and friendly style of teaching and is very patient. We have loads to go away and practice now and I would recommend James to anyone interested in learning how to navigate safely in the mountains."

Tracey Gill, September 2020


"I attended James’s One Day ‘Introduction to Mountain Navigation’ course along with a friend today. The course was very informative and has given me the confidence to apply the skills I’ve learned, and go hiking myself using a map and compass. James is a wealth of knowledge and has so much patience to explain things until you understand. I highly recommend James Orpwood Mountaineering to beginners, and to those with basic navigation experience to help with their mountain adventures. I’ll definitely be booking further courses once I’ve practiced what I learned today."

Kerry Vass, September 2020


"Great day with James who was extremely patient with me and taught me heaps of mountain navigation skills so I have more confidence. A real nice guy; exercises were well explained and very practical. Additionally we had an amazing day in wonderful weather. Would highly recommend James to anyone wanting to brush up on or learn vital nav or hill walking skills"

Anne Keogh, September 2020


"James is without doubt one of the nicest chaps I have come across and has been an absolute pleasure to spend the last two days with. He listened to all that I sought to achieve in the two days I was with him, and delivered without compromise.

James is the consummate professional who has an evident passion for his job. His knowledge, wisdom and skills will put you at ease instantly. I felt incredibly safe, I trusted him implicitly, and he taught me all the skills I would need to climb a Munro on my own. He is so incredibly patient and it is very clear that he wants to share his knowledge with those he works with to empower them to become independent explorers. I now feel confident, capable and competent to continue my Munro bagging adventures on my own.

There is absolutely no way I would have achieved what I have done in the last two days without James. I would strongly recommend two days with him. One day is all well and good, but when he said to me on the second day that he wanted me to lead the trek it gave me the best opportunity to show him I had learnt what he had taught me. It also allowed me to iron out any mistakes I may have made.

I would without hesitation, recommend James Orpwood to anyone who either wants to bag a Munro, walk up a Corbett, do any form of hillwalking, see the best of Scottish landscapes, see and learn about the local landscape and learn invaluable navigation and mountaineering skills. You will not be disappointed. Thank you so, so much James. I don’t want to explore the rest of the Munro’s on my own, I’d rather go with you!"

Paul Stephen, August 2020


"I asked James to take us somewhere different in Cairngorms but other than that little direction. He came up with a cracking day and I enjoyed it a great deal. I have always found hiring a guide to help in a place like cairngorms is a good idea and after my experience I am sure ill be calling James again in the future. Thanks James."

Mark Neil, August 2020


"Fantastic day navigating across Cairn Gorm under James’s tuition today. We covered a number of aspects of map and compass navigation including pacing, planning a route following contour lines and compass bearings and also slope aspects. I would certainly recommend James to all future clients. Summiting my second Munro and seeing my first mountain hare was definitely a bonus"

Alex Scurrah-Price, July 2020


"James took me and my partner our on an introduction to winter walking day. He was helpful before we got there answering lots of questions and giving us tips about kit and local advice about Aviemore. When we met him he was knowledgable and friendly and tailored the day to suit our level of ability as well as our goals as we particularly wanted to learn winter walking skills including using crampons and ice-axes and staying safe in winter conditions. We had a great day and would recommend James! Great company and great guide."

Freya Wallis, March 2020


"We had two days winter skills course with James this week. We had a great experience of winter walking, even though the first day was tough, wind was strong, snow was quite deep, but we enjoyed it immensely. James’s knowledge of Cairngorm mountains & practice teachings, fulfilled our expectations of this course. Definitely recommend for any one who are looking for learning more about mountaineering."

Aimin Liu, February 2020


"Having just returned from a two day winter skills course I can honestly say if you are thinking of booking a course like this then you won't go wrong with James! He is clearly an expert in the hills, and great company to boot. The course covered all critical skills, crampon footwork and movement, ice axe skills, navigation, weather and route planning, avalanche safety, choosing equipment and so so much more. A great balance of practical and theory as well, after two days of expert (and patient) teaching I feel confident enough in my winter skills to head out alone in such conditions. I should have done this year's ago, so if you're thinking about it, just book it!! many thanks again James, all the best."

Nick Holmes, January 2020


"We had a great day with James battling the weather of the Cairngorms. James was flexible with our plans and ensured we got a lot out of the day despite the conditions! He was super helpful throughout booking and ensured we had all the equipment novices wouldn't have (crampons, ice axes etc). Would highly recommend!"

Ruth Wildman, December 2019


"I had a fantastic day. James really listened to what I wanted to get out of the day and picked the perfect route for me. He helped me brush up on my map reading skills & has a great way of explaining things. James has excellent local knowledge and is a great person to spend time with in the hills. I Wouldn't hesitate to recommend him."

Lee Pope, May 2019


"Great hike to Ben Macdui, excellent tour guide, plenty of knowledge of the area, a pleasure to hike with. We would definately recommend James!"

Jeroen Nieuwenhuis, April 2019


"Friendly, affordable and learnt so much. James made sure the experience was tailored to me and gave me choices en route which made it a really enjoyable experience. James let me take my time to stop and take photos and even took a few for me. Great customer service, advised me over email during the run up to the day to make sure I had all the kit I needed. I had an ace day."

Ruth Davis, February 2019


Thank you!


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