Steve Holmes

I was born in Ireland, raised in Northwest England, and have lived in Scotland since 2002. In recent years, I have been lucky enough to travel worldwide, although no other place feels like home than the Scottish Highlands.

Hillwalking was part of my childhood as my parents regularly undertook adventurous walks in the Lake District. Yet, I only developed a love for rock climbing in my late teenage years, having been introduced to the sport while serving as a Royal Marine. Military service was good to me. I feel fortunate to have deployed on amazing trips to faraway deserts and jungles that later opened the chance to work in the private sector protecting US officials in the Middle East – don’t worry, I am not the shouty type!

Expeditions I have taken part in or led to Africa, and the Himalayas have been rewarding. Although not consistently successful in reaching summits, attempting unclimbed peaks in remote corners of the world has been an enriching development for my climbing.

Closer to home, I enjoy exploring the vast amount of rock climbing the UK has to offer; I like trying hard on new projects and successfully climbed single pitch routes up to E6,6b. Skiing in Scotland and taking on challenging mixed routes during winter is a big part of why I live in Fort William. There are so many brilliant memories climbing during the winter months, but a stand-out day was making the first winter ascent of The Orphan (VII,8) on Buachaille Etive Mor in 2017. I’ve climbed many winter routes, but the list for each proceeding season keeps getting longer. I will never complete them all, but will no doubt try.

I consider myself a part-time Skye resident spending most of the spring/summer working on the Cuillin. A third of the year, you will find me living out of my van in the European Alps and climbing a lot as I work towards further qualifications.

  • Home: Fort William
  • Certification: WMCI / MIC
  • Favourite season: Spring
  • Passion outside of climbing: Skyrunning
  • Bucket list rock climb: Divine Providence – Mont Blanc
  • Bucket list winter climb: The Godfather – Beinn Bhan
  • Bucket list Alpine climb: The Slovak Direct – Denali
  • Bucket list race or ski descent: UTMB
Mountain Guides Scotland
Mountain Guides Scotland
Mountain Guides Scotland