Tom Lawfield

Born in Cambridge, I remember seeing an outdoor magazine with an ice climber on the back cover climbing a frozen waterfall with two ice axes and ropes trailing behind them. To my impressionable 6-year-old self – who I don’t think had ever seen a waterfall, let alone a frozen one; it seemed a world away from the flatlands of Southeast England – I couldn’t get the image out of my head.

After that, I read everything I could find on mountaineering, climbing and polar travel. Dad spotted my interest and, donning army surplus gear and walking boots, we started doing long-distance paths and occasional trips into the hills. This early introduction to the outdoors led to rock climbing at the local bouldering wall in my teens and participating in DofE expeditions across the UK. When I left college, I did a ski season in Austria – by then, I was hooked on mountains, and despite the distractions of university degrees, my main passion remained the hills.

I’d say one of my career highlights was working as a winter Field Guide for the British Antarctic Survey, working with scientists on climate change projects. I have also led numerous commercial altitude expeditions, including Stok Kangri, Kilimanjaro, Elbrus, Aconcagua, Kinabalu, and Toubkal. On the skiing front, I have been an instructor for ten seasons in the European Alps and worked as a ski guide on the volcanoes of Hokkaido – Japan. Completing a ski tour along the spine of the Rockies in Canada was a unique experience and crossing the Greenland icecap was genuinely memorable. Closer to home, I have walked the length of the UK with my dad and ‘compleated’ the Munros.

I currently spend the winters based in the Alps and Fort William and the rest of the year between North Wales, Skye, or global expeditions. I am a proud member of the Association of Mountaineering Instructors, British Association of International Mountain Leaders, British Association of Snowsport Instructors, and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

  • Home: North Wales
  • Certification: MCI / MIA
  • Favourite season: Winter
  • Passion outside of climbing: Skiing
  • Bucket list rock climb: The Strand – Gorgarth
  • Bucket list winter climb: Eagle Ridge – Lochnagar
  • Bucket list Alpine climb: Cassin Rt – Piz Badile
  • Bucket list race or ski descent: An 8000m peak
Mountain Guides Scotland
Mountain Guides Scotland
Mountain Guides Scotland