Alan Ward – International Mountain Leader – Technical Advisor

Alan is an International Mountain Leader with a wide range of experience and skills to support him.

Alan is based in Cardiff where he runs Bigfoot Services Limited, to deliver a portfolio of mountain training skills courses in addition to First Aid training. All of Alan's work is quality assured under ISO 9001 accreditation.

Alan grew up as the son of an army officer and spent two tours in Hong Kong and one in Germany before completing education in Brecon. Alan was born in York.

On leaving school Alan joined the BP Tanker Company as a Navigating Cadet before becoming a watch-keeping Navigating Officer on both crude oil and refined products tankers. With his 21st birthday spent passing through the Straits of Malacca, Alan was becoming extremely well-travelled at an early age.

Leaving BP after 5 years, Alan joined Conoco Inc. to work in Dubai, Singapore and Indonesia for ten years with the last five years as a Logistics Advisor for all oilfield operations, across Indonesia from Sumatra to Irian Jaya. Alan received a special commendation from the company for his innovative and cost-saving solutions for major logistic operations in Indonesia.

Choosing not to remain an expatriate for life, Alan and his family returned to Wales in 1988 to pursue his interests in the outdoor sector. Employed initally as a National Park Warden in Cardiff, Alan became the in-house Techical Advisor for outdoor educational activities, a role backed up by his Mountain Leader qualifications. During this time, Alan became a Mountain First Aid Trainer and, in his spare time, started leading treks and expeditions in the developing world, often at higher altitudes. Alan also holds IOSH and NEBOSH H&S qualifications and has been Mountain Challenge Technical Advisor to the British Heart Foundation and Raleigh International.

In the annual Wanderlust Travel Magazine Top Guide Awards, Alan has twice (2006 & 2012) been in the top ten finalists out of over 1.000 nominated guides.

He has recently led groups to Kilimanjaro (5,895m), Stok Kangri (6,153m)Mera Peak (6.476m) and on his last trip to Everest Base Camp was accompanied by 4 visually impaired trekkers of whom 2 were completely blind. It was a hugely rewarding experience to guide a blind person into Everest Base Camp, for the blind trekker to celebrate a life time's ambition to be there on his 60th birthday.