2024 Instructor Development Scheme: First Month at Glenmore Lodge

By Glenmore Lodge

Our newest cohort of the Instructor Development Scheme arrived at the beginning of April, and Kat, Josh, Laerke, and Alex began their year-long experience of living, working, learning, and adventuring in the Cairngorms. Find out a bit about how the start of their time at Glenmore Lodge has been going so far, and what they’re looking forward to in the months ahead.

Learn more about the Instructor Development Scheme and the current team HERE.

Josh Butler

How has your first month been? Has it gone how you expected it to?

It’s gone how I anticipated, in as much as we’ve been busy getting to know the ins and outs of the centre ad getting to grips with the role. That, coupled with being in a new place and wanting to get out in the free time has made for a hectic but enjoyable start to the year!

When did you decide that you wanted to pursue a career in the outdoors?

In school I was in the Scouts; we had a leader who was a keen climber and would run sessions for us out on the local sea cliffs. Seeing the enthusiasm he had for imparting his knowledge to us inspired me to get my first climbing qualification.

What’s your favourite way to enjoy the outdoors?

most of my time is spent on my mountain or gravel bike. Cycling gets me to some amazing places and allows me to cover a lot of ground and see so much in a short amount of time, plus it’s doable in all weather which is a great help when you’re living in the mountains.

Kat Stoddart

Why did you apply for the Instructor Development Scheme?

I applied for the IDS because I wanted to be able to fully set aside time for my own learning. Last year I spent my time working towards several qualifications whilst freelancing and there were definitely schedule clashes so it will be nice to fully focus on qualifications. I was also super keen on working with likeminded individuals after running so many solo sessions and it was an added bonus getting to live in the heart of the Cairngorms after living in Aberdeen for the last 9 years.

What is your favourite thing you’ve done so far at Glenmore Lodge?

I’ve got two! My favourite things so far have been riding at Laggan Wolftrax with the other IDS and folks in the Glenmore Lodge team. As someone who isn’t the most comfortable on a bike, I started the day nervous but by the end I was flying down blue trails feeling really great about my riding. I am still the local legend 5 weeks on!

I have also loved getting out climbing with the IDS and Instructors, I’ve already seen so much progression in these past few weeks!

What are you looking forward to about the year ahead?

I am really looking forward to exploring more of Scotland’s wild places, progressing my climbing even more and I’m super excited to get stuck into NGB qualifications. Going through the Mountain Leader Award is high up on the list as its been a bit of a journey to get to where I am now.

Alex Compton

Have you always enjoyed the outdoors?

As a teenager from London, I ditched the stick-and-ball sports once I became exposed to mountain biking. This later took me to Whistler B.C. (Canada), where I instructed downhill mountain biking. My friend introduced me to rock climbing whilst at university – this escalated! A traineeship in North Wales gave me a taste for working in the outdoors. After university I moved back there and worked as a freelance instructor. 

What’s it like living at Glenmore Lodge?

The Lodge couldn’t be better placed for adventures. Whether you like going with or against gravity, there is so much to do. Strolling around the local forest is a great way to wind down after a day of mountain exertion. It is a friendly community at the Lodge – everyone is excited to talk plans and adventures.

Do you have any particular goals in mind for your time at Glenmore Lodge?

I am very excited to go on adventures with friends and discover what the Scottish mountains have to offer, getting stuck into tons of climbing and mountaineering – summer and winter. I also hope to learn to ski, and re-discover the psych for mountain biking.

Laerke Nielsen

Why did you decide to come to Glenmore Lodge?

I came for the people, the community, the setting, and the opportunity to challenge myself!

What are you hoping to get out of your time here?

The chance to learn from some of the most talented and inspiring people in the field

What’s it like being part of the IDS team?

A lot of fun, hard work, belly laughs, and non-stop adventures!

Find out more

You can read about our current and past Instructor Development Scheme participants’ journeys, and find out more about the scheme, HERE