Alison Thacker née Culshaw

Following an in-depth and broad background in outdoor education I started working with DofE groups in 2000.  Since then I have worked with a wide diversity of groups all across the UK and in the Alps.  Something I pride myself on is my knowledge of expedition areas; I have worked with DofE groups from The New Forest and South Downs, to Dartmoor and the Quantocks, to the Lake District and the Peak District, to the Cairngorms and the North-West Highlands, and most places in between.

I have the ability to respond to the needs of a group to ensure they get the most from the DofE experience.  Every individual is treated as such but yet they are taught to work as a team.  I am dedicated to running expeditions in line with the spirit of DofE and maintaining the highest safety standards.  I am also committed to running expeditions that are sustainable, with an awareness of the impacts that DofE Expeditions places on the environment.

I hold the BASI International Ski Teachers Diploma so when not working with DofE groups I can be found teaching skiing in Chamonix, France. With familiarity of that area I have groups coming to the Alps to do their expedition.

Most recently I have been on expeditions to Mont Elbrus in Russia (Europe’s highest mountain), Patagonia, Arctic Norway and Nepal.   However, I am just as happy camping in a wilderness glen in Scotland and ticking off a few more Munro’s.


You can read testimonials from my clients here


DofE Qualifying Scottish Highlands

  • Summer Mountain Leader (ML)
  • Winter Mountain Leader (WML)
  • International Mountain Leader (IML)
  • Mountaineering Instructors Award (MIA)
  • BSc First Class (Hons) in Outdoor Studies

Additional Instructors

Max HunterIf you group requires other instructors to work alongside me then I have an experienced team that I can call upon.

Since 2009 Max Hunter has worked with me regularly on DofE Expeditions.  Max holds the highest mountaineering qualification in the UK; the Mountaineering Instructors Award (MIC).  The groups always seem to appreciate the support and help that Max provides.  Once the group made up a song about him and made him a grass bracelet to say thank you!

Alongside Max, I often have Everest Summiteer and Munroist Di Gilbert (MIC), Alex Langdon (MIA) and Gillian Parker (MIC) working on the expeditions.  They are both equally as passionate the outdoors and the mountains.

For expeditions in Chamonix, Jo Blackshaw and Jen Dickinson, both International Mountain Leaders, have frequently worked on the expeditions.

Insurance and Licenses 

  • AALS license which is a legal requirement when dealing with under 18’s.  License details can be confirmed by calling The License Service Tel: 029 2075 5715.
  • AAP (Approved Activity Provider) license from the DofE which means all of the expeditions meet the requirements of the DofE Award.
  • Public Liability Insurance for all expeditions, including Tour Operators and Travel Agents Indemnity, through Perkins Slade
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