Having always worked in the outdoors I have a depth and breadth of skill, experience and knowledge in both Paddlesport and Mountaineering. I hold some of the highest professional awards in the UK:
British Canoeing Coaching Diploma
Winter Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor (formerly MIC)
British Canoeing Level 5 coach (whitewater kayak)
British Canoeing MW coach (Canoe and Sea Kayak)
I grew up in Central London, where I discovered kayaking on the canal through Islington Boat Club. A few years working at various centres in London saw me decide that this was a career I could pursue and a move to the Lake District to study Outdoor Leadership at Uclan followed. After gaining my degree (2:1) & plenty of experience on water and in the mountains I moved to Wales, where I worked for Outward Bound, UCLAN (when they had a campus in Llangollen) and Plas Y Brenin.
Since 2012 I have been contracted by Joint Service Mountain Training Centres (JSMTC) to provide expert advice and develop leaders and instructors as part of their adventurous training programme. This work has seen me operate worldwide, delivering bespoke training and assessment programmes in both paddlesport and mountaineering. This experience has allowed me to operate at the maximum levels my qualifications allow, in a multiple of different dynamic environments, all while training and assessing others.
In the summer of 2017 I got married, moved from North Wales to Kendal and changed my name from Butler to Wilkinson! I reduced my JSMTC contract to half time, in order to spend more time with my wife & develop myself further as a practitioner - I completed an MSc in Performance Coaching (distinction) through Stirling University.
I have undertaken first descents by kayak as a member of the below and beyond team (Kenya 2011 Blog Film and Peru 2015 Blog Film), am a Team Pyranha paddler, was involved in the campaign to Save the Conwy and am currently the Area Representative for Save Our Rivers for the Lake District. Through this role I am trying to put a little something back into a sport that has given me so much.
As a mountaineer I have climbed extensively in all conditions across the British Isles (Summer and Winter) and spent a lot of time in the European Alps, both as part of my military work and for pleasure. Mountaineering highlights include cragging in Morocco, ascending Mt Blanc, Rockaneering on the Salbit and Piz Badile and winter routes on Ben Nevis. I also am fortunate to spend a lot of time on skis and have been to Kashmir, the Lyngen Alps and several tours in Europe.