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James Thacker is an IFMGA Mountain Guide and Mountaineering Instructor (MIC) who has been working professionally in the mountains since 2008. James grew up on the edge of the Peak District. Following a degree in Environmental Geoscience, and a brief spell as a Civil Servant, the pull of the crags and mountains became too much and James started a career in Outdoor Education. His first job was at Derbyshire County Council, White Hall OEC, where James got an early apprenticeship in helping people to get the most from their time in the mountains. James then became a professional Mountain Instructor and Guide working with personal clients and as freelancer for Plas Y Brenin, Westcoast Mountain Guides, and Alpine Guides. James now guides for his own company James Thacker Mountaineering, and is also a director of Mountain Assurance. He splits his time between Scotland, Chamonix, and the Himalaya.

James has published articles in Climb Magazine, BMC Summit Magazine, Trek and Mountain, Mountain Rescue Magazine and on He is an also an active member of Edale Mountain Rescue Team, has an interest in in altitude medicine and the management of trauma in the mountains, and is a Trustee of the Chris Walker Memorial Trust (CWMT).

Some of James’ personal highlights include:

  • Onsight: 'Science Friction' E5 6a, Froggatt Edge.

  • Solo headpoint: - the protectionless 'Benign Lives' E6 6b, Froggatt Edge

  • Scottish winter: several first ascents in Lochaber and the North West Highlands.

  • Greater ranges: first ascents in Greenland's Lemon Mountains up to TD+.

  • Alpine classic north faces: North Face of the Eiger (1938 Route) ED1; North Face of the Petit Dru TD; North Face of Les Droites (Voie Ginat) ED1; North Face of Cima Grande di Lavaredo (Comici/Diamai) VII-; North Face Piz Badile (Cassin) TD.

  • Attempt: on the North Face of Phari Lapcha in Nepal's Khumbu region.

  • 3rd ascent: of 'Snotty's Gully' Dawa Peak, ED1.

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