Founder Colin Mortlock
Now in his 80’s Colin is one of the most experienced, knowledgeable and respected people in the world concerning values, adventure and wild Nature. His international reputation is based essentially on personal reflections on a vast range of practical experiences - both as an acclaimed adventurer and as a leader responsible for frontier adventure by adults and young people.
In the 1960’s as one of Britain’s top rock climbers, he led an Oxford University expedition to Arctic Norway, made first British ascents in the Alps and initiated a successful expedition to Trivor (7730m) in the Himalaya.
He later turned to white water kayaking and surfing. The ocean beckoned – with small open boat journeys using racing catamarans and then sea kayak expeditions – culminating in a 1000km solo expedition along the Alaskan coastline (1981).
In 1992 disillusioned with the corruption in higher education, he took early retirement and returned to wild Nature: ten years of long, mostly solo, expeditions in large mountains and along wilderness coastlines. Content with his challenging lifestyle he was devastated by the sudden death from cancer of Annette, his beloved wife (2003). He moved from the Lake District to live remotely in north west Scotland. He became determined to try and discover Annette’s values and, especially, why she had insisted in her final weeks, that she was in a “bubble of happiness”. He found that her values were essentially synonymous with central messages from wild Nature – to do with what lies behind such noble words as love, integrity, unity, purity, freedom, peace, spirit and adventure.
Colin has three daughters: Vember, Senja and Tiree and 6 grandchildren
He currently lives in Kendal, the Lake District, UK and still enjoys adventuring in the hills.
Colin is a proven leader, explorer and creative thinker. A life of adventure and working in education have produced some significant results.
1965 Manchester Grammar School expedition to Arctic Norway to climb all peaks in 100 square miles
1965-1971 Warden, Woodlands Outdoor Centre (City of Oxford) (internationally recognised as leading adventure centre for 14 year olds)
1972-1992 Director, Adventure Education, Charlotte Mason College Lancaster University, Lake District.
- International Adventure Course (one year) for experienced teachers
- 5 day expeditions for mixed groups of 10-12year olds without adults (pre mobile phones)
- The National Association for Outdoor Education (1969) , last chairman, Lord Hunt of Everest 1998.
- Adventure and Environmental Awareness Group (1972) www.aea-uk.org
- Community projects in the Lake District 1975-1992
1961 The first climbing wall developed
1967 Discovered climbing potential of Pembrokeshire sea cliffs (produced first guidebook 1974)
1975 Created and led first modern sea kayak expedition. The Nordkapp Expedition (500 mile; 6 man). (Churchill Scholarship)
1984 The Adventure Alternative - global classic & still in print
2001 Beyond Adventure
2009 The Spirit of Adventure
2011 Pure Adventure (monograph)
2011 Wisdom of Pure Adventure (monograph)
2015 The Adventure Alternative (2nd edition)
2017 Sunlight on a Fragmented Anxious World
Due soon Autobiography
in North America, Australasia, Scandinavia, Singapore and Europe.
- Outward Bound International (Finland 2009)
- Australia (Victoria, Queensland, South Australia 2010)
- Singapore (2010)
- Kendal Mountain Festival 2009; 2011
- Finland (2014)