GC - That's me!
I'm Graham Coates and I think it's fair to say I've been passionate about the outdoors ever since I could crawl out of my Moses Basket.
I've spent most of my free time having adventures on mountains, up rock faces, on (and in) rivers, lakes and seas and underground (my favourite) since I've been out of short pants, but for the last fifteen (ish) years I've been lucky enough to make it my job too - working in the outdoor instructing industry.
The reassuring bit
You need to know that you're in safe hands when you go out into the hills and dales. Your safety is obviously my most important priority. We can't have fun together, unless you're relaxed and can trust me as your guide can you? Of course, the most important qualification is recent, relevant and quality experience - which is why you need to be with someone who spends most days outside - and which is where you'll usually find me! I'll be either challenging myself, improving my own skills in the UK and across the world, or working with groups (often youngsters) in the Dales and the Lake District, as an Outdoor Activities Instructor.
However, you also need to know I am qualified in all the activities we're enjoying, so here's a list of my qualifications and certificates:
Mountain Leader, Single Pitch Award, Local Cave Leader Level 2, Level 3 Open Canoe, Current First Aid, Child Safeguarding, Enhanced DRB.
My main passion and area of expertise is caving. Yes, I love climbing, mountain walking and getting wet in a canoe, but given a choice, I'd always go for the Yorkshire Underground. Or anywhere else underground. For me, caving is the ideal pastime - it's for everyone: children and adults. It's a life sport - some of the best (world-class) cavers I know and respect have been drawing their pension for a few years - and they're still caving!
Caving FEELS like an adventure - you really do explore a new world, that no one else ever sees. And it's under your feet.
Where else - apart from deep space and deep oceans - would you achieve this sense of the unknown? (And it's so much cheaper than space travel…)