Our friend and colleague, Martin Moran

Posted: 08.07.19 by James Thacker

The British Association of Mountain Guides summary of Martin Moran’s climbing and working career:

The entire membership of the British Association of Mountain Guides is devastated to learn that our friend and colleague Martin Moran has died in an avalanche on Nanda Devi East along with his six clients and their Indian liaison officer. Martin has been a member of our association for thirty-four years and within this close-knit group of fewer than two hundred individuals he has worked and climbed alongside nearly all of us. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends and to those of his clients at this terrible time.


Martin Moran on the Zinalrothorn

Martin Moran guiding on the Zinalrothorn (c) British Mountain Guides

Martin went through the very rigorous process of becoming an IFMGA Mountain Guide, an international qualification recognised across the world and known by all to represent the highest standards of competence and professionalism. He was the very embodiment of a British and International Mountain Guide, highly respected and a consummate professional.

Born on 19th February, 1955, Martin grew up in North Tyneside.  He met his future wife Joy when they were both 18. He took a degree in Geography at Cambridge University and later qualified as a Chartered Accountant in Sheffield. During the winter of 1984/85 he completed all of the Munros in a single round. In 1985 Martin qualified as a British Mountain Guide and he and Joy started a mountaineering instruction and guiding business based in Lochcarron in the NW Highlands of Scotland. Martin ran summer Alpine mountaineering courses based in Argentière, France and then in Evolène, Switzerland for 20 years.

In 1992 Martin started taking clients on mountaineering expeditions to the Indian Himalaya and during the summer of 1993 he climbed all of the 4,000m peaks (self-propelled) in the Alps, with Simon Jenkins. After more than 40 successful commercial (often pioneering) expeditions the company Moran Mountain is known as one of Britain’s most experienced mountain adventure companies.

In 2005 Martin began offering mountaineering courses in Norway; winter ice climbing courses and spring arctic mountaineering courses. In 2009 he attempted Nanda Devi East with clients and returned to try a new route on the same mountain in 2015 (reaching 6,865m on the unclimbed North East Ridge). Courses, tours, guiding and expeditions were now being run in Scotland, the Alps, Norway and the Himalaya. Highlights in India included the first ascents of the South Face of Nanda Kot, 6,861m in 1995 and the West Ridge of Nilkanth, 6,596m in 2000, along with a dozen other pioneering ascents.  He also led trips to Kamet and Trisul, also in the Uttarakhand region.

Closer to home Martin has climbed over a hundred high standard new winter routes in Scotland and authored a total of 6 books. He has been an active, full member of the British Mountain Guides for thirty four years, once holding the post of Treasurer and participating fully in training events, passing on his valuable experiences and knowledge to others.

Martin and Joy have 2 grown up children, Alex and Hazel.

We will all miss him so very much





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