Phil was brought up and learnt to climb in Western Scotland. After graduating from Cambridge University, he was commissioned into the Royal Marines. He specialised as an officer in the elite Mountain and Arctic Warfare Cadre. In 2000, while working for the United Nations, he was awarded the Queen's Gallantry Medal for leading a daring escape from incarceration by a brutal militia in Sierra Leone. Phil qualified as a guide in 2010 and splits his time between Chamonix, France and Swanage in Dorset. He has climbed and skied all over the world and is married with 2 young daughters.