Julia Simpson - Ben Nevis Via Ledge Route after a night in the CIC hut
Kay Burley, Sky News - Scottish Winter Mountaineering
Alan - Scottish climbing both summer and winter
I climbed Ben Nevis with Guy in the depth of winter January 2019.
I had no experience of climbing anything higher than Box Hill or Hampstead Heath but I loved the beauty of Nevis. I will be eternally grateful to Guy for helping me achieve a life changing experience
The great thing about Guy is his knowledge and professionalism. He is a true expert - about the mountain, the weather, the snow, the equipment, how to guide, train, make judgements about people and conditions. He also quietly conveys a respect and love for these incredible mountains.
He thorough prepared our merry band of five that included mixed ability from former SAS to me older, desk bound Londoner.
He took us to the Glencoe mountain centre. We gently climbed two days before. He watched us. Gauged our fitness levels, our resilience and our belief. He taught us how to pack a rucksack, how to fit crampons, walk on icy rocks, fresh thick snow and ford mountain streams. He taught us how to act as a team.
I would never have climbed Ben Nevis had it not been for Guy. I trusted him. I was trained by the best ballet teachers in the world. Dame Ninette de Valois, took no prisoners but you would trust her with your life and your athlete’s body was her mountain. Guy is similar. Strong, clear, respectful and utterly determined.
Half way up Nevis I hit my ‘marathon wall’. Legs went weak. Guy who had roped me behind him, clocking everyone’s ability, got me through the wall through. He did it through kindness, strong clear advice on how to climb, where to put my feet to prevent calf strain, how to eat regularly, drink regularly and not waste time.
It was us against the mountain and the weather. Or rather with Guy it was us in harmony with the mountain and the weather. Like Roger Federer every step Guy takes is efficient. No energy wasted. Lean machine.
We stayed the night before at the hut at 2200 feet. Guy talked us through the route. Made us realise we all relied on each other. There is only the team. Nothing else.
Guy is simply brilliant. Understated stated talent in a red van. I am not surprised he has passed the highest alpine climbing teaching certificates. He is up there with the best.
Guy brought another excellent guide Louisa. She and Guy worked as a great team, directing their resources among us. She was so knowledgeable about the terrain and as a young strong woman could understand the differences between a tall young 15 stone hunk to an 8 stone, 5’3 older woman. She was brilliant at roping, crossing difficult terrain, keeping up spirits. Watching out for less strong team members. But both Guy and Louisa ensured we drew on our own resilience, learnt our own lessons, forged our own guided path.
Great team, great fun. Just do it!
‘Are you mad?’ followed by ‘you’re far too old’ and then ‘don’t break anything’ were the most common responses when I told family and friends I planned to climb Ben Nevis, in winter, in a blizzard! However, they reckoned without the calm, professional, easy elegance of Guy Steven. It wasn’t easy, but at no point did I feel I wouldn’t reach my goal. Now, having conquered the highest peak in the UK I am already planning my next adventure with the most professional, thoughtful, fun guide I could have ever have wished for.
I first used your services back in 2010 and during these eight years I have thoroughly enjoyed every single day on the hill with you.
Your competence is exemplary as is your quiet reassuring encouragement. And as we both well know, I’ve often been in need of all these qualities as you have lead me out of the comfort zone which I would otherwise be inclined to inhabit.
You have coaxed and cajoled me up to grade V winter level and a single day traverse of the Cuillin Ridge. Neither of these would have happened without you...............and we’ve had lots of laughs along the way!
Apart from myself, you have also given the benefit of your skills and professionalism to other members of my family: My wife Linda managed Tower Ridge. My 12 year old grandson, Kyle had his first scrambling experience under your care on Ledge Route, Ben Nevis and my son Austin has enjoyed many great days on The Ben, in Glencoe and on a Cuillin Traverse with you.
I hope that we will all benefit from many more years of days out on the hill with you but as you may have noticed in my own case; ‘old age doesn’t come alone’ and I’m not quite skipping up the hills with the ease I used to.....even eight years ago, so you might have to adopt a ‘slow guides pace.
Katya - 2 Day Cuillin Ridge Traverse
Thanks for the photos and for our successful Ridge last week, I know you say we were lucky with good weather – this is true – but also you are too modest. I have met a quite a few instructors in the past but no-one quite like you: highly competent but also really good judge of character and people’s abilities and so much fun to be with! Your passion for the mountains is infectious and you seem to actually enjoy the work too (or am I just flattering myself…) which makes such a difference. You definitely have a rare combination of technical and social skills – lucky clients.
The Ridge was a totally amazing experience – I just wish I could take it all in properly: there was so much going on that it is hard to remember everything (other than the obvious highlights such as the dripping wet Sgurr nan Gillean scramble which was certainly memorable). Guess I am just going to have to do it all again some day…
Andy - Mountaineering
I just wanted to say thank you for a fantastic 4 days "Munro bashing" on Skye. Your guiding enabled us to achieve what we wanted to do, and to challenge ourselves and really enjoy the mountains. You quickly sussed out our abilities and led us skilfully so we went beyond simple peak bagging and really got to grips with some fantastic scrambling. Your enthusiasm and your love of the mountains shines through everything you do. It felt like going walking with a knowledgeable and respected friend, who joined in the banter and swapping of tales, but who quietly knew the way and how to keep us all safe and confident in ourselves. That's a great skill and a great art. Mike at Skye Guides was saying how lucky he is to have you working for him and I agree. Once my knees have recovered I'll have to start plotting another adventure!
Roger - Winter Climbing
I climbed with Guy for 5 days in an effort to fall in love with the mountains again. After Everest in 2012, I had little appetite for the hills, but was sure that with the right mountain experiences I could find that passion again. Guy totally “got it”. Over our five days his enthusiasm, passion and energy and careful planning of appropriate routes got me back in the groove and I got the passion back. His enthusiasm is infectious – and I caught it again. If you want a lot of laughs, boundless enthusiasm, encouragement, and a great climbing partner, then Guy’s your man. He was clearly a Labrador in his previous life – full of energy and always wagging his tail. I cannot recommend him highly enough
Calum - Winter Mountaineering
Hi Guy Many thanks once again for taking me out on Ben Nevis last week. I had a great day which absolutely met all of my objectives - I'm very impressed by your teaching style and ability to impart skills and confidence in a subtle yet effective manner. I also appreciate your flexibility in moving dates from the Monday to Friday following our holiday delay. I would be grateful if you would send some pictures of the day to me as I forgot my camera. Feel free to point any clients in my direction if ever requested for a client reference - id be more than happy to recommend you.
Ivon & Giles - 5 Days Mountaineering
Hi Guy,…I just wanted to say a massive thank you for sending us the CD with pictures, you have taken some very good ones! I also wanted to thank you on behalf of Giles and I for a fantastic course. We learnt loads and feel a lot more confident. You are a brilliant teacher. We are hoping to get up to the Torridon in Easter, hoping for snow (doubt it!!!). Hope work is going well.