About More than Mountains
More than Mountains runs courses and guided tours throughout the Lake District and Cumbria, and is owned by Nick and Jill Cannon Jones. We are passionate about providing exciting, engaging and safe outdoor activities and tours in the beautiful surroundings of the British countryside.
Unfortunately it is not a legal requirement in Britain for companies like ours to use qualified instructors or to have insurance. However, here at More than Mountains, we take both of these points very seriously. All of the instructors we use are fully qualified for the activity they are running. We are very happy to show copies of any instructor’s qualification and our insurance – just ask.
If someone is charging a lot less than us please make sure you find out why.
After studying languages at university I spent three years in Japan and then a further five years using my Japanese in project management roles in this country but I left it all behind to move to the Lake District. I have walked and climbed throughout the UK and abroad and am always keen to explore new places. I have always had a passion for maps (I have been called a “map geek”!) and teaching so since gaining my Mountain Leader certificate in 2006 I have really enjoyed leading navigation courses.
In 2009 I graduated top of my class and became a Blue Badge Tourist Guide for Cumbria and the Lake District. I take groups and individuals on guided walking tours and coach tours throughout the county. I love introducing people to the Lake District and am equally happy guiding in English or Japanese, from the front of a coach or on foot, in an ancient church or on England’s highest mountains.
Since discovering rock climbing and hill walking with the Scouts I have never been far away from the mountains. I have been lucky enough to turn what began as a year out into a full time career. I have worked my way through the Mountain Training mountaineering qualifications from my Mountain Leader award through Rock Climbing Instructor, Winter Mountain Leader and Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor to becoming a Winter Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor in 2009. As a WMCI I am qualified to take you rock, snow or ice climbing anywhere in the UK. The WMCI (previously known as the MIC) is the highest UK specific qualification so you could not be in safer hands. I now also work on courses and workshops to train and assess future mountaineering instructors and provide continuing professional development (CPD) sessions to help qualified instructors keep their awards current and up to date with best practise. I am a full member of the Association of Mountaineering Instructors (AMI).
I have gained so much from the outdoor environment, particularly the Lake District. I now enjoy sharing my enthusiasm for the hills with others and passing on the knowledge to help them go and explore by themselves. I have been an active member of a Mountain Rescue Team (first Keswick and then Duddon and Furness) from 2005 to 2015 and I once appeared in Coronation Street.
More than Mountains is growing which means we are now in the exciting position of being able to use specially picked freelance instructors for some of our courses. All of our freelancers are fully qualified for the activities we employ them for and have been chosen because we believe they can offer the best possible service to our customers. They are all friendly and approachable people who share our love for the outdoors.
Beginners' Navigation Course
My son and I spent a very informative and enjoyable day with Jill on the one day beginners navigation course. Our objective for the day was to learn how to more effectively utilise an OS map, to be able to identify features to find our way on tracks, paths and across open countryside, be able to better plan routes and estimate time to complete thereby enabling us to safely explore routes away from the well marked (popular) tourist routes - this was achieved and much more. Prior to the course we both considered ourselves responsibly prepared for walking in the high fells but we learnt so much more on the day in terms of reviewing appropriate weather information, equipment and safety. We will be returning in the spring to complete the immediate course and more. Highly recommend.
Family gorge walking
Just a brilliant day for all of us. This was the highlight of our holiday. We were all pushed and challenged to a thoroughly enjoyable extent as we trekked in our waterproofs up the flow in the Langdales, absolutely sodden! From climbing a roped rockface, to jumping full length into bubbling ghyll pools. The kids were totally energised and want to do it all again - so do Mum and Dad. Nick is a very calm professional who knew what the kids would be capable of and we felt more than safe in his hands. We'll be back.
Multi Pitch Climbing
My friend Sam and I booked a two day private course with the intention of learning the skills necessary to move on to multi pitch climbing and also be guided up Troutdale Pinnacle. The weekend was everything we hoped for and more... Day one was an excellent instructional introduction to multi pitch and Nick’s calm, patient and thorough approach was exactly what we needed. And the fact that Nick had spent some time with Mountain Rescue was a nice little nugget of information I was happy to carry with me, I don’t mind admitting ha ha. A full day learning all about rope and stance management, topped off with a lesson on abseiling out of trouble in the event of a storm or injury etc. Day two was quite simply an adventure of a lifetime I’ll never forget...not only was Nick enthusiastically happy to guide us up Troutdale Pinnacle but he kept a running commentary of instruction going the whole time, making sure we got the most out of our two days. I cannot recommend this company highly enough and would like to add an extra thanks to Jill for going above and beyond and searching out a climbing partner for me a few months back when I was temporarily partnerless...thanks again folks, loved every minute.
Beginners' Navigation Course
Introduction to navigation course led by Jill. “Bloody fantastic”!, it was a fantastic day. Jill is truly an expert and an excellent (tough but fair) teacher. I intend to practice what I learned with a view to booking the intermediate course. Cannot recommend highly enough.
Beginners' Rock Climbing
We had a brilliant day trying rock climbing for the first time with Nick - our instructor. We tried and learned so many things, now seriously considering rock climbing. Nick was patient and helpful, but still pushed us to do more than we thought we would be able to do. Highly recommended to everyone. Great experience, lots of positive emotions and memories. Unforgettable experience in the lovely Lake District.
Family Multi Activity Day
Brilliant day out. Highly recommend especially if you have young kids. No matter the weather it will be a memorable, safe and adventurous day. You don't need to be super fit either as the day is modelled around your abilities. Go for it!
Intermediate Navigation Course
My friend and I have just had a weekend course learning and practising navigation skills with Jill as our instructor. Jill made the course varied and very interesting and I've gained a lot of knowledge and confidence. Fantastic experience and thank you Jill. After some time practising my new skills I will return to do an advanced course.
Private Scrambling Course
I've used More Than Mountains on three occasions in the Lakes. First time out (couple of years ago) we scrambled Cam Crag Ridge. This year Nick took me up Pinnacle Ridge - a big ambition of mine. We then went scrambling/climbing on Shepherd's Crag with my 6 year old daughter, and Nick was fantastic with her too, very patient and helping her at her level really naturally. Nick obviously knows his stuff forwards and backwards and has been a great help to me revising stuff I learned on ML Training. Thoroughly recommended for walking/scrambling/climbing.
Private Climbing Course
In many situations I have found guides unwilling or unable to explain the reasoning/logic behind the techniques they used (many times it is just because they were taught that way). With Nick I was able to ask questions and he clearly had a deep understanding of the subject and could explain simply the pros/cons and reasoning behind his decisions. This helped to refresh, reinforce and build my own understanding which is essential in my learning processes.
Mountain Leader Refresher
I meant to email you ref my ML assessment. Just to let you know that I passed Hurrah! Thanks for the navigation course last year. It really helped.
Learn to Lead Course
Nick was really good at not only showing what to do, but also why it is done. He was patient and enthusiastic giving me as much information as possible without over doing it. Thanks for a great week, I achieved far more than expected and am now keener than ever to do more and more climbing. I will certainly recommend you to friends.
Rock Climbing Course
The instruction was superb with patience, care, attention to detail and safety in abundance.