Di Gilbert is a full time Mountaineering Instructor and holder of the MIC. This is the highest qualification within the British Mountaineering Instructor scheme. MIC holders are qualified to instruct all aspects of mountaineering, both summer & winter, including rock climbing, scrambling and technical snow and ice climbing and winter mountaineering.
Di also holds Snowsports Scotland's Mountain Ski Leader qualification. This is the Nationally recognised qualification for those leading mountain ski touring parties in the British hills, and the American Avalanche Association Level 2.
Di also has a HNC in Leisure Management, a BA Degree in Outdoor Education, (in a previous life was) a Level 3 coach in both Inland Kayak & Open Canoe and had completed her BASI Foundation Course.
Di has previously worked for Scotland’s National Outdoor Centre, Glenmore Lodge and the National Outdoor Centre, Plas Y Brenin. She can also be found delivering and working along side premium independents such as Stuart Johnston, Pete Hill & Richard Bentley.
Favourite British ascents include:
- The Needle, Shelter Stone, E1 5b
- Dragon & Gob, Carnmore Crag, HVS 5a
- Ardverikie Wall, Binnein Shuas, HS 4b
- Cenotaph Corner, Dinas Cromlech, E1 5c
- Superdirect, Dinas Mot, E1 5b
- The Big Top, Aonach Dubh, E1 5a
- Savage Slit, Coire an Lochan V, 6
- Poachers Fall, Liathach V,5
- Point Five Gully, Ben Nevis V,5
- Indi 500, Lundy, E1 5b
- Formula One, Lundy HVS 5a
However, it is in the Alpine & Greater Ranges that Di really has most passion for. Having travelled extensively around the globe since 1997, Di has been Expedition Leader to no fewer that 19 commercial Expeditions and countless personal forays.
Most notable ascents include:
- Mount Everest, 8848m, Tibet
- Cho Oyo, 8001m, Tibet
- Huascaran 6768, Peru
- North Ridge (Biancograt), Piz Bernina, AD
- Frontier Ridge, Mont Maudit, D
- Gabarro-Albinoni Couloir, Mont Blanc du Tacul TD
- Croz Spur/Slovenian Start, Grande Jorasses EDhard
- The Ginat, Les Droites ED2
- Cassin Route, Piz Badile TD
- Swiss Route, Les Courtes TD-
- Muztag Ata, 7546m, China
Most noteable descents include (on ski’s - without catching an edge):
- Millieu Glacier, Aig. d’Argentiere, Chamonix
- West Face, Grande Casse, Vanoise
In 2011, Di represented GB in the ISMF Ski Mountaineering World Championships in Claut (Italy) when Team GB were ranked 12th in the National ranking. Read about the full story here. Di was placed 3rd in the 2012 British Ski Mountaineering Championships.
Di is a member of Snowsport scotland and holds the Alpine Ski Leader Qualification & Mountain Ski Leader Qualification.
The Seven Summits
Di has never really been a 'bagger' of tops and summits, however along the way of enjoying time in the mountains, Di suddenly noticed that she had completed the majority of the famous '7 Summits'. After summitting Aconcagua in January 2010 she made the conscious decision to complete the list.
On the 20th July 2010, Di and Derek stood on the top of Europe, completing Di's unintential aim of climbing the world's 7 summits.
Africa: Mount Kilimanjaro 5895m 1999 Expedition Leader
Antartica: Mount Vinson 4892m 2003 Guide
Asia: Mount Everest 8848m 2005 Expedition Leader
North America: Denali 20,320' 2009 Playing with Friends
The desputed one: Carstensz Pyramid 4884m 2009 Expedition Leader
South America: Aconcagua 2010 Expedition Leader
Europe: Elbrus 2010 Playing with Friends
To see Di talking live on STV's The Hour - scaling the seven peaks with Di Gilbert click here.
Having completed the 7 summits, Di was reminded by an audience member in a talk that she was giving, that she had not actually summitted Scotland's 283 Munros. The next plan was hatched and on the 28th May 2011, Di stood on the summit of Carn Bhac along with a small group of friends.
It took Di, 6,773 days or 18 years, 6 months and 18 days to complete her Munros - somewhat longer and possibly harder (!) than it took her to summit the world's 7 summits.
Di also spent 4 Antarctic seasons based at Patriot Hills, initially as a Guide, before reached the dizzy heights of Field Operations Manager with Antarctic Expeditions & Logistics before finally hanging up her pink sorrel boots and carhartts for the final time in 2007.
Di’s work (and play) has taken her to places that she thought were impossible ,and lives by the motto of “the best climbers are the one’s having the most fun”.
The majority of courses are run by Di, however, there are certain occasions when other instructors will work. These instructors will be fully qualified Mountaineering Instructors or Mountain Guides who have been specifically chosen for the job in hand.