Jon Gupta selfie whilst guiding on Elbrus in 2013.

Jon Gupta Biography

Where it all started…

My passion for expeditions and mountains started in 2005, age 18 whilst spending over 2 months living deep in the remote jungles of Belize. Being part of a team of 22 I pushed myself harder than ever and learnt what expedition life was all about, exploring elements such as team dynamics, resourcefulness, self-management, ability to adapt, flexibility and leadership. Prior to this initial expedition, being a Scout undoubtedly played a big part in developing my passion for outdoor pursuits, mountaineering, camping and wild adventures!

Jon Gupta

Since then…

I haven’t looked back…I have organised, climbed, guided and summited mountains on over 50 expeditions all over the world as well as across the UK in both Summer and Winter conditions. I have worked with both adults and children and have led school expeditions to some incredible places such as Greenland, Namibia and Jordan. I am very passionate about my job and I am always either in the mountains, climbing, skiing and guiding, or planning a trip (or more often – both!). In 2013 I got the opportunity to climb Everest and summited on 19th May at 02:50am, and in spring 2017 I am returning to guide on the Northside. In 2017 I completed the worlds coldest and hardest ultra race – The Yukon Arctic Ultra. My friend and I became the first team ever to complete the 430 mile race on foot. 

I have a particular love for all things winter or high altitude involving snow, ice and generally a large dose of suffering! Introducing people to the world that I love and facilitating their success and enjoyment on major summits is my aim and one of key reasons why I set up Mountain Expeditions.

What now?

At 30; my love for the mountains is still growing and I have probably accumulated more high altitude experience than anyone my age in the world. I am now also a BBC Presenter, sponsored Montane Athlete, full member of the Alpine Club, an ambassador for the Youth Adventure Trust and a member of the Mountain Training Association and the Association of Mountain Instructors. I hold both Summer and Winter Mountain Leader (WML) qualifications, as well as Single Pitch Award (SPA), Mountain Instructor Award (training), International Mountain Leader (Training) and the Wilderness Medical training 4 day Advance Medicine certificate. In 2015 I presented on the primetime BBC2 documentary series India: Natures Wonderland, along side actress Freda Pinto and wildlife expert Liz Bonnin. I have written various feature articles for online and printed magazines such as The Economist, Trek & Mountain and Sidetracked and have also appeared at Kendal Film Festival in the film Between Snow & Stars. 

My expedition and guiding work involves creating flexible and tailored programmes for clients, whether for a single day, a couple of weeks or a major Himalayan trip. I enjoy creating personalised itineraries that are highly flexible to meet the needs of my clients and take into account the ever changing weather and conditions of the mountains.

As well as my own climbing and work I have pursued other interests associated with the outdoors. I am a keen diver (PADI Advanced), road cyclist and off-piste skier, but closer to home I have developed a deep interest in high altitude medicine coupled with the soft skills and dynamics of expeditions.

The future…

I now run Mountain Expeditions full time and currently lead all of the expeditions myself but in 2017 this is about to change! The company is growing steadily predominately through word of mouth, and having a large proportion of returning clients is endorsement of my overall guiding approach. Mountain Expeditions now employs a select few leaders to deliver UK challenges, mountain days and overseas expeditions…the future is exciting!

Notable High Altitude Ascents

All of the following peaks/expeditions were either summited whilst working/guiding or during self-organised and self-guided expeditions with friends:

Mt Everest 8848m (2013)
Peak Communism 7495m (2012)
Peak Pobeda 7439m (Camp 3, 6100m in 2014)
Khan Tengri 7010m (2012)
Peak Lenin 7134m x 3 (2012, 2014*, 2016)
Peak Korjenevskaya 7110m (2012)
Ama Dablam 6812m x 8 (2011 – 2016)
Aconcagua 6962m (2009)
Denali 6218m (2010)
Island Peak 6189m x 7 (2011 – 2014)
Kyajo Ri 6186m (New route high point 5900m)
Louche East 6168m (2015)
Kangchung 6069m (New route high point 5750m)
Cotopaxi 5897m (2012)
Kilimanjaro 5895m x 15 (2008 – 2016)
Elbrus 5642m x 10 (2008 – 2016)
Mont Blanc 4810m (2009)
Mt Meru 4484m (2011)
Toubkal 4134m x 4 (2007, 2009, 2015, 2016)

* First British ski descent from the summit

Major Personal Expeditions & projects

Snow Leopard Award Challenge 2012 – Expedition report here
Snow Leopard Award Challenge 2014 – Expeditions report here
Nepal Unclimbed with Will Harris 2015 – Full write up here
SKI5678 project – Elbrus 5642m, Razdelnaya 6148m, Peak Lenin 7134m. ???8000m???

Speed ascents & climbing highlights

Everest 8848m – Standing on the top of the world (2013)
Peak Lenin 7134m – 1st British ski descent (2014)
Peak Communism, Korjeveskaya & Khan Tengri – 3 x 7000m summits in under 30 days
Ama Dablam 6856m – 2nd fastest speed solo ascent (14 hours 10min) & 3 summits in 7 days (2012)
Kilimanjaro 5895m – Speed ascent accompanying worlds fastest female ascent (11hr 34min) (2015)
Elbrus 5642m in Russia – Solo speed climb/ski (4hrs 50min). Video here 
Winter alpine ice and mixed climbing around Chamonix valley upto WI5 & M6

Schools Expeditions

Iceland (2009)
Morocco (2009, 2010)
Greenland (2010)
Jordan (2011)
Ecuador (2012)
Namibia (2013)
Bolivia (2015)

UK based mountain achievements

Rocking climbing for 10 years
4 Scottish Winter seasons (Glencoe)
UK National Peaks Challenge x 30+
Welsh 3000’s x 5
Hadrian’s Wall trek

In the pipeline for 2017 onwards

Peak Lenin & Pobeda to complete the Snow Leopard Award
Iran Unclimbed Expedition
Everest North Side – Confirmed April/May 2017
8000m Climb/Ski to compleate my #Ski5678 project
Cotopaxi & Chimborazo
India Kashmir Unclimbed
Aconcagua
Kamchatka ski touring