26th April 2019

Meet the team: Iona Pawson

Written by Jack Nicholl

Mountaineering and Rock Climbing Instructor, International Mountain Leader, Winter Mountain Leader... beginner croissant baker.

  • Tell us about yourself Iona

As a family we went on lots of walking and skiing holidays and this is where my passion for the mountains came from.   I have been working in the outdoors since leaving full-time education and have chosen to specialise in land-based mountain sports.

  • What would you say your achievements have been so far in your outdoors career?

Passing my Summer Mountain Leader Award was my first professional achievement.  This kickstarted my career in the outdoors and shortly afterward I got a position as a Centre Assistant at Plas Y Brenin in 2010/11.  Making the move from London, where to I grew up, to North Wales confirmed my career choice and opened my eyes to what I could achieve.  I am proud to return to the centre to work as a member of the instructional team here after working as a freelancer and passing some higher awards.

  • How do you spend your free time?

In my free time, I enjoy going on ski mountaineering trips where I get to combine all of the mountain skills I have learnt from camping and navigating, to decision making, and hopefully skiing some good powder too.  Highlights have included traversing the Bugaboos, skiing in Mongolia and reaching the summit of Mount Logan.

  • What are your ambitions?

To keep learning, enjoying and challenging myself in the outdoors.  Currently my winter work is changing from teaching skiing in the Alps to working in the UK as a newly qualified Winter Mountain Leader, so I am excited to see where this will take me over the coming years. I always have a range of dots on my Google Earth, expedition reports to read, and suggestions from friends.  Who knows where my next ski expedition will take me, but it will probably involve some remote self-sufficient type 2 fun!

I have also been learning to Mountain Bike, which is a very good reminder of what it is like to be a scared beginner!  However I am hoping to go on some bike packing journeys and combine this with my love of self sufficient travel.

I am also a keen vegetable gardener and enjoy baking bread and cakes.  Each year I set myself a new cooking challenge and at the moment I’m tackling croissants.


Meet the rest of the PYB team