Having grown up in a family of outdoor enthusiasts, Paddy spent his younger years walking in Cornwall, Wales, and the Picos de Europa in Northern Spain. During school he played a lot of team sports such as rugby, but also got his first taste of skiing on a trip to the French Alps at the age of 15. He took to it easily and quickly learnt to feel at home on snow and rock.
After A-levels, Paddy studied Theology at Bristol University where he was a keen rugby player. Upon graduating, Paddy worked in the City, as both an oil broker and a head-hunter. Unfortunately for the City, he realised early on that a large salary and comfortable life were not enough for him, and decided to take some time out to better understand what he wanted to do. He took 2 months off to prepare and complete a walk from Glasgow to Cape Wrath, on tracks and over the mountains; mostly carrying all his equipment and food, and camping. He succeeded in finding enlightenment, and following on from a long interest in stills photography, he is now pursuing a career as a documentary cameraman. The choice has provided him with added bonuses: not being limited to 20 days holiday a year has enabled Paddy take the time to improve his climbing and thus meet Mike, Tim and Si, and get roped into doing major expeditions!
During a gap year after school, Paddy found himself a job teaching English at a University in Encarnacion in southern Paraguay for six months. However, this work not being quite enough for Paddy, he managed to persuade the University to let him do the evening shift teaching English, and then spent his days working in a shelter for street children.
In June 2006, Paddy went with some friends to do a guided climb of Mont Blanc in Chamonix. Unfortunately conditions barred the ascent, but the climbing course he did instead was to have a far greater impact. He very much fell in love with the area, and has been back as often as he possibly can ever since. Training hard in between times back in the UK has meant that when he has got out there, he has been able to take full advantage of the environment and has gained extensive and valuable experience climbing rock, ice and a mixture of both.
Having had a taste of the military whilst a student in the Officer Training Corps (OTC), and having had many friends in the army, Paddy had always been aware of the personal challenges that the Services could provide. In March 2007 he passed selection for the Honourable Artillery Company (HAC), a Territorial Army unit based in the City of London, supplying individuals to work closely with British Special Forces on Operations. Having had to drop out originally through a knee injury in 2007, he is currently waiting for a place to become available to begin the HAC’s Patrol Selection Course again.
Having realised he didn’t want to work in an office, Paddy took two months away to go for a walk. Not your average stroll, Paddy’s walk was just over 500km, covering tracks, woods, moorlands and hilltops, through typical Scottish October conditions, and carrying almost all his camping equipment and food (he did wuss out and stay two nights in a B&B). He completed the walk from Glasgow to Cape Wrath at the north-western tip of Scotland in a total time of 12 days, 1 hour, and 16 minutes. In the process, he succeeded in raising £10,000 for the Alzheimer’s Society.
Having completed a Diploma in Documentary film making at the Metropolitan film school at Ealing studios, and a Location Sound Course at Ravensbourne College, Paddy was asked to go along as a cameraman for the British Land Alpine Ski Championships at Meribel in the French Alps. Not only a test of Paddy’s self-confessed expert skier status, this was a great opportunity for Paddy to gain further experience of filming in a cold weather environment under pressure.