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Ron Rutland and Hilary Mills

About Summitreks

Summitreks is an Outdoor retailer and Adventure Activities business.  Ron Rutland and Hilary Mills opened their Summitreks store in Coniston in 1987. They also run a very successful outdoor activities business Summitreks Activities Services. Ron and Hilary have always been keen walkers, climbers and skiers. This love of the outdoors has taken them all over the world with Ron making several expedition to climb Everest, Shishapangma in south central Tibet and Manaslu.



Ron has just messaged to say that everyone is now safely down from the mountain. Heavy snowfall has made the route unsafe with insufficient time now for the snow to consolidate and enable another summit bid.
Sadly the expedition will now prepare to leave Base Camp for the trek out and journey home.

Tuesday 13th August.

Still at Base Camp waiting for settled weather. 20cm of fresh snow hampered their descent from Camp 2.
A proposed Summit bid at the end of the week is being compromised by forecasts of heavy snow on Thursday morning.

Friday 9th August 

Today an early start for return to Camp 1 (5,250m) -situated on a series of rocky platforms close to the snowline.
Tomorrow the route follows the long undulating ridge mostly on snow to the large level site of Camp 2 at 5,670m.Here they will spend the night all being well and return to Base Camp on Sunday 11th.
Wednesday 7th August
Ron and the team climbed back up to Camp 1 on Tuesday and spent the night there before returning to Base Camp today.
All part of the acclimatisation process.No more news but all going well and weather fairly settled.
Saturday 3rd August
Now safely at Base Camp (4,160m) and enjoying an acclimatisation/rest day.
Since leaving the roadhead at Arandu (2,770m) it has taken 3 days following the northern edge of the Chogolumgma Glacier to reach the foot of Spantik’s south east ridge.
Tomorrow they will venture onto the lower slopes of the mountain exploring part of the route to Camp 1 (c 5,150m) before returning back to Base Camp.


On 27th July 2019 Ron Rutland, SUMMITREKS Operations Director & Mountain Guide will fly to Islamabad in Pakistan to climb SPANTIK, 7,027 metres.
An internal flight from Islamabad will be taken to Skardu in the Karakoram Himalayas.
The team will trek to a BaseCamp at 4,160 metres on the edge of the Chogolungma Glacier.
From BaseCamp the climb takes the S.E ridge which rises  2,870m. over it`s 8.8km. length to the summit at 7.027 m.
3 camps will be placed allowing a final summit climb towards the end of August.
Ron Rutland. 
Wetherlam - Photographed by Ron Rutland, 6th July 2019

Swirl How - Photographed by Ron Rutland, 19th June 2019


Monday 27th May

Summitreks Black Crag, Bank Holiday Monday

Saturday 25th May

Top. Fairfield range from Wetherlam

Saturday 13th April 2019

Ron Rutland
Thirlmere from summit of Raven Crag

Photographs of a winter course on the 2nd February 2019 on top of the Old Man, Coniston.

Coniston Old Man covered in snow January 23rd 2019


Winter Private Guided Days 2019

Lake District, Cumbria Course  Director
Ron Rutland is an MIC holder, the highest instruction award available in the UK. He has operated courses of this type for over 30 years, with numerous alpine and Himalayan expeditions completed including Everest, Makalu, Cho-Oyu, Manaslu and Shishapangma you will be guaranteed a first class safe experience.
WINTER PRIVATE GUIDED SESSIONS One Day Course £200 up to three people Bespoke private guided sessions to include the requirements of the client on a daily/two day basis. It includes instruction and use of ice axe and crampons. The sessions would be held anywhere in the Lakes depending on where the best snow conditions are. Includes axe, crampons and safety helmet.

Dates available for 2019Sunday 27th January, Saturday 2nd February, Sunday 3rd February, Saturday 9th February, Sunday 10th February, Sunday 17th February, Saturday 23rd February, Sunday 24th February, Saturday 2nd March. Other days are possible by negotiation. To discuss your requirements, to book with a £50 deposit and for more information telephone 015394 41212 or email


By 2nd August we had established C3 at 6,300m.
The weather forecast forwarded by Summitreks in the UK gave us a weather window to allow a summit bid  -
So, at 1am on 2nd August we started the climb to the summit.  It was a cold, clear night- a welcome bonus after the previous days of volatile weather.
We split into 3 ropes with 5 climbers and 3 sherpas to cross the glacier to the headwall which led to the ridge adjoining Kun and Pinnacle Peak, 6,930m
The headwall was steep and covered in a layer of soft snow overlying ice. As we ascended, now on some fixed ropes,the cloud rolled in ominously –adding  yet another dimension to our commitment to reach the summit.
We crossed an unstable diagonal ridge as dawn became daylight. From 6,800m the angle eased a little and conditions underfoot became more reliable. For the first time since leaving C3 eight hours earlier there was a resting place in the now clear weather.
The altitude effect was now slowing us and time rolled by, but at 11.30 I finally set foot on the summit of KUN, 7,087m.
Now all we had to do was concentrate on a safe descent!

Ron with Sherpas on KUN summit

Wednesday 8th August
Ron is now back in Leh. Last night he enjoyed a celebration dinner with the Sherpa team who are mostly from the Makalu region – an 8,000m peak that Ron has been to on several occasions, the first being a winter attempt that Ron led  `alpine style` in  the early 1980s.
Tomorrow he leaves for Delhi and a debrief with the IMF, and then home.
What a way to spend your 70th birthday!

Kun Summit and C3 below summit ridge, viewed from C2

Friday 3rd August, 2018
SUCCESS!  Ron reached the summit of Kun mid-day yesterday. Now back at BC and due home on Friday 10th August.
No more news as yet, but from Summitreks - `Well Done!`
Report to follow.

Route to C2 (top right) from C1

28th July, 2018
Ron left on 7th July as scheduled – arriving in LEH via DELHI to visit the International Mountaineering Federation in order to finalise climbing permits.
He was in contact on the first part of the approach before reaching Kargil on 17th July. Here he encountered difficulties with satellite phones being confiscated- presumably due to the sensitive nature of the area having a strong military presence close to the Indian border.
Since then communication has been limited, but we know that he reached C1 (5,200m) on 26th July and C2 (6,121m) yesterday, 27th July. This was always going to be the most technical section of the climb- involving mixed rock, snow and ice up to 50 deg. in places.
The weather pattern on the summit pyramid looks settled for the first few days of August so hopefully they will make a summit bid early next week.


30th June 2018

Kun -7,087m
Ladakh - Himalaya-India
On Saturday 7th July, Summitreks Operations Director Ron Rutland will fly to Delhi and onwards to Leh (3,510m) the capital of LADAKH. After acclimatisation the team will trek to KUN - Base camp 4,350m.This part of the expedition is anticipated to take 10 days.
From Base camp we will use 3 camps on the mountain with a summit attempt in early August.
Kun is a snow/ice climb with some challenging sections between the camps. We are due back in the UK on 10th August.

30th June 2018

Black Combe Summit, South Lakes

16th June 2018

Summitreks on summit of Mt. Olympus, Greece. Pity no view!

12th June 2018

Guided walk Scafell Pike

27th May 2018

Buckbarrow with Leki!

26th May 2018

A guided walk up the Old Man of Coniston (Kanchenjunga) as it was known in Arthur Ransome's books.

24th May 2018

HarterFell. Summitreks on top with Deuter.

4th May 2018

View from Helvellyn

April 30th 2018

White Maiden. Dow Crag

April 10th 2018


In early July 2018 Summitreks Director- Guide will be travelling to Ladakh  in Northern India to climb KUN 7087. (23,250 feet).
KUN is one of the highest peaks in this part of the Himalaya and was first climbed in 1913 but had to wait 58 years before a second attempt was successful.
Ron will post details of the ascent as they happen in July –August.
If you are going on any expedition anywhere in the world and you need training – equipment advice please contact me. Ron Rutland Summitreks Guides.


Private guided session 21st February 2018


Langdale Pikes 13th February 2018

10th February 2018, Yewtree Tarn, near Coniston


Summitreks Winter Skills, Coniston Fells, Thursday 1st February 2018


28th December 2017

Out on a private guided Winter skills session on Helvellyn with Ron Rutland

2018 Winter Courses- Lake District, Cumbria

Winter Skills for the Hills Courses.

Ron Rutland is an MIC holder, the highest instruction award available in the UK. He has operated courses of this type for over 30 years, with numerous alpine and Himalayan expeditions completed including Everest, Makalu, Cho-Oyu, Manaslu and Shishapangma you will be guaranteed a first class safe experience.

Self arrest practice on steep ground

WINTER SKILLS FOR THE HILLS - NON RESIDENTIAL - 2 Days - £250.00 per person Included is two days (weekend) instruction and the hire of ice axes, crampons and helmets.For adults only, if your hill walking experience has been mainly in summer conditions then this course provides the ideal introduction to winter hill walking. It provides you with the key skills you will need. Hill walking in winter is an enjoyable and rewarding activity but it does require special skills to enjoy the hills in safety. You will learn how to use ice axe and crampons, including self arrest practice on steep ground, navigate in winter conditions and deal with survival situations. Plus you get expert advice on winter gear.The meeting point will depend on conditions but will be in the Ambleside area to give access to Helvellyn where usually the best snow conditions are.
Weekend dates
2018 Dates available for Winter Courses 3rd - 4th February, 10th-11th February, 17th-18th February, 24th - 25th February , 3rd-4th March Weekend dates in February/March available to book online. Click here for how to book or book by telephone 00 44 (0)15394 41212 Midweek dates available to book throughout the Winter. Please book these dates by telephone 0044 (0)15394 41212 WINTER PRIVATE GUIDED SESSIONS - One Day Course £200 (Up to three people). It is possible to have private guided sessions on a daily/two day basis. It includes instruction and use of ice axe and crampons. The sessions would be held anywhere in the Lakes depending on where the best snow conditions are. To discuss your requirements and book a day/days of your choice telephone 00 44 (0)15394 41212 or email We will be starting our Winter courses soon and you can book online now, so do not miss out the snow is on it's way!

Private Guided day out with Ron Rutland On Helvellyn 2016

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