A visit from Mr Frostbite & Mount Cook Apprenticeships

Mount Cook are proud to facilitate a variety of amazing apprenticeship programmes for companies both local and further afield. Last month we hosted Tarmac A CRH Company’s annual core skills development programme for Graduates and Higher Apprentices.


During their 3-day residential event with us, the learners took part in a variety of physical and mental challenges to develop the teamwork, communication, and leadership skills needed to carry them through the rest of their apprenticeship.

Time limits and consequences were enforced throughout their stay to encourage both cooperation and competition and mimic a real-world work environment, facilitated by Leadership Coach Piers Carter.

Tarmac also introduced a theme of “Proud To Be Me” throughout the event. Learners reflected on their own personal achievements and future goals, and what they accomplished during each activity.

Nigel Vardy giving his talk in the Mount Cook Tipi
Nigel Vardy giving his inspirational talk in our Tipi

We kicked off the programme with an experience the learners would never forget: a talk from Keynote speaker Nigel Vardy, AKA Mr Frostbite.


Nigel described his own experience as an engineering apprentice, and how his love of the outdoors started at Black Rocks, just five minutes from Mount Cook. This passion took him to exciting and sometimes dangerous places, resulting in the loss of most of his fingers, toes and nose atop of an Alaskan mountain in 1999. Split second decision making and resilience saved his life, and he passed these vital life lessons onto the Tarmac learners.

He described the process of recovery by adapting to life and smashing expectations of everyone around him, by learning to walk (and even tele ski!) again.


Nigel’s talk was the perfect method of illustrating the real-world skills that can come from adventurous activities, including organisation, motivation, and tackling the unknown, bringing gravitas to the programme the apprentices would be completing with us.

The learners were on the edge of their seats with tales of polar bears and daring mountain rescues, and were inspired to use access to the outdoors to find their ‘Proud to Be Me’ moments throughout the programme.


Are you looking for a venue to facilitate your apprenticeship programme, with tangible outcomes through demonstration, participation, and reflection? Uncover leadership skills and introduce your company values through hands on activity at Mount Cook Adventure Centre. Get in touch to discuss your requirements with one of our advisors today:

01629 823 702 explore@mountcook.uk


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