Our Team

Mind Over Mountains is led by a core team of advocates passionate about the outdoors and mental health, fiercely committed to helping people fulfil their potential regardless of what challenges they may be facing. 


Alex Staniforth - director and Speaker

Alex is an adversity adventurer, keynote speaker, published author and charity fundraiser from Chester. Aged 23, he is the fastest person ever to climb all 100 UK county tops in 72 days with his Climb The UK challenge in 2017, raising over £25,000 for Young Minds UK and winning Pride of Britain 'Regional Fundraiser of the Year'. His outdoor journey began in the Lake District as a way to overcome personal adversity, and has since attempted to climb Mount Everest twice. Alex has openly suffered with depression, anxiety and an eating disorder, bulimia nervosa, for over six years. He set up 'Mind Over Mountains C.I.C' in May 2019 to help more people benefit from the outdoors too. Alex is an ambassador for Westgrove Group, PHASE Worldwide, YHA England & Wales and Ellis Brigham Mountain Sports.


Chris spray - director and nlp coach

Chris formed Spring Coaching in 2012 to help people find the resources and resilience they need to create change in their lives. Much of Chris’s practice revolves around taking people into the outdoors, to stretch them and experience how they can imagine new possibilities. Nature often provides all the answers we need.

Chris has a supportive and engaging style that quietly and safely gets to the heart of a problem. His coaching practice is based around NLP as a certified trainer and Transformational Narrative Coaching, reconnecting and making new sense of your life and its story. He is also a trustee of a charity called Crossroads that helps people make informed choices at critical moments in their lives. Chris is an outdoor fanatic having completed many “ultra” walks and in 2019 will take on the 3,500km Transcontinental Bike Race across Europe.


Emma is a qualified Mountain Leader who has a real passion for walking and exploring the mountains of the UK. As a walk leader, Emma is known for the energy and enthusiasm that she shares with her groups, inspiring and encouraging them every step of the way.

When not out walking, Emma works as a support worker within mental health and believes everyone should have equal access to the outdoors, which she views as a therapeutic environment that enhances all aspects of health and well-being. Emma particularly enjoys piecing together her own long distance walks using Youth Hostels or wild camps en-route. She’s a keen birdwatcher, amateur naturalist and an experienced Equality and Diversity Trainer.


Clive Huntbach is an experienced counsellor with more than 19 years’ experience and now runs a successful private counselling and supervision practice with a Master degree in Counselling Psychology, a post-graduate certificate in Counselling Supervision, and a post-graduate certificate and diploma in Counselling. He has significant experience of working with sexuality and marginalised people, including the homeless, ex-offenders and substance misusers. Clive recognises the value of mindfulness and the use of outdoors in his practice, having been brought up in a rural community is able to identify the value of outdoors both in physical pursuits and open space for relaxation and the benefits these may have on mental wellbeing.