The Team


Robert Mason

Rob graduated in 2000 from Bristol University with a Masters degree in Geology and Geotechnical Engineering. Wanting to share his love of the mountains and “getting out there”, he began his Mountain Leader training in 2003, and in 2005 became a fully qualified International Mountain Leader. Together with his wife Emma, they walked the length of the Pyrenees on the GR10 route, before establishing MountainBug and settling permanently in the Hautes Pyrenees.


Emma Mason

Emma graduated from the University of Bristol with a PhD in mineral surface geochemistry in 2002, before beginning her Mountain Leader training in 2003. Always passionate about the outdoors and outdoor activities, she qualified as an International Mountain Leader in 2005. That same year she and her partner Rob opened MountainBug.

Rob, Emma and their young family are permanent residents in the Barèges valley.

Dan Beattie IML

 Dan Beattie

Half French, half English and also strong in Spanish, Dan already has a handy set of talents. In addition to linguistic skills his knowledge of the area is exceptional and his past as a Legionnaire and an artist gives him unrivalled abilities in team leading, problem solving and banter!


Julien Johnstone

Julien has been an International Mountain Leader for 19 years. He has lived in the Pyrenees for 25 years, where he has been able to indulge his passion for wild country hiking, plants, birds and wildlife.

Claiming to be the only French speaking Geordie guide in the Pyrenees, he leads hiking and snow-shoeing groups in both French and English, as well as history trips on the Cathar trail and the Spanish Reconquista trail in Aragon, Spain. Julien is also an expert in animal tracks, being able to tell from next to nothing which animal has been passing by and what it was most likely up to.

He enjoys French cooking, good wine and interesting conversation, and can speak French with an impeccable French accent, or, when pressed, an impeccable Geordie one.