James was commissioned into the British Army where he served with irregular forces completing four tours of operations. Afterwards he worked in high street retail and centre management before managing his own expedition and guiding business. He is now Head of Outdoor Education at Lathallan School. James has guided four crossings of Greenland and many other expeditions around the world. He is a director of the National Navigation Award Scheme and member of the Alpine Club. He holds the Mountaineering Instructor Certificate.