Owen grew up in Edinburgh where he regularly escaped for hillwalking, skiing, camping or birdwatching trips with family or friends. The climbing bug bit while studying Zoology at Aberdeen University where he graduated in 1988 with a 2:1 degree and an E6 on-sighting grade.
After a year out to climb in the UK, Europe and North America Owen moved to Bangor to study for a PGCE in Outdoor Education (with Biology). Owen started his outdoor career as a teacher of outdoor education from 1990-1994. Another year out to surf and climb in Europe and Ecuador was followed by freelance work in North Wales, then by a teaching post, deputy head and head of a local authority Outdoor Education Service in North Wales. Owen was AALS Senior Inspector for Wales from 2015-2020.
Owen is a Winter Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor, British Canoe Union Level 4 Inland and Sea Kayak and Level 3 Open Canoe Coach, Vertical Cave and Mine Leader and Scottish Mountain Bike Leader Association Mountain Bike Leader.
Owen has been the chair of Mountain Training Cymru, Mountain Training UK and the Outdoor Education Advisers’ Panel (OEAP) Wales. Owen was a member of the OEAP’s Educational Visits Coordinator, Visit Leader, and Outdoor Learning Cards training groups, and their National Guidance for Educational Visits writing group.
Owen lives with his family in North Wales where his main interests are climbing (especially bouldering and winter climbing), wingfoiling, surfing, SUP, ski touring, mountain biking, caving and occasional river and sea paddling. He particularly enjoys new routeing or being outpaced by his children.