Thrill of a challenge which led to love of climbing

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I’ve always loved the outdoors, but when I met my husband this went a stage further and his keen interest in climbing started to rub off on me.

At first I developed my interest at indoor climbing walls, before venturing outdoors. From that moment on, I was hooked.

Now, I’d class myself as a keen amateur climber and mountaineer.

We spent our honeymoon climbing Cotopaxi, the second highest peak in Ecuador.

I am a qualified summer mountain leader and I’ve led a five -day expedition in Poland, guiding a group of 10 young people in the High Tatras where we climbed up to 2,000 metres.

For me, it’s all about the journey.

I love the challenge of finding an interesting route up a mountain, and then getting back down again.

I love an adventure, and thanks to climbing I’ve had plenty of those.

My preference is winter climbing. I love the spectacular winter landscapes, and the challenge of climbing in often adverse conditions.

So far I’ve climbed in England, Wales, Scotland, Morocco and Ecuador, among other places.

We spent our summer holiday this year in Wales, climbing everything we could, and our next adventure is to head back up to Scotland after Christmas for some winter climbing in the Cairngorms or the stunning Scottish

Highlands.

My ambition is to get my winter mountain leader qualification, which would qualify me to lead winter expeditions. I’d also love to climb to grade four and lead a grade one winter climb; and I’d like to try ski mountaineering.

For me, completing the Cuillin Ridge Traverse in Scotland with my husband this year was a particular highlight. It’s one of the most serious routes in the UK; an exhilarating climb of 4,000 metres that follows a 12km ridge crest from one end to the other.

Most people take two days to complete it. We did it in 19 hours, and made it back to our hotel for last orders.

That was, without a doubt, the best pint I’ve ever tasted.