Get outside and grow some veg
If you're by an open window right now, you’ll probably notice signs of spring. Whether it’s the birds singing, the sun shining higher in the sky or buds appearing on the trees, the season for growing is here.
Meet Emily Thompson - Mountaineer and trail runner who uses both as an excuse for cake.
What drives you to spend time outside?
The outdoors is both somewhere I go to relax and unwind and also to challenge myself and feel freedom from the modern world. I like to find the limits of my comfort zone through outdoor activities, through mountaineering or ultra running, but I also love to just wander mindfully in nature and listen to the birds sing.
Where are your favourite places to go?
I'm really lucky to live on the northern edge of the Peak District, so I can leave my back door and in 300m I'm on the moors. Marsden is a fantastic village with loads going on and loads of really lovely walks around the moorland. Further afield in the UK, I have to say I love the Highlands and have numerous trips to Scotland in the winter months to make the most of the snow. I love the Cairngorms, whilst not as rugged as the West Coast the winter is often more reliable and there's plenty of other things to do if there's not enough snow.
What is your favourite thing to do outdoors?
Run and climb! I absolutely love trail running and seeing how far I can get just with the power of my legs and some snacks. I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with climbing in that I love to challenge myself but I often find myself quickly out of my comfort zone! I prefer mountaineering really as its more about the journey as a whole than just a particular bit of rock.
Who inspires you and how?
I'm not sure, I'll have to think about that one...
What are your focuses this year to help people get outside more often?
I'm always keen to ensure that people are not just inspired to go to the popular honeypots but are inspired to explore new places. I'm keen to ensure that people are responsible in the way they choose to get outside, helping to reduce littering and moorland fires. Encouraging people to be more mindful in the way they use the outdoors is important to me, it's not always about the miles you cover but what you see and experience along the way.
I'm always keen to ensure people have the skills to do their own adventures and don't feel like they need to have a guide or be led by friends - being able to read a map is the most empowering skill you can have outdoors and it's important to me to share that skills.
What are your 3 biggest life achievements?
1. In 2019 I was successful in climbing a mountain in Kyrgyzstan which had never been climbed before - we named it Skrytaya Goya which is Russian for Hidden Mountain - or Pik-a-Boo!
2. Setting up by business Tinkadventures and registering to provide National Navigation Award Scheme courses and Mountain Training UK Mountain Skills courses. It's felt like a long journey to get to this point and one which makes me really happy every time I'm out with people teaching skills - but there's more plans in the pipeline!!
3. Completing my first Ultra in 2018, I was truly broken by the end of 30 miles as I'd never even done a marathon before but it was a fantastic and addictive experience.
3 words you live by…
Adventure, kindness, freedom
Do you have any guilty pleasures?
Chocolate and cake - I have no willpower to avoid eating excess amounts of either!More from Emily Thompson