GetOutside Champion: Matthew Dieumegard-Thornton
Matthew is a true Himalayan adventurer!
Meet Jessie Leong - Creative Adventurer, mountain spirit, story-orientated filmmaker. Loves adventure through climbing and mountain exploration.
What drives you to spend time outside?
I love the escapism the outdoor brings. In recent times, getting outside has been more important to me as a form of unwinding and decompressing from being indoors all day. I try to do a little bit, whether it’s going for a run or a walk in the local area. It helps me stay grounded.
Where are your favourite places to go?
My favourite places have been previously coastal rock climbing locations, but with travel restrictions in place, my favourite places have been some recent new discoveries, including the beautiful wooded areas five minutes from where I live in Sheffield called Loxley Common. It’s a reminder that Nature is often closer than you think.
What is your favourite thing to do outdoors?
Climbing is my true passion, so I’ll be looking forward to when the lockdown is over and getting out to my local crag, either Stanage or escaping the crowds and climbing on the moorland tops of Derwent Edge.
Who inspires you and how?
I’ve been involved in supporting the Pinnacle Club, a women only climbing club who celebrate their 100 year anniversary in 2021. One of the founding members, Dorothy Pilley- was one of the first eminent female mountaineers who out up new routes, and the way she describes being in the outdoors in her autobiography, ‘Climbing days’ is incredibly apt and relevant as it was written in the 1950s.
What are your focuses this year to help people get outside more often?
I’m keen to continue inspiring up, and getting people who struggle to access the outdoors through traditional means to get into the outdoors. I’m going to try to get my Dad and my mum, both now in their 60s, to use the outdoors and access it through the opportunities I’ve had access to and get them hopefully inspired to get outside in their own time through walking and running.
What are your 3 biggest life achievements?
Standing on stage at Ordnance Survey’s Keswick Mountain Festival and do a talk about being an Adventure Photographer. Creating my first adventure film, ‘Banana Skin’ and getting it shortlisted and winning my first award, followed by ‘I am a Fellrunner’. Starring as Miss Philippines in the recent feature film, ‘Misbehaviour’.
3 words you live by…
Queen of Blag – just kidding, probably something more practical like ‘Wear Crack Gloves’.
Do you have any guilty pleasures?
Dark chocolate and ginger biscuits, Asian instant noodles, being a slob and sitting indoors after a busy adventure packed weekend!More from Jessie Leong