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Emily Scott (ADVENTURE athlete)

Emily Scott features in Project 282, an incredible 4-month solo, an unsupported and self-propelled journey around all of Scotland’s Munros. It’s an achievement, especially as she had only previously been up 40 Munros, all on day trips. On this week’s Podcast, we talk about the highs and low of that incredible journey.

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Transcript of our Conversation

 Emily Scott 

[00:00:00] MA Podcast – Emily Scott video 1_2: I think I kind of just go into my sleeping bag and like maybe, about five minutes after that a car drove past and then the car stopped and reversed back. And I was like lying there being like, Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness.

For everyone listening. Why don’t you tell us about yourself? sure. so I’m Emily, Scott. I am currently residing in Edinburgh, but I grew up in Northern Ireland. and then I, Emily, how did you get into adventuring? I guess, well, so I grew up in the countryside in Northern Ireland. So kind of the outdoors has always been quite important.

but I wouldn’t have [00:01:00] necessarily called myself outdoorsy per se. but then after I graduated from uni, I moved down to London and I worked as a chartered accountant. And I think when I was kind of. Office based in London, I kind of started searching for more and more of, I think it kind of was more like, challenges to start with.

So kind of like started doing triathlons and things, and then the triathlons gradually got longer and then it slightly became more like, Oh, I don’t know if I actually need a, a race to do, or if I just go and think up something to, to go out and do instead, Yeah. So I think, I think that was probably part of it kind of getting into kind of your physical challenges.

and then, I decided to leave accountancy to pursue a career in ski instructing. Although now I’m kind of slightly trying to amalgamate the [00:02:00] two a bit more and I’m finding myself doing much more accountancy right now. And a ski instructor can look slightly off the cards this winter, but, yeah.

It’s so I guess, yeah, just kind of doing like, I guess, tying in the kind of challenges side that I’d probably been building up over the kind of 20. Today 2010 to 2015 say, and then kind of doing more in the mountains with like ski instructing and, just, and then kind of just, I guess, amalgamating the two and being like, well, I quite like pushing myself physically, and now I feel more confident in doing that out with a verb, like con like set structure, competition kind of thing.

So then I kind of started, yeah. Thinking a bit more about doing my own adventures and things and yeah, I guess, so it just kind of as a bit of a progression from there, and I mean, I still. It’s funny. Cause actually now I slightly find I’m still like wanting a bit more kind of [00:03:00] racing and a bit more structure back again.

Whereas I think I had a few years that I kind of completely went away from that and now I’m actually would quite like a bit of that, but also I really enjoy a bit of, kind of my own adventures. And I find now that they don’t sometimes like them to be really tough, but other times I actually liked them to be enjoyable.

so I guess it’s just, yeah. What was the, what was the trigger that sort of made you decide? Right. Accounts see out, adventures and scheme was in, was there something that triggered it? I think it was quite a, it was quite a long process. Really? It was quite a, yeah, it, I guess essentially, like, I wasn’t always, I just always feel a bit lame talking about this because I’m like, Oh, I don’t think I was that happy, which just kind of.

Yeah, I think, you know, that was kind of the, like the like underlying feeling though is I wasn’t like particularly satisfied I guess. And, so it was kind of, [00:04:00] you know, it was like, especially going through the charter accountancy qualifications, you know, there’s a lot of, a lot of studying involved and things.

And so I’d basically be at the outlet, especially when I was around exam time, I’d be in the office and then I’d go home and I’d sit at my desk and I’d carry on or at my kitchen table as it was, and I’d carry on and, you know, keep studying and, And I think then I kind of, you know, I started definitely kind of chasing the weekends quite a lot and becoming, you know, a bit more of a like weekend warrior and, you know, really trying to cram everything into my weekend.

And, you know, I’d find like the last, certainly six months I was living in London, I probably was driving to the lakes or to Snowdonia to the Brackens like kind of every other weekend. And the amount of times I was sitting in on the Sunday evening coming in with all the traffic coming back into London on the M four and.

I think it was one of those things that I definitely, I mean, there’s part of it that the amount of times that I had, you know, that scare whenever you’re driving and you’re really tired. And you kind of feed yourself, like starting to like nod off. [00:05:00] Like I think I had that happen probably a few too many times that that was like, something needs to stop here.

And I think, you know, it was kind of, I guess, burning the candle at both ends and stuff. So, I guess that’s kind of maybe part of it. And then, you know, I felt like I was getting so much more fulfillment out of the days that I was spending out in the Hills and, you know, especially if I was out with friends or whatever, and like pushing myself and seeing like, I think I quite like.

On a challenge. I really enjoy this part. Whenever you kind of, you feel like you can’t really go on anymore, but then actually you just keep going and then it’s like, Oh, actually, that wasn’t so bad anyway. And kind of just kind of stretching that, like, I guess it’s kind of your comfort zone. And like, I definitely find that each time you do something that you push yourself harder than each time it’s.

You know, it’s a little bit harder to push yourself harder, if that makes sense. like I always kind of think of it. It’s a bit like a balloon, like, you know, whenever you blow it up, like really wide and then you bring it back in, it’s never quite goes back [00:06:00] to quite as small as it was the first time. And I think you’ve kind of comfort zones a bit like that as well, in the sense it goes like a bit wider each time.

and yeah, I guess, so there was definitely an element of just trying to like, see like, you know, what. Well, I could kind of push myself to do or things like that as well. this is the Lisa sanctum, but yeah, I dunno. I think, I mean, I kind of know this is a funny one because I think a lot of people find it really odd that I’m an accountant.

And, you know, I think there’s this kind of preconception that accountants are really dull and like spreadsheets and stuff, and don’t get me wrong. I can be really dull and I do like spreadsheets, but I mean, I don’t know. I think there’s, I work in, private client tax most of the time and that’s kind of, yeah.

She get like, quite a sense of like your clients and stuff and you kind of, so it’s quite interesting in a kind of geeky way on, I’m not sure I’m selling this as being interesting. [00:07:00] But I think what I found, like the kind of the level I was at, I don’t really have much interaction with clients. Like, you know, I kind of would get a feel for them in the sense of I’m looking at their bank statements and seeing what they’re spending money on and being like, Oh, this person went to like zoom out.

So they’d probably go skiing and stuff. And literally that’s the kind of thing that I would like to do. I’d be like, Oh, that’s an interesting place. but yeah, I kind of wasn’t having any like, actual like client interaction and whilst, you know, working in an office is good in the sense of you’ve got colleagues to talk to and stuff.

Like, I definitely felt that I perhaps didn’t have as much in common with my colleagues is, you know, basically on a Monday morning, I’m going to be like, Oh, how was your weekend? What did you get up to? And I’d be like, Oh, I was in the Lake district or they went hiking and like we camped and we let David out and it was great.

And people were like, what’s a, bivy kind of like, they’re like, are you crazy? You do weird things at the weekends. Yeah. You sort of looked at, the people in your office and rather than looking up to them, sort of aspiring to [00:08:00] be them, you look to them and thought, Hm, not, not really the life I, I want. Yeah, I guess there’s, there’s probably an element of that.

I mean, obviously, you know, there’s kind of, there’d be certain parts that I would, you know, aspire to be like, and, you know, obviously like professionally and stuff, definitely look up to them and. It’s a funny one, because it’s definitely not to say that I didn’t get on with my colleagues because, you know, in general I actually, yeah.

I tend to get on with most people, but I think maybe kind of the, the aspect of actually not having that much kind of real like interaction. I mean, there’s one thing I absolutely love about ski teaching is that, you know, you’re with your clients the whole time and you can build like a genuine rapport with them and, you know, actually like having conversations and yeah, you’re trying to make them better at skating, but you’re also sitting on the chairlift and having a chat and like, You know, it’s kind of an, trying to help them have a nice time.

Cause they’re on the holiday. Yeah. so yeah, I guess that’s part of it. So what was the first big one that you, because you said you were doing sort of [00:09:00] triathlons and iron mans and marathons before. Yeah. Yeah. So I think like the first. So I did, remember this pretty clearly. I think it was, new year’s Eve of like the end of 2012 before I was going out with some friends.

Like this is when I was still living in London. I was going out with some friends that evening. And before I went out, I made a pretty rash decision and I went onto the iron man website and I signed up time on whales for 2013. And I was like, right. That’s that’s my goal for next year. I’m going to do on my whales.

And, I think, cause that year I’d kind of done. I got up as far as like half Ironman distance. but it was like, right. I’m going to. Step up and do an Ironman. An Ironman Wales has got a bit of a reputation as being quite tough. And I was kind of like, yeah, that sounds good. And also I’m in, you know, as UK based, so it’s kind of a bit easier to get to less travel logistics and stuff.

yeah. So I guess that was kind of the main thing to kind of work towards in 2013. And then I certainly kind of [00:10:00] once the. You know, Easter kind of came around and triathlon season started, like, I was probably doing like triathlons, most weekends, I was playing hockey as well. So I’d like play hockey on a Saturday and then go and do a triathlon on the Sunday.

Seemed to be kind of what I did most weekends that year. It seemed, and then kind of, I did like a few, like, you know, like a hundred mile cycles motifs, and like I did a. I did a 10 K swimmer Eaton Dorney, which was pre EDA. I’m not going to lie. So me round and round a Lake for four hours or whatever it was, it’s just like, but I think I find kind of the iron man, I basically had said that I wanted to do each of the elements of the iron man, like individually to know that I could do them before, like going in, I’m trying to put them all together.

And I actually, I ended up doing another full distance race, but before whales, but I’m not an Ironman branded, but, but it was on the flat, so it was okay. But yeah, I mean, Wales, Wales is a toughie. but I definitely, [00:11:00] I mean, I’d love to go back and do it again, to be honest, it’s just. I haven’t as yet.

but yeah, I think kind of after, after that, I kind of said that I was going to try and do like an Ironman. well I made a pact with myself that I do one every year until I turned 30. so I had like, I think it was, what was it at the time? 25, I guess. So it was five in five years was kind of the goal.

and yeah, so I ended up doing the. the following year I did, I tried to do that, Eric and I managed to break my bike because I had a really stupid fall the day before the race, a lot of cycling to transition, or like went over some tramlines and didn’t quite realize, and it was raining. And then the next thing I was on the ground and.

Didn’t think anything much of it. I kind of got the bike mechanics to check over my bike and stuff and then the next day, so it, well, bike started fine. And then her hell changed the gear and my whole rear derailer just shed off and yeah, I tried to get them to fix my bike and make it into like a single, [00:12:00] single gear kind of thing, but just didn’t work.

So, yeah, that wasn’t great. I went back into Zurich again a couple of years ago though. So it’s a really nice course. I think that was actually my last one to hit the like five, four 30 or whatever. okay. And so from, from doing the iron mans, did you do the sort of five years, five iron mans, five, five years.

Five iron mans? Yeah, I think I did. Oh yeah. I did one every year for. I guess 20, 20, 13 to 2018, I did one a year, and kind of threw in another couple of non-branded ones, which I hate iron. Man’s kind of like got me so brainwashed that I’m like, Oh, it doesn’t actually have the iron man brand on it.

Therefore it doesn’t count, but actually some of them are harder. yeah, I did one actually called evergreen, which I did last year. That’s in the Alps and I tried it. In 2017 and [00:13:00] mess the bike cutoff. Like the weather was awful. I was basically hypothermic. didn’t have a great day, but I got to show him and he eventually on the, on the bike, but, you know, I kind of missed the cutoff to go out on the run by about an hour, I think.

and, and they actually ended up shooting in the run because of so much snow, which isn’t really what you. What you want whenever you’re doing triathlon. but yeah, I went and did that again last year. And like, again, I was like right up against the cutoff, but she just snuck in, and I mean, that was no offense to Ironman, but so much harder, like, just because it was basically cause it starts so it’s in, Moore’s in the swim.

And then it goes over to Chamonix and I feel like it takes in every call, but you can find between moves in and Chamonix. It’s like something like 5,000 meters of a sentence on the bike, over 190 K. And then the run is what I say run very much in advert Tacoma is the hike. the night, gaze up, like from [00:14:00] Chamonix, it kind of does like one loop on one side of the Valley and one loop on the other side of the Valley.

So you’ve got kind of over 2000 meters of a center on the. On the run as well. So, yeah, like it’s, it’s just a very different game to iron man really. Cause you know, I’m very like sleek and you know, it’s just like really like a well-oiled machine and like, you know, they’ve got like everything. So like, I don’t know, it’s a funny one.

Cause it’s, it’s awesome. Like, don’t get me wrong. I like actually really enjoy an iron man. And like, the atmosphere is so good and everything, but you know, they totally know what they’re doing and they have the whole setup and everything like work so smoothly. And you know, you don’t really have to think that much.

You just have to get on with what you’re doing and you know, you’re thinking about what you’re doing and pushing yourself and stuff. whereas I think I’ve agreed. Just because you necessarily go that bit slower because it’s so much more up and down that, you know, you’ve probably got a bit more thinking time and maybe like more tactics and stuff, and it’s just like a much smaller field.

So, but yeah, no, [00:15:00] it’s when did you make the jump from sort of organized trip, organized events into your own adventures? Like project two eight, two. Yeah. So I think, quite a key point probably for me was this was when I was still in London and it was after I’d done my first iron man. So after I’d done Wales in 2013, one of my really good friends was living in New Zealand at the time, but he, grew up in Wales and basically it’s funny cause I like remember this so clearly, like I remember sitting at my desk in London and he sent me a message.

He sent me a message on WhatsApp and said, check your Facebook. And I had sent this link on Facebook that was to this adventurer school, doTERRA whales. It was in 2014 and he was like, I want to do this race. Basically. He was like, we need to go. You’re the girl. How do you feel kind of thing? cause it’s yeah, like it’s teams of four and yeah, it’s got to be mixed teams.

And I actually, yeah, I mean, I basically clicked on the link and didn’t [00:16:00] really look into it that much and was like, yeah, that looks fun. It’s in Wales. It’s got like mountain biking and kayaking and like rotten egg and stuff. Like, yeah, sure. Why not? So I was like, yes, I’m out. and I think that was actually like a really.

Kind of formative thing, because then kind of through that, like the three guys that I did it with, like, you know, we’ve become like really good friends over the years and like we’ve done loads of things together. And I guess just kind of in the, like, preparing for that, you know, we kind of, that was probably when I was, you know, as I was saying, like driving up to the lakes or driving up to Snowdonia and stuff that that was kind of, a lot of that was cause we were getting in like practice weekends and getting out bikes and things like that.

And I think kind of the, the, again, I guess in adventurous, you know, is. It’s it’s organized, it’s set up, but you’ve got so much more like ownership over it, you know, not, you’ve kind of got certain points that you’ve got to go to, but you don’t necessarily have to go to all the checkpoints. Like you kind of can decide because some of them, you might get X number of points for going there, or you might get a time [00:17:00] deduction if you don’t go there.

So you might decide actually it’s not worth us going there for those points. And we’ll take this route to go there and said, and I think, you know, you’ve got so much more control over your own destiny. that, that probably. Yeah, I guess maybe kind of started things to be a bit more like, Oh, actually this is maybe like more kind of what I’m into than necessarily just like following race, marketer, race, market, race, marker.

and I think it’s like, it’s totally different kind of the psychological side. Cause you know, if you’re in a race environment, like you don’t necessarily have to like. Worry about looking after yourself so much that you’re just trying to like push yourself and trying to go as hard as you can. And I think that’s something that I probably don’t go as hard as I used to go in terms of, like, I probably don’t go as fast as I used to.

And I’m certainly, I’m trying to get kind of a bit more back into running at the moment and I’m certainly get frustrated cause I’m like, Oh, I used to be so much quicker, but you know, it’s kind of, it is what it is. Whereas, you know, feel kind [00:18:00] of in a more. Either an adventure race or else just like, you know, your own adventures that you’ve kind of decided, Oh, I want to go and do this or whatever.

Then, you know, you’ve got to be much more in control of your own destiny. And certainly, you know, then it’s kind of like, you’re the only person who can keep yourself safe, especially if you’re doing Sodo stuff. So that’s certainly, I guess, on to project two it two, which is when I climbed the Scottish man Rose, that was kind of, it was just me out there a lot of the time.

So, you know, the best way to. Get out of trouble is to not get into trouble in the first place. And I think that was kind of like a really key thing. And, you know, especially when you’re somewhere remote or, you know, mountainous environments and stuff, like, obviously there’s so many factors that are outside of your control, but then there’s also a lot that you can control.

And I think, you know, you’ve just got to, like, I’m never going to be like super fast or anything over that kind of like in the mountains, like, because it’s just like, I just, yeah. I mean, I’m not like. Ridiculous athlete or anything like that. And I’m not trying to get above myself or anything [00:19:00] like that.

You know, it’s kind of like, I just keep going. Like, I’m kind of quite uploader and I’ll just kind of keep plodding on. And, but you know, it’s, I think. I’m really not making much sense. but yeah, just kind of the whole, like nature of, if you’re, if you’re doing your own adventures and your own challenges and stuff, then like it’s up to you to keep yourself safe and you don’t have the kind of whole like, supported environment that you have with the race.

And I think that kind of. Yeah, that really appeals to be honest, like I do really like doing that and I mean, I go, the there’ll be times I’ll do something that is like a really normal route to do, but I might decide, Oh, I’m going to do it and try and do it quicker or something and have that as like, kind of my challenge and.

By the very nature of trying to do something quicker than, you know, you might end up being out places that people wouldn’t normally be. So like, for example, like in the apps, like some of the trails are absolutely stunning and stuff. And during the day in the summer, there’ll be like, there’s loads of people around, like everybody like loves going hiking in the Alps and whatever.

But then if you’re kind of there, [00:20:00] like first thing in the morning or last thing in the evening or in the night and something you’ve got the chest and it’s like, it’s a totally different experience. Like, even if you’re somewhere that, you know, like. During the day might be like you’ve got loads of people around.

I think, and so for, for people listening, just to give an overview or project two eight, two, it was a four month Sailo expedition. Yeah, so project to, cool to it too, because there’s 282 Munros in Scotland. so the Monroes of the mountains that are over 3000 feet and they were listed by, a guy called human row back in, I think it was like 1901 or something.

He created the Monterey tables. and they’re like, you know, it’s quite a popular peak bagging. thing to do is to go into, to go and climb them on res. and so basically project to it to kind of came around because I decided that I’d quote, I wanted to climb the wall. And then I [00:21:00] think it was just kind of the.

You know, the kind of triathlon background that we’ve touched upon that I was like, Oh, you know, it’d be kind of cool to do them like, and be self-powered in between them. and I mean, there’s, there’s been other people who’ve done different rates, so they’re kind of, there’s actually a guy Donnie Campbell who just broke the record this summer and did all the Monroes and.

32 days. I think it was like, which just absolutely blows my mind. Like the days that he was putting it out there, I just read it like so hard. It’s kind of like some of them, I was like, he did, it took me two weeks to do that day that he did, you know, it’s so. I’m in that hit the nature of the challenge is obviously quite different.

Like he was like supported. And so I think his wife was with him in a camper van and was able to like move his bike. And so his challenge was definitely like a hugely, hugely athletic challenge. But, you know, kind of needed like the support to be [00:22:00] able to like, so you can take a more direct route and get around them.

Whereas I kind of went for like, right, I’m just going to do this myself. So by very nature being on my own, just me and my bike, it meant all my routes had to come back to my bike. so I definitely added on kind of. Yeah. Quite a bit of distance from like the fastest possible route or the shortest possible route.

Should I say? so yeah, so I, yeah. Cycled between the Hills and, yeah, climbed up them to just under four months doing it. I think it was 2,200 kilometers on foot in 2000. 400 on the bike or something. I should really know this off the top of my head, but it was over 2000 kilometers on both bike and fur.

And it kind of equated to, I think on average, it was about climbing Everest from C-level each week on foot was kind of my, like a sense stats roughly until like the last week, which was just like stupid and like, by the day, like 18,000 meters or something. [00:23:00] Oh, wow. So you were doing the full month Trek on your own.

how did you find, or how do you find sleeping on your own in the wild? I’m fine. Yeah, because I think for a lot of people listening, this wild camping on your own, I mean, the first time I did it was actually in America, but I remember thinking. The first few times is quite sort of nerve-wracking and you’re sort of wondering, I mean, if you’re out in the middle of the Scottish Highlands, maybe a bit different from the side of the road, but in terms of the sort of feeling that you had from it, I, I remember the first few times I was very sort of nervous, quite wondering if I was going to be told off, moved away.

You, you, you do think of these sort of horror stories in your head. [00:24:00] it’s, it’s actually funny that you mentioned the side of the road thing because actually the one time that I was slightly less comfortable with the whole trip was quite, quite early on. And I had, I was up in the far Northwest of Scotland and I had been to a pub and had a really nice evening in the pub after I did some Hills that day.

And then I like set off in the public probably at like midnight or something on cycle, maybe another hour up the road. And I bear in mind. I had, at this point I had a trader behind me and I was cycling like slowly. Like it’s not, I was probably averaging about 10 K an hour and I had the trader on. and I cycled a bit out the road and then eventually I just was like, right.

This’ll do. And like pulled into like a passing place and, pitch my tent, like literally like at the side of the road. And I think I kind of just go into my sleeping bag and like, baby, that. Five minutes after that a car drove past and then the car stopped and reversed back. And I was like, lying about being like, Oh my goodness.

Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness. and then it just drove on. I think it, obviously, I think it just all there like reflective bits of my tent and was probably like, what on [00:25:00] earth is that? And then was like, Oh, it’s some idiot camping in the label. I basically, but that was probably the most scared I was to be honest with the whole trip.

but I mean, yeah, the rest of the time, I think I’m pretty sure. Pretty comfortable with kind of camping and stuff. Anyway. It’s weird because now I really don’t think anything of it, but I’ve basically spent kind of three summers living in a tent now. cause the summer, either side of that, I was working in the Alps and I was working on like a camping and hiking trip.

So it was staying at campsites, but still like staying in a tent pretty much every night for the whole summer. but I think kind of before I did a project to it too, I did kind of, once I decided I was going to do it, it was probably about the. The November the year before, and I was up in Scotland and I decided to kind of take myself out and do a bit of a, like, kind of do some testing days and, I actually was a really good at a really good idea because I had some pretty, pretty tough days in November in Scotland.

So then whenever I was on actual like, project at two, [00:26:00] then I was like, Oh yeah, I mean, this is tough, but at least it’s not snowing or whatever, you know, there was always kind of something else that had happened in November. That was worse. So, but yeah, I think on that, that was actually the first time I stayed in a bothy on my own.

And I mean, I could easily see how I could have been a bit like. Freaked out by it. But actually I think that day I was just so glad to get to both of you, because it was like raining slash snowing. It was just kind of sleety and cold and dark. And it had been dark for probably about five hours before I got to the body.

So it was mainly just like, Oh, I’m so glad to be here. but yeah, I think it was more kind of the next day. I was like, Oh, that was actually like my first night in a Buffy on my own. And like, but yeah, I think in a way kind of with, once those are in project too. Yeah. Generally, I was so tired by the time I got into my tent or got into the bothy or whatever.

Like by the time I got to bed, I didn’t really care where I was. I just wanted to go to sleep. So that probably helped. Yeah. I, I, there was a time I just sort of, as you were [00:27:00] speaking, thinking back that, I was in America and I decided to wild camp on the side of a trail, about half a mile outside of the local village.

Yeah. And, anyway, I, because it was pitch black, when I decided to camp, I didn’t realize by just camp right next to a train track. And in the morning, a freight train comes past and before they get to each village, they always sound the horn. And I just happened to be at the right perfect place just as they sound the horn.

So at five in the morning, suddenly my head was just explaining with this noise and I was like, What is going on?

Yeah, that’s funny. I got you out of here. Got me out of my bed very quickly. Yeah, I think it’s a funny one. Cause I feel like actually probably in America isn’t me, I’d probably be a bit more wary about like wild camping and stuff. Just because of like the animals, it’d be like, you know, if you’ve got BAS or snakes or, you know, at least in Scotland, like you [00:28:00] kind of worry about, Midge’s not so bad.

Like once you’re in your Ted, text texts was probably the thing that I was like most scared of actually. Cause that’s just gross. yeah. Yeah. And so on that trip, what was the sort of best part of it? Did you find. Oh, I mean, how do I have, I did, it’s a funny one because it’s kind of, I feel like I probably have a different answer every time I think about that question, Mike, it’s kind of, you know, there’s, there’s certain days that are definite highlights, certain Hills, like.

certain places, which are just incredible that, you know, I wouldn’t have visited before. Like I think kind of a lot of, like before I did project two, I hadn’t really explored that much North of the great Glen. so the great glimpse has been the fault line up from Fort William to Inverness. so I hadn’t really visited like much like the proper like Northern Highlands.

think like the Northwest of Scotland is [00:29:00] just incredible. Like there’s some amazing places and some places where like, You literally feel like you could be the only person in the world, like, you know, you kind of just like, it feels like really remote still. I mean, but realistically, you know, you’re never.

Probably, you know, you’re probably a day’s walk from a road is probably the most you’re ever going to get. but yeah, I mean, so there’s some like incredible places. So the likes of Knoydart, which is like, it’s known as the rough bounds of Knoydart and it’s yeah. It’s It is remote. Like you kind of, you either get there on a boat or else you walk in or else see, like there’s a road that goes down.

That’s like a 22 mile long single track road. a dead end. say that, that was a pretty big highlight. like the Fisher feels and like an act like up in the far Northwest they’re like incredible Hills. but I think it’s, it’s also one of those things that it’s kind of like. It’s if the weather’s good, you’re probably going to be in a good frame of mind.

Anyway, if you’ve had a good night’s [00:30:00] sleep the night before, you’re probably going to be having a nice day. if you bump into nice people on the Hills who talk to you, like, you know, that’s like, especially if you haven’t seen anyone for a few days, like I remember was one place I had, it was a storm.

Hector had hit the UK, so I’d had quite a tough few days and I basically was on like a kind of. I plan to be away from my bike for five days. And then I ended up being away for six days and I’d run out of gas on like the last morning. So I couldn’t make my porridge and I wasn’t quite desperate enough to go for cold porridge.

but then I met these people just when I was maybe about 10 K away from my bike and I’d been walking maybe 20 K already that day, but I hadn’t really had any. Just like a handful of nuts and that was about it. And they gave me a Twix and it was the best thing she liked, you know, that was like a genuine highlight.

It’s just a Twix, but you know, it’s kind of all the circumstances that add together to make it. I think probably in terms of like, if I have to pick out like a single kind of like standout really good day, there [00:31:00] was, I had an amazing day in Glencoe, when I did the anarchy kick. and that was like, kind of, I think, cause it’s, it’s got quite a big reputation, like it’s, it’s two Monroe’s, but it’s like the Ridge line that’s I think it’s the narrowest Ridge on the UK mainland.

and so yeah, it was, Definitely like it was the last one that was kind of the like intimidating Monroe’s that I had left. and I remember I kind of switched my days around because the day that I did it, like I wanted to do it in good weather. And I just had like one. Good weather day whenever I was kind of around there.

And I was like, right. That’s the day did he? And Akiko and yeah, it just, like, everything kind of came together. I had like a lovely bike ride up to it and then did the Ridge and then dropped down to the road. And then I went up the other side of the Glen and did like the other two, my rows and got back to my bike and cycle down the road and got to the pub three minutes before last orders.

So it was just like, you know, everything just kind of came together to make a wonderful day. but yeah, I mean, [00:32:00] I didn’t, I mean, I think there’s just so many different. Yeah. Different days that had like, you know, genuine highlights. And I think sometimes, you know, some days were really tough and really hard, but then they were maybe the days that actually now, whenever I look back on it, perhaps I enjoyed the most, or actually, maybe they’re the ones that I feel like I got the most out of, or, you know, kind of, I guess, learnt the most or that kind of thing.

Like, I had one day, like right in my last week for, it was another name storm, storm alley. I don’t he’ll ever forget still Molly. And, it was, yeah, it was the Wednesday. And I was finishing on the Saturday and I still had like a lot of Hills to go, like, I’d set myself like a real, like, tough push to the end.

and yeah, I just remember, like, it was rain was lashing down in the morning. Like we’re staying in a, like, we’d stayed in a, Like got an apartment or like a little house, like for a few days kind of based around latte for a few days and was kind of like working out and [00:33:00] back. And basically I’d kind of given up camping by the end because the weather was just so awful.

And I was putting in like big day after big day and I just, yeah, it didn’t have any reserves left basically. But yeah, that day, I remember saying just like looking at the word, they’d be like, do I really have to come out in that? I’m looking at the weather forecast being like this isn’t a sensible day to go up a Hill at all.

Like, you know, it’s kind of like, you know, weather warnings for wind and rain. Like, yeah, I think kind of hundred mile an hour kind of wins. Like not, not the day that you’d recommend to anyone to go out. And also probably the only day on the whole thing that I was like, I genuinely can’t call for help today because I can’t.

Put someone else in the position, like I can’t call for mountain rescue today and get a mountain rescue team to come out and like, take me off a mountain on a day that I shouldn’t have been out in the Hills at all kind of thing. So it was a. Yeah, it was a weird one. I definitely self that day being like, I’m probably going to turn around in about five minutes and actually I made it up one Monroe, but then I was meant to like, my route was meant to go over to [00:34:00] another Monroe.

And as soon as I kind of got onto the first one, right. I realized that the only reason I got up it was because the bulk of the mountain was shielding me from the worst of the weather. And once I got to the summit, I’m like, I couldn’t stand up. Basically. It was like, right. yeah, that was a very quick turn around and go back down.

Get warm, get dry three hot chocolates in front of a fire and above that kind of fixed things up. But, yeah. So on your, so you said sort of going up the bridge line and you could barely stand up. Would you say that was the most challenging part of the expedition or were there many. Days and hours, nights.

Yeah. I mean, I think in terms of kind of physicality, the kind of last week was like really tough and like the last kind of, yeah, basically. Cause after, after I turned around and still Molly, then my effectively like lost kind of what I was meant to, you know, my plan would have been to have done three Monroe’s that day and then it meant that I kind of had to wait and then start again the next morning.

[00:35:00] And then basically, so that Thursday, Friday, Saturday, that last three days was just like, it felt like I was in like a solo adventure race just on my own against my own like arbitrarily set deadlines and stuff. But the thing was basically for the last one I had, like, I needed like logistical help and stuff because the last one was, Ben Lomond, which is the further South and the way that I came at it, I.

Was crossing lot of claimants. So I had like friends who parked up at the Ben Lomond side and then came across in a canoe and some paddleboards and Matt met the other side. And so my bike got then taken around and I like sucked across. But, well I sat on my knees and puddled across cause I was a bit too much of a space cadet to even stand up at this point.

I think in my. Initially, I thought I’d kind of liked the idea of swimming across it, but I just remember, like, I just kept looking at a lot lower than when I was on like the Hills kind of the two days before. Like every time I kind of took a glimpse of the lock, I was just like, it’s so big. And it looks so cold from here.

And actually then my friends who came over, they were like, you’re not swimming. Cause [00:36:00] you’re just going to get hypothermic. And you’re going to, like have to end in an ambulance and not climb the lost Hills kind of thing was the, even though how to wetsuit, it was still, But yeah, I mean, I basically, the night before I had had.

I sat in my baby bag for about an hour and a bit kind of just waiting for it to get light because I was just a bit scared basically, which sounds a bit silly. I was just scared of the dark. yeah, no, I think I was just like the night before I was getting so tired, I was like hallucinating and stuff.

And I, at one point thought that I was convinced I saw a crane and it was like the definitely wasn’t a crane where I was. And you know, it’s kind of like all sorts of random things. And I was like, Oh, but there’s a crane and it’s building a bothy and then I can go and stay in the Buffy. And then I’m like, I’m going to fall off the, like, I’m just gonna like fall over and hurt myself or something.

You know, it’s kind of the next progression. But, on this podcast, we talk quite a lot about the sort of mindset of doing these adventures. What sort of Dre drives you [00:37:00] when times are tough sort of being in horrendous situations and sort of pushing through what’s the sort of drive in the back of your head?

I swear to you to keep going rather than to quit. Yeah. I mean, I think it kind of depends like, I guess kind of why you’re doing it and what you’re trying to achieve and stuff. And I think, I mean, for me on that last night, like by that point, there was no question. I mean, not finishing, like, you know, I was just like, everything was bent on getting to the finish line and, you know, I’d already spent like 119 days out in Scotland.

Like, you know, what’s one extra day and two extra Hills or whatever it was. So that, but I mean, I actually, I think probably the, yeah, The point that I was like most likely to quit with. it was in Glen active. So it just, just down from Glencoe, like where Skyfall was filmed, if you’re a James Bond fan, but I’d had, I think it was like three days in a row that had just been raining the whole time.

And I’d been in my tent the whole time. And I was just like, I think that was basically the point that I gave up camping actually, I think, [00:38:00] and started being like, Oh, credit cards are very useful. but it, Yeah. I think that I’ve got a video that I did in the morning. I was just, you know, talking to talking to the camera and kind of just being like, yeah, I’ve got to put on all my wet stuff again and go out in the rain again.

And I was getting more and more miserable and then I just suddenly burst into tears and it’s just like, Oh, I wish I was like inside and stuff. And I think genuinely that day, if, if there had been someone there with the car being like, you can just get in the car and be done now and be finished, I probably would have been like, yeah, sure.

I’ll take you up on that. But as it was wherever I was, it was like, well, I’m 20 miles from the closest train station. I’ve got all my stuff with me. I’m going to have to just pack up my bike anyway and get on my bike and get going. And, and, you know, as it turned out, once I packed up the bikes, then. It stopped raining as much.

I dried off and I was looking across around it more. And then I actually, yeah, I checked into a hotel like, and hung up all my stuff to dry in my room and then went out and got on my bike again and climb some more [00:39:00] Hills and came back and had a good feed. And, you know, it was a lot better by that point.

I think it’s just kind of like sometimes just kind of that like, Recognition that yeah, you might be struggling at the time or it might be tough or you’re suffering, whatever, but it’s the kind of like, well, that’s not gonna, it’s not going to be that state forever. You know, it’s kind of like, well, yeah, this, this is going to pass and, and then it will get better again.

And once I’ve gone through this bit that, yeah, this bit’s a bit crap and I’m not enjoying it. But once I’ve gone through it, I’ll probably look back on it and be like, yeah, I’m glad I did that. And I’m glad that I overcame it. And, yeah. So I think I definitely like play like mind games with myself whenever I’m in, like what I’m finding challenging situations, you know, I’m kind of like that being like, I’ll definitely do the, I’ll tell myself that something’s not as bad as something else that I’ve done before, or like, you know, kind of just be like, yeah, she’s kind of come up with little, like, Oh, if I just like do this a little bit now, then that’s like, I think kind of breaking things down really helps, like bite-sized chunks.

[00:40:00] and I know definitely at the start of project director, I was terrified. Like, I didn’t know how long it was gonna take. I, it was just like, I mean, I’ve kind of, Oh, it’s quite funny. I actually looked at the spreadsheet I made the other day. Like it’s my kind of planning spreadsheet. And I was like, I wasted so much time doing that because I had no idea how long it was going to take.

I didn’t know how I was going to like, condition into it or that was it. She just like looking at places on the map being like, yeah, maybe I’ll camp there. but yeah, and definitely, and at the start it was kind of like, Oh my goodness, 218,000 rows. That’s a lot. And even when I was, you know, 50 Munros in or something like that, I still got 232 to go, like, you know, kind of.

Yeah. Like, it’s just easier to be like, okay, well today I’m just going to go out and I’m going to call on these ones and Oh, this didn’t, I’ll leave my bike here and I’ll go and do this loop. And I’ll like, you know, so I was kind of like break it down into like lots of mini, mini expeditions, I guess, and like many hell days and yeah.

Take you’re taking each day as it comes through [00:41:00] four months track. Yeah, exactly. And, you know, especially if I was going somewhere that there’s like, say there was a pub or something, I was like, Oh, maybe I can get sticky to putting tonight. You know? So you sticky toffee pudding was the big motivator, the big drive to get you through each day, I was actually on a sticky toffee pudding tour of Scotland.

I just had to climb some Hills to justify the calories and the bucket of puddings. Yeah, you just had to pretend like it was something serious, but actually all it really was, was searching for the number one sticky toffee pudding. Is that where we’re at? Whereabouts did you find it? Oh, see, I think I’ve got two, like two strong contenders.

There was one in Glenfinnan, which is where the, like the hyper train goes over the viaduct and there’s a really nice hotel, on lock shale there. They do a really good stick to have per day. but there was also one in Braemar, which was excellent. And I sampled that twice on the trip because I had it once on my way into the kangaroos and once a away, back out as well.

And they were really lovely in the hotel. So I feel like [00:42:00] maybe it’s kind of, because the people were so nice. It may be slightly pips, a sticky toffee pudding. Yeah. I think, I think that gets my number one. Did the atmosphere and experience really? Exactly. Pull it all together. Yeah. Yeah. Nice. And so what’s, what’s your plan next is, have you got another adventure lined up or are you very much sort of playing it by ear?

yeah, I mean, I think I’ve kind of got a few ideas and stuff. But yeah, the moment, I dunno. I mean, I guess like everyone is pretty hard to plan anything right now. Isn’t it? It’s yeah, it’s just kind of trying to, trying to work out what works and I mean, at the moment I’m slightly trying to focus on, okay.

Little bit of money together. Ideally. Well, more trying to pay off my credit card a bit more before I can, back it up again. which, yeah, it’s a bit. I dunno slightly, like always makes me a bit [00:43:00] like them by today, but it’s yeah. Necessary, isn’t it? But, yeah, I mean, I think I quite like, I really enjoy like adventures that don’t necessarily have to cost that much and especially kind of once you’ve, you know, I’ve got a bike and I’ve got like, Most of the kit I need and stuff, but it’s kind of still, you know, obviously there’s logistics involved and and then obviously if you’re away on like for a few months or whatever, that’s a few months that you’re probably not earning otherwise.

so yeah, it’s kind of, I dunno, I’m not really answering your question. Yeah. I mean, yeah, I’ve got, I’ve got ideas. I’ve got things I want to do, but I think at the moment I slightly feel like I’m probably looking at more kind of. Smaller, like maybe like things that are like a week or something and trying to do like, data.

I actually, whenever I came back from the outs this summer, I came back to school and at the end of August and we had to self isolate for two weeks and I [00:44:00] think it took me four days in self isolation before I was like, right. I’ve just Burt, my bike and myself a ticket on the train to Penzance and I’m going to cycle lands into John and growth.

And that was just so, yeah. like gave me something to kind of aim towards for after. Quarantine. and yeah, I do slightly feel like at the moment I’m kind of searching for something to kind of focus on as like a, as a goal or an objective, but perhaps not like a kind of big thing ordinary. I mean, there’s, yeah.

I mean, there’s more Hills in, in the UK that I’d definitely like to climb. but whether or not like, I feel the need to kind of do it in the same way that I did them on rises. Yeah, I did. And I, and I read off today. I keep going back up and Rose as well. It’s actually really nice having climbed them before.

It’s kind of like, I’ve got no kind of like, Oh, I can’t go up that Hill because I’ve done it before or anything. Like, it’s kind of just like, Oh, I can do any of them. And I don’t really mind cause I’ve been up them before, but each Hill day is [00:45:00] different anyway. Cause you know, it’s like the weather is different and the people you’re with is different and yeah.

yeah, I don’t know. Actually, I’ve got like, kind of a list of Hills that I really do. I didn’t enjoy whenever I was doing to it too. That they’re kind of the ones that I’m like waiting for good weather days and then being like, I really want to go back up there and see what it’s actually looks like whenever you’re not in sideways rain all day.

Well, I suppose, being in Atterbury, you’ve got souls be cracks off the seat top up there. And I was at, I was actually up in the pentlands last night, although the fog was really in and I had my head to much with me and, you know, whenever you’re driving and you’re like, eh, you had lights just bounce off the fog.

I was basically like that. So I ended up my, my run turned into a hike. So, that was still nice, even though it’s dark can recei. And if you have too much a withdrawal symptoms of your skiing, you can always go on the dry ski, ski slope there. Yep. Yeah, I haven’t quite resorted to that yet in my eyes.

Cause I lived in Edinburgh for five years. I, I never did either. Yeah, [00:46:00] no, it’s, I mean, to be fair, as far as the dry slope goes, it is, it is the best one there is, but, yeah, it’s not quite so Matt, so, there’s a part of the show which we asked the, get each guests the same question each week. the first being, what’s the one bizarre thing that you crave or miss from home when you’re out doing these adventures?

Well, any kind of challenges or adventures that I do tend to be quite, not that extreme or, you know, not really like, you know, in Scotland, like you can get to a shop like you can kind of, you know, you can get your British, your British snacks and stuff. So, I guess maybe kind of more like home comforts in a sense that, you know, sometimes it’s just so nice to just like put on like a pair of like comfy pajamas.

And actually that was whenever I finished a monitorize, I actually liked specifically went to like marks and Spencer and treated myself to some nice pajamas I got back. So I can just like Lowell around in pajamas all day. yeah. Well, [00:47:00] that’s that’s good. did you have a favorite adventure book growing up?

probably not a favorite, but like, I mean, I read, I read quite a lot in general, read quite a lot of adventure books. my kind of, I think my kind of favorite ones, like if you kind of look back at the books, I’ve read over the years and really enjoyed, definitely. I really enjoy reading about like the South pole and reading about Everest.

I don’t know why I think partly, probably because I’m actually really bad at dealing with the cold. So there’s part of me. That’s like, I just don’t think I could ever do that. Cause I think I’d like if I tried to go to like Antarctica, I’d like, come back with the four fingers last or something. so I think there’s definitely kind of a, an element of kind of like armchair adventure and going on there.

yeah. I think kind of some standout ones that I’ve like enjoyed kind of recently probably, like Chris Bonnington is a scent. Like [00:48:00] that was a rude, you like really enjoyed that, but, like rental funds, like my bad and dangerous to know that was, really good one. yeah, actually, yeah, like, I mean, I dunno, I kind of just had to like, Yeah, read so ready.

I read him and actually that’s a bit different, but, the other day I was reading one about, a man, like back in like the seventies who rode a horse across the whole of the us, which was like a really like different kind of adventure, like went like coast to coast in the U S yeah. So I guess that’s not cold places necessarily, but it was good.

did you have an inspirational figure growing up? Did. I mean, I did. I think there’s like, I, I can find inspiration and a lot of things. yeah. And I think, I mean, yeah, just [00:49:00] kind of, I guess kind of looking at you kind of more like, okay. Like proper explorers of the day, you know, the like Shackleton and Scott, like that era of the Antarctic.

I think that was like amazing and stuff. I mean, I think kind of like nowadays you probably can. It’s really easy to go on, like social media and just like, like look up a hashtag for like adventure or explore or something. And I actually don’t, you can find so much stuff. There’s so much cool stuff that so many people like do.

yeah. I mean, I definitely find sometimes it’s easy to just like, you know, you find yourself like scrolling on Instagram and then being like, Oh wow, that looks awesome. Like, Oh my God, that person did this. That’s so cool. Or like, you know, it’s kind of, yeah. what about favorite quake? Favorite quote or motivational quote.

I mean, this is maybe a bit corny, but one that’s just like just jumped out and I don’t even know who said it, but it’s, I think I like read it on like a shop window at some point, but it’s like, life’s [00:50:00] not about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain. That was actually one of my sister’s favorite quotes.

Yeah. Yeah, she, she, it’s a very, I think it’s a very good quote because it’s very easy to sort of sit back and just sort of think things will get better. And actually, yeah, it’s, I think it’s a really good one. And that actually, like, even if you take it in a literal sense, sometimes it’s really fun dancing in the rain.

Like, I mean, I definitely find like, you know, when it’s, if it’s braiding and grim outside, sometimes you like don’t want to go outside, but actually once you get out, it’s generally not as bad as you think it’s going to be. And actually you can have quite a nice time. And I think, you know, you can take that literally or metaphorically as well.

Like, you know, it’s just kind of, you can, yeah, like you’ve got to kind of take. Take the positives where you can really being in school and you have so many opportunities.

so people listening are always keen to go traveling and go [00:51:00] on these adventures. What’s the one thing that you would recommend for them to get them started. I think sometimes just kind of like biting the bullet and just like doing something to make it happen. Like, so when I recently cycled lens and John and Rose, I booked my train ticket and then I’ll like, make my plan and worked out how I was going to actually do it.

But I think, you know, once I like. But the train ticket, I’d made a commitment, I’d parted with some money and then it was like, right. It’s happening. I mean, when I did project to it too, I think kind of the key thing was I told, I told some of my friends, in fact, the guys who did the adventure racing whales with, I told them that I was like, thinking about doing this, like, Oh, I might go and do the Monroes and like, be like self-propelled in between them.

And then I think kind of once I told them that was my. Like point that I was like, yeah, I’m doing this. And I know that by telling them, I’m basically making myself accountable and I know that they are going to be like, so how’s the planning going? Are you going to do it? Like, so I think, yeah, sometimes I [00:52:00] guess just kind of like stating that you’re going to do it.

Like, you know, and if you kind of say it publicly or something, then maybe. It makes it happen. And maybe that was why I was being a bit lame with my answer about what’s next. Cause maybe I’m a bit like, Oh no, if I, if I say I’m going to do something, then I’m going to have to go and do it. accounts. Yeah.

I think sometimes it’s kind of, you can get really easily put off by being like, Oh no, I don’t, I don’t have the skills to do that. Or I don’t have the finances to do that with the equipment to do that. And I think so sometimes like maybe just kind of like think, right. Okay. What do you have the skills for?

What do you have the equipment for? Or like, you know, Like you don’t have to go on like an expedition to ever. So like, you know, you can start a lot closer to home and, you know, not have to, you know, I think there’s, there’s certain things that I know I’d love to do, but I’m just like, I don’t even know what I would start about kind of like.

Like yeah, like fundraising for it, or like, you know, and these kind of like bigger like expeditions, you know, I think that’s definitely like the kind of financial side is obviously a massive barrier [00:53:00] that kind of deters people and stuff. I suppose for me, I actually having a bike and just a couple of Penn years makes an enormous difference because you can just shove anything in to pioneers, whether it’s your.

Well, anything, really a sleeping bag pillow, and then you’ve got the freedom just to cycle wherever you want to go. And you can cover so much distance. So, you know, you can get from the South one North of England to the South of England in a week just cycling and you can wild camp, or you can credit card tour, whatever you want, but just the, and that’s not going to cost you an arm or leg.

And actually just doing these little ones. Whatever your budget is, you can easily adapt. Yeah. Sort of no, excuse, not a hundred percent. Exactly. And I think, I think, well, like one of the things I’ve probably learned is that you never really need as much as you think you should need as well. Like, and you know, you kind of like, I’m a big fan of dry [00:54:00] bags.

so if you basically got like a dry set of clothes in a dry bag and like your sleeping bag and stuff in a dry bag, and then whatever you’re wearing, then actually don’t really need much more beyond that. so actually, you know, it’s kind of, and certainly if you’re trying to do like longer distance stuff where you’re.

Like if you’re cycling or if you’re hiking or whatever, the lighter your bag is, the more you’ll appreciate it. Like when I was doing them nose, I sent, I like probably spent quite a lot of money on postage. cause I was like, Nope, don’t need this. Don’t need that. Like posting things home, like kind of every time I got to a post office really.

and Emily, how can people find you? probably Instagram is really the easiest normally at adventure Scotty. yeah. I would say that I’m involved with, the British adventure collective. So that’s at British adventure collective, and also the website is British adventure, collective.com. And we’re trying to like put together some, some trips and stuff to bring [00:55:00] people on, like on adventures.

Going forwards. Is that, yeah, so kind of just like some like weekend, like adventure weekend experiences and stuff that we’re working on at the moment.

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