We followed up the next week on Schiehallion, an iconic mountain often described as being the centre of Scotland. We were hit with freezing temperatures and zero visibility, looking back this climb cemented my passion for winter climbing. It was clear you had to be prepared, your route researched and ready for anything. I decided to do a winter skills course at Glenshee to learn avalanche assessment, crampon use and the correct procedure for a self-arrest using an ice axe - something that years later would save my life.
My passion for climbing and documenting the mountains in photography began to grow, in 2015 I won Mountain Photographer of the Year with Trail Magazine. The exposure from that and an ever growing Instagram following allowed me to share my experiences, photography and release a book. Proper Adventure Mountaineering in the Scottish Highlands was published in 2016 and was a great success featuring my favourite routes and climbs to date.
I had thought about a follow-up book but began to think of introducing other inspirational people. An idea was born, Proper Adventure The Journal, featuring people from not just Scotland but all over the world doing their thing. Adventure, Photography, Travel and Outdoor Life. Ordinary people doing Extraordinary things.
Our Issue One contributors are all incredible people Calum Maclean, Brian Sharp, Estefania Troguet Torres, Matty White, Johny Cook, Jane Hunter, Grant Ritchie, Amy Shore and Bryce Wilson. It's been an absolute pleasure to work with you all.
So from that damp and cold morning many years ago I could never have anticipated or even consider the idea that it would lead to all this but here we are, Proper Adventure is out there and the impossible can always achievable by anyone.
The Start of a Journey and a Journal
Inspiration and people's journeys are what we are all about here at Proper Adventure. Moments and events that change somebody's life and set them off in a new direction. My journey has been the drive I've needed to bring The Journal to life. It has been a long and winding road which started on a cold, damp and misty Scottish morning in December 2008 at Glendoll Lodge located in the southern reaches of The Cairngorms National Park. I was convinced by my friend Scott to join him for a climb. The target for the day was Broad Cairn, a pretty standard mountain standing at the head of Loch Muick. I had no idea what was in front of me, it turned out to be a relatively uneventful climb, enjoyable, if not a little boring but the views captured my interest and the first mountain I climbed. Looking back it seems I was hooked right away; I can remember going out buying a book for research and more substantial winter kit that following week.