Area of responsibility:
After my two first 'Munros' at the impressionable age of 4, I continued being dragged up hills, and on long cycle rides, until I was old enough to drag my parents on similar ventures. Before leaving Scotland for university I had cycled Lands End to John O'Groats and the length of the Rhine. I had walked across Switzerland and carried a rucksack I could barely lift for 14 days in the Pyrenees. I had also walked, cycled and skied extensively in Norway, assisted in leading multiple international Scout expeditions and trained as a UK Mountain Leader for Duke of Edinburgh Award Expedition supervising. At university I started to climb and moved swiftly from walking to mountaineering, with regular trips swapping between Scotland in winter and the Alps in summer. Additionally I was president of the Cambridge University Hillwalking Club. I led on two BSES expeditions to the Himalaya, climbing three unclimbed 6000m peaks and taking charge of 22 teenagers and 18 support staff.
Leading this expedition was the most stress and the most fun I've ever had. I spent all my spare time (& some more) on the planning and organising, trying to ensure the expedition would be successful. I had to draw on plenty of past experience and then watch as the team worked on their delegated tasks and brought the expedition together. A couple of low points were trying to pack for the carry in to base, balancing weight and comfort, and the repeated efforts to get drinkable water from our filters.
The real highlight was getting back to road to find fresh tomatoes and vodka, having successfully explored, survived and climbed some mountains. Finally summiting the 4383m peak on the last day after a long built up of preparation was pretty special too.
Now back from the mountains, I'm continuing my PhD in Aero - Engineering, looking at the mixing and subsequent noise from the exhaust of aircraft engines. When not outdoors, planning expeditions or in the pub, I play the French horn in the Cambridge University Symphony Orchestra.