My Best Adventures Part 2 // Emily Thompson
Emily Thompson lets us all a little further into her life of adventure after giving us a taster in her Best Adventures Part 1. Hidden behind a quiet and reflective shell, Emily is a great adventurer, a reminder that looks can be deceptive. Never judge a book by its cover…
Passing my ML
It took me 8 years from doing the training to finding the time to consolidate my learning and feel confident to do the assessment. So when I finally passed it felt like a massive achievement.
I’ve been climbing on and off for years but never been with anyone who could teach me to lead. I joined Leeds Mountaineering Club early last year and they quickly got me leading indoors. It was very scary at first but sticking to the more easy routes well within my ability was a massive confidence boost.
Joining Mountain Rescue
I joined Holme Valley Mountain Rescue Team in 2009, thinking it would be a great way to improve my rope work skills so I could pass my ML assessment and also as a means of getting more involved in the local community and using my skills for the benefit of local people. Little did I know that joining the team would completely change my life, from gaining friends for life to trips I would have never done otherwise as well as plenty of unforgettable rescues.
Mera Peak, Nepal
Having climbed Kilimanjaro and had some fantastic winters in Scotland I wanted to push myself and see what I was capable of. Mera Peak is technically quite an easy mountain to climb but at an altitude of 6476m, the altitude plays a major part in being able to accomplish the summit. Sleeping at 5900m was an experience I will never forget – having climbed up the glacier feeling truly exhausted from the altitude we camped on a rocky ledge above a 1000m drop. It was an amazing place to camp but terrifying when high winds came through at night and threatened to blow us away! It also meant we couldn’t summit that night and had to descend. It was still a fantastic trip – and being able to see Everest from the top of a glacier is something I will never forget.
Completing the Pennine way 8 years after I started it was certainly an adventure. I’d been doing it over a variety of weekends over the years. The final slog from North Yorkshire to the end was completed over a week and was some of the longest days of walking I’ve ever done. 28 miles on the last day is a personal record at the moment for me!
Via ferrata in the Dolomites
In 2015 I went with friends to Cortina to do some of the via ferrata routes. For someone who hadn’t lead trad outdoors at that point, via ferratas are a great way of getting independence on a rock face and having a really big day out. Plenty of terrifying myself whilst knowing that providing I’ve clipped on I’m completely safe.
First Scramble Outdoors
Sharp Edge on Blencathra. As part of completing my ML consolidation I dragged my boyfriend at the time up Sharp Edge. To be frank my scrambling experience at the time was limited and his was non-existent, but I was brimming with confidence and while it took some convincing him that he could do it, we had a fantastic day on the mountain. Days like that gave the confidence to lead groups and know that I could do it safely.
Getting back on my bike
Despite qualifying as a cycle leader I’m still not much of a cyclist and I blame a combination of a rickety old bike I’ve had since I was 15 and the hills around west Yorkshire for why I don’t cycle often. Qualifying as a cycle leader was a fantastic confidence boost and I do really enjoy taking families with young children out on short cycle rides.
Train travel in Tunisia
I visited Tunisia in my early 20s, and it felt like a massive adventure to leave the tourist resorts and jump on a train to the city of Tunis. It was Ramadan so I couldn’t go in the main mosque but it was amazing to wander through the medina – I even got to see the view across the city from the roof of a carpet shop and drink tea there looking across at the mosque.
Climbing my first multi pitch
This was actually my first outdoor climbing experience. I went with two friends to Ogwen and we climbed Slab 2 on Tryfan Fach and then the 5 pitches of Direct Route on Milestone buttress. I had never taken gear out before, and had no idea what grade I could climb (or even what the grades meant!) so it was great to go out with friends who could encourage me and give me the confidence to do it. I love multipitch climbing as it prevents me from bottling it and bailing out when it gets too tricky and makes me push myself.
Missed Part 1?
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