We are delighted to announce 23 year old Scottish climber Uisdean Hawthorn as brand ambassador.
Uisdean grew up on a small farm in the west coast of Scotland. Participating in all types of activity’s from gathering sheep to rugby and football. The one thing he didn’t do growing up was climbing. He started climbing age 19 while doing his joinery apprenticeship and quickly developed into one of Scotland’s most active winter climbers.
Uisdean has developed a passion for thin ice and has excelled in this style of climbing. Over the past three seasons he has racked up a number of significant repeats and first ascents in Scotland as well as climbing a number of north faces in the Alps and Canadian Rockies. Scottish winter climbing and big mountain routes have become his main focus. 2017 is set to be a busy year for Uisdean with expeditions to Patagonia, the Alps and The Himalaya in summer, as well as scaling the Scottish mountains.
We had a chat with him to hear what he had to say about his travels
Uisdean, tell us about yourself!
I am from the north west of Scotland, I climb and run lots at home and do some Carpentry and farm work.
What drives you in life at the moment?
I suppose that changes a lot but just now I am really enjoying doing big mountain routes, I think it’s the overall challenge and adventures in remote places that makes them so good.
where will you climb next?
My next big trip is to climb in the Indian Himalaya.
How do you train for something like that?
The biggest challenge both physically and mentally is the altitude, because the routes we want to climb involve steep technical climbing up to 6100m. So, my training has mainly involved going rock climbing in Scotland to get some rock fitness back after losing lots of it in Alaska this spring. I love rock climbing here so it doesn’t feel like training.
Why do you want to climb the Indian Himalaya?
That’s a question I ask myself a lot, especially when I think about all the time involved in getting permits and visa and the time it takes to get there. I suppose it’s a place I have heard lots about. The experience of climbing in a mountain that is properly remote is hard to find these days and I think this trip will definitely provide some remote and quality climbing in the mountains.
What are you packing for this trip?
Lots! Because of the standard of climbing and altitude of the routes it’s really important to pack as light as possible but this involves taking more gear to base camp so you have options to suit each route and weather window.
What Primus products do you bring with you?
Lite+, Omnifuel, Winter Gas, and my campfire Knife, I am really picky about knifes but it’s so good I use it every day even when I’m at home.
You said you went to Alaska, tell us about it!
Well, the mountains look really big as the land around them is relatively flat. This means you get some pretty incredible views out onto the tundra when you are climbing. But the main challenge was that the weather this season was really bad. We would go and try a route even though we knew the weather properly wouldn’t be good enough to get to the top. Inevitably we would have to bail but we would still come back feeling oddly satisfied. But I learnt just how much fun you can have failing on routes!