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INTERNATIONAL MOUNTAIN DAY 2019: OUR STORIES


International Mountain Day is marked by the UN every year on 11th December. The theme for 2019 is Mountains Matter for Youth, and is a chance to highlight that for rural youth, living in the mountains can be hard. Migration from the mountains leads to abandoned agriculture, land degradation and a loss of ancient cultural traditions, so the development of mountain communities is essential if our beloved mountains are to continue to thrive. To celebrate this year’s theme, we asked some of our experts to share their earliest memories of the mountains, and they didn’t disappoint…


“This photo was when my parents took me to the top of Val d’Isere to do my first mountain in 1991. I was six years old, in 100% hand me down ski clothing but I had Mickey Mouse skis on, so I was rad! It was love at first piste!”

 

Amelia Newbould, Assistant Retail Manager


“My fondest and earliest mountain story comes from 2005 when I was 12 years old (turning 13). My first ever expedition was a 2-week trek near the Indian/Nepalese border in the Indian region of Sikkim, starting in Darjeeling.  I had the pleasure of having my 13th birthday at 3700m altitude (the highest I had been at the time), at a camp which was dwarfed by the massive Kangchenjunga, and in the distance my first ever view of Everest. This expedition and that view is what led me to go on more expeditions to China, Borneo, Oman, and eventually EBC in Nepal where I managed to get closer to Everest. It was also this expedition that truly sparked my love for the outdoors and the gear required to appreciate it, and eventually to the job that I have and love now.

 

I was never great in school, however, I was lucky enough to find the outdoors to thrive in and because it was at a young age, I had enough time to know that this is my passion. I think it's super important to get the younger generation out in the hills sooner rather then later so they aren’t funnelled into more conventional paths that may not necessarily be for them. At a younger age, they learn to appreciate it more, and therefore are more compelled to protecting it for the next generation to enjoy."

 

Will Parkhouse, Packs and Equipment Buyer


“My first skiing holiday in Meribel 1997 aged 3. Whilst that year I am said to have found the sport a little daunting, from then on, I have dreamt of returning to the mountains. Inspired by my epic mother’s four seasons and chairlift jumping tales, the awe-inspiring beauty of the mountains, and of course the Savoyard food, you now struggle to keep me away. With the dichotomous power to make you feel mighty and brave, and tiny and small, mountains have shaped my life and it’s imperative we safeguard these delicate ecosystems to provide this draw for generations to come.”

 

Amelia Steele, Social Media Executive


“My first trip to the mountains was when I was 22. As you can probably tell from the picture, I was a super-cool guy and totally knew what I was doing on my snowboard at the time! I was living in Sydney, working in banking and really not enjoying life. My sister invited me on a 3-day trip to the mountains, and we were told on the bus that there was 15cm of snow that was due to fall overnight and another 15cm due the next day/night.

 

The next day, the snow that was forecast turned out to be more like falling ice, and most people retreated to the lodges. I stayed out on my own, and I’ll never forget the moment when The Cruiser lift stopped half-way up to the top, I was the only person on the lift and I just sat there in the wind and ice-fall and said to myself “this is what I need to do”. I felt so carefree and genuinely happy. I applied for a Visa to Canada the very next day, and my journey of 4 years, 4 seasons and 347 days of snowboarding in the Monashee mountains gave me everything I have to be thankful for in my life. All that came from that 3-day trip to Thredbo.

The best thing for me about snowboarding is that no matter what is going on in my life or work or whatever it might be, when I’m out snowboarding with my friends, all I’m thinking about is what is in front of me or what run/lift we should take next and I think there’s a freedom in that which not many people get to experience at all, let alone every day.”

 

Jeremy Woods, E-Commerce Merchandiser


Find out more about International Mountain Day and how you can get involved here: https://www.un.org/en/observances/mountain-day