Wednesday 8 March 2017
To celebrate international women's day DMC asked some members to talk about women who have inspired them.
DMC members enjoying April snow on Skye
As tall as a mountain herself
As tall as a mountain herself, my best friend Ms iLaria Marengo was my inspiration for getting some altitude under my feet. Although born and raised in Italy she carries around a full map of the Scottish landscape inside her head. Obsessive about exploring on foot, she has walked pretty much every OS square of Scotland north of Stirling and for much of the time she was here I was a willing accomplice – even when the order came to meet at Lochearnhead at the crack of dawn to ensure an early start!
The day would begin with ‘Radio iLa’ for the car journey as she recounted her week, this lasted for the walk in too (we never saw much wildlife) but once we started to climb I found keeping up with such a long-legged, hill-fit companion a real challenge and her stature quickly became a leetle dot in the distance. It certainly helped me build up my stamina as trying to keep up meant I never got a break.
I owe my love of trekking to her too – 10-hour days were
average (our motto: squeeze the day) on the GR20 across Corsica started it,
then the Pyrenean Haute Route combined with the GR11, Slovenia, Montenegro…she’s
tireless despite living on nothing but apples, carrots and mountain air.
Nutella on the Pacific Crest Trail
Ella Raff’s blog telling the tale of her journey on the Pacific Crest Trail was an inspiring read last summer. Posts went up us she went along and were humorous and at times quite frank, highlighting the amazing things she did, but not shying away from describing how hard it was at points. It was inspiring partly because it was an adventure through spectacular landscapes: the Mojave Desert, the Sierra Nevada, the Cascades, making me wish I could go to these places too. It was inspiring seeing someone succeed in such a tough physical feat – walking almost everyday for 6 months, covering 2,659 miles, including a day where she walked over 50 miles, over challenging terrain. When me and a friend were struggling through quite long days on the South Downs Way, I could always have in mind that it could be a lot harder! Prior to the Pacific Crest Ella hadn’t done much hiking, so it was also inspiring to see how taking on such a challenge helps someone develop their enthusiasm for, and skills in, the outdoors. I was also, I have to say, impressed by (and slightly jealous of) the amount of Nutella she got to eat!
Our very own president Berenice is one if the most inspirational mountain-loving women I know. She is always incredibly enthusiastic about getting out into the mountains and makes sure to include everybody, aiming to inspire a passion for the hills in anyone she meets. She will fearlessly give most activities a go, from a winter ascent of the Cuillins to triathlons, hill running and 24 hours of mountain biking, inevitably with a great big grin on her face. She also helps people to feel confident and ensures everybody is properly looked after, from providing soup to all who turn up for committee meetings to making sure nobody feels left out when they come to the pub for the first time. Keep up the good work pres!