Graham Tiso was a very experienced mountaineer, climbing to a high standard in both summer and winter. In 1961, he met Maude who had just returned from working and climbing in Norway. Both were acutely aware of the lack of good equipment and clothing available in Scotland. By utilising his business skills, and first hand knowledge of technical equipment, Graham was sure he could fill this gap in the market.
In 1962 they began trading from the back room of a boat shop until they acquired their first shop in Rodney Street, Edinburgh later that year. Trading was brisk, and some premises nearby were soon required for storage and repairs. Banks were not as supportive to young businesses then as they are today, so it was not until 1973/74 that the company was able to acquire the larger warehouse/premises it required. Later in 1974, a shop was opened within the building at Wellington Place in Leith, with enough space to display tents and show a wider range of products.
During these years Graham worked very hard to drive up standards and to encourage innovation in clothing equipment for the climbing and camping trade. The company now has 11 shops throughout Scotland and Chris Tiso, Graham and Maude's son is now at the helm.
Graham was a valued member of the Scottish Mountaineering Club, and was largely responsible for resolving the problems relating to guidebooks in the 70's. That action resulted in the formation of the Scottish Mountaineering Trust, which has contributed large sums of money to restore and care for wild land.
"We get so much out of the mountains, personally and business - wise, it seems right that we should put something back in."