Last year we launched our Supported by Tiso scheme, and this summer, we're super proud to introduce our latest recruit, Iona Rendall, and her mission to get more people loving the outdoors...
Tell us a little about yourself? Where are you from, what do you do?
I grew up in Aberdeenshire (where there's a distinct lack of mountains) and I was a shy kid, as far from adventurous as you can imagine. I trained as a Police Officer and as I wasn't sporty I always struggled at our fitness classes and group activities. I moved to Aviemore in the Highlands at 19 when I realised the Police wasn't for me. I spent 6 years there and decided I wanted to care for people so trained as a nurse. I now live in Edinburgh (again a distinct lack of mountains) working in a busy surgical trauma ward.
Spent my Friday night here! Just below the summit of Beinn Dubhchraig. With @thedeak Great night camping and two munros in the bag Ben oss also, we were rewarded with some spectacular views all around, as you can see from this picture the sunset was something else. More pictures to come. . . 14.5.16 . . #scottishweather #lovescotland #igersscots #instascotland #visitscotland #Scotland #insta_scotland #LOVES_SCOTLAND #scotSpirit #explorescotland #somewhereinscotland #igersscotland #mountainscape #mountainclimbing #Igmasters #StayandWander #LetsGoSomewhere #Instanature #mountainview #exploretocreate #liveoutdoors #mountain #IG_mastery #brilliantmoments #FinditLiveit #WEARESTILLWILD #ig_united_kingdom #epic_captures #wildernessculture
Where and when did your love of the outdoors begin?
Unsurprisingly I was in awe of the beauty of the Cairngorms National Park when I moved to Aviemore. All of a sudden this world of outdoor adventure was right on my doorstep and I was desperate to explore. I met my partner soon after moving there and he taught me to snowboard on Cairngorm Mountain. I've had some truly incredible days up there looking down on the beautiful valley below. I began exploring all of the local lochs and started doing a lot of walking. I realised reaching them on a mountain bike meant I could cover more ground quicker so bought a second hand bike and haven't looked back. It was actually only 2 years ago that I climbed my first Munro. I hated almost every second of that boggy, windy, relentless hike! The views at the top were second to none though and so began my love of hill walking.
What are your goals for the outdoors?
Working as a nurse I am so aware of how important our physical health is. Recently I have realised that being outdoors can have such a positive impact on your mental health and general well-being too. In July I took part in the Great Glencoe Challenge which is a 26.2 mile trekathon, to raise money for Health in Mind, a Scottish mental health charity. I use my Instagram page iona.adventuring to try and encourage people to get outdoors, to see more of Scotland and to be proactive in looking after their health and well-being. I am currently working towards my Mountain Leader Award as I'd really love to share my passion for hill walking with others. Learning some vital outdoor survival skills for emergency situations is something I'm really interested in so I'm looking to do some training towards this too.
Sunrise at 04.30 on Beinn Dorain. One thing I love the most is making a cup of coffee and just chilling watching the sun rise! Great day walking yesterday. . . 18.06.16 . . . #Mytiso #scottishweather #lovescotland #igersscots #instascotland #visitscotland #Scotland #insta_scotland #LOVES_SCOTLAND #scotSpirit #explorescotland #somewhereinscotland #igersscotland #mountainscape #mountainclimbing #Igmasters #StayandWander #LetsGoSomewhere #Instanature #mountainview #exploretocreate #liveoutdoors #mountain #IG_mastery #brilliantmoments #FinditLiveit #WEARESTILLWILD #ig_united_kingdom #epic_captures #wildernessculture
Describe your perfect day in Scotland
It's impossible to describe my perfect day in Scotland as our wee country just has so many opportunities for a great day out! Climbing to the top of a beautiful mountain gives you that sense of purpose and achievement. Then you've got the more tranquil days spent stand up paddle boarding on a loch or spotting seals while you're sea kayaking. Nothing gets the adrenaline pumping more than carving your way down the slopes on a snowboard and I can't forget to mention the thrill of a quick dip when wild swimming! The list goes on and I can't say there's a perfect day because no matter what I decide to do I know I'll always find an adventure of some sort that will leave me with great memories.
What kit couldn't you live without?
When it comes to kit I am a complete novice so there are just a few things I love that I always have with me. I'm hoping that as my knowledge and experience grows I will learn a lot more about essential items I should carry. My GoPro camera is always stashed somewhere fully charged and ready to snap away. The unexpected photos are my favourite because they normally capture the essence of the freedom I feel when I'm out adventuring. I struggle to find outdoor shoes that fit comfortably so I really love the pair of Salomon shoes and X Ultra 3 Mid GTX walking boots that I wear constantly as they're both so durable and comfortable. I've got a great Craghoppers waterproof jacket that I recently invested in before Scotland began it's uncharacteristically warm summer! However on the days that I have needed it it's been invaluable and kept me warm and dry during rainy adventures.
Looking back at my photos from my wild camp in Glencoe, more nights like this are in order! If only the weather would pick up. #ebperfectpitch . . . 22.4.16 . . #scottishweather #lovescotland #igersscots #instascotland #visitscotland #Scotland #insta_scotland #LOVES_SCOTLAND #scotSpirit #explorescotland #somewhereinscotland #igersscotland #mountainscape #mountainclimbing #Igmasters #StayandWander #LetsGoSomewhere #Instanature #mountainview #exploretocreate #liveoutdoors #mountain #IG_mastery #brilliantmoments #FinditLiveit #WEARESTILLWILD #ig_united_kingdom #epic_captures #wildernessculture
Tell us about your Facebook group. What are you hoping to achieve?
While I log the required hours for my Mountain Leader training I wanted to try and encourage others to join me in the hills. Most of my adventures are done solo due to the erratic shift pattern I work. People often get in contact with me in relation to the photos I share when I've been hill walking and they ask how I got started and how they can do the same. With this in mind I set up an online community to encourage others to join me, to share their own experiences and to learn from one another. The Facebook group Iona's Adventures has already been a huge success and in only 2 weeks I have 200 members. I post event details of each walk I set out to do and everyone is invited to take part. We've done a low level walk and a multi Munro walk so far and I've had some fantastic feedback. Some people have joined because they are experienced and want to meet more hill walkers, others have joined because they've never climbed a Munro and they don't have the confidence to do it alone. To see complete strangers come together in the mountains as though they were old friends is such an incredible sight. It is exactly what I hoped creating this online community could achieve and I'd like to see it continue to grow.
We'd like to welcome Iona to the team and wish her the best with her walking group. We'll be out adventuring with Iona and the Supported-By-Tiso team soon - in the meantime, follows Iona on Instagram or join her Facebook group to find out more about her fantastic adventures!