#StaffSaturday Aaron Tregellis
Tiso, Alpine and Blues staff are experts in their own fields. This comes from experience and a love of what they do, whether that be hill walking, running trails, rock climbing, or spending time on the water. Each Saturday we will be highlighting a different member of staff and talking to them about their outdoor journey. This week we are chatting to Aaron Tregellis, a trainee mountain guide most often found with his nose pressed against either rock or ice somewhere and who discovered his real love for the outdoors after moving to Scotland..
Which store do you work in and for how long?
I began working in Edinburgh Outdoor Experience around 4 years ago now, and have also worked in the Edinburgh Store on Rose Street, the old Ratho store, and the Warehouse as well. But now I work in the office in Leith as a Digital Merchandiser, which I have been doing since January 2020.
Did you grow up being active or have you found your love of the outdoors later?
Being from Liverpool, being active meant playing football! But I did also spend quite a lot of time hillwalking in Snowdonia and exploring the coastline of North Wales growing up. I remember climbing a bit when I was younger, but it was only when I moved up to Scotland that I really started to take climbing and the outdoors in general a bit more seriously.
How do the seasons affect what you might choose to do on a weekend?
I consider myself to be a bit of an all-rounder when it comes to climbing: winter climbing, trad climbing, dry tooling, sport climbing, and bouldering. So there is always something to do no matter the season! But I would say what activity I do is more influenced by the weather, as I have been ice climbing in May and climbed sea cliffs in January! What is constant is that whenever I am not working I am normally training or climbing. I am most often found with either my nose pressed against the rock somewhere or running uphill. Scotland has an abundance of mountains so it has proven to be a great training location for me.
What's one piece of advice you'd give to someone starting out climbing?
I think the best piece of advice would be to treat every day, every climb, as a learning opportunity. Take the pressure off. Life is too short to get too annoyed if you fall off the crux, if you just aren’t feeling it, or if you feel a bit scared on a particular move or sometimes the whole route. If you focus on the learning process then trust me you will be amazed at what you can achieve. Also, I have found that being positive helps my climbing, and understanding that ultimately everything is a personal challenge. If I don’t manage to get up a particular route then the world still turns. Enjoy the process and the journey, it makes getting to the top so much sweeter. And of course be kind to yourself and others. Quite a few bits there!
What do you feel is your greatest achievement so far?
This is a really tough question. On the one hand I am really proud of some of the adventures that I have had through climbing, be that particular routes in Scotland, climbs in the Alps, expeditions to the Greater Ranges, or experiences shared with good friends. But on the other hand, the thing that I am most proud of is, as a trainee mountain guide, how many people I have helped to push their own personal boundaries and given them the space to develop themselves in the outdoors. There is something magical about watching people gain confidence and skills, and helping them achieve their dreams.
Is there an activity you're really keen to try?
I recently went to Glentress and hired a mountain bike from Alpine Bikes and was blown away by the quality and quantity of world-class trails there. Mountain biking has never been something I had properly considered doing before as I was always concerned that I would fall off and badly injure myself. But I had a great time, and I certainly want to do it more this summer!