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#StaffSaturday Gavin Robbins

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're chatting to Gavin Robbins, an outdoor enthusiast who is aiming to climb the highest mountain in every country in Europe!

Which store do you work in and for how long?

I've been working away for Tiso since 2014, hanging about the Rose street shop, usually seen running up or down the million staircases we have in that building.

What should customers ask you about in store? What is your area of expertise?

Don't ask me about skiing, otherwise happy to sort out almost any request a customer could possibly have, I am also an impeccable boot fitter.

How do you spend your time outside of work?

That really depends on the day, as it's quite a mixed bag of assortments that I've gotten myself into! Obviously getting outdoors is a big crucial key element to my life, whether it be a wee training climb up on the crags at Salisbury ridge or seconding a nice (relatively easy severe) multi-pitch trad climb, mountain biking the tiny trails of Carbarry or pinging down some random mountain track, going for pleasant walks in the local area or smashing out big outings in the Highlands, always trying to be doing something outdoors orientated every couple of days. And if all else fails, just go camping with friends and discuss the finer points of life. The long term outdoor goal is to climb the highest mountain in every country in Europe, which had gotten off to a really good start, but has been hampered a bit lately due to...various reasons out with my control! But like I say, that's just one element, I have an incredible long term girlfriend who I'm more than happy just chilling out with, going out for meals, holipop's, concerts, so many concerts, over 140 at this stage! So anything and everything really, even started doing a bit of writing and wrote my first novel, made a change from all the reading I do!

What is your favourite bit of kit and why?

I have a 3 litre platypus, perfect for 1 litre of rum and 2 litres of coke, I also have a lime green opinel knife for cutting fresh lime! Haha. But on a more serious note, Scarpa Vortex approach shoes. Shy of winter climbing, as they can't quite take a crampon, I do everything in these. They take about four days longer to make than most approach shoes, unbeatable construction! Ridges, rock climbs, runs, walks, bike rides, they are immensely good for almost anything!

Where is your favourite place in Scotland to hike, camp, ride, or climb?

The hiking, climbing, camping is easy, north west coast. Ideally torridon, but anything north of glen shiel is also great, loads of random trips out there with messy memories! Winter is slightly preferable, no midges and less people, tougher conditions too, makes it a little more fun. Riding would be, I guess since I live in Edinburgh, Glentress and Innerleithen, but Wolftrax up by Laggan is also amazing, and to be honest, I'll take my bike just about anywhere.

Is there an activity you're really keen to try?

Splunking. Is that even a thing? Caving I guess, I think that would really get the heart going, would love to give that a try, I have a fairly sizable fear of heights (but he climbs mountains? I know, I get that a lot), so would be keen to find out if I have a fear of closed in spaces as well!

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