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 Kenneth Matheson, a Skye native who enjoys activities which interact closely with the environment and require quick decision making to get the adrenaline going!
How long have you worked for Tiso and in which store?
I have been working at the Buchanan Street store in Glasgow for 2 years and 1 month now.
How do you spend your time outside of work?
My answer to this changes all the time! I love trying new things and have a terrible habit of doing something for a month then moving on to the next! Saying that, there are a couple of things that I have been involved in for a long time. The first is basketball! I fell in love with the sport when I was in High School. However, growing up on Skye I was the only one who played it! Up there, it’s shinty or football! Since I have been in Glasgow I have been playing for a team and I am constantly trying to reach the highest level I can. I am also involved a lot with my local church and a charity called Street Connect which provides support and care for the homeless in Glasgow. Other interests include fish-keeping, learning the bodhrán, writing letters, and all things wildlife!
What is your favourite bit of kit and why?
This is easy, my Haglofs Rugged Mountain Pants, in fact, I’m wearing them as I write this! The reason why I love them so much is that I bought them 12 years ago and they’ve seen me through all manners of outdoors activities, and yet despite their harsh treatment, they are still as good as the day I got them! Well, bar one small hole that was made by a fish hook when my brother accidentally caught me instead of the fish!
Where is your favourite place in Scotland?
This is a much harder question! The Western Isles hold a special place in my heart and I feel I’ve only scraped the surface of exploring them, however if I had to choose one then my loyalty would lie with my own island of Skye. Funnily enough, it wasn’t until I moved away from home that I really began to fall in love with it, and began returning to conquer the Cuillins! In fact, in June of this year I had the opportunity to climb the Inaccessible Pinnacle with some friends and enjoyed it immensely. You can also see some incredible wildlife on the island such as arctic char (a species trapped in a small loch in the north end of the island since the Ice Age), a wild orca by the name of John Doe patrols the coastal waters on the west side of the island and minky whales and basking sharks can also be a regular sighting…and that’s just the fish! I also find the history of the island to be of great interest. In fact, my great great great Uncle, John MacPherson (also known as ‘The Glendale Martyr’), led the peoples rebellion during the Highland clearances and was successful in his fight to bring rights of land to the people. These historical connections with the island really bring the rugged landscape alive to me and make it one of my favourite places to be.
Are there any outdoor activities you are really keen to try?
My goal is quite simply to be jack of all trades and master of none! So far I’ve been involved in bouldering, trad. climbing, mountain biking, sailing, hiking, camping, and river kayaking. Next on the hit list is snowboarding! I’ve especially enjoyed activities which interact closely with the environment and require quick decision making to get the adrenaline going, so zipping down a snowy mountain on a board seems like it would be right up my street.