#Supported-By SaturdaySarah Bellis
Our Supported By Tiso network collaborates with leading adventure photographers and film makers, outdoor advocates, change makers and everyday explorers. We are proud to support and collaborate with this diverse network of inspirational outdoor leaders. This week we are chatting to Sarah Bellis, who moved to Moray in 2014 and has since gained a sense of empowerment and confidence from time spent in the outdoors. She has climbed 108 Munros and is well on her way to bagging them all!
Tell us a little bit about yourself? Where are you from, what do you do?
I grew up in Cheshire exploring the countryside and forests spending weekends building dens and rope swings in the woods. I then studied at South Cheshire College, during that time I met my now husband & soon after moved to Germany where we lived for 10 years! It was an incredible experience, inbetween work we spent our time exploring the beautiful country from barefoot parks, fairytale castles, cycling routes, outdoor swimming & hiking trails in the Black Forest. In 2014 we found ourselves moving to Scotland, I hadn't even heard of Munros until we moved here, yet in a matter of a few weeks we had bagged our first Munro (Cairngorm) and the bug had begun!
What sparked your interest in the outdoors?
As we drove along the A9 to our new home I was in awe of the spectacular mountains surrounding me and knew then that adventure awaited. Within our first week at the new place, still living out of boxes we had summited our first local mountain, Ben Rinnes a Corbett at 841 metres. Standing at the highest point in Moray feeling amazed and inspired, I knew this was what I needed so week days were spent planning and every weekend turned into a new adventure.
Where is your favourite place in Scotland to enjoy the outdoors?
This is a real tricky question, I have so many loves for places in Scotland! Torridon is stunning and is in my top 3, the area is packed full of great walking paths & of course the magnificent ridge of Liathach. Then there's Ullapool and the mighty An Teallach which totally blew me away literally (my cap is still somewhere on that mountain!) it's a day full of dramatic scenery and views that will live in the memory forever! Last summer we spent in Kintail trail running The Five Sisters, Brother's Ridge & The Glen Shiel Ridge, all an amazing experience made extra special doing it together as a family with Josh & Sophie (our son & daughter) joining us.
Are there any outdoor activities you would love to try
I would love to spend time out on the water and build up my confidence.I live 5 minutes from the beautiful Findhorn Bay and love the idea of paddleboarding & kayaking out on the sea or on the local lochs. I'll try this when it gets a bit warmer!
What is on your adventure bucket list
My ambition is to complete all 282 munros. It's finding time to fit them all in, some take a couple of hours and others 12+ hours. Last summer we bought a campervan to help us get around Scotland so when restrictions are lifted we'll be back in the bagging game.
What is your “motivation” and why do you share it?
The feeling of achievement & those breathtaking views! When I started hiking I saw all this amazing scenery and I was so overwhelmed by the beauty (I actually cried on An Teallach, I was overcome with so much emotion it didn't even feel real being there, it was like I was staring at a painting) I use Instagram to share and hopefully inspire others to get out and see what beautiful Scotland has to offer.
What's one piece of kit you could not live without?
I've recently starting wearing Salomon X Ultra 4 GTX mid hiking boots, these are so lightweight, durable and comfy which are perfect for long mountain days. I also love my Rab Microlight which I've had for years! I've actually sewn it up a few times too. I've always got waterproofs in my pack as this Scottish weather is so unpredictable. Oh and of course my GoPro, it's small and light, great for capturing all them stunning views!
How would you describe your perfect day in Scotland?
Everything I've done has left me with great memories so to describe a perfect day is difficult! It could be a big mountain day climbing to the summit in beautiful weather being lucky enough to get those views for miles, cloud inversions and a brocken spectre then sleeping under the stars! More recently though I've been taking time to adventure in my local area for summits I would normally overlook, either way the feeling of achievement & freedom has been the same leaving me with special memories and fulfilment. I'm hoping this summer to do the Aonach Eagach Ridge in Fort William and to get across to some of the Islands too.