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RUSSELL MOORHOUSE — “LEAVE NO TRACE”

RUSSELL MOORHOUSE — “LEAVE NO TRACE”

CLIMB THE MOUNTAINS AND GET THEIR GOOD TIDINGS. NATURE’S PEACE WILL FLOW INTO YOU AS SUNSHINE FLOWS INTO TREEs, WHILE CARES WILL DROP AWAY FROM YOU LIKE THE LEAVES OF AUTUMN — John Muir b.1838 - d.1914

In March this year, Russell Moorhouse took a year's sabbatical from work and set out on a journey, to wild-camp overnight, leaving no trace, on all 214 Wainwright peaks within one year.

Each morning he picks that days Wainwright out of a yellow bag — it’s completely random. He then goes and climbs it, and camps that night on, or near to, its summit.

In Russell’s own words: “Tomorrow is unknown — I believe that to accept this is important for our mental well-being, to take whatever comes your way and live in the moment.

“Being alone at the top of a mountain at the end of the day, when all the walkers have returned home, or “gone to the pub”,  gives perspective to what really matters in our world.

“If you are lucky enough to watch the sunset behind layers of mountains, looking like waves of the sea, or to sit quietly in that last hour of the day, when the landscape changes to become a place of ethereal quality, it’s then that I feel problems melt away, leaving only a deep satisfaction.

“Keeping going against the elements is a daily challenge, the mist, the rain, the wind and cold.

“But the biggest challenge of all is endurance, that feeling of exhaustion when you descend next morning with all your kit soaked, and you can barely climb into your van, to warm up and head back home.

“But Improving your ability to endure also improves your mental well-being.”

This winter, as Russell continues his journey to sleep overnight on all 214 Wainwrights, he will face some of the harshest weather that the mountains of the Lake District can throw at him - freezing cold, horizontal rain, and freezing sleet driven by unremitting winds, conditions that many of us have experienced for just a day, when hiking and climbing in winter on the Lakeland fells and mountains.

As part of his preparation for winter, Russell called at our factory shop a month ago, where we fitted him with a pair of our Mallerstang mountain boots.

They will carry him through the hard season that lies ahead, the short days, and the long nights that combine to make winter in the Lakeland fells an awe inspiring, but also hostile environment.

This is no easy challenge, that’s why its never previously been attempted.

I didn’t have the opportunity to meet Russell when he visited our factory shop, but when my son Joe told me about the challenge he has set himself, I couldn’t help thinking about a book I’d read many years ago.

I think that for many of us the toughest mountains we face, are the 'mountains of the mind'.

WE ARE FALLEN TO PIECES BUT THE WILD RETURNS US TO OURSELVES — Robert Macfarlane - Mountains of the Mind - 2004.

Russell has recently been nominated for TGO magazines Outdoor Personality of the year award. To vote for Russell please use the link below. I’m sure it would mean the world to him.

https://www.tgomagazine.co.uk/news/shortlists-announced-for-the-great-outdoors-reader-awards-2021-vote-now/

Russell is also raising funds for the mental health charity MQ, which funds mental health research, to help adolescents and others. 

One of the charity’s aims is to look at how to identify young people at risk of suffering from depression at an earlier age.

For more information on the charity, visit: www.mqmentalhealth.org

You can find out more about Russell, and make a donation to the charity MQ, here: https://linktr.ee/russellmoorhouse


MS.

Altberg Senior Bootmaker.

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