Record-breaking explorer Mollie Hughes heads up wilderness experience venture

Record-breaking explorer Mollie Hughes is embarking on a new adventure heading up a wilderness experiences company.

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The Edinburgh-based climber who became the youngest woman in the world to ski solo to the South Pole in January 2020 says she hopes to encourage more women to try outdoors adventures.

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At age 26, Mollie became the youngest woman in the world to successfully summit from both the north and south sides of the world’s highest mountain, Mount Everest.

Mollie Hughes of Ocean Vertical at Seacliff Beach, East Lothian. PIC: Mike Wilkinson

Last year Mollie was elected President of Scouts Scotland, becoming the first woman to hold the position.

Now the 30-year old is ready to scale new heights of success in business, as a Director of East Lothian-based Ocean Vertical, which offers wilderness experiences like coasteering, surfing, paddle-boarding, climbing and mountaineering.

The ethical adventure business was founded in 2018 by professional instructor Stevie Boyle and former international architect, Adrian Boot. Their small team of highly qualified instructors also offers summer and winter mountaineering experiences in Glen Coe and the Western Highlands of Scotland.

She said: “I was raised in Devon where swimming and surfing nurtured my passion for the sea and where my dad is a kayaking instructor. While in recent years, the mountains have been my focus, I’ve always had an affinity with the sea. Like Stevie and Adrian, I love the sense of freedom, mental and physical challenge and simple joy that comes from being immersed in the wilds.”

Mollie Hughes with Stevie Boyle and Adrian Boot of Ocean Vertical at Seacliff Beach, East Lothian. PIC: Mike Wilkinson

“As part of the Ocean Vertical team, I really look forward to bringing my own outlook on the outdoors and skill-set in planning and communications to the business. In particular, I’m sure there will be the opportunity to help encourage many more women to share in wilderness experiences, for I know its power in nurturing greater self-confidence and improved physical and mental wellbeing.”

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Adrian Boot, co-founder of Ocean Vertical added: “Mollie is an inspirational young woman with a phenomenal track record of achievements in the world of exploration. It’s fantastic to have her on board to help run and shape the Ocean Vertical business. Her skills and personal outlook on the benefits of sustainable adventure will be a tremendous asset to the team as we commit to sustainably grow and attract more customers to experience the joy of immersion in Scotland’s coasts and mountains.”

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