Name: Edward Pearce-Taylor
Mountain Experience: 7yrs
Where did you grow up?: Bedfordshire
Current Home City: London
Favourite Mountain: Buachaille Etive Mòr
Favourite food to pack in your rucksack: Chorizo sausage
Favourite National Park: The Cairngorms
Q. How did you become interested in the outdoors?
A. Two things stand out. The first is getting a second-hand book on British birds from a pop-up bookstore on the South Bank when I was eight years old. The sparked my lifelong interest in birds and you can’t be interested in birds without being interested in the outdoors! Second, from a young age I went on an annual holiday with my grandparents to the North Yorkshire Moors (to Goathland, or Aidensfield as its probably better known!). We’d do a little circular walk out of the village and I was always obsessed with getting to the top of things.
Q. What is one lesson the mountains have taught you?
A. Don’t let discomfort get the better of you. Embrace it and think of the pub at the end of it all.
Q. Other than boots, if you had unlimited money to spend on one piece of kit, what would it be?
A. Gloves! Without a doubt. Having cold hands can really ruin a day in the hills and, unfortunately, you do tend to get what you pay for when it comes to gloves.
Q. What is one thing you pack in your rucksack, whatever the season and whatever the weather?
A. I always have an emergency light down-jacket or heavy fleece that gets stashed in a dry-bag at the bottom of my rucksack, whatever the weather and whatever the forecast. I like to know that if something unexpected happens I’ve always a got a warm, dry extra layer to throw on if I need it.
Q. What advice would you give to someone going out into the mountains for the first time?
A. It’s not a race. Take your time, enjoy it and don’t worry if you’re not moving as fast as you thought you would. You wouldn’t run up the stairs, would you?
Q. What is your favourite season to be out in the mountains and why?
A. It depends on what I’m doing. If I’m running the trails then a dry summer’s day is hard to beat. However, strapping on a pair of crampons and wielding an ice axe makes anything seem like a true alpine adventure, so a proper Scottish winter is unbeatable.
Q. Name three mountains on your bucket list.
1. The Matterhorn
2. Beinn Alligin
3. The Cuillin Ridge (okay, so it’s not strictly a mountain!)
Q. What do you do like to do keep fit when you’re not in the mountains?
A. Fitness is my passion - or my obsession, depending on who you ask – so I spend a lot of time keeping fit. Lately, road cycling and running are my main focus but I dabble with marathon kayaking and surfski too. I also spend way too much time in the weights gym…not a good habit to get into.
Q. If you could go anywhere in the world that you hadn’t been, where would it be?
A. Costa Rica. Sadly, the current pandemic forced me to cancel my trip there this month. I’ve never been in a proper rainforest before and I can’t wait to be able to. (If my trip to Costa Rica had gone ahead, my answer to this question would be Antarctica).
Q. What is your favourite mountain/expedition/adventure book? (fiction/non-fiction)
A. Endurance by Alfred Lansing, about Shackleton’s ill-fated expedition. It’s an old book but the story telling is sublime and the story itself, all based on real events, is just totally unbelievable. Read this and suddenly self-isolating at home with tea and Netflix won’t seem quite so bad…
Q. What is your favourite City Mountaineering memory?
A. Lots to choose from, of course, but sharing a wee dram with fellow leader, Dave, and the group as we watched the sunset from the north side of Cadair Idris on a wild camping trip is a special one.
Founder, City Mountaineering