Martin Moran on the summit of Himalayan peak Trisul. Photo: Martin Moran

Martin Moran on the summit of Himalayan peak Trisul. Photo: Martin Moran

The family of mountaineer Martin Moran have set up a charitable foundation in his memory.

They hope to support young people from diverse backgrounds to pursue adventure in the mountains, using expert instructors and guides.

The family said they set up the foundation to honour his extraordinary life and climbing accolades, but also to carry forward his belief that the joy of mountaineering should be an experience open to everyone – no matter what their background.

“Dedicated to promoting the positive impact of mountain adventure on young people’s mental health and wellbeing, the Martin Moran Foundation provides all-expenses-paid training programmes for 16 to 18-year-olds across the UK who are passionate about the outdoors,” a spokesperson said.

“Led by expert British Mountain Guides and Mountain Instructors who all knew and climbed with Martin, the seven-day courses will equip the young adventurers with the essential skills, safety training, kit and confidence to explore the mountains.”

As well as covering all travel and accommodation costs, the foundation will be kitting each participant out with a full set of mountaineering clothing and equipment provided by sponsors Mountain Equipment, Bridgedale and La Cordeé.

After the course, the gear will be donated to the participants to support their continued passion for adventure.

Martin’s son, director of operations at the Martin Moran Foundation and lead instructor on its courses, Alex Moran said: “My sister Hazel and I were lucky enough to have our dad as a constant source of encouragement to seek adventure – both out in the mountains and in our daily lives.

“Unfortunately, not everyone has that experience. My family and I are proud to be able to launch this foundation in dad’s honour so that we can be a positive influence for young people across the UK and support them to conquer new heights.”

Martin Moran died while leading a Himalayan expedition in 2019. He was the first person to make a continuous winter round of the Scottish Munros and also posted the first solo winter traverse of the Cuillin on Skye in under 24 hours. He also made numerous first ascents in the Himalaya.

Explorer, broadcaster, geographer and Martin Moran Foundation patron Nick Crane, said: “Martin was the ultimate mountain man, the expert companion who took me to places I could never reach alone. I’m delighted to support the MMF in bringing the wonder of mountains to a new generation.”

The foundation will be working closely with schoolteachers, club leaders and other youth and community groups across the UK to find those who would benefit most from their training programmes. The first course is due to run at the end of October 2021 in the Cairngorms area of Scotland.

A spokesperson for lead sponsors Mountain Equipment, said: “Martin inspired so many people during his lifetime – through his work as a guide, his writing and of course his own climbing and mountaineering achievements.

“But the foundation will take that further and will provide him with a lasting legacy by giving young people who otherwise may not have the means or ability to access the outdoors a chance to begin their own mountaineering journeys. We are very proud to be involved.”

Martin Moran was born in North Tyneside and in 1985, he qualified as a British and International IFMGA Mountain Guide leaving city life behind to set up home in the north-west Highlands of Scotland with his wife Joy, founding their climbing and guiding enterprise, Moran Mountain.

His career included more than 40 exploratory and pioneering expeditions in the Himalaya and over a hundred first ascents of new summer and winter routes in Scotland.

In 1984 he completed his record-breaking winter journey over 277 Munros in 83 days in 1984, and in 1993 achieved the first self-propelled traverse of all the 4,000m Alpine peaks in just 52 days with climbing partner Simon Jenkins.

He also broke the speed record for the 11km-long Cuillin ridge traverse in a mere three hours and 33 minutes, which brought modern speed alpinism to Scotland.

More details are on the Martin Moran Foundation website.

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