Friday 8th April 2022, 1:41pm
Meet Mountaineering Scotland’s newest member of staff.
Kirsty Pallas is the first of two new Mountain Safety Advisors joining Ben Gibson to make up the new Mountain Safety Team, following the departure of Heather Morning.
Kirsty is an outdoor instructor based in Oban on the west coast, and has been instructing across Scotland for over 10 years, as well as further afield in Mongolia, Norway and Morocco.
She holds the Summer and Winter Mountain Leader awards and the Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor award, and is also qualified to instruct rock and water activities like gorge walking, coasteering, and canyoning.
She said: “After work experience at an outdoor residential centre, I realised this was one of the best jobs around! I love being able to introduce and share so many of the incredible Scottish environments, whether it’s the mountains in full winter conditions or a beautifully still sea with views out to the Hebrides.
“I'm delighted to be joining the Mountain Safety team and getting involved in delivering courses. My main role will be on the delivery side, working on navigation, mountain skills and winter courses, passing on as much knowledge as I can.
“Mountaineering Scotland plays a big part in giving its members the skills to become independent in the mountains and when the opportunity came up to join the team, I leapt at the chance, and now I'm looking forward to being a part of it all.
“After seeing how much Heather put into this, it's a really inspiring role, and I hope I can bring the same to it.”
Kirsty added: “I'm also really passionate about making the mountains and the wider outdoors as inclusive as possible, so I will be looking at ways I can do this in my role. Whether that's identifying barriers, outreach to community groups or making the courses more accessible. It's something I look at with my own work so I'm really excited to be tying it in with my new role and the wider Scottish community.”
When not working, Kirsty is still found out in the hills, and sayus: “My best days out always include great company and exploring somewhere adventurous, whether that’s mountain cragging, a remote beach for a wild swim, or a winter climb.
“Outside of work and play, I’ve been a member of Oban Mountain Rescue Team since 2013. I’m a callout manager and the Training Officer on the team, and love being able to give something back to the mountaineering community. I’m also a founding member of Our Shared Outdoors, an organisation set up to tackle and change the lack of diversity in the outdoors and promote underrepresented groups.”
Photo of Kirsty by Jessie Leong