Record breaking adventurer Mollie Hughes (30), who last year became the youngest woman in the world to ski solo to the South Pole, has been appointed as a director of Ocean Vertical, a Scottish adventure company that embraces sustainable sea, coastal and mountaineering experiences.
The announcement comes during Mental Health Awareness Week (10-16 May) and at a time of growing awareness of the mental and physical health benefits participants can gain from water-based activities – commonly referred to as ‘Blue Health’.
East Lothian-based Ocean Vertical was founded in 2018 by professional instructor Stevie Boyle and former international architect, Adrian Boot. Their small team of highly qualified instructors specialise in immersing individuals and small groups in wilderness experiences like coasteering, surfing, paddle-boarding, climbing and mountaineering.
The ethical adventure business also offers summer and winter mountaineering experiences in Glen Coe and the Western Highlands of Scotland. An experienced mountaineer, Hughes climbing successes include summitting Mount Everest from the south side aged just 21 and returning to summit from the north side aged 26 – achieving the world record by becoming the youngest women in the world to do so.
Joining as a director of Ocean Vertical is a natural fit for Hughes. The Devon-born, Edinburgh-based adventurer, marketer and motivational speaker, commented: “I’m very excited to be invited to be part of the team at Ocean Vertical, an organisation that shares my passion for enjoying adventures on rugged coastlines and mountains, with a keen sense of the need to protect our fragile natural world.
“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 added: “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.”
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.”
Notes to the editor
Stevie Boyle has a 20+ year career in adventure and Adrian Boot is a former international architect with strong corporate / business skills. Together with a small, highly skilled team of instructors and guides, they offer decades of experience in water and mountain based activities.
As part of its commitment to protect the natural world, Ocean Vertical contributes a percentage of its profits to environmental causes. Placing the wild and natural environment of Scotland at its core, the business aims to minimise its impact on the planet. Operating a leave no trace policy, it aims to use the most ethical and sustainable equipment possible to support its coastal and mountain adventures.
On 10 January 2020, Mollie (aged 29) reached the South Pole becoming the youngest woman in the world to ski solo from the coast of Antarctica to the Geographic South Pole.
In 2020 Mollie Hughes was also elected President of Scouts Scotland, the first woman to hold the position.
In May 2017 (aged 26) Mollie became the youngest woman in the world – and the first English woman – to successfully summit from both the north and south sides of the world’s highest mountain, Mount Everest.
As a director of Ocean Vertical, Mollie will bring to the team almost a decade of experience in marketing and social media garnered while working with Tiso Group, the outdoor adventure retail specialist.