A charitable foundation supporting young people from diverse backgrounds to pursue adventure in the mountains has been launched today in memory of mountaineering legend, Martin Moran. Born in North Tyneside, Martin set up home in the North-West Highlands of Scotland with his wife Joy, from where they ran a guiding business. He became one of the best known figures in Scottish mountaineering, and in 1984 became the first to complete a winter round of the Munros.
The Martin Moran Foundation launches today in the hopes that the climber’s legacy will inspire a new generation of young people who wouldn’t otherwise have the support or resources to experience mountain adventure.
Martin’s family have 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.
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.
Commenting on the launch of the foundation, 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.”
Explorer, broadcaster, geographer and Martin Moran Foundation Patron, Nick Crane, echoed Alex’s sentiments, adding:
“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”
In addition to covering all travel and accommodation costs, the Martin Moran Foundation will be kitting each participant out with a full set of mountaineering clothing and equipment kindly provided by its sponsors: Mountain Equipment, Bridgedale and La Cordeé.
After the course, this state-of-the-art gear will be gifted to the participants to support their continued passion for adventure.
Expressing their support for the charity, lead sponsors Mountain Equipment, stated: “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.”
The Martin Moran 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.
Just as Martin relished exploring the natural world with people from all walks of life, so too is the foundation committed to sharing his spirit of adventure.