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Climbing hero Martin Moran’s legacy to inspire a new generation of mountaineers

Written by Fiona

May 08 2021

British climbing legend Martin Moran, who died in the Himalayas in 2019, has given his name to a new charitable foundation that will support young people from diverse backgrounds to pursue adventure in the mountain.

The Martin Moran Foundation launched this week in the hope 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 has set up the foundation, which will provide 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.

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, 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.”

Martin climbing in the Alps. Credit: Andy Perkins-BMG

In addition to covering travel and accommodation costs, the Martin Moran Foundation will be kitting out each participant 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 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.

Martin in the mountains of Scotland. Credit: Keir Woolhouse

Who was Martin Moran?

  • Born in North Tyneside, Martin was one of Britain’s most experienced mountaineers and guides
  • 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.
  • Martin’s career in the mountains included over 40 exploratory and pioneering expeditions in the Himalaya and more than 100 first ascents of new summer and winter routes in Scotland.
  • He was killed aged 64 in an avalanche on an unscaled peak in the Himalayas.

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