Welcome to “On the hill with…” a series of short interviews with members of the Rucksack Club. This week it is the turn of Ellie Bloodworth who ‘came through the ranks’ so to speak!
How did you get into walking and climbing?
My dad, Robin Bloodworth, is the reason behind my love for the great outdoors. Growing up my mum used to work night shifts as a NHS nurse so Daddy-day-care (aka mum needs sleep!) meant frequent trips to the Rucksack club huts and exploring the hills. One of my earliest memories is learning about gravity whilst sliding down a hill somewhere in my overalls!
This love for exploring and being outside has never faded. I guess I never really ‘got into walking’; it’s just part of being a Bloodworth.
Who has had the most influence on your mountain experiences?
Friends, family and other members really. I of course, admire many famous people who have achieved epic feats on the mountains but my influence comes from the enthusiasm of the people around me. Is there anything better than having an awesome mountain day with like minded people? That’s why the club is so epic; everytime I meet other members I’m inspired. So often they’ve got such incredible tails to share but are so humble with their feats.
How did you come to join the RC?
My dad has been a member for 25 years and I’d always aimed to join myself. Just after I left university, I dedicated some time to club meets and secured my membership.
What does the perfect ‘hill’ day consist of?
An early start, a mix of challenging and chilled times; good food, a good cup of tea with a view and plenty of stories to share in the pub afterwards.
What have been your most memorable days out?
The first time I went to Chamonix, I remember the cloud covering all the peaks. We started a climb and after a few hours the cloud cleared and I saw the peaks for the first time. I’ll never forget that moment. I’d be waiting to catch a glimpse of the ridges in all their glory and there they were… it was absolutely stunning.
Another memorable day was climbing in Rovinj in Croatia. The sun was setting and my partner Arron had been stuck on a route for what seemed like hours. There was a small crowd forming and a French man shouting ‘alles alles!’. Arron doesn’t give up so of course he did it (even if his belay was a bit tired…) We had some beers after and ended up staying in a carpark in our van for a week to continue climbing at this spot… The memorable day turned in to memorable week!
Have you had any mishaps in the ‘hills’ and, if so, what’s been the worst?
I was climbing to Annapurna Base Camp in Nepal and had spent a few weeks in India beforehand… all I’ll say is, Delhi Belly and mishaps… you can work the rest out for yourself! Uuugh the memories….!
What is your dream ‘hill’ objective?
To have a great adventure really. To get back to nature and enjoy its beauty. Life can be pretty hectic sometimes but there is always peace and happiness to be found in the hills.
What makes a great ‘hill’ partner? Has anyone come close?
And someone with a good sense of humour and who is up for a challenge. Arron, my fiance, has come close. One reason why I’m marrying him in August! My dad always said, ‘you’ve got to make sure you find someone who look good in walking boots’. It’s true, I couldn’t be with someone who you can’t spend a day or a lifetime in the hills with.
With a busy working life, how do you manage to keep active in the hills?
I have Jack Kerouac’s quote pinned to my computer in my classroom: ‘Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.’ This reminds me to get out there and inspires me to have that ‘work-life balance’.
It’s about dedicating as much time to the things we enjoy and to the things we have to do. And when the teaching days take their toll, I remind myself that at least my pay cheque is petrol money to the hills at the weekend…
What future ‘hill’ plans do you have?
We have our honeymoon booked in Corsica. We haven’t done much more than book the flights at the moment but we know that there will be plenty of climbs and walks that we we can do to start our newly married life!
What have been the benefits of RC membership?
An escape when the going gets tough. The club is always there and the huts are a second home.
Like-minded people to inspire good times and share stories with.
Inspiration to get out there and enjoy our beautiful planet.
Pride that you belong to something good.
A nice 15% discount at many walking shops [Ed…and, currently, 20% at Cotswold…make sure you have the correct code though]
Nice one Ellie…Ed