Why I climb mountains – John Bunce

John Bunce, the founder of Up Mountains, explains where his passion for climbing mountains, comes from:

As a young boy, I would look up to the top of hills and say to myself I ‘need’ to get to the top! I think it was the thrill of climbing something that then gave me a feeling of achievement and excitement seeing how everything below seemed so small and I felt so big!

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If it is there, I have to climb it!

So was born the desire to climb bigger hills and mountains and take others with me to experience the same thing and more. Climbing  hills and mountains does several things; it can give an immediate sense of achievement, self-satisfaction that you have done something that required some real physical exertion but actually achieved something that was tangible – the result is immediate in that the view from the top  is a new picture, the feeling that you are now a better mountain climber than you were  when you started.

In my thirty-five years of working in education, I have seen time and time again the impact that climbing a mountain has on young people. It gives them a sense of worth, of identity, of achievement- a can-do attitude that has an impact on the what they do when they get down from the top.

It is important to keep things in perspective, not least because life has a habit of crowding in on us and we lose sight of reality. When we reach the mountain top, I find that I see things differently – from a new perspective.

‘It’s not the mountain we conquer but ourselves’
Sir Edmund Hillary

Gaining strength by making ourselves vulnerable to the mountain environment is perhaps where an every journey with Up Mountains, begins. The climb up a mountain does not have to be a big one – it may be that a walk in the countryside is the start that some people need and is a challenge enough.

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Gaining some perspective.

Every Up Mountains trip is bespoke and relevant to the specific group or individual. Our Challenge Series aims to help tackle the ‘mountain’ within. One simple activity we use involves carrying a small rock to the top of the hill which is then symbolically left at the summit. I find that it helps to identify what prevents us from moving on and becoming the best that we can be. Combining activities like this with creative conversation, the opportunity to reflect and log experiences and the satisfaction found in successfully climbing the mountain is highly effective.

Nothing beats the rush of reaching the top of a mountain and looking down on where you’ve come from, with a new perspective. It can change everything and it’s just one reason why I love to climb mountains. Come join us!

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