#TeamMontane Q&A: Meet our newest members

Following International Women’s Day, we’re thrilled to announce that 4 new inspiring women will be joining #TeamMontane this season. Meet the newest members and find out more about them…

We’re proud to work with so many inspiring people who share a love for the great outdoors. #TeamMontane is made up of lots of different kinds of adventurers, from females inspiring the next generation of explorers, to athletes taking on the world’s toughest ultra running events, and climbers conquering mighty mountain challenges.

Each person we work with is not only passionate about exploring mountains and pushing themselves in challenging environments, they love the kit we make and believe it can help take them further than they thought possible. Joining are team this season, we have 4 new members to #TeamMontane. Keep reading to find out more about Victoria Thompson, Marie Cheng, Bee Leask and Abbie Robinson

Discover #TeamMontane Bee Leask Montane Athlete

Why do you love the outdoors?

Victoria: I’m Victoria, a Lake District-based long distance trail runner! I spend the majority of my free time outdoors. I love that no two days are the same, something has always changed be it the weather, the terrain, whether you’re solo or with others, etc. It really keeps you on your toes!

Marie:  Hello, I’m based in Sheffield on the outskirts of the Peak District.  What do I love about the outdoors? Hmm…that you’re generally so preoccupied doing whatever it is you're doing and being in the moment that you don’t have time to think about the worries of everyday life!

Bee: I’m from Shetland but currently based just outside of Glasgow in Scotland. I love the freedom of being outdoors and being, well, a bit feral if I’m honest. I love everything about being outdoors and active. The feeling of achievement, the incredible scenery, the smells, the silence, the solitude and remembering every single time how lucky I am to be fit and able enough to do and see the things that I do.

Abbie: Hey! I’m Abbie and I’m based right on the North East coast! To me, spending time outdoors is complete freedom. There’s no judgment, no limits and you’re completely present. All of life’s challenges, all of your worries, insecurities and all of our differences just wash away.

Abbie Robinson Team GB Para Climber and Montane Athlete

What’s one item you are always sure to pack on a day in the mountains?

Victoria: Dark chocolate. I like to have a sweet-ish treat tucked away just in case!

Marie:  Definitely a waterproof jacket….it is the UK!

Bee: Gloves, gloves and more gloves. You can never have enough pairs of gloves for cold hands!

Abbie: A swimsuit! I will always find a spot for a cheeky dip!

Victoria Thompson Montane Athlete

What’s your favourite place in the world and why?

Victoria: I really enjoy Scotland. My partner and I have got into the habit of doing annual cycle tours that link different groups of islands. The scenery (including white sand beaches) is incredible! We’ll usually challenge ourselves with some big cycling days followed by walks/runs to bothies (when we don’t want to camp). It can get exhausting but it’s so worth it! We also take trips to Scotland for winter climbing, ski touring and running. One of my favourite things is looking at maps and planning intricate trips to remote areas!

Marie: Probably my 7 weeks out in the winter season in Fernie in Canada.  It’s much more like a local ski resort than a lot of the other resorts I’ve been to in Europe. When it was “busy” on powder day, there was hardly any queue and you could have the whole mountain to yourself!  Plus we spent 4 days in a remote hut in the Purcell mountains, accessible only by helicopter and zero phone reception and WiFi!  So we had to learn to talk to each other.

Marie Cheng Montane Athlete

Bee: Being Scottish I am obviously biased towards Shetland & Scotland; it’s where my love of the sea and the mountains started and it’s where my passion for the outdoors began. I love the diversity of our beautiful wee country, from the diversity of the islands to the different landscapes from east coast to west coast and everything in between. 

I’ve bike packed the Heb Way, visited and cycled almost 60 Scottish islands, I’ve climbed over 200 munros and countless other hills, I’ve swam in more lochs and sea lochs than I can count, I’ve scrambled the Skye Cuillin and had amazing winter seasons mountaineering. I’ve done the West Highland Way and ran a good section of the Cape Wrath Way, and explored as much of this country as I can and I still haven’t got bored or run out of things to do and see. Scotland truly makes me feel alive, and I’ve barely even scratched the surface.  

Abbie: Innsbruck, Austria will always have a special place in my heart. Not only is it absolutely breathtaking, but this was where I competed in and won my first World Champs title. I’ve since been back to compete there a few times, the local crowd and the atmosphere never disappoint! Having visited in my first year competing and coming back years later, it’s been amazing (and quite emotional!) to reflect on how much I’ve grown as an athlete and how much the sport has grown since then. The river is a great cold water swim spot too!

Bee Leask

What’s on your future challenges bucket list?

Victoria: Hopefully, this year I’ll be taming the Dragon’s Back - an immense challenge! Looking further ahead, I’d love to complete multi day running challenges in mountainous areas across the globe!

Marie:  A polar expedition where you are either pulled by huskies or you’re pulling a sled!

Bee: Oh goodness, what isn’t on my list! Finishing my munros is first, only 57 (at the moment) to go. I also really want to go back and finish the Cape Wrath Ultra after having to stop on day 5 due to injury. I’d also like to do a full distance triathlon, (ideally Celtman), having done a half ironman distance back in 2019. I’d also love to do the Camino de Santiago, the GR20 in Corsica, and I’d love to complete a Tranter Round which is a continuous loop of 18 munros, 60km with 6000m of elevation in 24 hours. 

Abbie: I don’t like to shout about any climbing projects I have as then I feel the motivation shifts from intrinsic to extrinsic and that takes the fun out of it for me. But, I’d love to get out and spend some time bouldering in Switzerland soon (as it’s one of my fave places!) and pull on some really hard stuff with some really cool people!

International Women's Day

Finally, what’s your ultimate motivational song? 

Victoria: When I’m going through a tough spot in a fell race, I often find myself singing ‘You’re Welcome’ from Moana. I’m not sure why but it makes me laugh and feel more optimistic!

Marie:  Wouldn’t say it’s my outright favourite song, but there were hundreds of renditions of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody (generally on repeat!) going up a side of a mountain to keep us moving!

Bee: Not so much what I listen to when I’m training but Celine Dion ‘Think Twice’ always pops into my head if I’m struggling during an event or challenge. Me and my friend sang it during some tough times on the West Highland Way and on various grim weather days, and it never fails to cheer me up and motivate me after belting out the chorus.

Abbie: I actually listen to a lot of classical music when I’m on the wall. It helps me get into flow and feel super present. Oh and RuPaul has gotten me through some tough times in the gym too ha! Though, if we’re going ultimate motivational song (also my karaoke tune of choice), then Anastacia - Left Outside Alone. 100% banger. 

Discover more #TeamMontane stories

Want to find out more about our newest team members? Listen to Bee’s podcast to learn about her love of munro bagging, or read Marie’s guide to trail running around Loch Coruisk on the Isle of Skye. Discover more people we work with on our dedicated #TeamMontane page, including more inspiring stories of them in action in the great outdoors.