Meet the team: Tractors and Tracks

 

Who are you?

 

Richard: Richard Barclay, a highland deer farmer with a passion for the alps and all things skiing.

David: David Henderson from Edinburgh.

Calum: Calum Mcdiarmid, a farmer from Aberfeldy in Highland Perthshire.
Always lived in the mountains and worked outdoors. Have been skiing since I was 4 years old.

Jez: Jez Robinson. British Army for 27 years – left in late 2016 having served all over the world. Now a Director in our 300 year old Family Business in Birmingham and farmer in Highland Perthshire. My wife Ali and I live in Perthshire with our three children.

 

 

What’s your inspiration for taking on such an epic challenge?

 

Richard: I believe that it is important to push oneself to seek new highs (and possibly lows!) and Everest in the Alps seemed the perfect challenge for that!

David: My brother in law Stephen Kenyon, this is his bright idea.

Calum: ‘I have a perfect challenge for you’ says my good friend Richard.
Taking on life’s next challenge is always a moment to the future. Exercise in the mountains is a pleasure and a reward. Ski touring is such an enjoyable activity.

Jez: The military was a testing environment – I like to think I thrive on challenge.

 

Why Everest in the Alps?

 

Richard: I spent a couple of days with Phil Spencer on the hills last winter and he told me about the challenge. Having skied most of my life, did a season in Verbier 30ish years ago, and having taken up touring in the last couple of years it seemed like the perfect challenge for me. It didn’t take much to persuade other friends to join the team!

David: Time for a new and different challenge for us both.

Calum: This 4 day intense endurance challenge will be my biggest yet.

Jez: My neighbour (Richard) suggested it but it combines a worthy cause with team-based physical challenge in a stunning location. It will also finally force me to buy some ski-touring gear which I can utilise at home where there is normally plenty of snow in Winter!

 

Have you ever done anything like this before?

 

Richard: No! but having decided to take better care of my 50+ year old self so that I can continue to do what I love for as long as possible, it seemed appropriate to incentivise myself with a challenge! Add to that the camaraderie, raising some funds for worthwhile charity and a few days in the mountains…what’s not to love!

David: Not exactly. A few long bike races in Europe and Asia with quite a bit of elevation gain and some multi-sports events. I have done a little ski touring.

Calum: I have done various cycling challenges and climbed many mountains.

Jez: I ski each year, but downhill, so this will force me to master a new skill-set.

 

How are you tackling the training?

 

Richard: I am lucky to live in Highland Perthshire and spend a lot of my time, especially in the winter, in the hills – I am really hoping that this gives me some advantage! I am also working with an inspirational online health and wellbeing coach, whom I hope will get me up to speed and ensure that I get to the challenge in the right physical and mental state to not only do the challenge but enjoy it.

David: Last week it was beer, wine and whisky mostly!

Calum: Living amongst the Scottish mountains will be our greatest training ground with lots of long hill walking days ahead.

Jez: I always keep fit and am in the hills every day. I am working up a specific programme for this challenge.

 

What are you most looking forward to?

 

Richard: The early mornings and evenings in the Alps when there is no one else around – that peace and tranquility really appeals to me. I am also really looking forward to spending time with a group of friends, the banter, the support and helping each other with the challenge.

David: Having just spent several hours wearing a face mask getting through customs at Hong Kong Airport – the immediate thought is cool, fresh air! Other than that enjoying the Alps, doing something a bit different with Stephen and meeting other like minded people.

Calum: Most winters have had a week or two in the Alps therefore looking forward to another with a different challenge.

Jez: Being in the mountains and achieving the aim as part of a team.

 

What scares you about the event?

 

Richard: Almost everything – am I fit enough mentally and physically, trying to sleep with a room full of snorers – don’t have a problem with the downhill bit!!

David: Blisters.

Calum: The scary bit will be, have I got enough energy and strength in the tank to knock out the task and enjoy it.

Jez: Nothing particularly – just want to avoid twisting a knee!

Anna Rae Dowling
22/06/22