Each week, we’ll be introducing one of the 16 amazing ambassadors who are helping the #ItsUptoUs campaign by stepping up to #SaveMountainPaths.
This week, we’re meeting Matthew Smillie, better known on Instagram as @thescottishconqueror. We asked Matthew to tell us a little bit about himself, and why he felt like he wanted to be a part of the campaign to save Scotland’s mountain paths.
“Hey, my name is Matthew Smillie. I’m a 38-year-old personal trainer based in Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire.
“The mountains are everything for me, my escape and my connection, but this is all new to myself. I’ve never been a huge outdoor person, and I never did much traveling around Scotland.
“From a young age, I got caught up in living in the central belt, and a ‘living for the weekend lifestyle’.
“But the mountains have allowed me to change that mentality and have helped me explore more of this amazing country.
“I can escape from the reality of work and daily stresses by going hillwalking most weekends, exploring Scotland and getting outdoors, being active and bagging Munro’s.
“The mountains have allowed me to live a more adventurous lifestyle and connect to fellow hikers on the same journey.
“I became an ambassador for the Its Up to Us campaign as I want others to enjoy my experience of hillwalking and getting outdoors.
“Without this campaign, and the maintenance of paths and prevention of damage on the mountains, this wouldn’t be possible.
“It’s a great experience getting out walking and exploring but we need to help leave the mountains better than we found them and reserve and restore to help this experience pass on for years to come.
“Big thanks to mountaineering Scotland for letting me be a part of this campaign.”