Updated: Sep 30, 2019
This weeks inspirational interview is with Squash Falconer. She is a record breaking adventurer, mountaineer, speaker and presenter. Recently on the 10th November Squash was one of the 7 person team to successfully make the first ascent of Nepal’s Mt Khang Karpo (6704m) pictured above.
Briefly tell us about yourself and your main achievements
My name is Squash, I wasn’t born Squash though. My sister couldn’t say my name, which was meant to be Louise, so she called me Ease, then Peas, then Squashypeas and then just Squash. It stuck!
I’m an adventurer, speaker and presenter. Growing up my plan was to be a farmer then I thought being a vet would be better, but at 17 I decided that I actually had no idea what I wanted to do. After my A-Level’s I took myself off to do a ski season in the French Alps. I made friends with people who did a lot of sport and I found a passion for it too, especially endurance sports. In my early 20’s I passed my motorbike test, learnt to fly a paraglider and began mountaineering. My work was made up of ski seasons, event work, running a bar and working in the import industry bringing products over from China. I used the work I did to fund my adventures, mostly in mountaineering. I climbed some big peaks and loved the outdoors. In 2009 I combined three dreams I’d had; to ride a motorbike to the South of France, to climb Mt Blanc and to fly from the top of a high mountain. Against the odds, I became the first British woman to fly from the summit of Mt Blanc and it was utterly incredible! Although I’d climbed bigger peaks than Mt Blanc that expedition changed everything. I realised that perhaps I could begin to work with sponsors and maybe make a career out of this adventuring. In 2011 I climbed Mt Everest which was a huge experience on every level; physical, mental and emotional and that trip opened the door to the speaking and presenting world.
What has been the most challenging adventure and where would you like to go that you haven’t been and why?
There’s been a few really challenging ones! Everest would probably be the most challenging. It was a long and incredibly tough expedition. The challenge began with how to even get to the start. I didn’t know how people climbed Everest? Let alone afforded to pay for it. My plan was never to climb Everest because I didn’t even see it as a possibility. Then as I climbed higher and more difficult mountains I realised that perhaps, with enough training, I could be strong and fit enough, I had long standing relationships with sponsors who were willing to support me and in the end to pay the final balance, I got a loan. Once on the expedition the enormity of what I was attempting to do really hit home. Just getting to base camp was a challenge. The physical challenge is obvious but one I hadn’t considered so much was the mental and emotional challenge. Weeks spent acclimatising took their toll and reaching the top became as much of a mental game and a physical one.
I think I might like go to Alaska and climb Denali because people joke that Everest is good training for that mountain. So perhaps when I’m feeling like a cold and tough challenge that will be a good one!
Where did your love of outdoor adventure come from?
I grew up on a farm and have loved the outdoors for as long as I can remember.
What does the outdoors give to you that keeps you motivated and wanting more?
Being outside filling my lungs with fresh clean air, surrounded by nature in big open spaces gives me an incredible feeling. It makes me buzz from the inside out. The beauty of the outdoors never fails to inspire me and when I’m outside, moving around, doing a sport or simply just being I feel happy and content and ultimately alive and present.
It is obvious that you love to inspire but what gives you a buzz?
Endorphins! It’s no secret that when we exercise our bodies release endorphins and I love a natural high. The sports I do often cause an adrenaline rush too. It’s all pretty addictive and makes me feel good.
I love to make my dreams a reality, help or share other people in realising theirs, complete projects, go on new adventures and meet new people. Not forgetting spending time with the people I love and being in places that make me happy.
What is next for Squash Falconer?
Coming up is a winter in Tignes in the French Alps, where I am based. I absolutely love it here! The ski touring is incredible and if you fancy joining me for a backcountry adventure I’m running two courses next April.
Last year my friends and I made a first ascent of Khang Karpo in Nepal and that was a pretty big expedition. I am planning another adventure but I’m not announcing it just yet!
How can our community of busy bees connect with you?
twitter: @squashfalconer instagram: squashfalconer
We hope you enjoy our inflatable loungers and look forward to receiving some great pictures on the mountain!
I can’t wait to try them! Thank you.
Squash thank you for your time and inspiration.
Stay safe, keep in touch and keep buzzing!