BAIML Test Team Interview: Julia Tregaskis-Allen
International Mountain Leader Michelle Smith recently caught up with the newly appointed BAIML Montane Test Team Member Julia Tregaskis-Allen:
Julia’s passion for adventure, travel and exploring the outdoors spans for over 20 years, leading her to a career as an International Mountain Leader & BASI Nordic Ski Teacher. Julia focusses her work guiding and organising adventure travel holidays (trail running, cross-country skiing, hiking and snowshoeing) through her business Tracks and Trails. Julia has led treks and expeditions across Africa, South America, the Alps, Scandinavia and the Himalayas.
Julia is married to IFMGA mountain guide, Oliver Allen, and they split their lives between the Alps and the Peak District.
How did your love of mountaineering come about?
Since school I’ve been a runner which soon evolved into triathlon, adventure racing and mountain marathons. I wanted to go more and more off the beaten track, be self-sufficient, find my way, go further for longer and cover more technical terrain.
What other sports do you enjoy?
Rock & alpine climbing, trail running, all types of skiing and cycle touring.
Have you got your sights set on any new destinations or mountains in the near future?
Every year I try to go somewhere new. Be it for work or pleasure, I’m never short of ideas. For 2018 I’m planning new ski tours in Austria, Norway and Finland, trail running in the Picos de Europa, walking in Albania and a personal rock climbing trip to Morocco.
What has been your most memorable expedition and why?
I’m very fortunate to be able to travel and share many adventures with my mum. On a trip to Peru we trekked in the Andes then climbed 6000m peaks without seeing another person. This time together and remoteness felt very special.
What has been your biggest challenge to date?
To conquer the fear of falling when lead climbing!
What is your favourite piece of Montane gear and why?
The ‘Phoenix’ jacket. It’s light-weight, fits well and packs down easily. Warmth for all adventures.
What piece of kit can’t you leave home without?
My running shoes!
What is your fitness and nutrition regime like leading up to a big expedition?
I’m fortunate that my work keeps my base mountain fitness at a good level. Also, being located, for the majority of the time, in the Alps means having access to different types of terrain, altitudes and conditions. Leading up to any important trip means I will focus training more on what that specific trip will entail, such as muscular and finger strength for rock climbing, endurance on the trails, acclimatising to higher altitudes, ski fitness or simply getting used to carrying a heavier pack. I’d like to think I have a good diet which has helped me maintain my activity levels to date. But if I’m training on top of normal guiding work I’m more conscious of needing adequate protein for recovery and adequate carbohydrates to keep my energy levels up.
What would you say to someone thinking of pursuing an interest in the outdoors?
That it’s never too late and that you have no idea where it will lead! I enjoy seeing others experience their first steps in the outdoors. Having worked with all ages in outdoor education & on adventure holidays it’s clear that outdoor interests go way beyond the activity itself. I believe there is an outdoor interest for everyone.
Who would you choose to play you in a movie and why?
Kate Beckinsale – Sporty and adventurous. Sense of fun, but can be serious when required!