Foundation to honour life of Strathcarron climber

Martin Moran became the first person to climb all the Munros – Scottish Mountains over 3,000 feet – during a single winter excursion.

The family of a celebrated mountaineer, who was killed on a climb in 2019, has set up a foundation in his name to honour his life and legacy.

Martin Moran, of Strathcarron in Wester Ross, was one of the best-known names in UK climbing circles, as well as an experienced mountain guide and author.

Mr Moran (64) was among a group of eight climbers who were caught up in an avalanche on an unscaled peak in the Indian Himalayas in May 2019.

This week, his family launched The Martin Moran Foundation which aims to support young people from diverse backgrounds to pursue adventure in the mountains and further their love of the outdoors.

Mr Moran’s family – his wife Joy and children Alex and Hazel – hope the foundation will inspire a new generation to discover the joy of wild places and remove barriers for people who wouldn’t normally have the chance to get into the hills.

The foundation will offer fully-funded places on seven-day programmes for 16-18-year-olds from across the UK.

The programmes will include expert instruction in climbing, mountain adventure, and skill-building in the Highlands from highly qualified guides and instructors.

Everything from travel and accommodation, through to clothing, boots and gear will be provided. And, at the end of the course, the equipment will be gifted to participants in order to encourage their continued pursuit of adventure.

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The Martin Moran Foundation is keen to hear from anyone who would like to support its work through fundraising challenges such as a sponsored walk or climb, or by making a donation.

This summer Alex Moran and fellow climber and mountain runner Mike Coppock will take on a first-ever Munros triathlon to raise funds for the foundation.

Never before have all of the Scottish island Munros been attempted in a single non-stop push with all 300km and 7000m of the ascent being completed by running, cycling, and swimming.

Tyneside-born Martin Moran moved to the West Highlands in the 1980s where he set up a mountaineering instruction and guiding business, Moran Mountain.

In 1985 he became the first person to climb all the Munros, Scottish mountains over 3,000ft, during a single winter excursion.

He created over 100 new winter climbing routes in Scotland as well as a number of first ascents in the Himalayas.

Mr Moran organised Alpine expeditions for 20 years and in the summer of 1993 he and a fellow climber scaled all of the 4,000m peaks in the mountain range.

He was a member of the British Association of Mountain Guides and penned six books on climbing.

Joy Moran told the Free Press: “I think Martin would have been delighted with what we hope to achieve through the foundation. The mountains were always something that were dear to his heart throughout the whole of his life since he was a very young boy. The mountains are a wonderful outlet where you can escape to and find solace.”

For further information about the foundation, click here.

Article by Jackie MacKenzie.