Everest woman joins Bo’ness Polar Academy

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The founder of a remarkable Bo’ness-based youth charity is this week delighted to welcome a top female mountaineer as a Polar Guide.

Craig Mathieson of the enterprising Polar Academy in Bo’ness reckons the arrival of Mollie Hughes, (27) will be the best possible start to the new year.

She’s the youngest woman in the world to scale both the north and south sides of Mount Everest.

Craig said: “It gives me a huge pleasure to welcome Mollie Hughes to the Polar Academy Guiding Team. Just like the incredible Jess Ainslie,

“Mollie is a fantastic role model, not only for the female participants but for everyone involved with the Polar Academy.”

Mollie climbed Everest’s morth side in May this year, following on from her success in climbing the south side six years ago.

Now she will join the Bo’ness charity for 18 months of specialist training, and iams to be part of its 2019 expedition team.

The Academy - one of Scotland’s most unusual youth charities - takes secondary school pupils through months of arduous training at Bo’ness and on Scottish hills before carrying out a ten-day trek across rugged terrain in Greeland.

Mollie told the BBC that she’d followed the Academy’s work for some years, and was looking forward to “being part of a dynamic charity that’s working to positively impact on young lives through immersion in the great outdoors - including the wilds of Arctic Greenland”.

Mr Mathieson says she had already shown that her “modest unassuming demeanour” disguises a “rock solid determination and a cool focus” - as well as impressive technical skills.

He has also stressed that as a mixed expedition group the team needs “highly competent, motivated female guides” in its core team.