Kirsty Pallas

Kirsty Pallas

Age: 29
Location: Oban
Pronouns: she/her

Kirsty Pallas, 30 under 30 nominee in 2023 smiling at the camera covered in snow.

I work as a mountaineering and rock climbing instructor, introducing people to the mountains. This can be teaching skills like navigation, ropework, and winter skills, or guiding experiences like scrambles and rock climbs.

Coming from a mixed heritage background, I’m very aware that the outdoors has historically been dominated by white, middle-class, straight men. Over the last few years I’ve worked on increasing diversity and inclusivity within the outdoors, both through my organisation Our Shared Outdoors, and my job at Mountaineering Scotland, by raising awareness within the community and reaching out to affinity groups. This is very rewarding and I love seeing people being blown away by the mountains and landscape we have in Scotland. I also deliver talks about how clubs and organisations can be more inclusive and support underrepresented communities to access the outdoors.

I’ve been a volunteer member of Oban Mountain Rescue for 10 years, and I’m the training officer and one of the call-out managers for the team. This involves ensuring the team is trained in all areas including technical ropework, winter skills, avalanche rescue, medical, and search tactics. For rescues, we are available 24/7 and may be called out to an injured casualty or someone who is missing and has not returned from the mountains at any time day or night. I’m a trainer for Scottish Mountain Rescue on their rigging and avalanche rescue courses, teaching team members from across Scotland the skills for working in more technical and risky environments.

Image credit: Morag Skelton