Young Mountaineer of the Year - Results!

We asked you to nominate the young adventurers in your life for this inaugural award, and the entries blew us away.

"As the father of a two-year-old, I loved seeing all these young adventurers getting out into wilderness. Some of the really little nippers were particularly inspiring and gave me a few ideas for my own family adventures. I can't wait to share a tent-free night in the wild with my daughter! For me, playing in the hills isn't a competition. It isn't about conquest or bragging rights. It isn't really even about achievement. I just savour doing exciting things in magical places with fun people for no purpose other than itself. Therefore, I've found it tough to judge the entries into the inaugural Trail Young Mountaineer of the Year award - but all the entrants have been equally applaudable and inspiring. The great things our youngsters are getting up to deserve recognition, and this is a great way of celebrating the next generation of outdoor adventurers. I hope it becomes an annual tradition!"

Leo Houlding, British adventure superstar who climbed Scotland's iconic Old Man of Hoy sea stack at the age of 10!

Here are the winners...


Rowan and Faith Trollope

Nominated by mum Nina

My twins Rowan and Faith have been ascending hills and mountains since before they were born. They summited many Wainwrights in the Lake District while I was pregnant with them, then progressed their hillwalking into a sling, then a back carrier. At the age of 2 they began to climb the last 50 metres of all of our mountains, progressing to 200 metres while on holiday in the Italian Dolomites in June last year - where they were each given koala keyrings by an Australian hiker for making such a great effort. Finally in October this year, shortly after turning 3, they climbed their first two Wainwrights unassisted: Catbells and Latrigg (in the pouring rain and wind). After arriving back down they love nothing more than putting on their headtorches, then going for a drink of cordial in front of a roaring fi re in a cosy Lake District pub and comparing their bruises.

Judge's verdict: "I loved their enthusiasm and their insatiable energy! They remind me of what I'm like in the mountains - running about as fast as I can, always looking for a bigger and more exciting challenge, relishing every second of being outdoors. I'm jealous to see so many kids doing all this great stuff so young!"

Bonita Norris, Everest summiteer


Sophie Lyons-Montgomery

Nominated by mum Moira

In 2014 Sophie challenged herself to do the '3 Peaks' within 2015. Despite being restricted to holidays and the obstacle of living in Dorset, this list escalated into a year packed with mountain activities; chosen at first by reputation, then by panoramic allure, and sustained by a cache of tantalising peaks gleaned from Trail. Accompanied mostly by myself, Sophie has performed almost every possible aspect of mountain activity: scrambling, sport and multi-pitch trad climbing, indoor ice-climbing, via ferrata, and summiting mountains in every variation of weather from full winter conditions to perfect summer days. Sophie tasked herself with targets, examining maps and routes, sharing navigational responsibility and dispensing constant cheerfulness and chocolate. On New Year's Day 2015, armed with crampons and a new ice axe purchased with Christmas money, she began her challenge. A year on, with Sophie still only 11 years old, that equipment bears the etchings of duty gained on Snowdon via the Pyg Track; navigation experience on Dartmoor; Blencathra via Sharp Edge; Helvellyn via Brown Cove, descending via Swirral Edge; Helvellyn via Striding Edge, descending via Dollywagon to Grisedale Tarn; Scafell Pike via Mickledore, Pavey Ark by Jack's Rake; sport climbing in Portland; via ferrata in Loch Leven; Ben Nevis via the CMD Arête; Suilven; Quiraing; High Cup; Tryfan; Bristly Ridge; the Snowdon Horseshoe via Crib Goch; and the Corvus and Little Chamonix trad climbs in Borrowdale. I witnessed an innate sense of exploration, determination and strength, but overall a sustaining sense of humour that carried us both through sun, rain, blizzards and frogs (on Suilven) for miles!

Judge's verdict: "So much ace stuff in this category, but the deciding factor for me was winter conditions. The hills are a very diff erent place in the cold months, their harshness a taste not all will acquire; especially those not yet in their teens. My bias towards making things diffi cult for yourself by choosing steeper lines or harder conditions is a factor in selecting Sophie Lyons-Montgomery!"

Leo Houlding, leading British rock-climber and adventurer


Joe Haward

Nominated by mum Fiona

My 'spider son' Joe is only 15 but already 6ft 1in tall! He first climbed Snowdon independently at 5 years old. Every since, rock-climbing and anything 'mountainous' have been his passion. In June 2015 he did the 50 mile, 24-peak Lake District 'Hostel Hop' circuit we read about in Trail. Stunning! In June he undertook a voluntary project in Vietnam and to raise funds he romped the Welsh 3000ers in 2 days (with a broken hand!), sleeping overnight atop Snowdon. He's always been fascinated by volcanoes so to celebrate the end of his GCSEs we fl ew to Sicily and climbed several peaks. The magic of sitting on the summit of Stromboli as the sun set, watching the lava fountains, was awe-inspiring. In August he travelled to Chamonix with his father to climb Mont Blanc, but the snow wasn't in condition so they did some cragging on Les Crochues and the Breithorn. He's itching to return this summer! Joe's currently training on Dartmoor for the Ten Tors challenge and also doing his Silver DofE expedition, plus regular climbing. So why should he be Young Mountaineer of the Year? Not just because of what he's accomplished, but also because of his past and continuing enthusiasm and interest in the delicate ecosystems around him (his dream job is to be the next David Attenborough). Joe's already planning to climb Mt Erebus in Antarctica!

Judge's verdict: "For me Joe exemplified a lot of what makes a wellrounded mountaineer: fascination with and appreciation for the landscape, eagerness and true grit! A demonstration of the positivity and self-growth mountains can promote."

Simon Ingram, Trail editor

Sadly there could only be three prize winners, but we've been inspired by every entry to Trail's first Young Mountaineer of the Year award. You can see a selection of the runners-up in the gallery above.