By Ian McConnell

Record-breaking Mollie Hughes, who last year became the youngest woman in the world to ski solo to the South Pole, has been appointed as a director of Scottish adventure company Ocean Vertical.

Thirty-year-old Ms Hughes, who was born in Devon and is based in Edinburgh, will "help run and shape" the East Lothian adventure company, Ocean Vertical co-founder Adrian Boot noted. 

Ocean Vertical offers "sustainable" sea, coastal and mountaineering experiences.

East Lothian-based Ocean Vertical was founded in 2018 by professional instructor Stevie Boyle and former international architect Mr Boot. Its small team of instructors specialises in "immersing individuals and small groups in wilderness experiences like coasteering, surfing, paddle-boarding, climbing and mountaineering".

The ethical adventure business also offers summer and winter mountaineering experiences in Glen Coe and the Western Highlands.

Ms Hughes, an experienced mountaineer, climbed Mount Everest from the south side aged 21 and returned to summit from the north side aged 26 – achieving the world record by becoming the youngest woman in the world to do so.

Ms Hughes said: "I was raised in Devon where swimming and surfing nurtured my passion for the sea and where my dad is a kayaking instructor. While in recent years, the mountains have been my focus, I’ve always had an affinity with the sea. Like Stevie and Adrian, I love the sense of freedom, mental and physical challenge and simple joy that comes from being immersed in the wilds.”

She added: “As part of the Ocean Vertical team, I really look forward to bringing my own outlook on the outdoors and skill-set in planning and communications to the business. In particular, I’m sure there will be the opportunity to help encourage many more women to share in wilderness experiences, for I know its power in nurturing greater self-confidence and improved physical and mental wellbeing.”

Mr Boot said: “Mollie is an inspirational young woman with a phenomenal track record of achievements in the world of exploration. It’s fantastic to have her on board to help run and shape the Ocean Vertical business. Her skills and personal outlook on the benefits of sustainable adventure will be a tremendous asset to the team as we commit to sustainably grow and attract more customers to experience the joy of immersion in Scotland’s coasts and mountains.”