Will has cycled between all 282 Munros and climbed them, solo-circumnavigated the Scottish coastline by sea kayak, completed the Coldest Corbett Challenge, and regularly completes expeditions in Patagonia.
Will’s first adventure, though, starts at 12 years old. After a fantastic outdoor upbringing in North West Scotland, during the peak of Ray Mears’ influence, Will was ‘cast-away’ by his parents with a few friends overnight. From there, Will has gone on to complete expeditions in Patagonia, Scotland, Iceland, across Europe, and New Zealand.
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Before We Start
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Adventuring From Childhood
Will has such a fantastic upbringing. We talk about the aforementioned ‘cast-away’ stay on the island and how that was one of the key starting points for him.
In addition, Will’s parents ranged from a Father sharing base-camp stories from South-Georgia and Antarctica to a Mum sharing stories of Svalbard.
With foundations like these, it’s no wonder Will has gone on to achieve what he has. To top it off, he’s very modest about it all!
An Outdoor Practitioner
Something that really struck me was how down-to-Earth Will is. He talks about his adventures candidly, and yet with an excitement and passion within him. In his own words, “experience comes just after you needed it” and he isn’t afraid to move forward with this mentality, and sit between ‘comfort’ and ‘the unachievable’ to grow as an adventurer and person.
Pulling from his experience, we talk about his time spent in Iceland, always having a second Plan A, and chat about mindset too. Will is someone who has not only done ‘standard’ expeditions, but also pushed himself; things like his 364 day expedition and completing the Coldest Corbett Challenge isn’t easy on the body!
No Such Thing As A Plan B, Just A Second Plan A
In an interview that ended up being riddled with sporadic internet issues (edited out for your ease of listening!), this really was the case here. The idea behind this is that one could refuse to move to a Plan B, seeing it as a worse option. A second Plan A simply seems like an alternative and positive choice, right?!
We dive into this mentality on the episode, talking about needing some stubbornness and breaking down each step to achieve hard challenges, but also talking about the rewards.
In an interview with British Mountaineering Council he talks about preferring “the challenges of winter and the momentary rewards of light and spectacular scenery it brings with it”. If you have read my climb on Ben Nevis in a storm, you’ll know how much I agree with that mentality and Type 2 fun!
Will is an inspiring adventurer and expedition leader. It was a pleasure to have him on the show.
If you want to book your own canoe or kayak trip with him (like I currently am doing!) then you can follow the link here.
“Our society today is blighted with the media showing the worst of our kind. Terrorists, dodgy orange politicians, murders, wars. They do exist and of course need to be acknowledged, but when you travel you discover that most people are just like you, trying to survive and be happy in this big scary world of ours.”From Camping Insider
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“Of all the podcasts I’ve done, Chris’ interview was without doubt the most well researched I’ve ever enjoyed taking part in. A few times he brought up a few parts of my past that I’d honestly forgotten about, he even researched some of my family history. The effort Chris puts in to prepare really shows in his questions, which were completely original and really made me think reflectively on how to answer them, all balanced with good humour like talking to a friend at the bar. I seriously look forward to recording the next one.” Will Copestake, Expedition Leader, EpisodeContinue reading “Will Copestake”