Episode 72: A conversation with Kevin Woods



Kevin Woods is no stranger to the mountains. He’s fresh back from covering all 282 Munros in just 97 days, straight through the Scottish winter and as the Covid-19 crisis took hold and spread like wildfire across the world. This was his fourth round of Munros, and he’s not yet 30. Yes, my jaw dropped too! If you’re not from these parts, Munros are mountains in Scotland 3,000+ feet high, many of which are situated in remote highland and island terrain.

Kevin is a winter mountain leader and a true man of the mountains. He’s also a talented filmmaker and musician, and guides folk around mountain routes across Scotland when he’s not pursuing his own hardy ambitions in the hills.

One thing that shines through everything is Kevin’s genuine love for the mountains, which remains at the core of his challenges – he’s led by this rather than a leading need for spotlight, social media profile or speed. When we spoke, he was already planning when he could get back into the hills after lockdown, and this is just a few months after completing four rounds of 282 mountains.

We got into a deep dive on what this intense three months in the mountains was like – the suffering, the joys, the solitude and the daily stresses and questioning as Covid hit.

Kevin gives us his insight into:

  • The lead weight of pressure that hit him to make the best decisions for the expedition, as Covid hit the UK and the country began shutting down.

  • The planning and logistics side; how he planned for a winter round in terms of the schedule of climbs, accommodation and timings.

  • The brutality of the north west highland storms he fought through, and the days he feared might be dealbreakers.

  • His start in mountain leading, and the skills and confidence he’s had to build.

  • Attitude to risk taking and safety in the mountains

Check out the listen links and show notes below, especially the film he features in with Dave McLeod, attempting a unique new climbing route in Scotland. Also watch this space for the film Kevin is producing about his winter round – I can’t wait for this!


Listen links


Listen online through Soundcloud


Spotify


Apple Podcasts


TuneIn


Stitcher

Show notes


Kevin’s website


Kevin on Instagram


BBC piece on the winter round


Images of pollution-free Everest


Edinburgh Mountain Film Festival


24/8: Dave McLeod film



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