Jo’s adventurous life started on a bike ride in Peru back in 2004 but little did she know where it would lead! Moving from a life as a business advisor into the outdoors a couple of years later opened up a confidence and passion that she never knew she had.
A qualified Mountain Leader, Jo leads charity and private expeditions throughout the year in many far-flung corners of this earth on 2 wheels and in 2 boots. She has a particular love for altitude and has led 30 expeditions (and counting!) on Kilimanjaro, numerous 6000m peaks in Nepal and several expeditions on Aconcagua in South America. On personal expeditions, Jo has reached the summit of 2 x 8000m peaks, Manaslu and Everest. She is set to climb her last 2 of the 7 summits in the next 12 months and is enjoying leading a very unexpected adventurous life!
When not travelling around the world with 360 she can be found teaching and assessing the expedition element of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme in the UK with her dogs, Daisy and Lily, as well as delivering motivational talks and workshops to schools and for corporates.
Jo likes to inspire and educate her 360 clients as well as adding in a whole heap of fun and a good story or two! As she says – if I can do it, so can you.
What was your first adventure?
Boating was our family past time so I spent plenty of time splashing about in the water as a youngster but as an adult I swapped water for wheels and took part in a bike ride in Peru for charity which gradually changed my life.
I hadn’t camped since a child so living for 7 days in a freezing tent on that challenge was a bit of a wake up call. Fortunately it didn’t put me off and I now spend most of my year in a freezing tent!
What has been your most memorable adventure?
I’ve been very fortunate in that I’ve lead and been a client on many expeditions all of which have their own special memories but my stand out one has to be Denali.
A mountain that I have wanted to climb for many years and in June 2017 I got the chance and stood on the summit on 20th June. I loved every minute of the climb, even the type 2 fun of 2 x 24 hour days!
What item of travel kit you can't do without?
My water bottle and thermal mug. As I travel a huge amount I’m keen to keep my waste footprint to an absolute minimum so I always fill up with clean drinking water at a fountain or ask a shop for tap water and I don’t want to use the throw away coffee cups given out in cafes so I have my trusty thermal mug with me where ever I go, even on the mountain so I can take a brew with me from the tent in the morning! It’s the responsibility of every single one of us to minimize our waste and it’s easy to do too.
What three bits of advice would you give to people who are keen on adventures, trekking and climbing?
- Finding a good club to join or a group of like-minded people helps immensely with knowledge and the motivation to get out. However many people who come on expeditions with us do come as singlies where they meet life long friends. I went on my first adventure on my own and made friends for life and look where it got me!
- Get the skills and fitness needed for your next adventure. You may need to spend a little time and money to save a lot but it’s good to know before you go on you adventures what is in store, what kit to buy, how fit you need to be and so much more. We run UK trek preparation-training weekends in the Brecon Beacons as well as Pyrenees based winter skills courses and having the right skills and knowledge before your first, or next big expedition is all-important and will ease your mind too.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff! Some people get very frustrated by the flexibility needed on expeditions so it is best to just go with the flow. A single day in your normal day to day life very rarely goes according to plan so it may also not on an expedition where you are dealing with many outside influences but that is all part of the beauty of travel and life in the mountains. As long as you are out on time in the morning, the rest will take care of itself.
What is the best thing about your job?
Two things really! Meeting so many amazing people who have got off the sofa and are doing something special, whether they are our clients or our mountain colleagues plus I get to spend so much time in my happy place, the mountains. Great views, stunning scenery, amazing cultures and ever changing weather.
Why did you choose to work for 360?
I grew my big mountain experience with 360 over the years and as I was an Expedition Leader already it was a natural progression to become part of the team.
I love the our destinations, the expeditions we do are always slightly different to the norm, the guys and gals we work with in every country are like friends, the back up we receive from HQ is second to none and our clients are there because they want to challenge themselves to the max and live this wonderful precious life we lead to the full.