The story of Rehna Yaseen’s journey to becoming an outdoor instructor isn’t your usual one. It all started when, as a 16-year-old, she attended a trip with a local youth project based near her home in Manchester. The aim was to climb a small hill in the Peak District near Dovestone Reservoir, a hill that wouldn’t really be of much significance to any regular outdoor enthusiasts. It was to Rehna, however. After all, this was to be the first proper outdoor experience of her life.
And she hated it.
“I complained all day and was swearing the whole way up,” she tells us. “On the summit, I threw my boots at the instructor and told him that I just wasn’t cut out for hiking.”
But a day or so after that trip “something clicked.” Rehna realised that actually, on reflection, the trip wasn’t so bad. Retrospective fun and all that, and the gaining of a sense of achievement and pride.
That led her to seek out more adventures. She completed the UK’s Three Peaks Challenge, journeyed to Morocco to climb Mount Toubkal and even progressed to the Himalayas where she took on the long hike up to Everest’s Basecamp.
“No one in my family had done something like that and none of my friends had either”, she tells us. “It was a big deal, not just for me but for the wider (UK south Asian) community.”