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further faster podcast | montane


Welcome to the Further. Faster. Podcast, in association with Montane, the FREE podcast that asks ultra athletes, mountaineers and adventurers the why and the how of what they do.

Each month we’ll speak to different athletes, race organisers and experts from across the world to explore their motivations and what drives them to attempt such intimidating activities in the most extreme environments.



If you're a climber you'll know Ferry Moffatt, he's one of the best, of all time.  We speak primarily about the theories behind Mastermind, a manual of sorts for climbing.  Not the physical, not the route choice, but the psychological.  It's at once alarming and affirming, insightful and exciting.  I (host Dan Neilson) am not a climber, but I left this conversation learning so much about what we can do to achieve our goals.  

This is a conversation about life, not climbing.  Listen in.


Who is Jesse? well, he's a climber.  A good one.  His dad first took him climbing at the age of 2.  At the age of 11, he'd led his first route.  His climbing life continued through his uni years, and then recently he led a climb on the Old Man of Hoy.  So far, so impressive, but what you may not know about Jesse is that he is almost completely blind.


A few years ago, Galen felt the need to get fit; he could barely run 5km.  But this running thing soon turned into a passion.  He has since ran some of the most iconic ultras in the world, including the UTMB and the Montane Tor des Géants coming second on the podium in 2018 and 19.  In 2019, he also won and set a new course record for the Berghaus Dragon's Back Race, one of the world's toughest multi-stage races.


In this searingly honest conversation, we learn about her record-breaking round the world cycle, how she got into riding and running very, very long distances, and how she balances it with her work and family life.  We also discuss why, through her work with The Adventure Syndicate that she co-directs, inspiring children is one of her most important aims.


In this episode, we speak to Jon Gupta. He is a mountaineer. A very, very good mountaineer, one who specialises in very very big mountains. But he’s also an expedition guide, notably working with a previous interviewee Steve Plain for his 7 Summits project. He’s a penchant for more remote, lesser-known mountains. But over the last couple of years, he’s also run the Bob Graham round, and the the 430-Yukon Arctic Ultra.. on his second attempt.

We chat as Jon was on his way to Chamonix, in his van, to climb, just for himself. At the age of 32, Jon is also going through something that nearly everyone listening to this will recognise – the search for balance. In this podcast, we delve into the choices he makes. The choices of risk and the choices of training, the choices of summits and the choices of life balance.

It’s a fascinating listen, disarmingly honest, plus he’s a lovely fella..


In this episode, we meet a remarkable character. He has completed some of the most difficult races in the world, including only recently the Montane Yukon Arctic Ultra, the 430-mile course, and the Montane Spine Race. So far, so impressive, until you learn that he often ‘doubles’ the race. Having completed the Spine Race he simply had a break, turned around and did it all again. Yet speaking to Javed Bhatti, his attitude isn’t as crazy as it first seems.

There’s a logic to the ‘doubling’, there’s a logic to his preparation, there’s an exploration of the body and mind, and from that and there are deep learnings for him and for us. He’s a buoyant chap, an entertaining and insightful conversationalist, and full of information and inspiration.

The rules of the game are ever so slightly different for Javed, and from that, we can all learn. There is so much more we could have chatted about, and in time we probably will, but in the meantime, pop on your running shoes and listen to the enlightening story of Javed Bhatti.


In this edition we speak with Dr Melanie Windridge, she describes herself as a speaker and a writer… with a taste for adventure. Also, she is currently a plasma physicist working in fusion energy. This combined with a healthy obsession with the Northern Lights has led to her to write the groundbreaking book ‘Aurora: In Search of the Northern Lights’. Melanie also has a blog called ‘Science At Extremes’ which led from her successful Everest expedition where she took a distinctly scientific perspective at climbing the mountain. In this wide-reaching conversation, we spend time discussing the importance of science on expeditions to high altitude and in turn, what we can learn from exploring these zones. Dr Windridge is a fascinating, inspiring and eloquent interviewee.


In this episode, Daniel chats to Damian Hall. You may have come across him before. He’s a journalist and ultra runner. He’s positioned highly in the Montane Spine Race and the Ultra Tour du Mont Blanc, about which a film called Underdog was made. Most recently, with his teammate Beth Pascall, they achieved the fastest known time of the Cape Wrath Trail. In this podcast we talk about his training, team dynamics and running 26 miles dressed as a toilet. There’s some serious stuff too. 


This is a very special edition of the podcast as we speak to Jasmin Paris. A few days before this podcast was recorded.  Jasmin set the fastest time ever be running through the finish line in 83 hours, 12 minutes and 23 seconds.

In this podcast we chat about the worldwide exposure she’s received, the fact she was still expressing milk at the checkpoints, the training, and the strategy, she employed to win such a record, plus what comes next.


Martin could be described as a professional photographer and veteran of 20 polar expeditions, including trips working with the European Space Agency and NASA. But that doesn’t do him justice. He could be described as a polar explorer, but again, that doesn’t really cover what he does. His photos have appeared in The New York Times and Outside magazine, exhibited at Christie’s, Royal Geographic Society and the Scott Polar Research Institute, and is Director of Photography for Sidetracked Magazine. 


In the episode, Jenny talks about how she overcomes the physical and psychological strains of running for so long on her own. We talk about her training, and recovery, and also about the people she meets who make the mountains their home. There’s also some knitting chat.


Participation in the BBC programme Special Forces: Ultimate Hell Week changed Katy’s life for the better, and has since been described as ‘Tinkerbell crossed with the Terminator’. Her immense, well-rounded fitness marries seamlessly with a nose for adventure and an iron will, enabling her to cross disciplines such as mountaineering and ultra-endurance.


In this podcast speaking from the Dolomites, Tom opens up about being the first person to climb the six great North Faces of the Alps in a single winter season, a feat his mother Alison Hargreaves completed in summer when Tom was a little boy. He also talks about risk and his preparation for major climbs, as well as his passion for dry tooling.

It’s an enlightening interview with an extraordinary talent.


Jen is a human rights lawyer by day (and sometimes night), and is also an exceptional ultra runner, placing high in the Montane Spine Challenger and the gruelling 190-mile Northern Traverse. The most remarkable is that she’s fairly new to the sport, and what makes talking to her so interesting is that all that learning, all those formative experiences are happening right now.


Steve Plain talks of his world-record breaking 7 Summits expedition completed over 4 months in early 2018 when the expedition clock stopped atop Mt Everest on the 14th May 2018, shaving eight days off the previous world record.Overcoming serious injury and hardship, and raising a significant sum of money for charity in the process, Steve talks engagingly about the highs and lows of such an expedition, and what inspired him to achieve the impossible.


Debbie became a part of the Montane athlete team in 2011 and has represented Scotland and Great Britain in 100K and 24-hour races. Her 10-year journey includes the West Highland Way Race, GUCR, Transgrancanaria, Montane Lakeland 50 & 100, Spartathlon and Tour des Geants. Debbie’s performances – and goals – are indicative of an athlete with the highest levels of physical and mental strength and will inspire you to get out in the mountains.


In this second episode, presenter Daniel Neilson talks to British Alpinist Malcolm Bass. Malcolm discusses how he started his climbing career, his caving roots in North Yorkshire, how he manages to combine his passion with his full-time job as a Clinical Psychologist as well as how that helps him choose the ideal climbing partner, with Malcolm discussing his next Himalayan project and why he’s got the perfect personality to take on these dangerous peaks. 


presenter Daniel Neilson talks to ultra runner Marcus Scotney about his training, a recent race in Costa Rica (which didn’t fully go to plan) and his other career as an actor. He also offers up some valuable running tips. We also speak to Robert Pollhammer, the Race Director of the Coldest Race on Earth; Montane Yukon Arctic Ultra, about the most recent race edition and what it takes to finish this epic race.