Elen Huws - Hill and Moorland Leader

Cyfieithiad Cymraeg/Welsh translation

Elen Huws

What do you do/did you do for work?

I used to be a biology teacher, then I was a tour guide in Europe for a couple of years, then I worked for a long time in science teacher education.

What experience can you take from your previous career to help with your new adventures?

I suppose that one aspect of the science education that I enjoyed was trying to get children (and student teachers) to be curious, and observant, particularly about the environment - the landscape and the living things within it - and to have a sense of awe and wonder. I suppose that carries over into being out and about in the mountains, and leading groups.

What's your earliest memory of enjoying 'the outdoors'? Have you always been a keen walker?

Well, like many of my generation, I had a 'free range' childhood. Living on a small estate on the edge of a small town, I and my friends had easy access to the countryside - woods, fields and streams - where we would roam and play. I think this gives you an affinity for nature. Sunday afternoons always included a family 'nature walk'. So playing, and walking in the country were a part of my upbringing, but climbing mountains was rare - and the very physically lazy student years are best not mentioned! We were lucky in our local secondary school in having a young and enthusiastic geography teacher, who believed in field work. He even organised a trip to Switzerland when I was studying for A levels. Seeing the Lauterbrunnen Valley and the Alps was thrilling. However, I only really started walking regularly when I helped out in the walking club that other more experienced staff ran at the secondary school where I taught, and when I joined Clwb Mynydda Cymru, the Welsh Mountaineering Club. This led to regular walking, friendships, and holidays in Scotland and the Alps.

Elen out walking

Why did you decide to embark on the Hill and Moorland Leader scheme?

I wanted to improve my mountaineering skills. Taking part in a scheme means that you complete thorough training (I did the summer Mountain Leader course). It also gives you a target, which gives you a reason to practice your skills. I completed the Hill and Moorland Leader assessment, and am now working for my Mountain Leader. A group of us are meeting up to practice navigation, roping etc.. As I belong to a club, I have also been able to take advantage of some very good courses run by the excellent Partneriaeth Awyr Agored/The Outdoor Partnership.

How do you plan to use the qualification?

In a way, I use it every day I go out walking, because of my (hopefully) improved skills. It means that I'm more confident when I volunteer to lead walks with my walking club. I have also recently gained a Wales Blue Badge Tourist Guiding qualification, and by combining the two, it will be possible to lead walks for tourists in the area.

Where's your favourite place to go walking?

Different places for different reasons. I like Meirionnydd - the landscape is mountainous but gentler than further north, with more trees to soften the outlines. Having looked out at Mynydd Moel and Cadair Idris throughout my youth, I am very fond of this range, and Cwm Llanfihangel y Pennant, with Castell y Bere and Mary Jones' birthplace, is stunning. My favourite holidays are walking hut-to-hut in the Alps. The Queyras is a quiet area, bordering with Italy, which has an authenticity about it and seems to be only known to French tourists.

What advice would you give to someone who's thinking about changing their career/lifestyle?

Well it's a balance, isn't it, between 'following your dream', which you can't always do, if you have responsibilities to others, and being pragmatic. Be realistic, be practical, weigh the pros and cons, and find your way – and don’t take any notice of your age! - just do what you feel comfortable with.

Elen walking in the snow




Elen Huws - Arweinydd Bryniau a Rhostir

Beth yw/oedd eich gwaith?

Athrawes fioleg oeddwn i, yna mi weithiais fel tywysydd twrisaidd yn Ewrop am ddwy flynedd, wedyn mi fum yn gweithio ym myd addysg gwyddonol am flynyddoedd.

Pa brofiadau o’ch gyrfa flaenorol allwch chi drosglwyddo i’ch helpu efo’ch anturiaethau newydd?

Mae’n debyg mai un o’r agweddau o addysg wyddonol o’n i’n mwynhau oedd ceisio cael plant (a darpar athrawon) i fod yn chwilfrydig a sylwgar, yn enwedig am yr amgylchedd – y tirwedd a byd natur – ac i ddatblygu ymdeimlad o syndod a rhyfeddod. Mae’n debyg fod hyn yn berthasol i fod allan yn y mynyddoedd, ac arwain grwpiau yno.

Beth yw eich atgof cyntaf o fwynhau ‘tu allan’? Ydych chi wastad wedi mwynhau cerdded?

Wel, fel sawl un o’m cenhedlaeth, mi gefais blentyndod o gael rhedeg yn rhydd. Gan fyw ar stad fach o dai ar ymyl tref, roedd yn hawdd i mi a’m ffrindiau fynd i’r wlad - at goed, nentydd a chaeau – ble buasem yn crwydro a chwarae. Credaf fod hyn yn meithrin hoffter o fyd natur. Pob pnawn dydd Sul byddem yn cael ‘tro natur’ deuluol. Felly roedd chwarae, a cherdded yn y wlad yn rhan o’m magwraeth, ond roedd dringo mynyddoedd yn brin – a gwell peidio sôn am y blynyddoedd corfforol ddiog yn y coleg! Buom yn lwcus yn ein ysgol uwchradd leol i gael athro daearyddiaeth ifanc a brwdfrydig a gredai mewn gwaith maes. Mi ddaru o hyd yn oed drefnu taith i’r Swistir pan oeddwn yn astudio lefel A efo fo. Roedd gweld Dyffryn Lauterbrunnen a’r Alpau yn wefreiddiol. Ysywaeth, mi wnes i ond ddechrau cerdded mynyddoedd o ddifrif pan gychwynais helpu staff mwy profiadol yn yr ysgol uwchradd ble gweithiwn efo’u clwb cerdded, a phan ymunais â Chlwb Mynydda Cymru. Arweiniodd hyn at gerdded rheolaidd, ffrindiau newydd a theithiau i’r Alban a’r Alpau.

Elen scrambling

Pam benderfynnoch chi gychwyn ar y cynllun Bryniau a Gweundir (HML)?

Roeddwn eisiau gwella fy sgiliau mynydda. Mae cymeryd rhan mewn cynllun yn golygu eich bod yn gwneud hyfforddiant trwyadl (gwnes y cwrs Arweinydd Mynydd Haf). Mae hefyd yn rhoi targed i chi, sy’n rhoi rheswm i chi ymarfer eich sgiliau. Cwblheis yr asesiad HML, a dw i rwan yn gweithio at yr Arweinydd Mynydd Haf. Mae grwp ohonom yn cyfarfod i ymarfer mordwyo, rhaffu ayb.. Gan fy mod yn perthyn i glwb, rwyf hefyd wedi gallu manteisio ar gyrsiau da iawn wedi eu rhedeg gan yr ardderchog Bartneriaeth Awyr Agored.

Sut ydych chi’n bwriadu defnyddio’r cymhwyster?

Mewn ffordd, rwy’n ei ddefnyddio pob tro y byddaf yn mynd allan i gerdded, am fod fy sgiliau wedi gwella (gobeithio!) Rwyf mwy hyderus wrth arwain teithiau i nghlwb. Rwyf hefyd wedi ennill cymhwyster Tywysydd Twristaidd Bathodyn Glas Cymru yn diweddar, a byddaf yn gallu cyfuno’r ddau i arwain tethiau i dwristiaid yn yr ardal.

Ble yw’ch hoff le i gerdded?

Mannau gwahanol am resymau gwahanol. Rwy’n hoff iawn o Feirionnydd- mae’r tirlun yn fynyddig ond yn llai garw na mhellach i’r gogledd, gyda mwy o orchudd o goed. Wedi edrych allan ar Fynydd Moel a Chader Idris trwy fy mhlentyndod a’m ieuenctid, rwy’n hoff iawn o’r gadwyn hon o fynyddoedd, ac mae Cwm Llanfihangel y Pennant, efo Castell y Bere a man geni Mary Jones, yn arbennig. Fy hoff wyliau yw cerdded cwt-i-gwt yn yr Alpau. Mae’r Queyras yn ardal dawel yn Ffrainc, yn cefnu ar yr Eidal, yn llawn cymeriad a fel petai neb ond twrisitiaid Ffrangeg yn gwybod amdani.

Pa gyngor fuasech chi’n rhoi i rhywun sy’n meddwl am newid gyrfa/ffordd o fyw?

Wel mae’n rhaid cael cydbwysedd rhwng ‘dilyn eich breuddwyd’, sy’n amhosib weithiau os oes gennych gyfrifoldebau at bobl eraill, a bod yn bragmatig. Byddwch yn realistig, byddwch yn ymarferol, pwyswch a mesurwch, a ffeindiwch ffordd – a peidiwch a chymryd unrhyw sylw o’ch oed! – gwnewch be da chi’n teimlo braf yn gwneud.