Outdoor Focus Winter 2017 - Page 26

DIGITAL PRODUCTION Winner Thomas Smallwood for The Armchair Mountaineer / www.armchairmountaineer.com Judges Lois Sparling, freelance website writer/designer, and Craig Wareham of ViewRanger Thomas Smallwood receiving his award from Lois Sparling The Award for Digital Production is sponsored by Cordee. Having started life as a sole distributor for rock climbing guidebooks published by the largest climbing clubs in the UK, the business now includes distribution of titles encompassing all outdoor activities. While climbing remains at our core we’ve seen cycling books fl ourish in the last few years and who’d heard of sea kayaking ten years ago. Owned and managed by brother and sister Richard and Jane Robinson, Cordee now has a unique and world- renowned catalogue of books and maps. www.cordee.co.uk What the judges said... We feel that this website ticks all the boxes, is by far the most interesting, good looking and wide-ranging and promotes the outdoors with passion. 26 Outdoor focus | winter 2017 About The Armchair Mountaineer... I am Thomas Smallwood; Entrepreneur, Blogger, Mountain Enthusiast and Bibliophile. In late 2016 I quit the rat race to redesign my life in a way that was more satisfying, interesting and adventurous both in my personal and professional life. I didn’t know how to accomplish the large and vague objective of “living better”, although I knew it meant being more entrepreneurial and spending more time outdoors. And so The Armchair Mountaineer was born… or rather, evolved into a blog following my journey and a web site designed to inspire others to do the same. The Italian Alps: Redefi ning success An Armchair Mountaineer article L ast week I was in the Italian Alps enjoying a colourful Autumn and putting my legs through the kind of terrain that I seldom encounter in Cambridgeshire! It was a while since I had been to the Canavese region of Piemonte and the Valle d’Aosta, from where half my family originates; a while since I had kicked steps into snow and felt my quads burning so fervently at the unusual strain of uphill propulsion. Strange to hear on this kind of web site I know, but hey, the whole idea is to get out of the armchair and back into a more adventurous outdoor life. So one day last week, amid the mists and mellow drizzliness I set off up the Valley of Champorcher, to go