Lise Wortley sits in a cabin doorway holding a flask of coffee

Meet The Ambassador: Lise Wortley

“The outdoor industry needs new representation right now, to show that all women have a place in the outdoors, and that adventure is not just about conquering or winning, but about connecting to the natural world.”

This is a story of women missing from the history books, of first ascents and overlooked achievements in the mountains. Lise Wortley, founder of Woman with Altitude, is working to get these epic tales to the front of the bookshelf as she plans to climb Mont Blanc in the same gear that Marie Paradis and Henriette d’Angeville wore back in the 1800s. True trailblazers in every sense of the word.

A woman wearing 1800s hiking clothes sits on a rock in the UK countryside

Lise also talks openly about her past struggles with mental health, an analogue view of escape, and the need for better female representation within outdoor spaces.


Lise Wortley, what’s your story?

"Hello! I’m Lise and I run a project called Woman with Altitude, which highlights the stories of overlooked women adventurers from the past, while supporting women who work in the outdoor and adventure space today.

"Throughout my twenties, I endlessly searched for ways to relieve my mental health issues, eventually finding comfort in the outdoors, and inspiration in books about the ground-breaking stories and achievements of overlooked women adventurers. Now, I bring these women's incredible stories to life by literally walking in their footsteps, re-creating their expeditions using only what was available to them at the time."

A woman wearing 1800s hiking gear paddles barefoot in a stream

"I believe that the outdoor industry needs new representation right now, to show that all women have a place in the outdoors, and that adventure is not just about conquering or winning, but about connecting to the natural world.

"Recently, I was lucky enough to live out my dream of becoming completely wild on Channel 4's new survival series ALONE, in the ultimate test of endurance and ingenuity, in one of the most beautiful but challenging landscapes on earth. I am currently planning my next adventure (to climb Mont Blanc in 1800s clothing, yes including bloomers) and am attempting to sit still long enough to write my first book."

A woman wearing 1800s hiking clothes pets a donkey carrying supplies in the Iranian mountains

Some quick-fire questions... When did you first hear about Passenger?

"Researching historical clothing has made me think a lot about what I wear and consume day to day. Passenger popped up for me a number of years ago, and I’ve been a big fan ever since I discovered their use of responsible materials, tree planting and protection ethos."

What have you been cooking lately?

"I’m very lucky to have been on lots of trips off-grid into the wild recently, so I’ve been cooking a lot by the fire. My favourite is breakfast done on the fire… Smoky eggs!"

What have you been listening to lately?

"Each new season I make a new Spotify playlist and Spring 2024 is mostly full of electronic dance tunes in preparation for the summer!"

A woman wearing 1800s hiking clothes looks out over the UK countryside at the top of a peak

What does Escapism mean to you?

"It's all about feeling freedom, the freedom of getting away from the chaos of modern life and the pressures of the everyday. I find this escapism through immersing myself in nature, something that I’ve only really discovered over the last five years, a place where my mind can feel at peace and I can get some perspective. There is a slower pace when you head off grid, or even just spend the day having a walk in a green space. 

"On my adventures where I follow in the footsteps of women adventurers, I don’t take any modern equipment, and as a result, I’ve realised the positive impact that not having a phone on me all the time can have, so that’s my escapism too."

A woman wearing a changing robe stands on rocks watching the waves hit the coastline

“Leaving my phone behind and heading into nature with no distractions. You connect with the environment you’re in so much more, and you remember things a lot more clearly.”

Where are the places that mean the most to you?

"I’m lucky enough to have visited some very remote places, and these are always special as they are some of our last remaining untouched wildernesses, like the boreal forests of northern Canada, or the Alborz mountains in Iran. I also surf (not very well!) but I’m happiest when I’m in the waves - I find it’s like meditation, just sitting and watching the sea, and I come out feeling so much happier and more positive."

A woman backpacking in the Iranian mountains wearing 1800s hiking clothes

What adventures do you have coming up?

"This September I’m going to be climbing Mont Blanc, following in the footsteps of the first woman who climbed the mountain unaided in 1838 - she was pretty badass, and has a fascinating story that not many people know about. 

"As part of my training for this, I’m also visiting six national parks across the UK, to get as much climbing and walking training in as possible, and while I go I’m meeting some incredible women who work in our national park spaces, and trying to understand more around the protection and accessibility of these spaces too."

Three women in traditional dress sit on the floor chatting

Escapism hacks & tips you’ve picked up along the way?

"If you live in a city like I do, sometimes the wild can seem very far away. Any green space can significantly contribute to better mental health, so I always say you don’t have to walk across the Himalayas with a wooden backpack to have an adventure - go for a walk in the park and either leave your phone behind or put it on airplane mode. 

"Not having that distraction and concentrating on the plants and nature around you will help you find some calm. Right now, spring is an amazing time to get lost in the budding trees and lighter evenings."

Lise's top Passenger picks...

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