WALKING to Hartshead Pike is now a gentle stroll for but it was not always love at first hike for youth and community worker Rehna Yaseen.
However, Rehna, who helps run Ashton Youth Club, has progressed from reluctant hiker to trainee mountain guide.
Now she wants to share her passion for the great outdoors with countryside shy Tameside youngsters.
Rehna’s conversion from “mardy teenager” to inspiring mentor featured in a recent episode of BBC’s Countryfile programme.
With Hartshead Pike as the focal point, Tameside-raised Rehna’s story was narrated by presenter Helen Skelton.
“I played outside until the streetlamps came on and that was my version of the outdoors,” explained Rehna.
“It wasn’t hiking climbing or canoeing. I didn’t know any of that world existed until my teenage years
“I was a mardy teenager who didn’t know what direction they wanted to go in.”
An introduction to Ashton Youth Project and a walk in the Saddleworth hills changed her horizons.
“I hated it,” she revealed about a trip to Chew Valley. “There wasn’t one bone in my body that enjoyed that walk.
“I was sulking, my boots didn’t fit, I had blisters and I really didn’t want to be there.
“But I had the best night’s sleep ever and I think that’s because it was probably the most exercise I had done in my life.
“Something clicked in my head and my heart. Maybe I was achieving something I wouldn’t normally do and I got hooked.”
At 17, she scaled Mount Toubkal in Morocco – the highest peak in the Atlas Mountains – and wants to provide chances for other teenagers to experience a world outside Ashton.
“It was the best experience I ever had,” she recalled. “Taking young people out of Ashton into the countryside and for them
to be seeing this whole new world that there is so much out there for them to achieve is so inspiring.
“They can achieve other things if they are given the opportunities and put their minds to it.”