Staff Spotlight: Simon Ashmore

simonaHutonger Simon Ashmore is one of the new additions to the team in Beijing this year.
He’s bringing his experience in outdoor pursuits to our ever-expanding offering of adventure-based outdoor programing. When he’s not in the mountains, you’ll usually be able to find him in one of the many craft beer pubs in the city. He’s a qualified Mountain Leader from the UK and used to work as a hiking guide. Last year he spent 171 days hiking in the mountains around Beijing and on the Great Wall.

What are you working on at the moment with the Hutong?

Currently I’m working on several projects. The main one is securing The Hutong’s International Award Provider License which will enable us to run expeditions for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Program. At present it’s all submitted and we are just awaiting for the result.

The other tasks I’m currently tied up with are preparing programs for 2017, one of which will consist of weeks of trekking and camping in the Northern Hills of Beijing. I love exploring the mountains and these programs give me a real chance to pass that passion on to the next generation through experiential learning.

You’ve only been with us at the Hutong for 6 months now, what’s the best thing about working here?

Well, to be perfectly honest it’s the the whole environment. The family-like feel, the shared workspaces, the inclusiveness. Every colleague at The Hutong has made me feel like I should have always been working here. I love being able to present ideas and opinions and they get listened to and acted upon. Plus I get to eat some great food at our Hutong venue thanks to the lovely Ayis that look after us so well!

What’s been the working highlight so far for you at The Hutong?

I’ve just come back from Qinghai and Gansu where I spent a week co-leading a program with an international school from Nanjing. We trekked in snowy mountains at 4000m above seal level, stayed in nomadic tents, sheared sheep, ate lots of great Tibetan food.

I’ve travelled in the Tibetan Plateau before, but this trip had a real personal feel as we really got to interact with the locals, mainly thanks to our great local partners whom we work so closely with. I cant wait to go back!