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Canyoning – let’s take the plunge

Canyoning: an adrenaline fueled descent down a gorge carved out by mother nature's super force - water. Dave Talbot - descends further into this new and upcoming adventure sport. With so many new sports emerging, the combination between one sport and another is so appealing, think - kitesurfing, paragliding, downhill mountain biking, indoor rock climbing……. Canyoning is just that. It takes the best elements from different sports and wraps them all into one exhilarating adventure. Cliff jumping, water slides, abseiling, zip wires, nature….what’s not to like?  I spoke with the with the Canyoning Company (https://thecanyoningcompany.co.uk/) and asked a few questions to find out more: What's the difference between gorge walking and canyoning? As an adventure sport, Canyoning is booming in the UK.  We are constantly asked “what is the difference between Canyoning and Gorge Walking” (or ghill scrambling if you’re from the lake district). Both involve rock and water adventures journeying by foot along a river system, gorge, or canyon. Gorge walking does what it says on the tin. In general terms Gorge walking is walking and climbing up a gorge . This can involve jumps, climbing and scrambling and on occasion some small slides, wading through the river and climbing behind waterfalls. Moving upstream is one of the crucial differences between canyoning and gorge walking. Gorge walking is more of a low level activity and a great introduction to combined rock and water experiences.  Gorge walking is a great activity for youth groups and families. Gorge walking can be done in most areas of the UK as all you need is a river with some pools, rapids or small waterfalls. This is why [...]

By |2019-07-10T23:34:42+00:00July 10th, 2019|Blog|0 Comments

Cold Water Swimming

COLD WATER SWIMMING Cold Water Swimming - Freshen up! Cold water swimming, I’d rather take a nice hot relaxing bath…… but you never remember a hot bath. You want to make memories - right? Well, cold water is in vogue and now’s the right time of year to strip off and get your speedos on (other brands do exist). I’ve met up with my good friend Mike Alexander to ask him a few questions and sieve out some top tips for us new to the art of staying afloat in cold water temperatures. Mike is one of the most experienced cold water adventure swimmers and leading water safety experts in the UK - so there’s no better person to take a dip into his pool of knowledge. If you’re already a swimmer then that’s a great start. If you're new to the swimming game then jumping in at the deep end with long distance, cold water swims might not be the best idea! Here are Mike’s top tips GETTING STARTED WITH COLD WATER SWIMMING Why start cold water swimming in the first place? It’s got huge health benefits, from boosting your immune system to improving your mental health. However, don’t underestimate how cold water immersion will affect you. Ease yourself in gently! Taking cold showers/baths at home is a good start, if you don’t live near any outdoor cold water venues. If you are lucky enough to live next to the sea, lakes or rivers then start swimming in the summer and then continue to swim regularly as the temperature drops. This is a great way of slowly getting used to that temperature change - whatever you do, do [...]

By |2019-06-06T21:32:45+00:00June 6th, 2019|Blog|0 Comments

Running Your First Ultra Marathon

Running Your First Ultra Marathon I don’t know why I wanted to run an ultra marathon. Why would any sane (ish) human want to even consider it. A marathon is a terribly long way and an ultra is even further…..You cover a lot more ground than merely miles under your feet: The views, memories, pain, discomfort, joy, elation, weird food, smiles and tears are all longer, harder and brighter during an ultra.    For example, my first ultra marathon was on the Cotswold Way. The plan was to run the 100 mile route in two days. That didn’t happen. Being the beginner I was at long distance running, I totally messed up my underwear choice. At mile 17, I was getting some serious chafing. At mile 40 it looked like an invisible horse had been put between my legs. At mile 46 I was flagging down a vehicle and asking for a lift. Fail. A little learning, some better choices and the correct underwear!! Many ultras later here are some top tips Tip For Running Your First Ultra Marathon An ultra marathon is any distance over a marathon (which is 26.2 miles). The most common distances are 50 kilometres (31 mi), 100 kilometres (62 mi), 50 miles (80 km), and 100 miles (161 km). Keep moving. Do things on the move. Drink, eat, change clothing on the hoof. It will help clock up the miles. Find a friend. Training and racing with a partner is more enjoyable and often you’ll run further and harder as a team. Walk. Everyone does it but nobody talks about it. On an ultra marathon you are never going to run all of [...]

By |2019-05-06T16:04:34+00:00May 6th, 2019|Blog|0 Comments

Festa in Via Ferrata

Via Ferrata Via Ferratas are common across Europe and give accessible adventures for those brave enough to try them. Dave Talbot gives us some pointers. Via Ferrata Introduction “via ferrata”, Italian for "iron paths" are found scattered across Europe and give access to a vertical mountain world, usually reserved for experienced climbers and mountaineers. A via ferrata is a series of ladders, metal staples and steps, attached into the cliff, with a long cable running along side. The adventurer clips into the cable, which provides some protection should they fall.    Simple mountain paths, with ladders and basic protection aids, have probably existed in the Alps for centuries. However, the via ferrata explosion is linked to the First World War when multiple via ferrata routes were created to aid the movement of troops and supplies across the Dolomite mountain range in Northern Italy.   Back in the early twentieth century the via ferratas were relatively basic. These days however, the via ferrata routes have become increasingly intricate and difficult. Via ferrata climbing is now considered a sport in its own right. Huge overhanging energy sapping sections, long wire bridges stretching across stomach churning voids and wildy exposed moves above dizzying heights are all to be found on modern, harder routes. Most of the European Alps have via ferratas dotted around each town and finding out route information can be sourced from a guide book, the internet or from the local tourist information centre. The routes themselves are usually free to use and are owned and maintained by the local government. You can use via ferrata routes on your own since you don’t need anyone holding your ropes, unlike [...]

By |2019-06-06T22:39:54+00:00October 15th, 2018|Blog|0 Comments

National Trails

Our National Trails I’ve had a certain love affair with our national trails. My first ultra marathon was on our national trails on the Cotswold Way. The plan was to run the 100 mile route in two days. That didn’t happen. Being the beginner I was at long distance running, I totally messed up my underwear choice. At mile 17 I was getting some serious chafing. At mile 40 it looked like an invisible horse had been put between my legs. At mile 46 I was flagging down a vehicle and asking for a lift. Fail. A little learning, some better choices and the correct underwear!! And off I went exploring again. Last year I ran the 180 mile Pembroke coast path in 5 and half days - which gave my muscles a story to tell.  Many fond memories have been logged exploring these trail treasures. But what are they and where can you find them? Our national trails are a collection of superb scenic marked routes around England and Wales. In Scotland the equivalent are called Scotland’s Great Trails. The popularity of walking in Britain during the early twentieth century gave rise to a desire to keep Britain “special” after WW2. Post-war development led to the establishment of National Parks, Areas of Outstanding National Beauty (AONBs) and Long Distance Routes (now called National Trails in England and Wales). Each trail has marked start and finish points and trail markers at every junction, making navigation simple. This allows you to enjoy the views and keep your map in your pocket. The routes vary in length from the Yorkshire Wolds Way, at a pleasant 79 miles to the whooping 630 mile South West Coast [...]

By |2018-06-08T09:37:53+00:00June 8th, 2018|Blog|0 Comments

6 Tip-Top Charity Fundraising Ideas For Your Company

6 Tip-Top Charity Fundraising Ideas For Your Company - Introduction Charity Fundraising Ideas - A lot of businesses have a dedicated charity that they donate to throughout the year, with money raised from events such as dress down Fridays or bake sales. Fundraising is a great way for a business to give back to the community — and it can also be a fun way for team members to bond in a more relaxed setting. But if you want to really ramp up your company’s charity events, why not try some of the ideas below? Charity Fundraising Ideas - Viral video challenges We can all name at least one viral video that’s stayed with us after watching it, from the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge to the Mannequin Challenge. They’re fun, interesting, and strangely addictive, but how can your company use it to raise money for charity? Crowdsource suitable ideas from your colleagues for a unique video that will get people talking. It could be a dance routine, or an amateur music video, or a challenge that other people can get involved with too. Nowadays, it’s super easy to record and share videos on our phones. Get all your co-workers, friends and families to get involved for maximum exposure. Keep it topical and relevant (think Movember in aid of prostate cancer), and most of all: don’t take yourselves too seriously! Charity Fundraising Ideas - Host a special event Nothing gets people donating like a special event. The glitz and glamour of a black-tie gala really gets people fired up about a cause, and they’ll be only too eager to donate. Profits from ticket sales [...]

By |2019-06-06T22:41:52+00:00June 7th, 2018|Blog|0 Comments

Marrakesh Essential Information

MARRAKESH ESSENTIAL INFORMATION INTRODUCTION Marrakesh Essential Information. The following will help (hopefully) if you wish to stay longer in Marrakesh at the start or end of  one of our expeditions. It will also be useful if you are visiting as a tourist. You will have an afternoon and an evening in the Marrakesh old town on your expedition with us.  You and your guide will enjoy the hustle and bustle of city life.  Some people, however, might enjoy more time in this famous city. Marrakesh is famous as a huge market town. Getting lost in the Souks is all part of a trip. The shopping here is vast and diverse. Make sure you have left a few kilos spare in your luggage for souvenirs. ACCOMMODATION There are plenty of places to stay and booking.com is a great resource for finding accommodation. That said, here is a list of places that we have stayed over the years - I hope it helps and offers some advice that might be useful. The old town, known as the Medina is where the markets / souks / history / culture is centred. This is a traditional Moroccan old town and most bars and Riads (hotels) don’t sell alcohol. There is plenty to see and do and the local street food served by the vendors at the marketplace is second to none. You can spend a few days in the Medina regardless of whether you are on an expedition - so it’s a perfect place to meet partners for an extension of your expedition. http://www.hotel-ali.com/ - Absolutely the closest place to stay near the centre of the Medina. A rooftop terrace overlooking the market. Reasonably priced. [...]

By |2019-06-06T22:42:48+00:00January 5th, 2018|Blog|0 Comments

Top 5 Fundraising Events

Top 5 Fundraising Event Ideas Introduction Here are my top 5 fundraising event ideas for charities. The list is derived from my personal experience from over 12 years working in and running fundraising events across the UK and Europe. For choosing any event you need to consider your aim and reason for choosing that particular activity. How you choose to fund that particular event is another topic and I've written an article about that here:   http://davetalbot.net/how-to-fund-a-charity-event/   With any fundraising event knowing your target audience and how that capitalises on your aim - usually amount of money raised, combined with awareness for your cause. This narrows your choice and gives you a defined search area.   Examples: If this is your first fundraising event then doing a 5 day cycle challenge might not be for you. Consider instead a single day, minimum commitment event like an abseil. If your based in Surrey then a one day mountain challenge might not work due to your nearest mountain range being 4 hours away. Consider instead a one day or multi day cycle due to the number of keen cyclists living in that area and therefore capatilising on your local target audience. You get the idea. I am always more than happy to talk through fundraising event ideas that are specific to your area and your target audience.   Fundraising events are a great way of combining an activity / journey / expedition that is on most people's bucket list and raising money for a charity - it's a win win situation for all involved.   Here is a list of our top 5 fundraising event ideas. No 1 - Charity Abseil Low cost. Low risk. Maximum [...]

By |2017-12-04T16:00:57+00:00August 8th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

Snakes and Ladders

Snakes and Ladders is a classic and unforgettable journey around the Llanberis slate quarries. It's scale, proportions and epic qualities leave even the hardcore adventurer breathless and in awe. This route is not for the faint hearted but can be accomplished by a novice climber with a competent guide.  However – you need to go prepared. A competent leader is a must!!! The knowledge of abseiling - is a given and the ability to judge serious situations should not be over looked. Much of the information I had found in the past had been confusing and had been difficult to follow. I want this to be 'guide book style' information, for free – for others to follow. The topo will help link the description with what's on the ground. I hope that the following will shed some light and help those wanting an adventure, to go and take an amazing journey around Snakes and Ladders!! Here goes: Snakes and Ladders Parking Spot Snakes and Ladders Description From the car park at Dinorwig walk towards the main slate quarries on the large track. Go past the large disused building on your left and take the gate on the left hand side leading towards the long staircase going up hill. The main track now bends around to the right – follow this and on your left there is a quarry with a pool at the bottom – Dali's Hole. Head into Dali's Hole and head across to the large tunnel visible on the other side. Walk through the tunnel via a tricky step around a boulder to a path, right around another quarry. Head through the next tunnel. This leads [...]

By |2017-12-04T16:00:38+00:00October 5th, 2016|Blog|0 Comments

Pembroke Coast Path

Pembrokeshire Coast Path Run Pembroke Coast Path - I never really liked running when I was younger.  I did it but that was mainly to get away from something or someone. As I've gotten older and I can put on weight just by looking at a chocolate bar then it seems that running is a good way of staying fit and trim....ish. . I've done more and more running and I've begun to realise my enjoyment of the sport. The ease of which you can grab your running shoes and head out the door on a micro adventure, is great.  Running it seems is a quick fix to break the day up and give my brain a sprig of fresh air. I love climbing, don't get me wrong but you do spend a lot of time hanging around... and waiting. Maybe it's why I've enjoyed climbing challenges (usually involving speed climbing) and mountaineering more so in recent years with the main focus being on continual movement rather than 'what's the smallest hold you can stick'. I have many loops and circuits that I know and run regularly around my local area and it was only about 4 years ago I went fell running in the Breacon Beacons and with some sense of amazement I realised I could do it. However the idea of journeying and embarking on an adventure still holds its draw and I am passionate about it. Attempting a challenge is magnificent, the hours spent planning (or not as the case maybe) and the great sense of reward one gets from finishing them - 'the bigger the challenge, the bigger reward' - perhaps. I ran my first ultra distance earlier in 2015 running [...]

By |2017-03-03T19:43:53+00:00June 30th, 2016|Blog|Comments Off on Pembroke Coast Path