Thursday, 14 July 2016

The Three Peaks Challenge – Top Tips

Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike, Snowdon. In 24 hours. Sound easy to you?

The Three Peaks Challenge is definitely far from easy – but the venture is a perfect one for anyone wishing to test their fitness and endurance, or to feel the great sense of achievement that comes with the completion, or even to build stronger bonds of trust and friendship within groups. 

To ensure that you stay safe and well in order to complete each peak - here are some handy Three Peaks tips that you may find useful.

Plan ahead - Get the right postcodes for your starting point to avoid extra stress. Getting lost before you start would be a nightmare! By choosing timings and routes you can plan which mountain to climb in the evening/night – which is sometimes inevitable – to do so safely and in a prepared manner. Importantly - use the most up-to-date maps and ensure everyone is able to read maps and navigate, in case the group is separated. 
Chauffeur, anyone? Driving in-between walks is a huge no. You won’t be your most alert after a long day climbing – and you will need this time to rest up for the next mountain. Ensure you plan driving routes and parking to avoid stress. Take travel sickness tablets for the drive – just in case you feel car sick. Feeling sick will make it difficult to eat; something you must do to keep your energy up.

Be prepared for any weather – A common tip is to start off cold as you will get warmer. However this doesn’t mean to say you won’t get cold again throughout the journey! Carry extra layers as it can get cold at the summit – as there is always a chance the weather will make a dramatic change. 

Bring plenty of fuel - lots of high calorie snacks such as cereal bars and dried fruit/nuts are perfect for the cause. Eat little and often even if you don’t feel hungry – you will need the energy. It’s a great idea to bring sandwiches and pasta as they are high in carbohydrates, and slowly release energy.

Stay hydrated – This is incrementally important! You’ll need lots of water; at least 2 litres of water per mountain is recommended. Hydration packs are perfect as you won’t have to carry your water bottle by hand. Ensure your back pack is fitted with a water pack function.

Don’t overdo it – don’t ‘push on’ if the situation is unsafe. Admitting defeat can be really tough, but you need to be sensible. If you are hurt, the likelihood is it’s going to get harder the more you troop on. Remember that mountains are unpredictable and situations can change fast – especially where weather is concerned.

Let the slowest in the group set the pace – this ensures everyone will keep up and stay as a group. For faster walkers, this could be seen as a tactic to preserve energy!

Buy decent walking boots – Boots are arguably the most important part of your kit. You need proper support on rocky terrain. Breathable and waterproof materials are ideal, so look out for those functions when purchasing. Break your boots in some months before you embark on the challenge to ensure they will not rub or cause pain. Blisters are one of the largest reasons why challengers fail The Three Peaks – don’t let that be you!

Practice is key – ensure you reach a good level of fitness before attempting the challenge. Familiarise yourself with the types of terrain you will face by going on long walks or by attempting one of the mountains beforehand to build stamina.

 Photo credit: Henry & Jane

Friday, 1 July 2016

The Wonders of the Patagonia Glacier and Ice Cap Trek

The Southern Continental Ice Field in Patagonia is one of largest non-polar ice caps on earth, and the third glacier mass in size after Antarctica and Greenland. This magnificent and dramatic area of the world has an abundance of exciting treks teamed with breathtaking views and landscape. These are just a few of the wondrous places that you will pass through on your Patagonia Trek, each just as more remarkable than the other!

Any glacier trip will start at the picturesque El Calafate – an important tourist destination named after a particularly common berry bush that can be found around Patagonia – that acts as a key hub for many adventurers who wish to visit any part of the Los Glaciares National Park. It’s a small town which therefore makes it easy to get around – however booking buses to and from the town is recommended. The town is ultimately a fun place to be with a large variety of services including its main strip posing many endearing souvenir shops, chocolate shops, restaurants and tour offices. El Calafate offers so much to see and do, including day trips to the exceptional Perito Moreno Glacier or to the romantic Onelli Bay, and boat excursions which are a great idea on a brilliant summers’ day. Ensure you spend some time here before embarking on your journey!

While journeying through Los Huemules reserve and beech forests at Laguna de Los Tres, keep your eyes open and camera at the ready for some breathtaking views. This is a trek that will lead you through mystical forests and stunning scenery; brilliant blue lagoons and impressively beautiful glaciers are plentiful. On your way, you’ll pass through many famous base camps that have in the past been used by the most renowned of climbers.

For more panoramic views, follow on to Laguna Torre, which is enveloped by stunning views of Fitz Roy Range, glacially formed valleys with splashes of dense forests. You will reach Paso Del Viento  - meaning ‘windy pass’ – an entirely unmissable stop that boasts immense views across the Southern Continental ice field; The Viedma glacier, the Upsala glacier and the impressive Mariano Moreno range acting as the perfect backdrop.

Another unmissable finishing stop is El Chalten. This small mountain village set into the Rio de las Vueltas riverside has previously been names Argentina’s Trekking capital, as well ranking second of “Best cities in the world to know” in 2014. Be sure not to stay long enough to explore a range of activities offered by the village; short walks, day trips, visits to renowned chocolate or ice cream shops, and sample brews that are available in the many Brewhouse’s. A perfect way to end your Patagonian adventure!

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Patagonia Ice Fields Trek 2016

I've just returned from possibly our most exciting and stunningly beautiful treks I have ever been lucky enough to lead, Patagonia has to be one of last true wilderness trekking destinations in the world.

First up a visit to the Perito `Moreno Glacier one of only 3 advancing Glaciers in the Patagonia and the centre piece for the Los Glaciers National Park in Argentina. It's sight to not to be missed. As one team member commented on arrival surely it can't get any better than this, and it's only day 1.

But it can and it did.

Arriving in El Chalten our trekking base and my home for an entire month I was feeling very blessed, we had great weather for both treks around the Fitz Roy Range and the Southern Ice Cap.

Our route was 7 day traverse of the Fitz Roy Range before making our way to Paso Del Viento (windy pass) with panoramic views of the largest Ice Cap outside the Polar Regions.

I could talk about this trek forever and possibly will do, but rather than me bore you, take a moment to read the write up from Rebecca Burn-Callander from the Telegraph.

                                                                    Cerro Torre

                                                          Lower Tunel Glacier

                                                                   Paso Del Viento

   For more information on this once in life time adventure and 2017 dates Patagonia Glacier & Ice Fields Trek 

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

The Benefits of Trekking

The Benefits of getting out in the Hills

People who go trekking on a regular basis have a better overall health, are more energetic and suffer from less stress, If you’re looking to get fit in 2016 or take on a new challenge whether it be the 3 PeaksChallenge or Trekking across Iceland, there’s no better time to dust off those boots and Get Outside.

#1 Improve your Overall Health and Fitness
Getting out in the hills on a regular basis, you’ll not only feel great but you’ll enjoy optimum fitness making your days out in the mountains a lot more fun. Whether you’re a novice or a pro, you can gain so many benefits being the mountains.

#2 Decrease Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
Recent studies show that walking for an hour a day can cut a person’s risk of stroke in half. Walking conditions the heart and will help you live longer.
Head to the hills and help keep your cardiovascular system healthy!

#3 Be Happy
A day in hills, be it a wet and windy weekend in Snowdonia walking not only calms you but improves your general well being, being In the grandeur of nature, away from the pressures of everyday life and technology works wonders for stress relief.

#4 Prevent Diabetes
Walking in the hills will reduce your risk of diabetes. A good day out in the hills will work your muscles, which transfers glucose from your bloodstream for energy.

#5 Increase Your Energy Level
Aerobic activities will provide oxygen to your muscles and other body tissues. This extra fuel helps boost your muscles and lungs and increases your alertness, and energy and endurance levels!

#6 Lose Weight
Trekking is one of the best ways to burn calories and lose the unwanted pounds! In fact, numerous studies have proved that hiking can burn more than 400 calories per hour

#7 Increase Bone Density
Strong bones are essential to your overall health. Hiking consistently will decrease your chances of developing osteoporosis and arthritis. If you have arthritis, studies have shown that two and a half hours of hiking per week will maintain flexibility in your joints and decrease joint stiffness.

#8 Expand Your mind and Discover New Places
Hiking is a great excuse for visiting new places, great for creating excitement, avoiding boredom and opening new synopsis’ in the brain. Instead of planning an ordinary holiday to Spain, take a hike! Adventure trips can encompass snow-capped mountains, spectacular canyons, fascinating deserts and verdant forests, the world is your oyster.

#9 Tones Your Muscles
Since hiking can include steep inclines, it is perfect for challenging your body and for toning your muscles. With brisk movements and a steady pace, you can get a full body workout. Remember to stretch before and after a vigorous hike, so that your hamstrings and quads are toned.

#10 Develop Healthy Habits
Another compelling reason to head for the hills is a much-improved quality of life. Each time you hike, breathe the outside air, exert and challenge yourself, you will come away feeling better than you did. Your body and mind will feel healthier and your stress level will drop off. Because of this great feeling, you’ll want to hike again. It may even become addictive!
As you notice improvements in your mind and body, you may adopt other healthy habits such as eating healthy foods.

Get Outside, Challenge Yourself and head for the hills

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Laugavegur Trail Iceland

Trek Iceland

The Iceland Laugavegur Trek is a wild and wonderful trek set amongst the wonderful and impressive landscapes of Iceland.

From the modern city of Reykjavik to the volcanoes, glaciers, waterfalls and steaming lava fields of the interior, Iceland is a country of great contrast. Iceland homes truly unique environments, like nothing you would come across in mainland Europe, which attracts visitors that want to experience magical surroundings and a phenomenal trekking arena.

An excellent choice for those that want to experience this is the undertaking of Laugavegur Trail. A famed trail for its stunning views and range of terrain, those lucky enough to experience this will not be disappointed.

Spanning 49 miles, this is the longest hiking trail in the country. Well travelled, with past hikers and rangers adding special wooden signposts in important positions, the trail can trekked alone or with a special group.

Iceland Trek As suggested by the name, Iceland will (depending on climate and season) have icy sections and generally cold temperatures. This means you'll not only have the battle of the long walk up and down trails and mountains, but also have to do so whilst bracing yourself from the cold conditions.

The 6 day Iceland Laugavegur Trek offered by Adventurous Ewe can guide you as a part of the group through some of the most spectacular wilderness that will see you enjoy camping along the way. Discreet vehicle support is also on hand that enables the supply of well-equipped camps and means you can travel lightweight, ensuring maximum satisfaction while working through the environment.

This specific trip allows you to travel through lakes and magnificent lava field, gurgling hot springs and steaming vents, as well as deep canyons, small valleys and the opportunity to whale watch or enjoy the Blue Lagoon.

When you opt to go with a tour group, you is much less risk, more convenience and you get to meet like minded people that will make the experience just that little bit better!

The following video will give you a taste of the Laugavegur Trek in Iceland!