Showing posts with label United Kingdom. Show all posts
Showing posts with label United Kingdom. Show all posts

Video: Mountain Biking the Dyfi Forest of Wales

In this beautiful mountain biking video we travel to the Dyfi Forest of Wales to ride some epic trails with pro mountain biker Dan Atherton. For Dan, the Dyfi is an amazing place to ply his trade, so he spends his time not just exploring the trails by bike, but also building new routes for other riders to enjoy as well. This clip will give you an idea of why this is such a special place, and just might inspire you to get on your bike today too.

British Adventurers to Paddle From Greenland to Scotland

Two British adventurers are preparing to set out on a challenging kayaking expedition that will take them across the Arctic Ocean and North Sea as they travel from Greenland to Scotland. Their journey is set to begin this Sunday and is expected to take upwards of six weeks to complete.

In just a few days time, Olly Hicks and George Bullard will leave the U.K. for Greenland where they will launch their In the Wake of the Finnmen expedition. This journey by sea will cover more than 1200 miles (1931 km) as they travel from the Denmark Strait to Iceland, follow the coastline of that country before daring the waters of the North Sea to head towards the Faroe Islands, a remote place located north of the British Isles. After that, they'll turn south to paddle 50 miles (80 km) to reach the tiny island of North Rona before pressing on with the final leg, which ends at Cape Wrath in Scotland.

All told, the two men expect to be padding for six weeks, with 12 nights actually spend out on the water in the open seas. The first three of those nights will take place on the crossing from Greenland to Iceland. The paddlers will then take their time kayaking along the shores of that country, regaining their strength and preparing for the challenges ahead. During that section of the expedition they'll cover about 20 miles (32 km) per day before pushing on to the Faroe Islands, which will force them to spend another six nights at sea. The final three nights will be when they make the final push across the North Sea to Cape Wrath. 

Olly and George will be paddling a modified Inuk Duo 6.8m sea kayak, which is designed to withstand the challenges and rigors of open water in remote seas. It has also been made for long distance paddling expeditions, with plenty of storage for gear and supplies. The kayak even has sealable cockpits, allowing the men to squeeze inside its hull to catch some sleep on those long nights at sea. 

The aim of the expedition is to prove that the Inuit people of the Arctic could have made a similar journey to populate island that are found in the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans. Hicks has called it the “Arctic Kon-Tiki expedition" in a nod to the famous Thor Heyerdahl expedition from 1947. Olly and George's boat is much smaller than Heyerdahl's however, with some very different challenges. 

This won't be be the first waterborne journey for Hicks. Back in 2005 he became the youngest person to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean at the age of 23. In 2008, we followed his attempt to row around Antarctica as well, and while other expeditions have taken him across the Tasman Sea and around Great Britain. In the future, he hopes to row around the world, taking another crack at the Southern Ocean off the coast of Antarctica once again. 

Video: Destination Ireland, Scotland, and Britain

Feel like you're in need of an escape from the daily grind this Monday? Then why not let adventure traveler extraordinaire Richard Bangs take us on a whirlwind tour of Ireland, Scotland, and Britain? This 7 minute video not only delivers some stunning shots of the landscapes found there, but introduces us to some of the history, culture, and traditions of the region as well. If you've ever need more of a reason to visit the British Isles, you'll find plenty more here to fuel that desire. It is a good reminder of just how rewarding travel truly can be.

Video: Wild Scotland

Think Scotland doesn't have epic wild spaces? This video will convince you otherwise. Shot with a drone in some of the country's most remote locations, it captures the landscapes of Scotland in beautiful fashion. The Highlands in particular look very enticing, inviting us to come explore their expanse. Sit back and enjoy, this short clip is only a little more than three minutes in length, but it is well worth the watch.

Wild Scotland from John Duncan on Vimeo.

Cancer Survivor Begins 12-Month Journey By Bike from U.K. to China

If you're in need of a bit of inspiration to start your week, look no further than Tommy Scargill, a British adventurer who has just set out on a very personal, but also very intriguing, journey. 

This past weekend Tommy started what will be a year-long journey by bike across Europe and Asia in which he intends to camp and live in the wild as often as possible. In fact, the idea is to travel as independently and cheaply as he can, with the hopes of living off just £3 ($4.60) per day. Along the way, he'll stop in various places to work and become immersed in the culture, while sharing his experiences and adventures on his website,

Tommy freely admits that he is not much of a cyclists, and doesn't know a whole lot about surviving in the outdoors either. This alone should make it fun to follow his progress, as he learns to overcome the challenges he'll face out on the road. For instance, he is currently riding through France, and just a couple of days into the journey is already discovering how difficult it can be to find water sometimes. Considering the fact that he is setting out in the fall, with winter already looming, means that he'll have some interesting experiences to say the least.

But Scargill isn't undertaking this journey solely for the adventure. He is also using it as a means to raise funds for the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, an organization that is using cutting edge medical techniques to combat cancer, a disease that has had a dramatic impact on Tommy's life. The young man, who is just 22 now, battled Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia on two separate occasions as a teenager. He has now been in remission for five years, and has vowed to live life to the fullest as result of getting a second chance. 

Tommy set off from the U.K. on Saturday and as mentioned, has already crossed the channel into France. From there, his route will take him across Belgium, Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Belarus, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and into Russia, before continuing on into Kazakistan, and China, before eventually wrapping up in Hong Kong next year. He'll ride a bike that he picked up for next to nothing, and will carry about 15 kg (33 pounds) of gear with him, including clothing, sleeping bag, a light tent, stove, and a variety of tools to keep his bike functioning. He'll also carry some camera gear, a laptop, and a variety of other gadgets which he'll use to document the trip. 

As I mentioned, the 12-month long journey has just gotten underway, so if you start now, you'll be able to follow Tommy's trip in its entirety. It certainly should be an interesting one to watch unfold. I wish him the best of luck in this adventure. 

Video: The Ben Nevis Ledge Route Captured by Drone

At 1344 meters (4409 ft) in height, Ben Nevis is the tallest mountain in the British Isles. While that doesn't sound like a daunting altitude, as you'll see in this video Ben Nevis is a significant climbing challenge none the less. It was shot along the Ledge Route using a DJI Phantom drone to capture the spectacular footage. The results are dramatic and eye opening, with some incredibly beautiful shots of a mountain that holds legendary status in the British climbing community. Even more impressive, this footage was shot just last Friday, and is a great demonstration of what filmmakers can do with the tools at their disposal today.

Ben Nevis, Ledge Route - Aerial filming using a drone from Rob Johnson on Vimeo.

Video: Meet Deaf Climber Andre Hedger

If you're looking for a bit of inspiration today than look no further than this video. It features climber Andre Hedger, who first started rock climbing at the age of four, but then lost his hearing at a result of meningitis at the age of five. Andre doesn't let his lack of hearing serve as an impediment to his goals however, and as you'll see in the video from EpicTV he is actually very active in helping to teach others both sign language and how to climb. Despite his busy lifestyle, he also finds time to continue his own training and tackle some challenging climbs of his own.

Video: Return of the Yak - Driving in the Mongol Rally!

The Mongol Rally is a crazy adventure that sends teams of drivers on a trans-continental road trip of epic proportions. Beginning in London, and ending in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, the race covers more than 10,000 miles (16,000 km), with participants driving insanely small, and under-powered vehicles, across Europe and Asia. The Rally has long been a bucket-list item for adventure travelers looking to experience a truly unique experience on the road.

If you've ever wondered what it is like to take part in this race, then the video below will be of particular interest. It is an hour-long documentary filmed by a team that drove in Mongol Rally, and it will give you an idea of just how truly wild, dramatic, and fun the event can be. Grab a cold drink, a tasty snack, and sit back and enjoy.

Mongol Rally Announces New Finish Line for 2015

Looking for an adventurous and fun challenge for 2015? Then look no further than the Mongol Rally, which returns for its 12th edition next year. This insane race across two continents continues to be one of the best adventure travel experiences on the planet, and in 2015 organizers of the race have announced that the finish line will move to an all new location, throwing a wrinkle into an event that continues to enthrall all who enter.

For those unfamiliar with the Mongol Rally, it is a road race that covers more than 10,000 miles (16,000 km) across Europe and Asia. The race begins in England, and in the past it has run to Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia. Once under way, racers are allowed to take any route they choose between those two points, as getting lost, getting found, and discovering new places is all part of the fun.

The the exact starting point for the 2015 Rally has not been announced yet, but the finish line has. The Adventurists, the crazy group of men and women who organize the Mongol Rally, have announced that next year's edition of the race will end in Ulan Ude, Russia for the very first time. This new ending point opens up the race to all new routes and challenges, and gives the teams of racers the option of traveling a northerly route above the Arctic Circle should they choose.

Before you start making plans for this massive road trip, there is one other important detail you should know. The racers aren't making the journey in a swanky Land Rover or other powerful vehicle. Mongol Rally rules stipulate that the vehicle used in the race should have a 1.2 engine or less, with a heavy emphasis on bringing a car that is far from the ideal. In fact, most racers pick something up off the scrap heap, make minimal upgrades and repairs, and simply race as far as it will take them.

In 2015, the cars are required to be at least 10 years old, and have an engine that is 1000cc or less. The entire point of the Rally is to have an adventure, and having a crazy, piece of crap car is part of that process. For the truly adventurous, the Rally will also allow two-wheeled vehicles, but they must be under 125cc. Consider what it would be like to ride across Europe and Asia on a scooter.

The 2015 Mongol Rally will get underway on Sunday, July 19. How long it takes for you to reach the finish line really depends on your route, how fast you want to go, and how well your vehicle performs. To find out more, and to register, visit the official Mongol Rally website.

And for a glimpse of the Rally, check out the video below.

Video: Mountain Biking England

Sometimes mountain biking involves an enjoyable ride, in perfect conditions, on a trail that is beautiful and fun. Other times, it is a slippery, messy experience in weather conditions that are not fit for man, nor beast. That seems to be the case in this video, the latest from the Trail Ninja series from EpicTV. This time out, the team heads to the wet trails of the Peak District in England, for a little fall riding. While it certainly looks like a fun trail, it is also quite a frustrating mess in the rain. Something we've all probably experienced at one time or another.

Peak to Peak 2014 Expedition a Success!

Back in August, I posted a story about the Peak to Peak 2014 Expedition, an attempt by adventurers Grant "Axe" Rawlinson and Alan Silva to climb the highest mountains in the U.K. and France, while traveling between those two peaks completely under human power. I'm happy to report that they were successful in their endeavor, and had a heck of an adventure along the way.

The two men began the expedition by first climbing Ben Nevis, a 1344 meter (4409 ft) mountain located in Lochaber region of the Scottish Highlands. If you know anything about Ben Nevis, you probably know that there is a popular tourist trail that leads to the top. But Grant and Alan weren't planning on taking that route. Instead, they wanted to go off the beaten path, and scale the North Face of the mountain, which actually requires some technical rock climbing to complete. Unfortunately, a late start didn't allow them the time to go that intended climb however, so they elected on an alternate route known as the CMD arete. This wasn't as technical, but did involve quite a bit of rock scrambling instead.

After successfully reaching the highest point in the U.K., the two men climbed aboard their bikes the following day, and started to ride south. They peddled their way through the Scottish Highlands, past Glencoe Valley, into Glasgow, and eventually across the border into England itself. Their cycling journey continued through the Yorkshire Dales, in and out of quaint little English villages, and includes a fair share of stops at popular pubs along the way.

Eventually, the duo arrived in London, where the next phase of the journey would begin. They had to face the daunting task of crossing the English Channel, which they did by kayak, although there was a hitch. French regulations prohibit paddling across the channel, to Grant and Alan completed most of the journey under their own power, then boarded a support ship to take them across a French shipping channel so that they would be compliant with the rules and regulations. This was a 5-6 mile stretch of water, which prohibited them from making the entire journey under their own power. While it is okay to swim across the English Channel, the French don't want any unseemly paddlers coming to their shores.

Once safely in France, they returned to their bikes and started their ride towards the Alps, and Mont Blanc, the highest peak in Western Europe. It took them 8 days to do so, following back country roads, as they were not allowed to cycle on the main highways. They once again enjoyed scenic, pastoral, countryside, along with inviting French villages, good food, and lovely places to stay.

By the time they arrived in Chamonix, and were preparing for their final challenge – a summit of Mont Blanc – the boys were starting to run out of time. They had set aside just 24 days for the entire expedition, and they had been on the road for more than 18 already. They needed good weather, and some luck on their side, if they hoped to complete the Peak to Peak adventure on schedule.

Climbing the mountain would take a couple of days, as they made the ascent in traditional Alps fashion, going hut-to-hut, until they could launch a final push to the top early one morning. A successful summit came later in the day, and Grant and Alan would eventually descend back to Chamonix with their mission accomplished.

I have given you just a brief overview of the journey. If you really want to hear what it was all about, you should read the full account that Grant posted to his website. It contains far more details and good information for anyone who would like to make a similar expedition in the future.

Congratulations to Axe and Alan on competing this adventure. It is a good example of what is possible when you have just a few weeks vacation to play with, but want to do something adventurous, without requiring a lot of money. This is definitely an inspiration to adventurers everywhere.

Peak-to-Peak 2014: Summit of the U.K. to the Summit of France Under Human Power

Kiwi adventurer, and Everest summiteer, Grant "Axe" Rawlinson is just about to launch his latest adventure, and true to form it will be another physically demanding one. 

You may recall, that last fall, Grant completed the first ever human-powered traverse of New Zealand between the highest summits on both the North and South Islands. Starting on Mt. Ruapehu, and ending, on Mt. Cook, Grant, along with his companion Alan Silva, climbed, hiked, biked, and paddled their way through a number of tough environments. Now, they're ready to do it again, on a completely different continent, and traveling between two different countries. 

The Peak to Peak 2014 expedition gets underway today, with Grant and Alan first taking on the tower ridge route to the summit of Ben Nevis, which is the highest peak in the U.K. at 1344 meters (4409 ft). Once they have gotten up and down the mountain successfully, they'll then climb aboard their bikes, and ride more than 2000 km (1242 miles) through Scotland, England, and eventually France and Switzerland as well. Their cycling journey will be briefly interrupted when they reach the English Channel, which they'll cross in kayaks, covering approximately 30 km (18.6 miles) in the process. Once they hit French soil, the two men will resume their ride, which will finish with a complete traverse of Mt. Blanc, the tallest mountain in western Europe at 4810 meters (15,780 ft). 

While this adventure sounds like a grand one, Grant is also trying to show us what can be done in a relatively short span of time, and without much support. He and Alan will be traveling with as little support as possible, and they will squeeze the entire expedition into their annual leave from work. They intend to start the journey on August 16, and finish by September 10. Officially the trip begins in Fort William, in the Highland, U.K., and ends in Chamonix, France, the outdoor playground of Europe. 

You can follow Gran and Alan's progress on Grant's website. Good luck boys!