Holding Your Nerve – The Eighth Frostbite Report…

My eyes had been stuck on the weather forecast for weeks, before my annual trip into the Highlands with my friend Ian.  There had been snow, sun, snow, sun, ice, melt, ice, melt, and then Storm Doris had her day.  Reports of driving blizzards and road closures filled my heart with joy.  There would at least be snow..! Continue reading

2016 – A Year For Time, Travel and Tingling Fingers…

I’m not a man to sit about, so during 2016 I travelled to South Africa, Greenland, Iceland, Italy, Denmark, Germany, Greece and Spain.  I took part in the ICEMAN Polar Race, walked the Otter Trail, spoke on two cruises and held down a full-time job.  Phew..!  I’m sure I slept at some point…

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Forcing Your Hand…

Frostbitten Hands

The phrase ‘The day we stop learning is the day we die’, may be old, but it’s true. I thought after 17 years I had learned all there was to know about my frostbite injuries, but I was wrong. Though the amputations were very visible, regular treatment kept my skin grafts in good condition, and all was well with the world. The last few months however, have taught me a hard lesson in reality.

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Speaking from Sea Level…

Cunard-Crevasse

“You’re doing what..? Speaking on a cruise ship..? Why..?” These were only some of the barrage of questions I fielded when I announced that I was going to speak on the Cunard Liner Queen Victoria. “You’re a Mountaineer and boats are at sea level..!” I certainly hope they are as I’ve never seen a liner fly, but let’s get past the obvious shock. Besides being a mountaineer, I’m also a speaker.

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TEDx Derby 2015 – Remade

TEDx-Remade

After speaking at TEDx Derby in 2014, I was approached by organiser Christine Cawthorne to mentor the speakers for the 2015 event.  I was honoured to take up the challenge… Continue reading

The Telemark Lark…

Telemark-Lark

I hadn’t touched a set of Telemark skis since my trip to Greenland in April 2014, so it was with a little trepidation that I once again ventured to Rauris in Austria, for the Army Telemark Championships.  You expect snow when you go skiing (after all it is a tad useful), but when I touched sown in Salzburg it was 17C.  Though the highest peaks were clad In white, the valleys were almost tropical.  Higher in the mountains the view was the same as heavy rain had poured for 24 hours.  It wasn’t the start I’d hoped for…

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2014 – Surgery for the Soul…

My-Rugged-Look

My 2014 New Year’s resolution was to have the best and most productive 12 months of my life.  Plans were bursting out of my brain, and within weeks my diary was filled to overflowing – speaking engagements across the UK, ski racing in Greenland, climbing in Scotland – the list went on.

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Don’t (always) believe what you read…

Nepal-Press

The modern world seems to rely on instant news media.  Satellite communications and Social Networking relay information around the globe within milliseconds, against the hours, days, weeks and even months that used to be required.  Though this has a good side, it can also cause unnecessary stresses and tensions, as my family found out recently…

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Get Insured – It Could Happen to You..!

Bandaged-Foot

I was recently asked to write an article on the importance of insurance, predominantly personal insurance.   Sickness and accidents can happen at any time, but I wonder how many of us are prepared..?  The field of insurance can seem bewildering and boring, but it’s a subject that we should not ignore.

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On the Edge – July 2014

Langdale-VW

The Kendal Mountain festival has traditionally been held in November, when nights are dark and the weather (usually) wet.  Things are changing, and a new festival ‘Kendal Mountain Festival On the Edge‘ has been launched for the weekend of July 25 – 27th 2014.

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Time…

Pocket-Watch

Language is full of sayings and quotes about time. ‘Time is of the essence, ‘Time is money’, ‘Time marches on’ etc.  This unending continuum drives many people’s lives at a relentless pace and without respite.  For some, it rules their lives, but should it..?

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Is modern communication destroying adventure..?

Here’s the TEDx Derby presentation I gave asking the question “Is modern communication is destroying adventure..?”  Whats do you think..?

Seven Peaks – Seven Islands part VII – Madagascar

Sunset-off-French-Mountain

Here’s the seventh and final miniblog about my Seven peaks – Seven Islands challenge…

From the islands capital – Antananarivo (known locally as Tana), you fly north to the coastal town of Diego Suarez to begin the trip.  Diego is one of the world’s largest natural harbours and is a quiet town, full of crumbling French colonialism, 2CV’s and graced with wonderful sunsets.  Here you depart by 4 x 4 as far as the road will go (weather and mud permitting), before the trek begins.

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Seven Peaks – Seven Islands part VI – Iran Jaya

Carstensz-Pyramid

Here’s the sixth miniblog about my Seven peaks – Seven Islands challenge…

Carstensz Pyramid (4884m-16023ft) is a classic in the mountaineering world.  First sited in 1623 by Dutch explorer Jan Carstensz, it is the highest island peak in the world.

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Seven Peaks – Seven Islands part V – Sumatra

Gunung-Kerinci

Here’s the fifth miniblog about my Seven peaks – Seven Islands challenge…

Climbing Gunung Kerinci is one thing, but just getting there is another.  The bus journey from Padang can be anything between six and nine hours, and crosses the spine of Sumatra.  Be prepared for an arduous, but hilarious time!  You usually arrive in the village of Kersik Tua after dark, but the dawn brings extensive views of well manicured tea plantations and the peak itself – cloud permitting.  Rain and hailstorms are not uncommon here as you are already at 1500m.

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Is modern communication destroying adventure..?

TEDx

Technology has entered our modern lives with a vengeance.  Whether we like it or not, the digital age has crossed the globe and there seems little escaping it.  I recently spoke at TEDx Derby, and challenged an audience of creative and technology driven people to think differently about the umbilical cord of the mobile phone, wi-fi and worldwide web…

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Seven Peaks – Seven Islands part IV – Borneo

Kinabalu-Dawn

Here’s the fourth miniblog about my Seven peaks – Seven Islands challenge…

As the highest point between the Himalayas and Iran Jara, Mt. Kinabalu stands at 4095m (13,435ft) and towers above the surrounding hills and jungles.  First climbed in 1851 by Sir Hugh Low she is now a huge visitor attraction and climbed by over 30,000 people a year.

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Seven Peaks – Seven Islands part III – Japan

Fuji-Sign

Here’s the third miniblog about my Seven peaks – Seven Islands challenge…

Most of the worlds mountains were first climbed in the Victorian era, but Mt Fuji (3776m-12388ft) must hold the oldest recorded 1st ascent – 663AD..!  Japan is an ancient country with deep-rooted traditions and I would urge a little research into etiquette before you visit.

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