By the end of 2021 I was exhausted. COVID had caught me over the Christmas period as the loss of my Mum began to take its toll. I hoped 2022 would give me time to rest and reflect. I certainly reflected, but spent much of the year on the road, on the sea and on the mountain..!
It didn’t seem five minutes since I had returned from Sea Kayaking in Greenland, before I was heading north again. This time it was to mountaineer, but the sea would play it’s part also. I joined Simon Yates to head towards Mikis Fjord and tackle a myriad of unclimbed peaks.
I’ve never been good on boats, in fact I can get sea sick just looking at one, so the idea of sailing from Iceland the the Greenlandic coast filled me with fear. I loaded up my kit bag with coats, crampons and kwells in the hope of keeping myself something like sane. It promised to be kill or cure.
I’ve visited Greenland a number of times, but always to ski and climb. The sea terrified me, but I was about to spend my next trip sat on my backside in a kayak. What had changed..?
The reason I ended up on my arse is pure chance. I was working on a P&O cruise ship touring the Norwegian Fjords and we docked at Bergen. I joined a day trip kayaking on an inlet close by and there met Laila Reigstad. We got on like a house on fire and stayed in touch, exchanging all kinds of thoughts and ideas about kayaking, but I was a complete novice and needed guidance. Laila filled me with confidence and offered to train me and so eventually I ended up to my backside in the sea. Sadly Covid came and put all our ideas on ice, but now we can travel again, Ice is where we’ve been.
Whilst the UK was baking, I headed north to the land of the Nanook to cool down. I met fellow paddlers Christian and Ketil in Copenhagen, before we crossed the seas to Greenland.
Training is vital to successful expedition work. I’ve always believed in ‘Serving Your Apprenticeship’ and have recently returned from a week Sea Kayaking in the Norwegian Fjords.
A chance meeting when working on a P&O cruise ship has taken me down a whole new avenue of traveling and expeditions. I’ve paddled canoes and kayaks on and off for years, but never thought I’d be preparing for a trip to the fjords of Greenland this year.
I was recently contacted by Ben Baumann of the Roots of Reality Podcast. Ben is an historian from the United States of America and has always been fascinated by life’s greatest questions: Who are we? Where do we come from? Why are we here? And where are we going? As a result, he decided to become a historian with a focus on the history of existence in the big picture and how it connects to our modern world, with the goal of taking our complex history and making it easy to understand.
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…
My feet had hardly settled from walking in South Africa, when another trip called. I had been 33’ south on the Cape in late march and suddenly I was heading to Greenland, 72’ north. +30C was about to be replaced with -30C. I was tired, but thankfully organised for the ICEMAN Polar Ski Race…
The finale of 2014 was, for me a difficult time. I was exhausted, both physically and mentally to a level where I felt truly lost. I had recently been reported missing in the avalanches of Annapurna, but as with most major disasters, I coped well enough. It was the pace of my day-to-day life which had ground me down. 2015 had to be better…Read More »2015 – A Year for Europe…
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…
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.
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..?
Here’s the second miniblog about my Seven peaks – Seven Islands challenge…
Climbing in Greenland is an honour that few have experienced. The flight from Iceland over the Denmark Strait is enough of an eye opener, particularly as you approach the teeth like mountains of the coast, but the Watkins Mountains are a magnificent range of ice-capped peaks.
The best partnerships are those where both sides work to help each other. Therefore I am very pleased and proud to announce that I have accepted a role with Terra Nova Equipment as a Brand Ambassador. We are both based in Derbyshire and have worked together for many years. Where we exactly first met is lost somewhere in the mists of time, but they have helped me on many occasions with my expeditions across the world. Initially it was with the specialist needs that Frostbitten hands require in the way of gloves. Getting any to fit was an almost impossible task, but with a little imagination and a lot of pinning we have succeeded. Since then I have also tested many tents, sleeping bags and rucksacks, and regularly place gear reviews on their website.