Monday, 17 December 2012

Ski Touring in the Lakes

It’s taken me a little while to write this up, but me and Stu had a proper mountain day ski touring in the Lakes last week.
There was really good snow cover, a bit hard, due to freezing conditions, but great fun non-the less.  The best and definitely funniest bit was skiing and navigating in a complete whiteout.  At one point i skied headfirst into a big bank of snow I just didn’t know was there.
Skiing up onto Stybarrow Dodd…we could still see at this point!
Looking West towards Keswick.
The Back (north) face of Stybarrow Dodd.  It was ICY!!
Stu looking very relaxed as always.
River crossing on skies…how did it all end?!
It’s gotten warm and wet since, but it’ll be back for sure and we’ll keep posting when it does.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Caving in Marilyns Pot

Had a brilliant day today with my mate exploring down Marilyns Pot which joins Disappointment Pot (it’s rather nice actually!) then on down into the Gaping Ghyll system…which is huge!

We managed to fight, wriggle, squirm and swear our way along the very muddy and low and long New Hensler Passage at the bottom of the SRT which takes you eventually to the bottom of Bar Pot, etc.

Unfortunately as we had taken a few wrong turns along the way and were on a dead-line we had to turn around here and go back through the MUD. Argh! so much MUD!  Confused smile

So no Chamber of the Winds for me today, but a great adventure and a better understanding of the cave gained. And I’ll be back.

Cheers for now



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Monday, 22 October 2012

Indian Summer (well, a weekend!)


We had a great weekend on the North Yorkshire Moors with some friends.  We spent Friday at a crag called Scugdale, ticking off all the classics, either solo or with a rope for the higher ones.  Brilliant crag with lovely rock.


Sat and Sun were both spent Mountain Biking.  Both 43km and 30km respectively!  We’re both very tired and to top it off I’ve got food poisoning and am at home today, writing this to take my mind off stomach cramps, lovely!  Still the weekend was great.

Cheers Mark and Ali

Friday, 6 July 2012

Amazing Caving


Me and some pals took a trip caving in the Dales recently to an amazing cave, full of the most stunning features.  Here’s a few photo’s which don’t do it justice at all…



Saturday, 23 June 2012

Underground Adventures in the Lake District

With the Lakes receiving 1 months rain in a day (it’s deja vue for Cockermouth residents!) we decided to head underground today and recce a future Adventure for Quest 4 Adventure.

Borrowdale and the North Lakes are famous for their mines and one in particular, the Graphite Mine at Seathwaite, is especially interesting.


It was the major source of ‘Wad’, a very pure form of Graphite back in the 1800’s, very hard to mine and left behind a maze of passages, both horizontal and more importantly, vertical, to explore.  It’s owned by the National Trust who are happy for people to explore at their own risk, and a reasonably risky place it is to the unaware.  Not from collapse so much, but from the numerous shafts in the floor.


So, some years ago, some explorers decided to place safety anchors in the rock to allow abseil descents of the system.  And that’s what we did today.  Down 4 levels and along about 1 kilometre of passage, although there’s far more to nose along.

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It’s not super pretty, but it is very interesting and a marvel of mans ability to change the world.  There are kilometres of passage, all dug by hand, with railway lines still place.  It’s an amazing adventure and a special hidden world to explore and will be going onto our list of Guided Adventures in the Autumn.

Best of all was dry!

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Keswick Mountain Festival

It's here again! The Keswick Mountain Festival is back and we're up to all sorts of cool stuff.

Ali was up Blencathra via Sharp Edge yesterday, and it even stayed dry! Today she's on Helvellyn via striding edge (in the drizzle!) and I'm off up Blencathra in the dark later with 12 keen beans for a night walk. Then off to the pub for chilli after...lovely!

Tomorrow there's canoeing in the morning and afternoon and later a moonlit (well probably cloudy!!) canoe treip on Derwent Water.

There's still spaces on stuff and it's a great chance to snap up a bargain and have a great adventure.

There's also all sorts of cool free stuff to see and do in and around Keswick, so come is going to get drier on sat and sun I promise!


Thursday, 12 April 2012

National Trust Campsite activities

Hi folks
Easter was a bit chilly eh? But it's still sunny and adventurous in the Lakes.
We're running our great outdoor activties from the Low Wray and Langdale National Trust campsites again
and above is the timetable of everything that's going on.
It's a real bargain at £25 per person, even if you are just one person. And you can book at the receptions or over the phone, follow the link above,
See you there, we're running activities in all the school holidays and at other times on demand.
Mark and Ali

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Easy come…easy go.


Well, all that lovely cold weather and consequently all the snow and ice have disappeared from the Lakes.  It’s now about 12''c in the valleys! So all wintery fun is on hold at the moment.


It was like this!!!

It is looking like we’ll get a more Northerly airflow at the end of the week and some snow, so you never know, Jack Frost might make a come back yet.  And of course, we’ll try and keep you up to date with what’s going on.


On a warmer note, we have a great open canoe trip for families running on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th of June on the River Wye in Gloucester.  This is a brilliant first canoe trip, with good campsites (even showers!) along the way.  We do all the cooking, you just have to paddle and soak up the adventure. For more info go to (ignore the listed dates, it’s the 2, 3, 4th june 2012)


Cheers for now, Mark and Ali

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Ski Touring in The Lake District


It’s finally happened! 

The Lakes has come up with the goods and winter is here!  We had an amazing day ski touring on the Dodds, a range of hill East of Hellvelyn.  Blue skies, cold and the sun was out.  And the Eden Valley stayed in the mist all day, so you could see a stunning cloud inversion from the Hills.

Here’s a selection of photos from the day.


Cross Country Skiers (Janice at the Back!)Ali striding outSouth side of Great DoddIt really is the lakesCan you see our tracksLooking across to HellvelynP1280006Starting up Great DoddSunset after the best day everThis is what all the hard work was for!Up and up we wentWatsons Dodd

There is stacks of snow and if you know where to look, deep powder!

We have the hugest grins and the biggest appetites and are of to see

Dave Mc Leod’s talk, what a day.


Hope you all had a great one, keep checking the Blog for more on the conditions to be had, I’m out there again tomorrow.


Mark and Ali

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Ski Touring in the Drumochter Hills


Just got back from another Scottish Winter Trip.  This time the Drumochter Hills, either side of the high point of the A9 between Perth and Aviemore were the centre of attention.

These are some great munros to go and explore.  Not as craggy and Alpine as Glencoe, but equally not as crazily remote and unreachable as Derry Cairngorm or that area,  the Drumochter hills offer a surprising feeling of isolation once you leave the road behind and if the conditions are right, they are perfect for ski touring.

Balsporran Cottages

Friday night blessed us with about 10-15cm of fresh light snow, so we were able to ski from the car park at Balsporran Cottages (no one home to check with, but worth asking if there is) all the way to the top of Geal Charn 917m.

Half way up Geal Charn

We saw absolutely tonnes of wild life on the hills.  Grouse, Ptarmigan, Deer and about 12 Arctic Hare, which really didn’t seem too bothered about us!

Arctic Hare

The original plan was to head around across to the next Munro, A’ Mharconaich, 975m and then ski back down that, but the snow had been so good on the way up, we followed our tracks back to the valley floor through lovely safe windslab and foot deep powder.

Powder Tracks!

Not content with one Munro for the day, we then headed up A’ Mharconaich by it’s E ridge and were rewarded with steeper, powder slopes at its top.

Walking across the wind scoured top of Geal Charn

An absolutely amazing day, in a stunning place! 

And what about the next day?  114mph winds, rain and a huge melt of the snow below 600m!  SO glad we made the most of the first day.  That’s Scotland for you.

Mark and Ali