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Archive for February, 2013

Tackle Your Favourite Mountain For WaterAid

February 15th, 2013

Missing the Olympics? Looking for a new sporting challenge in 2013? Or simply want to get out there and enjoy the countryside? International charity, WaterAid, is calling on walkers and climbers of all levels to ‘conquer’ their favourite local mountain and raise vital funds to provide access to clean water and sanitation to rural communities in Nepal.

Join over 2,000 other climbers taking part in the 2013 WaterAid200 challenge on the 8th June and take on your chosen mountain to raise money for the charity. The challenge aims to put a different team on top of 200 different mountains in the UK and Ireland while raising over £200,000 to help fund work to improve access to safe water and sanitation in mountainous Nepal.

WaterAid200 includes some of the UK and Ireland’s best-loved peaks including those in the Scottish Highlands, the Lake and Peak Districts and Wales as well as lesser-known but equally stunning sites in the South of England.  Visit www.wateraid200.org to find out more about the challenge, sign-up and claim your favourite peak.

Anna McGuire, Senior Events Officer at WaterAid, said, “By taking part in WaterAid 200 you can know that with every step, you are helping others to climb out of poverty by providing access to safe water and sanitation and reducing the time spent collecting water each day in one of the most mountainous regions of the world. You don’t need to be a mountaineer or experienced climber to take part – with climbs that range from gentle slopes to steep scrambles and  take in some of the best views  (and pubs!) across the UK and Ireland, there really is a peak for everyone!”

Although we’re all hoping for great summer weather, conditions in the hills can change rapidly and walkers have to be prepared for the worst. On a bright, sunny day, it’s tempting to head off in shorts and T-shirt but it’s important to be prepared for the worst so bear in mind our advice for charity walkers.

The key to comfort is flexible layers of clothing – a baselayer to shift moisture away from your skin where it would chill as it cools; a mid layer for insulating warmth and an outer layer that will offer protection from wind, rain and snow. Don’t forget the instant flexibility offered by a hat and thermal gloves. Avoid overheating by sticking to a comfortable pace and letting heat escape by quick simple ventilation options such as opening zips and cuffs and whipping off your hat.

In your rucksack, a water bottle, food, snacks, basic first aid kit, survival bag and a head torch (check the batteries) are the bare essentials. A map and compass or GPS should be handy and in use whilst a safety whistle should be easy to reach.

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Retro Colours For Sub Zero Factor 1 Plus Thermal Base Layers

February 13th, 2013

For all of you 80’s kids out there Sub Zero have introduced two new bright retro colours to their popular Factor 1 Plus thermal base layers. The long sleeve top and bloo john leggings are available in bright yellow and bright red, and are ideal for outdoor activities where increased visibility is essential for safety such as running and cycling in the evenings or when walking in the hills.

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BMC – Working For Hill Walkers

February 11th, 2013

The membership of the British Mountaineering Council (BMC; www.thebmc.co.uk) is made up of approximately 75,000 climbers, hill walkers and mountaineers. The majority of the members participate in hill walking and about 20% of them are purely hill walkers who don’t go climbing. The name may not make it obvious that the BMC works hard for hill walkers.

Its work for hill walkers includes:

• Campaigning for access and conservation

• Publishing good practice advice and organising training events

• Lobbying government on issues and legislation

• Working with partners locally and nationally, such as the Mountain Safety Forum, National Parks, land managers, conservation organisations and other representative bodies.

• Funding projects to protect the mountain environment

• Providing specialist insurance cover

• Negotiating member discounts with outdoor shops and service providers

The British hills offer beauty, challenge and adventure, as well as the opportunity to keep fit and healthy. So it’s no wonder that hill walking is such a popular activity, attracting people of all ages. Walking in the uplands requires a collection of skills, including navigation and hazard avoidance. It is important that participants are prepared with some basic equipment and knowledge in order to enjoy hill walking safely.

 

 

 

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Celebrate 25 Years Of The Sarsen Trail And Neolithic Marathon

February 6th, 2013

The Sarsen Trial and Neolithic Marathon, one of Wiltshire’s important leisure events, will take place on Sunday 5th May 2013. Not only is this a significant date for serious runners, walkers and cyclists, it is also a fun day for families wanting to enjoy the countryside and raise money for Wiltshire Wildlife Trust. This year marks the 25th Anniversary of the event.

Run it, walk it, bike it, enjoy it – this event includes the Full and Half Marathon, a range of walks (7, 11, 15 and 26 miles) and a two new bike routes of either a 30 or 50 km multi-terrain, circular mountain bike route, starting and ending at Stonehenge. The new cycling routes will this year go through Salisbury Plain allowing cyclists to enjoy the vast beauty of this unique landscape.

Wiltshire Wildlife Trust hopes to raise more funds to continue its critical conservation work supporting and developing a sustainable future for wildlife and people.

“This is a rare opportunity for people to access an area which is usually closed to the public and to enjoy this spectacular landscape. I am also pleased to say that we have been given permission to take this year’s cycling route through Salisbury Plain. We had over 2,300 people taking part last year and I expect this year will be no exception. The marathon places are limited and in our 25th year we expect a record attendance, so I urge people to sign on as soon as possible,” says Sarsen Trail coordinator Derek Gard.

It’s a fun-filled day on a route full of ups and downs and a mixture of grassland and farm tracks stretching across stunning landscape from the Vale of Pewsey, through the Avon Valley and across the wilds of Salisbury Plain. For wildlife watchers, the northern half of the route from Avebury to Redhorn Hill is an area rich in wildlife and you can expect to see skylarks, brown hares, sedge warblers and kingfishers. The route crosses fields and country lanes as well as a couple of busier roads and a railway line. The route is fully stewarded with first aid cover and support vehicles and a free coach service is offered for walkers between the starting and finishing points. The Trust provides regular water and toilet stops with refreshments available along the route. All participants who cross the finish line at Stonehenge receive free refreshments at the end, along with a medal awarded to all those who finish their chosen route. Thanks to English Heritage, those with medals will have the opportunity to enter the Stonehenge site for free for the rest of the day.

Entry fees cover the Trust’s costs for organising the event and more funds can be raised for Wiltshire Wildlife Trust through individual sponsorship. For further information, email derekg@wiltshirewildlife.org; online booking via www.wiltshirewildlife.org.

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Sub Zero All Active Long Sleeve White Back In Stock

February 4th, 2013

It may still be cold outside but many people are escaping the UK’s dank winter and traveling to warmer climes on adventure holidays. Any experienced hot weather explorer will tell that to avoid heat exhaustion you need to keep as cool as possible and protect your skin and head from the sun.  Sub Zeros range of All Active long sleeve cooling tops have proven themselves in some of the most remotest and extreme environments on earth, from Death Valley in California to the Des Sables Marathon in Saharan Southern Morocco.

We now have the long sleeve white version back in stock after selling out of most of the sizes in November.

 

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Fort William Mountain Festival 2013

February 2nd, 2013

The full programme for the 2013 Fort William Mountain Festival has an impressive and diverse line up of inspirational speakers made up of top climbers, mountaineers and extreme sports men and women, together with adventure film screenings and mountain workshops. This year’s festival will be staged in and around the bustling Highland town of Fort William, in the heart of Lochaber, The Outdoor Capital of the UK, from Thursday 21 to Sunday 24 February 2013.

This year’s programme celebrates mountain culture in all its forms and promotes the mountains as an attractive, accessible and above all enjoyable place to be. It caters for a wide spectrum of enthusiasts from armchair adventurers to climbers and mountaineers to mountain bikers and budding wildlife photographers.”

There will also be plenty of opportunity for both novices and experts to hone their mountain skills through a series of workshops in avalanche awareness, winter walking and winter climbing with Abacus Mountaineering; there is a one-off Climbing Technique Master Class with local climber Dave MacLeod.  There will be mountain photography workshops with Nevispix and a two day outdoor emergency first aid course at the Snowgoose Mountain Centre. Indoor climbing and ice climbing skills workshops will also be on offer at Kinlochleven’s Ice Factor Indoor Climbing Centre. There is even a Gaelic language workshop aimed at climbers, mountaineers and hillwalkers at the West Highland College, UHI, entitled ‘Understanding our mountains through the Gaelic language’.

With the way the 2013 winter has developed, visitors will need to ensure they’re dressed to cope with demanding weather conditions as well as having the right equipment and skills to make the most of this outstanding area. Base and mid  layer thermal underwear are the foundation of dressing comfortably for the winter hills, topped off with insulating layers – fleece, synthetic fill and down – under an outer shell that is, at least, windproof plus a hat and gloves. All winter hill walkers should carry extra clothing, food and a torch, of course, as well as an ice axe, crampons and navigation – plus know how tom use them!

To find out more and to buy festival tickets go to – www.mountainfestival.co.uk/

 

 

 

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