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ISSUE 130: JULY | AUGUST 2017 4.




the wild NORTH


the EPIC john muir trail

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EDITOR: Rob Slade
01789 450 000

ART EDITOR: Anthony Brooks


Naomi Dunbar: 01789 450 000

PUBLISHER: Alun Davies

Will Sandilands: 01789 450 000

Vicki Neal: 01789 450 000 un your fingers along the edge all the way to its
vicki@atmagazine.co.uk anus. Now thats a sentence I never thought I
would find myself writing. I guess these are the
SUBSCRIPTIONS & BACK ISSUES: sorts of sacrifices we need to make as journal-
Abeer El-Sayed: 01789 450 000 ists. But its not all bad, my role as editor of Adventure Travel
abeer@adventurizemedia.com also meant I had the pleasure of heading over to Europes pre-
mier trade show, OutDoor, where I caught a glimpse of all of the
COVER: exciting tech heading our way next year (particular shout out to
Photo: Eilir Davies-Hughes Hydro Flasks Beer Growler Google it!). As I feasted my eyes
www.eiliradventurephotography.co.uk on all of this glorious new kit, I wondered how much of it would find a home in
the hills of Britain and how much would be bought with an eye on adventures that
Location: Mynydd Mawr, Snowdonia eternally seem to be in the pipeline.
Well, thats what this issue is all about, finding ideas that are exciting enough to
get your heart racing but accessible enough that theyre not going to be resigned
to the bucket list. So in the pages that follow youll find an inspiring mix of adven-
tures in the UK and overseas. Whether thats tackling the beautiful Cadair Idris in
Snowdonia (p59), ticking off a Corbett in Scotland (p64) or tackling your first ridge
in the Lake District (p54), there is something for everyone. Beyond that, we may
just have found the perfect mini-break for hikers in Slovenia (p74), while we also
take a look at what makes the legendary John Muir Trail so special (p88).
wants you Wherever your interests lie, I hope theres something in this magazine which
jumps out at you and encourages you to head out on one more adventure. If
Were on the lookout for inspiring adventure you do, Id love to hear from you and see some of your tri-
travel features and pictures. It doesnt have
umphant photos. Oh, and if you were wondering, the
to be an epic first ascent in the Himalayas,
were just as interested in short trips in the opening quote is from a very insightful article on page
UK and Europe. Email a synopsis and some 46 which teaches you how to gut a fish. Enjoy the mag!
pics to rob@atmagazine.co.uk.

Join us online: /AdventureTravelMag @AdvTravelmag

editors picks

slovenia snowdonia Sweden

The perfect short break, p74 Discovering the best of Wales, p59 Hiking in the wild north, p80

www.wiredforadventure.co.uk J U L | A U G 2 0 1 7 5

J U LY | A U G U S T 2 0 1 7
Issue 130

the big picture
Inspirational photography from adventurous
destinations across the world

Ed Stafford talks about isolation, becoming a
father and being naked and marooned

We take a look at five unmissable adventures
waiting for you in Rwanda

p64 S C O T L A N D

adventure Academy
Make your next adventure a success with lessons
form our experts

64 p17 E D S TA F F O R D

Fresh from summiting each and every Corbett in p40 P H O T O G R A P H Y
Scotland over winter, Will Copestake reveals nine
of his favourite

the aLPE ADRIA trail
Naomi Dunbar hops on a plane to Slovenia to see
what this relatively knew and unknown trail has
to offer

Alec Forss heads into Swedens wild north to find
some of the countrys most spectacular peaks

Danielle Fenton takes on the epic John Muir Trail p80 S W E D E N
and discovers exactly why it is so special

6 J U L | A U G 2 0 1 7 www.wiredforadventure.co.uk

Ultra-lightweight two-person-tent - Hogan UL 2P

Fair and ecologically friendly produced:

J U LY | A U G U S T 2 0 1 7
Issue 130



22 G e t i n v o lv e d 52 D O R S E T C O A S T
Readers share their craziest travel stories Were in the south of England for a hike to one of the countrys
most iconic coastal formations
26 t h i s t r av e l l i n g m a n
Alun Davies reminisces on how one photo changed it all 54 B L E N C A T H R A
Rory Southworth tackles one of the Lake Districts finest ridges
28 f r o m t h e p a s t and makes new friends in the process
Roger Bunyan tells the story of the first man to cycle the entire
length of Africa, fending off the wildlife along the way 56 T R A N T E R S R O U N D
Colin Henderson takes on a challenging 36-mile circular route in
30 w h at s o n the Scottish Highlands
We take a look at some of the inspirational events
you need to get booked in over July and August 59 D I S C O V E R B R I TA I N
We venture into Wales to explore one of the finest areas of
32 m e d i a m a s h mountain scenery on these islands, Snowdonia National Park
The latest must-reads from the world of adventure travel
98 S U M M E R B A S E L A Y E R S
34 h o t s t u f f We put 24 base layers under the scope to test how well they get on
We check out some of the latest gear hitting stores in the UK in the glorious British summer

UK ADVENTURE 112 o u t d o o r w at c h e s
We put four outdoor smartwatches to the test

50 G O W E R P E N I N S U L A 118 N o t i c e b o a r d
Rob Slade heads to Wales for an unforgettable coastal adventure Readers tell us about their forthcoming expeditions

8 J U L | A U G 2 0 1 7 www.wiredforadventure.co.uk


From mountains, deserts and ancient cultural sites to beaches, mangroves, water sports and more, Ras Al Khaimah
is truly an unforgettable experience. Only 45 minutes from the hustle and bustle of Dubai, the UAEs northernmost
emirate offers every adventure seeker a wide array of playgrounds.

Jebel Jais, the UAEs highest mountain peak, is a beautiful backdrop for hikers, mountain bikers and those looking for
a scenic driving route. The mountain range also offers the regions rst commercial Via Ferrata as well as a number of
camping spots for those who wish to spend the night under the stars. For those keen to take to the water,
Ras Al Khaimah offers a great setting for scuba diving, sailing, jet skiing, parasailing and shing just to name a few.

For more information visit www.rasalkhaimah.ae

Only 45 minutes from Dubai International Airport Jebel Jais - Highest point in the UAE (1,934 meters)
Go now

live the
dr e a m Big pictures, big adventures, no excuses...


10 J U L | A U G 2 0 1 7 www.wiredforadventure.co.uk
Go now


Found just outside of Wanaka on the South Island of New Zealand, Roys
Peak (1,578m) is popular among travellers and for good reason. With
views stretching across Lake Wanaka, all the way to the Southern Alps
and Mount Aspiring, the climb to the top of Roys Peak is a rewarding one
and the views are among the best that you are able to get on a day hike in
the country. On a clear day, there isnt really much that compares in the
area and the stunning views will live long in the memory.

www.wiredforadventure.co.uk J U L | A U G 2 0 1 7 11
Go now

L O F O T E N I S L A N D S , N O R W AY
Norway seems to have endless views that will leave your jaw dragging
along the floor, with Trolltunga and Preikestolen chief among them. But
head north to the islands of Lofoten and youll discover what I imagine
heaven looks like. The archipelago is renowned for its dramatic scen-
ery, with fierce peaks rising out of the sea and quaint coastal villages
tucked away in beautiful bays. The islands are best explored by kayak
or on foot, where youll be pinching yourself hourly to check you arent
dreaming, such is the natural beauty. With the northern lights and mid-
night sun regulars, the Lofoten Islands represent everything you could
want in an adventure destination.

12 J U L | A U G 2 0 1 7 www.wiredforadventure.co.uk
Go now

www.wiredforadventure.co.uk J U L | A U G 2 0 1 7 13
Go now


At 6,476m, climbing Mera Peak definitely isnt an easy thing to do, but it
is one of the least technical high-altitude trekking peaks in the Himala-
yas. A route through the Hinku Valley not only gives you a great amount
of acclimatisation, but it also gives you the chance to take in beautiful
Himalayan scenery along the way. If youve climbed Kilimanjaro or
trekked to Everest Base Camp already, this might well be a good option
for your next challenge

14 J U L | A U G 2 0 1 7 www.wiredforadventure.co.uk
Go now

www.wiredforadventure.co.uk J U L | A U G 2 0 1 7 15
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He has walked the entire length of the Amazon River and is regularly been dropped o onto desert islands, naked
and alone, in a test of his survival skills. Here, Rob Slade speaks to Ed Staord about impending fatherhood,
dealing with extreme isolation and the strangest thing hes ever seen.

I left the Army wanting to be a stockbroker, but as the Sir Ranulph Fiennes has always been a hero of mine. To
financial market was so bad at the time I ended up taking an run seven marathons in seven days just a couple of months
interim job as a gap year expedition leader. It was tour- after youve had a triple heart bypass is Herculean. My
ism really, but quite extreme trips. We lived in hammocks in wife and I admire him so much that our first son, who will
the jungle and washed in rivers. It was during one of these be born in June, will be called Ran [Ed and his wife Laura
trips to Belize where I fell in love with the jungle. Bingham welcomed baby boy into the family on 6 June].

www.wiredforadventure.co.uk J U L | A U G 2 0 1 7 17

EVERYONE MAKES MISTAKES ON NEW ADVENTURES, AND always check in with myself on that, but wed become very
PARTICULARLY ON EARLY TRIPS. ARE THERE ANY MOMENTS adept in sustaining ourselves and our strength for long pe-
WHERE THINGS WENT PARTICULARLY WRONG AND YOU riods of walking through the trees. It felt good to, at last, be
LEARNED SOME HARSH LESSONS? good at something.
My very public bust up with my initial walking partner
when walking the Amazon still somewhat haunts me to this WERE THERE ANY TIMES WHEN YOU WERE STRUGGLING
day. Luke struggled, but instead of trying to help him I became SO MUCH THAT YOU THOUGHT ABOUT QUITTING, AND IF SO,
frustrated (with him). I regret this and wish Id been able to be WHAT STOPPED YOU FROM THROWING IN THE TOWEL?
stronger for him. He is happy now and is an air paramedic. Im sure I thought about it many times, but both Cho and I
thought it was quite funny that people asked us if wed ever
YOUR WALK ALONG THE LENGTH OF THE AMAZON DREW A quit. It was such a stupid idea (in our heads) that you would
LOT OF ATTENTION THE WORLD OVER. BUT WHAT WERE YOU sacrifice so much to then come home early, that in practice,
DOING IN THE YEARS BEFOREHAND, AND WHEN (AND WHY) it was never a viable option. As melodramatic as it sounds, we
DID YOU DECIDE TO TAKE ON THE AMAZON? would both have died before coming home defeated.
I had led nine charity expeditions, mostly in the tropics but
some in Patagonia, since leaving the military. But after almost YOU HAVE BEENWORKING ON PROGRAMMES WITH THE
six years of building up expedition experience, I wanted to DISCOVERY CHANNEL INCLUDINGED STAFFORD: NAKED AND
do something that would really test me. When I floated the MAROONED.WHERE DID THAT IDEA COME FROM AND DID
idea of walking the length of the Amazon by people, they all YOU REGRET THE NAKED ASPECT WHEN YOU WERE FIRST
scoffed and thought I was mad and that kind of annoyed me. DROPPED OFF IN ISOLATION WITH NOTHING AT ALL?
So much so that Id say it was a key part of my stubbornness Haha. Yes, of course I did. I felt daft. I felt vulnerable and
and therefore my success. exposed. I had no idea how hard those 60 days in isolation
would be and being naked bizarrely made it far more intense
WHAT WERE YOUR FAVOURITE BITS OF THAT JOURNEY? and humiliating from the very start.
I think in the end the best times were the simplest. The The idea was literally to set myself a personal challenge
days and months when Cho (my latter walking partner) and that was so outside of my comfort zone that I might fail. I had
I just had such an established system that we could go an- no idea if it was indeed possible to live on that island for two
ywhere in the rainforest and be OK. We werent arrogant; I months; and that was why it made good telly.

18 J U L | A U G 2 0 1 7 www.wiredforadventure.co.uk

I s o l at i o n i s l i k e
a mirror. There is
nowhere to hide from
y o u r s e l f.

www.wiredforadventure.co.uk J U L | A U G 2 0 1 7 19

ON MANY OF THESE TRIPS YOU ARE OFTEN ON YOUR we both travel for work the antidote to travel apathy is quality
OWN FOR LONG PERIODS OF TIME. WHAT SORT OF EFFECT home time: fresh air, running, gardening and pub lunches. Its
DOES THE ISOLATION HAVE ON YOU AND HOW DO YOU my favourite place in the world.
How deep do you want to go?! Its hard, but its also healthy YOURE EXPECTING A BABY BOY WITH FELLOW ADVEN-
(I think). Isolation is like a mirror. There is nowhere to hide TURER LAURA BINGHAM. IF HE CAME TO YOU IN 15 YEARS
from yourself. There are no distractions and so if youre not TIME SAYING HE WAS GOING ON AN EXPEDITION TO ONE
self-aware at first, you soon will be.Im the first to acknowl- OF THE REMOTEST CORNERS OF THE PLANET WITHOUT
edge that I had a few issues from the past and being on my ANYTHING, NOT EVEN CLOTHES, HOW DO YOU THINK
own gave them the space to surface and be dealt with. But at YOUD REACT?
times it was not pleasant. Haha. Id roll my eyes and wish him the best of luck. If I
wrapped him in cotton wool then he would not become an in-
FORED STAFFORD: INTO THE UNKNOWN,YOUVE BEEN IN- teresting man. He will need to explore and make his own mis-
VESTIGATING THE PLANETS MOST REMOTE MYSTERIES. IN takes in order to become a person with experience, wisdom and
YOUR TIME ADVENTURING ALL OVER THE WORLD, WHAT IS strength. I might tease him for not being very original though!
Crikey. I once stumbled into a village where a girl or woman APART FROM THE ABOVE, WHAT ELSE HAVE YOU GOT
was coming of age that evening. The incredible thing was that PLANNED FOR THE FUTURE?
shed volunteered to go through this ceremony that included Laura and I (and Ran!) have lots in the pipeline. Some TV
being shut in a dark room with no windows for two years of shows together, some on our own. Im also organising this
her life. She had a bucket to defecate into and her meals were years Campfire event (with Ran Fiennes) that we hold an-
brought into her by her immediate family. I turned up on re- nually, which is on June 30th this year. I love it, as it brings
lease day and she had her head shaven and was plied with a together loads of people informally to have a beer and hear
ridiculous amount of alcohol. At the end of the night she was a stories of adventure. Everyone is welcome and I think there
woman and able to marry. She was 14. are still tickets available.


JOY DOING MOST? ARE THERE ANY UK ADVENTURES THAT Keep up to date with all of Eds adventures by following
YOURE PARTICULARLY FOND OF? him on his social media and via his website:
My wife Laura and I bought a house in the country last year www.edstafford.org
and love spending time there. We have ducks, quails, chick- @ed_stafford @ed_stafford /edwardjamesstafford
ens, cats, and dogs so far, as well as our baby on the way. As

20 J U L | A U G 2 0 1 7 www.wiredforadventure.co.uk

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Jayne Thompson
Software developer turned traveller Laugavegur Trail in Iceland and spent two
weeks hiking around Jotunheimen Na-
tional Park in Norway. Ive done bikepack-
ing trips on the Sandstone Way, South
LIFELONG AMBITION? Downs Way and the Devon Coast to Coast.
To be happy, in love and outdoors! Ive also done some climbing in the Peak
District, Wales and Portland and some
PERSON YOU WOULD MOST LIKE TO sea kayaking in the Norwegian fjords. Im
MEET AND THE QUESTION YOUD ASK currently on a 90-day solo bikepacking
THEM? trip around the Hebrides my biggest
Id love to meet the Queen. Id ask her adventure so far!
what her perfect day would consist of
doing. Also, why has she not invited me to MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT?
the garden party yet?! Sitting on a rock overlooking the Besseg- are
gen Ridge in Norway. I felt an overwhelm- bikepacking
IDEAL TRAVEL PARTNER AND WHY? ing sense of happiness and the views the Wild Atlantic Way around
Someone who can pick me up when Im were stunning. the west coast of Ireland or the Danube
at my lowest and make me laugh, who cycle path. My great big fat dreaming plan
makes the most of every day and can WHAT DO YOU MISS MOST WHEN YOU would be to bikepack the Great Divide
stand the smell of my stinky socks after a ARE ON TRAIL? mountain bike trail from Banff in Canada
week of camping without showers. Sitting down and having a beer and a to the US/Mexico border in New Mexico.
laugh with my friends.
Ive hiked the South Downs Way and FUTURE TRAVEL PLANS? A horse walks into bar and the barman
walked around the Isle of Wight. Hiked the So many to choose from Realistic plans says, Why the long face?

David Reid
Standards and regulations advisor
Ive travelled to Idaho, the Alps and all
over the UK kayaking and biking. Time
LIFELONG AMBITION? and a young family now limit my regular
Id love to explore some of the lesser trips to the South Downs.
paddled rivers in Asia. Not having a
guidebook and having to rely on experi- MOST DANGEROUS MOMENT?
ence, observation and what youve learnt Kayaking can go wrong at any second.
from maps and satellite images would be On the Spean Gorge in Scotland,
hard to beat. More realistically Id like to I once took a swim on a rapid called the
introduce my girls (six and seven) to the constriction. I ended up hanging onto an winter. Before
outdoors and let them choose what they undercut bank by one arm until one of my I had the use of a comfortable
like to do and be led by them. group managed to get a throwline to me. motorhome, the thing I missed most was
Had my grip weakened I could easily have having dry kit to put on in the morning.
PERSON YOU WOULD MOST LIKE TO ended up pinned under the bank by the
MEET? force of water. FUTURE
As a passionate triathlete, it would have TRAVEL PLANS?
to be the Brownlee brothers. Id ask them MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT? Through my work Ive got the opportunity
if their competitive natures are ever a The feeling of elation having paddled a to plan a Freedom to Go trip to Scotland
hindrance to them. difficult section called Fresquire on the to revisit some of the rivers around Fort
Ubaye River in the Alps. William in the comfort of a motorhome.
I love travelling with my partner Cathe- WHAT DO YOU MISS MOST WHEN YOU FAVOURITE CRAP JOKE?
rine. She has the spontaneity and I am a ARE ON TRAIL? Rose, my six-year-old, is the best person
planner we are a good team. Paddling in the UK often means paddling in to ask.

Want to be a reader exposed (who doesnt?)? Make yourself known to Rob (rob@atmagazine.
X JOIN THE FUN! co.uk). Everyone we feature gets a years free subscription to Adventure Travel what a treat!

22 J U L | A U G 2 0 1 7 www.wiredforadventure.co.uk
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top five

R wa n d a t o p 5 2

1 3
Often overlooked for the likes of South
Africa, Morocco and Tanzania, Rwanda
has much to oer the adventurous traveller. KIGALI

Jack Howell takes a look at ve 5

unmissable experiences RWANDA

Gorrilla trekking

To wildlife enthusiasts Rwanda is synonymous with

mountain gorillas. Trekking through the Virunga
mountains for up to seven hours, depending on the
gorillas whereabouts that day, you get the chance
to spend an hour with this beautiful, intelligent, yet
critically endangered species. Also, through paying to
see these magnificent creatures your money is help-
ing to protect them and their habitat.

Standing at 4,507m Mount Karisimbi is the highest
peak in the Virunga mountains. The now extinct
volcano is often white-capped from the hail that
settles there. An enjoyable but tough two-day hike
will take you to the summit with an overnight camp
at 3,700m.

No trip to East Africa is complete without a safari,
and Akagera homes many safari favourites includ-
ing elephants and giraffes. In Akagera, not only can
you spot wildlife on game drives and boat tours, but
you have the option to camp in the park too. Hearing
it come alive at night through the canvas of your
tent is always an exhilarating experience.

Spotting chimpanzees
Rwanda also boasts the opportunity to see another of
our great ape cousins. An early morning start and a
potentially tough hike through rainforest may reward
you with sightings of our closest cousins. Even brief
glimpses will provide memories to last a lifetime.
Nyungwe now also possesses an incredible canopy
walkway suspended 50m in the air!

Whether you choose to complete part of it or do
the whole 141-mile route, you will be spoilt with
views of the Rift Valley and Lake Kivu, but the real
treat is interacting with locals as you pass through
rural villages. A decent level of fitness is required
for cycling or walking the hilly terrain and witness- THE BEAUTIFUL LAKE KIVU
ing the Rwandan way of life.

24 J U L | A U G 2 0 1 7 www.wiredforadventure.co.uk

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This travelling man

All it takes is just

one photograph.
Adventure Travel founder Alun Davies reminisces on the early days of Europes premier trade
show and looks at how one photo changed it all.

nce a year the German city of Frie-
drichshafen is host to the great
and the good of the outdoors in-
dustry. Quite why the industry
chooses the banks of Lake Con-
stance as the venue for the Outdoors Show is
unknown to this writer; its not exactly blessed with great air
and road communications nor infrastructure, with some vis-
itors and exhibitors faced with a 50-mile commute from the
nearest hotel with availability.
Despite these logistical problems, I rarely speak to any-
one who has a bad word to say about Friedrichshafen. Its a
friendly, clean city on the shores of a spectacular lake and the
aircraft hanger style exhibition halls are big, bright and airy
and the mood is like a laid-back summer holiday camp when
compared to our own grim, grey and jobs-worth infested
NEC in Birmingham.
For the best part of 20 years Ive been making the annual
pilgrimage to Friedrichshafen and for at least two out of the
four days of the show I spent time bumping into old friends,
talking business and checking out all the new rucksacks,
tents, boots... you name it, its there.
But I suspect that the reason why Friedrichshafen is so
popular has less to do with the business side of things and all
to do with the spectacular view on the other side of the lake. looked as if he was on a Sunday morning stroll, but in a loca-
Whilst the German side of Lake Constance is flat, the Austri- tion that only serious rock climbers could be comfortable with.
an and Swiss shores make up the northern edge of the Alps, Walt Unsworth and that photograph literally changed my life
which makes the European pleasure-dome for anyone with and I began a three-year mission to seek out, climb and record
an ounce of outdoor DNA in their make-up. the via ferrata of the Alps; the ultimate adventure trails.
For various reasons, 2017 has been the first year where I The culmination was a 64-page guide to via ferrata appearing
have not extended my trip to include at least a few days hik- in an issue of Adventure Travel and every national newspaper
ing, climbing or, in more recent years, riding my motorcycle taking a feature on the subject. I was invited down to the Ital-
around these magnificent mountains. All the more reason ian Embassy to be presented with an award which I took to be a
then to reminisce with old friends about years gone by, where Freeman of Trentino and I was asked to do talks on via ferrata
weve gone straight from the show to overnight in a snow at just about every outdoor and travel show in the UK.
hole just below the summit of Mont Blanc, climbed the in- Whats more, climbing the via ferrata inspired me to take
timidating slopes of the Eiger and, for more years than I can up rock climbing and mountaineering in a far more serious
remember, record the fantastic via ferrata routes in Germany, way than ever before which culminated on summits in the
Austria and Italy. Himalaya, Alps, Africa and North America.
Adventure Travel has a proud history in opening up the Walt Unsworth became a friend, he wrote many features for
Alpine via ferrata routes to UK walkers and hikers, and that Adventure Travel and, being the co-founder of the guidebook
all stemmed from a day in 1997 when I picked up a book ti- publishing company Cicerone, offered me valuable advice in
tled Far Horizons and penned by the outdoors author Walt how to run a publishing company. Over the past 10 years Id
Unsworth. On page 27 (it may have been 35) there was an old lost touch with Walt, hed retired and my leisure time was
photograph of a guy decked out in a checked shirt and leder- focused in other directions, but I still cant look at the Alps
hosen standing on a ridiculously exposed narrow ledge in the or Adventure Travel without a nod to Walt. It was with great
middle of a monstrous, vertical rock face in the Dolomites. sadness that I found out in Friedrichshafen that Walt had
For all intents and purposes, the finely dressed subject passed away on 12 June at the age of 87.

26 J U L | A U G 2 0 1 7 www.wiredforadventure.co.uk
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from the past


In the 1930s Polish adventurer Kazimierz Nowak became the first person to
cycle the entire length of Africa, fending off attacks from wildlife and defeating all the
odds to complete the round trip. Roger Bunyan has more HEROES
Mediterranean and take a safer, more east- Africa would not allow him to cross the
erly route. This he did and followed the Nile desert by cycle and suggested he join a
Valley through Egypt, across Sudan and the caravan going north. So Kazimierz, wish-
African Great Lakes. The terrain was ex- ing to continue travelling alone, bought a
tremely challenging and quite unsuitable for camel and formed a caravan of one! He
cycling. He constantly had to be alert to the spent the next five months crossing the
many potential dangers. Crossing the Saha- Sahara until he reached the settlement of
ra he suffered from dehydration and during Ouargla and then continued to Algiers by
sandstorms he took to burying himself in bicycle. In November 1936, as he entered
the sand to survive. the city, he had completed a round journey
In the Sudan he was set upon by a prowl- of 25,000 miles!
ing lion and faced a hippo attack in Angola.
He was very often hungry, but despite all His return to Poland
these difficulties he grew very fond of the
Kazimierz spent the last of his money
wild beauty he found throughout his Afri-
buying warmer clothes and a ticket to cross
can journey. Kazimierz made friends with
the Mediterranean. In December, he arrived
the local peoples he met as he travelled
back in Pozna to the jubilation of his family
Adventurer: southward and became fascinated with
and friends. Over the following months he
their traditions and culture. However, he
Kazimierz Nowak gave lectures across Poland about his Af-
had a tendency to steer clear of any Eu-
rican adventure. Unfortunately, his journey
ropean settlements as he disagreed with
had taken its toll: he was exhausted, suffered
their imperial and exploitative sentiments.
frequent bouts of malaria and had developed
Who was he? In April 1934, he reached the southern tip
periostitis in his leg which required surgery.
Kazimierz Nowak was a Polish adventur- of South Africa at Cape Agulhas.
Sadly, whist in hospital, he contracted pneu-
er, photographer and journalist who, during monia and died, less than a year after his
the 1930s, made a journey across Africa. He
His return journey return home.
is credited as being the first person to cycle Whilst in Cape Town Kazimierz was
across the entire length of the continent, as offered a ticket back to Europe by ship. An extraordinary traveller
well as being the first to have travelled alone Instead, he chose to return overland, this
Kazimierz Nowak was a unique individ-
across Africa and back again. time taking a more westerly route back.
ual, determined to travel the length of a
In the middle of the Kalahari Desert his
HIS earlier life largely unknown Africa, entirely on his own
faithful bicycle eventually fell apart! Fortu-
and exposed to a host of dangers. Kazimi-
As a young man from his home in Pozna, nately, a Polish settler provided him with a
erz recorded his journey by both his writing
Kazimierz discovered the pleasure of riding horse which allowed him to continue into
and photography. His story should provide
a bicycle, a simple way of getting to know Angola. On reaching the River Kassai, he
inspiration for all adventurers!
his native land. He worked for an insurance exchanged his horse for a locally made
company and during days off, would take to boat. Unfortunately, whilst negotiating
some rapids, his vessel was destroyed so
Find out more:
the road and photograph the locations he
visited. In 1922 he married Maria and with- Kazimierz continued by foot until he pur- Search Kazimierz Nowak Pionier Polsk-
in three years, a daughter and a son had chased another boat. His river adventures iego Reportau in Google to find a biogra-
been born. On losing his job, and needing ended at Leopoldville where he obtained phy of Kazimierz Nowak, or type Kazimierz
to support his family, he decided to become another bike which he rode to Lake Chad. Nowak - podr ycia into YouTube to see a
a journalist and photographer, travelling There, the authorities of French Equatorial Polish film about him.
across Europe on his bike. In 1928 he found
himself in North Africa as a reporter cover-
ing a war in Libya and whilst there he began
formulating his great African adventure!

His bike journey across Africa

In November 1931, Kazimierz began a
bike trip from the north to the south of Af-
rica. He travelled alone and wrote articles
and took pictures en route, which he then
sold to the press. From Tripoli he headed
south into the Sahara Desert with his age-
ing bicycle. After many hundreds of miles
he reached an oasis. There, the Italian In the desert. Among Shilluki people.
authorities suggested he returned to the

28 J U L | A U G 2 0 1 7 www.wiredforadventure.co.uk
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Rob Slade previews the events you need to get booked in this summer

Sir Ranulph Fiennes: Mind Over Matter inspirational speakers and live music.
27-18 Hes one of Britains most renowned (and remark- When n where: 11-13 August at Gwernhefin
Jun-Jul able) explorers, having broken record upon record Farm in Bala, Snowdonia, LL23 7YH.
and completed daring expedition after daring How: For more information and tickets head to
expedition. In his Mind Over Matter tour, you can www.snowdonia-outdoorfestival.co.uk. Prices for
hear from the man himself as he offers a personal the weekend start at 120 for an adult.
journey through his life to present day, including
his Transglobe Expedition and his current re- Adventure Travel Film Festival
cord-breaking Global Reach Challenge. This is a film festival with a difference. Hand-
When n where: Various dates and locations Aug picked by festival curators Austin Vince and
from 27 June in Guildford through to 18 July in Poole. Lois Pryce, the selected films are inspiring and
How: Check out www.speakersfromtheedge.com thought-provoking in equal measure. From pad-
for more information. dling along the Amazon in a self-made dugout
canoe to cycling from the tip of Norway to Cape
Wilderness Festival Town, theres plenty to get stuck into. Once youve
had enough of the films there are also speakers
3-6 Taking place in the ancient parkland of Cornbury
Park in Oxfordshire, Wilderness Festival is a feast such as Benedict Allen, expert Q&A sessions and
Aug for all the senses. The beats are being provided by useful workshops.
the likes of Two Door Cinema Club, the Toots and When n where: 11-13 August at Mill Hill
the Maytals and Hudson Taylor while the outdoor School, London, NW7.
fun comes in the form of wild swimming, country- How: Tickets (starting from 89 for the week-
side excursions and sessions with Hunter Gather end) and further details are available from
Cook, where you can learn about hunting, foraging www.adventuretravelfilmfestival.com.
and wild cooking.
When n where: 3-6 August at Cornbury Park, Wilderness Gathering
Oxfordshire, OX7 3DG. 16-20 Wilderness Gathering is a social event celebrating
How: Head to www.wildernessfestival.com for Aug everything about bushcraft, survival and primitive
more information. Weekend tickets are available living skills. Over five days this family friendly
from 178. event offers endless, hands-on opportunities
including firelighting, shelter building, trapping,
bow making, archery, axe throwing and hundreds
Snowdonia Outdoor Festival of other activities. With camping, music and open
11-13 New this year from the people behind Keswick fires, this is an event that is bound to send every-
Aug Mountain Festival, Snowdonia Outdoor Festival one home happy.
takes a formula that already works and replicates
it among the stunning mountain scenery of North When n where: 16-20 August at Bush Farm
Wales. Activities for the whole family are avail- Bison Centre, West Knoyle, Wiltshire, BA12 6AE.
able including mountain walks, canoeing, gorge How: Day tickets start from 15 and weekend
walking and rafting to name a few. There will also tickets from 95. Find out more and get tickets at
be running, cycling and swimming events, plus www.wildernessgathering.co.uk.

30 J U L | A U G 2 0 1 7 www.wiredforadventure.co.uk

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J U L | A U G 2 0 1 7 www.wiredforadventure.co.uk
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Jules Mountain 9.99
Downhill From Here
Gavin Boyter 9.99 In April 2015 cancer-survivor Jules Mountain arrived at Everest
Base Camp intending to take on a new challenge his lifelong
www.sandstonepress.com ambition to stand on top of the world. But, as he arrived the
worst earthquake to hit Nepal in living memory struck, setting off
John OGroats to Lands End is certainly a popular journey an avalanche that would take the lives of many. Aftershock is a
among the most competitive outdoors-folk on the British Islands. heart-stopping eyewitness account of Everests deadliest day in
But while many tend to jump in a saddle and complete the chal- history, as Jules and those around him face a range of tough de-
lenge on two wheels, Gavin Boyter decided to run it. He had been cisions on whether or not to seek safety, push on or help with the
a club runner all his life, performing admirably but never really relief effort. RS
striking out to the front. So, he thought, what could an ordinary
runner like himself be capable of? In Downhill From Here
youll find an in-depth account of this mammoth and chal-
lenging journey. RS
Walking in the High Tatras
Colin Saunders and Renta
Nrozn 17.95

Exploring Irelands Wild As we have all come to expect from a Cicerone guide, Walking
in the High Tatras offers a comprehensive and detailed overview of
Atlantic Way a wide range of walking in the rugged peaks of Poland and Slo-
vakia. The guide features 180 walks and scrambles ranging from
David Flanagan & Richard under a mile to those hitting the 18-mile mark. The book details
routes for all abilities and offers information on the history, cul-
Creagh 18.95 ture, wildlife, accommodation and public transport options sur-
www.threerockbooks.com rounding the routes. This is a handy and detailed guide for anyone
interested in the area. RS
Irelands Atlantic Coast is a destination of pure beauty, and as
much as its great to look at, its rugged nature makes it perfect
for outdoor adventures too. Exploring Irelands Wild Atlantic Way is
packed full of ideas explaining how you can make the most of the
Wild Guide: Scotland
coastline, with detailed information on the various hiking, cycling,
camping along the route. With stunning photography and an im-
Kimberley Grant, David Cooper
pressive depth of knowledge, this is an essential guide for anyone
heading to the west coast of Ireland. RS
& Richard Gaston 16.99
Once again Wild Things Publishing delivers with a fantastic
book both in style and substance. Wild Guide: Scotland delves into
all that makes Scotland great, highlighting the copious number of
secret adventures the country holds. From pristine lochs that are
Trekking the Swiss Alpine perfect for wild swimming to fantastic mountain hikes that offer
up the most perfect wild camping spots, this book serves as end-
Pass Route Via Alpina 1 less inspiration for your Scottish adventures. Im not lying when

Kev Reynolds 16.95 I say that the book has made me very tempted to turn my up-
coming three-day trip to the Cairngorms into a three-week jaunt
www.cicerone.co.uk around many of the beautiful locations revealed in this book. RS

Running for roughly 240 miles, the Alpine Pass Route traverses
Switzerland in its entirety, taking you from Liechtenstein on its
eastern border, all the way to Montreux on its western flank. The
Great Glen Way
route is an incredible one, leading you through picture-perfect
valleys and across 16 mountain passes, but with a cumulative
Jim Manthorpe 11.99
height gain of over 20,000m, its no mean feat. Walking the entire www.trailblazer-guides.com
route normally takes up to three weeks, but there are various dif-
ferent route options throughout, so youll need to know your stuff. Winding its way between Fort William and Inverness, the 79-
Luckily, this Cicerone guide details everything you need, includ- mile Great Glen Way is a beautiful long-distance hiking route
ing route information and details of the accommodation options which can sometimes be overlooked for the neighbouring West
along the way. An indispensable resource. RS Highland Way. But it shouldnt be, as it offers fantastic views
across Loch Lochy, Loch Oich and Loch Ness while remaining a
relatively low-level route. With this in mind, its a great option as
a first long-distance route and the Trailblazer guide is the perfect
companion, offering directions, walking maps and helpful advice
for the entire route. RS

www.wiredforadventure.co.uk J U L | A U G 2 0 1 7 33
New gear


hot stuff Top-Out Hoody 65

When you think about good looking gear
that offers brilliant performance, Rab is
normally one of the first brands that springs
to mind, and with the Top-Out Hoody, it looks
like this is set to continue. It comes in five
different colours (including a rusty orange,
dark grey and deep purple), is incredibly soft
to touch and feels light when in use.
Using Rabs drirelease stretch fabric, the
Top-Out Hoody is said to offer excellent mois-
dehydrated meals
From 6.50
Dehydrated food doesnt necessarily
come with the greatest reputation in the
world. It doesnt sound that appetising
and over the years various brands have
come under fire with questions raised
about the nutritional value of the meals.
FIREPOTs meals were developed to
deliver healthy, hearty food that wont
ture wicking capabilities as well as being fast weigh you down or keep you waiting and
drying and odour resistant. The deep chest after trying them out on a weekend in
zip also helps to provide ample venting when Exmoor it seems like they do just that.
things start getting heated, while a hood They are super light to carry around, easy
and deep cuffs with thumb loops offer extra to prepare (just add water) and taste re-
warmth when needed. In essence, its an ally good too. Theres a range of options
ideal summer layering made with natural ingredients (youll find
piece which will no artificial additives, flavourings or pre-
probably live servatives here) including chili con carne,
up to its task posh pork and beans and orzo pasta
no matter the bolognese. Whats not to like? RS
adventure. RS

We take a look at the

latest kit from the world
of adventure

34 J U L | A U G 2 0 1 7 www.wiredforadventure.co.uk
New gear

Lowe Alpine Columbia Helly Hansen

Klettersack 30 Jackson Creek II Odin 9 Worlds
80 60 Jacket 300
www.lowealpine.com www.columbia.com www.hellyhansen.com
The Klettersack is a heritage-inspired Designed for use on the trail or as an The Odin 9 Worlds Jacket arrived in the
30-litre rucksack that Lowe Alpine extra layer in winter, the Jackson Creek AT office as part of a wider VIP package
released to coincide with the brands II is one of those pieces of gear which complete with virtual reality set. It was
50th birthday. Theres no getting past appears as if it will be equally at home quite the entrance, and after spending a
just how good it looks, with its retro around town as it will be on the trail. Its bit of time looking like an idiot while be-
styling and a range of awesome colours constructed of polyester, has chest and ing immersed in a VR sailing adventure,
making it something that would look hand pockets and features some really I turned my attention to the waterproof
equally as good around town as it would sweet styling details such as contrast jacket. Helly Hansen intends it to be a
in the hills. Its not a case of all style, zips. The three pockets offer good stor- durable outdoor jacket that will keep you
no substance either, with lots of fine age space and we found the fit to be spot protected and comfortable for extend-
details offering impressive practicality. on too, with lengthy arms being much ed periods of time, and while weve yet
The 30-litre storage space is likely to appreciated. Available in graphite, blue to properly test it, it certainly looks the
be plenty for most and is accessed via a or black, the Jackson Creek II is a gar- part. Its constructed out of a three-layer
top-loader style opening which is fas- ment that seems to offer style and per- material which is said to be highly
tened by a toggle and clips. There is an formance in equal measure. RS breathable and waterproof,
interior sleeve for a hydration bladder or has a high-visibility lam-
laptop, zip pockets inside and in the lid inated hood brim and
for safe storage, plus a leather material has large, harness
on the bottom for added abrasion resist- compatible pockets
ance. Not bad RS too. Watch this
space. RS

www.wiredforadventure.co.uk J U L | A U G 2 0 1 7 35
New gear

Salewa Mountain Trainer GTX DrinkPure Water Filter 60

135 With more and more people heading outdoors and interest in
bushcraft/survival on the rise, the demand for water purification
With a Vibram Alpine Approach sole, a Gore-Tex lining and a devices has only grown in recent years. There are a raft of op-
durable suede leather upper, this shoe from Salewa is a seri- tions on the market already, but weve never seen anything quite
ous piece of kit. Unsurprisingly then, its designed for technical like the DrinkPure Water Filter before. Essentially, it looks like
hiking, via ferratas and trekking and this is reflected by the stiff a giant rubber bath plug, but beneath the surface there is much
sole, firm support and large rubber rand. The Mountain Trainer more going on. Inside, a filter removes pathogens from water
GTX also features Salewas patented technologies which offer an by effectively removing bacteria, protozoa and cysts as well as
Alpine fit 100% blister-free guarantee. As someone who strug- other contaminants. The flow rate is said to be 10% higher than
gles with shoes being too narrow, I actually found the shoes to a lot of other membranes, so you wont be waiting around forev-
fit very well and the climbing-style lacing extends right to the tip er, while activated carbon has also been included to neutralise
of the toe to offer a more precise fit. As an all-round hiking shoe odours. Importantly, a new self-disinfecting prefilter medium
with enough about them to handle more challenging terrain, the ensures bacteria is eliminated when the filter is in storage. Eat
Mountain Trainer GTX seems to be a great contender. RS your heart out Bear Grylls. RS

Peli Products iPad Case 53.58 Huel FROM 12

www.peliproducts.co.uk www.huel.com
Its almost a fact of life now that when youre going away Having seen quite a bit about Huel on the internet I was intrigued to
youll be taking tech with you, be it your phone, laptop or tab- find out what it was all about and was more than happy to give it a go.
let. Thats all well and good (as long as you dont stay glued Essentially, its a nutritionally complete powdered food that contains
to it!), but travelling puts these mega-expensive purchases at all the proteins, carbs and fats you need, plus at least 100% of the
risk, so you need to look after them. Enter Peli Products. The European Unions Daily Recommended Amounts of all 26 essential
company makes protective cases for a range of uses, includ- vitamins and minerals. The idea is that people use Huel to replace
ing keeping your iPad safe. The iPad case is said to be impact snacks or meals when they are short on time. Its vegan-friendly, high
protected, crushproof and watertight up to one metre for 30 in protein, high in fibre and is low in sugar. Its also available as bars,
minutes. Its fully cushioned inside and also so theres definitely scope to use it as a snack in the mountains or as
acts as a stand, offering four screen a replacement breakfast on multi-day trips. After passing it around
angle settings. RS the office, the jury is still out on the texture though RS

36 J U L | A U G 2 0 1 7 www.wiredforadventure.co.uk
The Lightest Premium
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Adventure Academy

Make your next adventure a success with lessons from our experts:

p40 Photography: How to successfully capture wildlife

p42 Mountain Skills: How colours can help you navigate

p44 Health & Fitness: How to stay fuelled in the mountains

p46 Bushcraft: How to gut a sh

www.wiredforadventure.co.uk J U L | A U G 2 0 1 7 39
Adventure Academy

How to successfully
capture wildlife

heres a simple reason why we all love walk-

ing/rambling/climbing/cycling so much the

T great outdoors. Within that space, we share our

landscapes with endless numbers of amazing
animals, from the golden eagles of the High-
lands through to the ibex of the Alps.
My obsession with wildlife photography actually started with my
love of hiking. Being out there allows you to encounter animals
in the most spectacular of places and capturing those moments
became my love.
However, wildlife photography isnt easy, and its certainly
tougher to master than landscape photography. Whether you want
to simply capture snaps of wildlife on the fly, or want to spend
more time following certain species, here are some wildlife pho-
tography tips to help you take better pictures on your travels.

1. Gear up
Thanks to huge technological advancements in digital cameras, the whos writing?
barrier to get into wildlife photography has become significantly lower.
To get started, invest in a decent DSLR (think Nikon D3300) with GEORGE TURNER is a 20-something wildlife
an entry-level telephoto lens (around 300mm). Bridge cameras and landscape photographer. When not out in
work too, but the light sensitivity that a DSLR gives you proves the fields of Dorset, he can be found anywhere
immensely useful in low-light conditions. If youre feeling creative, between the savannahs of Kenya and the wetlands
invest in a wide angle (anything under 35mm) to show animals in of Zambia. His website is www.georgetheexplorer.com and
the great landscapes that they call home. you can follow him on Instagram at @GeorgeTheExplorer
(landscape) and @GeorgeBTurner (wildlife).
2. Plan ahead and do your research
As with any trip, research your intended shooting locations Being at eye level allows for a stronger emotional bond between
before you want to start taking pictures. Study how the light of sun- the subject and the viewer. You want a viewer to feel part of the
rise or sunset changes the environment, find dens or roosting sites environment that your subject lives in.
and, of course, witness the behaviour of your subjects.
Wildlife is inherently unpredictable, which is exciting but some-
times frustrating. Pick a species you want to photograph and do
4. Use light to your advantage
your research. When are they most active? Where do they live? As with all photography, lighting is everything. For wildlife
What do they eat? How do they react to a human presence? photography, there are three general categories: backlighting/rim
Understanding the innate behaviours of your chosen animal will light, standard lighting (direct on subject) and silhouetting.
not only bring better sightings, but ultimately, allow you to reflect To choose your approach, consider both the type of light and
their character in your photography. character of the animal. If youre photographing a deer in the
autumn time, for example, you might want to consider how the sun
illuminates the antlers of a stag.
3. Get low
When setting up, whether on the heaths of the Scottish Highlands
or the tors of Dartmoor, youll want to get as low as you physically
5. Frame it right
can. Practically, youre far less visible to the animal. Photographi- The right framing separates the good from the great. With long
cally, the image will be far more powerful. focal lengths, even a slight shuffle to the left or right could change

40 J U L | A U G 2 0 1 7 www.wiredforadventure.co.uk
Adventure Academy

the image entirely, so dont just snap away without thinking. Think
about how the landscape behind or in front of your subject works
7. Be persistent and love the experience
within the image. Wildlife photography is one of the hardest mediums of all. You
Thats not to say you shouldnt take a picture if the frame isnt need good light, interesting landscapes, ideal weather conditions,
perfect, though. If youre in the midst of photographing your sub- and an animal and, of course, for said animal to be doing some-
ject and it suddenly moves, keep in mind that slightly off-framing thing interesting.
is better than an image with no animal at all. The reality is that most outings wont meet the lofty expecta-
tions that you set for yourself with so many variables, the odds
are always against you. However, persistence and a real passion
6. Tell a story for wildlife are key, and when it does come off, theres no better
Light, framing and backgrounds all come together to tell a story feeling in photography.
around the subject. The best wildlife photography always creates Sitting in the woods listening to the dawn chorus, seeing the
intrigue in the viewer and gives an understanding of behaviour and sun rise above the horizon, hearing deer rushing around you. No
environment. matter where you are in the world, enjoying the experience is the
Hares in long grass, little owls sitting on a post with a forest- most important thing of all. Wildlife photography is the perfect
ed background, bears lounging under a tree; whilst the eye is excuse to get out and enjoy natures greatest wonders and once
naturally drawn to the subject, its important the whole scene you truly get to grips with it youll find a whole new world will
tells a story. open up to you.

www.wiredforadventure.co.uk J U L | A U G 2 0 1 7 41
Adventure Academy

How colours can help
you navigate

whos writing?
ALEX WILLIAMS is a lecturer at the School of
Adventure Studies, West Highland College, which
is part of the University of the Highlands and
Islands. She is a mountaineering instructor and
international mountain leader, having previously
spent a decade leading expeditions all around
the globe, as well as training and assessing
mountain leaders, and teaching navigation at
both the UKs national centres. She now teaches
tourism related modules, with adventure, and
marine and coastal contexts. Find out about the
courses at www.whc.uhi.ac.uk/adventure.

42 J U L | A U G 2 0 1 7 www.wiredforadventure.co.uk
Adventure Academy

nce you get into the hills, away from the bright pink of A
roads, four main colours stand out on an OS map. Some

O are more useful than the others. Which should be your

number one colour for map interpretation? If you were to
return to the mountains in 50 years, which colours would
still give you accurate information?

Significant rock features and human-made features such as paths,
boundary walls, fences and power-lines.
Anything put there by humans can be taken away by humans. Paths
may grow over, power-lines may be dismantled, and fallen fences can
even be walked across without seeing them in the dark. Rock fea-
tures are less likely to change, but are not generally drawn accurately
enough for micro navigation. They give an indication of terrain, but
a millimetre-wide gap between black squiggles may not relate to a
smooth, rock-free corridor.
Reliability 3/10: Use with caution to reinforce other information.

Rights of way, outside of access land, on 1:25,000 maps. Paler green rep-
resents forested areas.
A Right of Way is not the same thing as a path. While they often lie
together, green dashed lines sometimes strike out alone across a bare
hillside. Without accompanying black dashes, this only means you are
allowed to be there. There may not be any sign of a path on the ground.
Forests are often crops that are felled, and access routes get altered.
Reliability 3/10: Use with caution to reinforce other information.

Water features, from boggy ground, streams, lakes and rivers, to the sea.
A single thin blue line will actually be mapped very accurately a 10m
oxbow should be findable unless the stream has dried up or changed
course. That single line can be anything up to four metres wide, so you
may be able to step across, or it may be an impassable torrent. Also
consider that a stream in a deep gully is less likely to dry up than one me-
andering across an open slope (and if it does dry up, you can still identify
the gully!). The larger the feature, the more reliable. Loch Lomond or
Wastwater are unlikely to disappear overnight.
Reliability 5/10: If it hasnt rained in weeks, single lines may dry up.

Orangey brown
Contour lines! An invaluable overlay, representing the shape of the land.
Unless we have tectonic plate shift, or significant volcanic eruption, not
much is changing barring the odd landslip. Contours should be your
number one map colour, allowing practice of the art of navigation, (sci-
ence being all that technical stuff bearings, pacing, timings, measure-
ments). If you can tune into contours you can move confidently through the
landscape, especially in good visibility. A 10m interval is about the apex
of a two storey pitched roof house. Get into the habit of visualising how
many contours make up a chosen feature, then check your guess with the
map. If contour interpretation seems like a dark art, try imagining a great
Crown copyright and database rights 2017 Ordnance Survey
flood if water was lapping at your boots, where would the shore line lie?
Follow around the features with your eyes. A ring contour becomes an
island. A finger shape becomes a peninsula, and corries are bays.
FINAL TIP: Reliability 9/10: The missing point is down to possible user error.
Do a four-point check. Does the information in Moving confidently using contours takes practice!.
front, around AND behind you really fit where Navigating with an OS map will need a mix of information from all
you think you are? colours, but orangey brown (contours) should always be number one.

www.wiredforadventure.co.uk J U L | A U G 2 0 1 7 43
Adventure Academy


How to stay fuelled
in the mountains

whos writing?
ROB MARTINEAU is Co-Founder of natural
sports nutrition brand, TRIBE, where he heads
up product development. He is an experienced
endurance athlete, having completed a 1,000-
mile run across Eastern Europe, a 10,000 mile
cycle across Africa, numerous ultra-marathons,
and some great hikes (including long distance
walks across West Africa and America). TRIBE is
one of the UKs leading natural sports nutrition
brands and athletic communities. Check out
their range atwww.wearetribe.co.

44 J U L | A U G 2 0 1 7 www.wiredforadventure.co.uk
Adventure Academy

nowdon, Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike Whatever youre

attempting to climb, you need to make sure youre

S fuelled right throughout the day. Here, TRIBE

co-founder Rob Martineau outlines the ultimate fuel
plan for your hike.

Nutritionists say its the most important meal of the day and yet most of
us skip it, or fill ourselves with sugary cereals. If youve got eight hours of
hiking ahead of you, you need a good breakfast. These are my go-to options:

A bowl of oats and milk will give you roughly 45g carbohydrate, 15g
protein and 15g fats. Its a pretty complete meal in terms of macros,
is low in sugar and acts as great source of slow-release carbs.
These, along with good fats, are the best source of energy for a long
distance endeavour.If you want some additional calories, go for nut
butter or fruit on top. I have this breakfast before every marathon.

For a higher protein breakfast, this is a goodie. Two kippers on
two slices of brown bread will give you roughly 35g carbohy-
drate, 45g protein and 28g fat. Have a banana at the foot of the
slope to give you an additional carb boost.


If youre camping and want an early start (i.e. dont want to cook),
these are a great option. We built them for the toughest endurance
challenges, and they give you a great complex of nutrients. Theyre
built from five endurance grains (including teff, the Ethiopian
supergrain), include natural ingredients only, and deliver 40g com-
plex carbohydrate per bar. Theyre made for this type of adventure.

Throughout the hike

Throughout the day of walking, youll need to keep fuelled and hydrated
to keep your energy levels up.Youll be running off a mix of energy
derived from fat reserves and carbohydrate (which you store as muscle
glycogen). Top up these fuels as you go, and make sure you keep eating
through the day.
I first started looking at nutrition when preparing for a running event
called the Marathon des Sables (six marathonsin seven days across
the Sahara). You have to carry all your food for the week in your pack for
that race, so you have to pack only foods that deliver. I started looking at
nutrient density of foods then: how much nutrition and energy each gram
of food provides. I fuelled myself mostly off trail mix as the combination
of nuts and dried fruits are incredibly naturally high in nutrients.
Other than trail mix, great options are natural energy bars, nut butter
sachets and bananas. The most important thing is to keep topping up.For
hydration, drink little and often. If its hot, make sure to add some elec-
trolytes to your water bottle (sodium is the critical one here, so even just
adding salt will help).

After being on your feet for eight or more hours the first thing you need
to do is eat and replenish what youve spent.The key nutrients here are
protein and carbohydrate, and taking something in within an hour of
finishing. As a rule of thumb, aim for a meal or post-hike snack that gives
you 20g protein, and at least a 2:1 carb/protein ratio (i.e. 40g carbohy-
drate). Always do your best to use natural ingredients as these are richer
in micro-nutrients and easier for our bodies to absorb. Giving your body
these nutrients will help you recover so you can go again the next day.

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Adventure Academy

How to gut a fish

46 J U L | A U G 2 0 1 7 www.wiredforadventure.co.uk
Adventure Academy

f you are living off the land or have landed yourself in a

survival situation then finding food is one of your main

I priorities. The general rule of thumb suggests that

you should seek shelter and then water first, followed
by food. Not only will it halt your hunger, improve your
mood and boost morale, but it will also give you the
essential energy you need to either attempt to thrive in your environment
or seek safety.
When it comes to sourcing food, beyond what you can find around you
on the ground, fish represent one of the more sustainable and attainable
options and are commonplace in wilderness scenarios. With that in mind,
we are going to explain a simple way you can gut a fish after it has been
killed and prepare it for cooking without much fuss. To do this, youll
simply need a sharp knife.

1. Opening it up
The very first thing you need to do is empty the fishs bowels and to do
this youll have to gently pinch the underside of the fish toward the neck
and run your fingers along the edge all the way to its anus. After any con-
tents have been deposited, rinse off the fish and grab your knife. Youll
need to carefully insert the tip of your knife into the fishs anus near the
tail, and slowly work it towards the head and the base of the gills.

2. Ringing the neck

Once you have completed your incision along the underside of the fish,
your next job will be to ring the neck of the fish. Essentially, this means
youll need to create an incision from where you finished the last one,
but this time heading around the fishs neck until you make it back to the
start. Take care as you go and remember you dont need to cut too deep.
When cutting around the spine (at the top) of the fish, be sure to go right
down to the bone.

3. Ringing the tail

After ringing the neck with your knife, do the same at the tail, start-
ing out from where your initial incision finished. The same rules apply
as above.

4. Separating the meat from the spine

The next step requires a lot of care and a willingness to get a bit
messy. You wont need your knife, so be sure to put it away safely in its
sheath. Take a firm grip of the fish with the head facing toward you and
then start to separate the meat and skin from the carcass by firmly
pushing your fingers and thumb along either side of the spine with a
pinching motion. This is a tricky bit and youll want to regularly check
that you arent leaving meat on the carcass but are in fact separating it
properly. Work your way down the length of the fish until the bottom,
where the fillet of fish should pull away from the carcass. All you need to
do now is responsibly dispose of the remains, cook your fish over an open
fire and enjoy!


We picked up our skills on a 24 hour course at the Bear Grylls
Survival Academy. On the course we learnt about fire lighting,
shelter building, foraging, trapping, tracking and sourcing
clean water, plus so much more. The courses are available in
various lengths (24 hours, two days, four days etc) and can be
found in a range of locations across the UK. Find out more by
heading to www.beargryllssurvivalacademy.com.
Incision lines

www.wiredforadventure.co.uk J U L | A U G 2 0 1 7 47
Much more than a map-
an affordable piece of
essential equipment

Maps of popular
walking areas and
long distance trails
Detailed mapping
Tough and technical
100% waterproof
Clear and easy to read

HARVEY - 40 years of original mapping

Tel: 01786 841202

Sunday 1 October
Kings House Sports Ground, Chiswick, W4 2SH

Choose your distance:

55-mile, 35-mile or 8-mile circuit

Enter online
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Untitled-1 1 15/06/2017 11:58

UK Adventure

Make the most of those precious two days with our cracking UK adventures


Rob Slade embarks We head south for seaside
on coastal adventures walking and country pubs

Rory Southworth tackles

Colin Henderson takes on
one of the UKs finest ridges
a 36-mile route in Scotland

Blencathra p54 p56 Tranters Round

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UK Adventure


Adventures on

the Gower Rob Slade and his partner head to South Wales to nd out why the Gower
is worth your time and eort this summer.




e started our trip in Ox- turned inland and returned to the car via Oxwich Castle.
wich Bay where, after After a chilled night, we set off to the coast again the next
an unbelievable lunch day, but this time it was for something a bit more adren-
at a restaurant called aline-fuelled. We were going coasteering. Looked after by
the Beach House, we the fine folks at RipnRock (www.ripnrock.co.uk), we spent
set off on a coastal walk the afternoon swimming along the coast, scrambling on
around the headland. From Oxwich Bay we walked across rocks and taking countless leaps of faith with a series of cliff
the beach and along the headland under a dense canopy of jumps. Luckily, we were blessed with fine weather and the
trees. Gradually, the track wound its way up along the coast afternoon flew by. While Pembrokeshire is and always will
and occasionally a break in the trees would reveal a beautiful be the home of coasteering, its definitely worth branching
vista of rocks, sea and sand beyond. away to some lesser-known spots with smaller crowds and
The track eventually emerged from the woods and we plenty of opportunities to scare yourself silly as you launch
headed along the coast track with panoramic views of deep boldly into the unknown.
blue waters and the surrounding coastline. There are various The next day we were up bright and early for our second
parts along this route where you can head up to a vantage walk of the weekend, a circular route along Whiteford Sands
point and wed definitely recommend it for stunning views and back again through the Whiteford National Nature
across the bay. As we progressed around the other side of Reserve (check out www.visitswanseabay.com for more
the headland we were treated to views of impressive, craggy details). Unlike our first walk, the views here offered more
cliffs which rose sharply from the ground and looked like intrigue as opposed to smack-you-in-the-face beauty, with
something out of Jurassic Park. For me, this was the high- wide open sand flats and salt marshes being the order of the
light of the walk. With imposing cliffs on one side and the day. Afterwards, there was only one thing left to do get a
wide open ocean on the other, it really is a sight to behold. roast large enough to feed a whole family from the Welcome
Eventually, we made it to a cove called The Sands, where we to Town in Llanrhidian before heading home.

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UK Adventure

Where to stay
We did some glamping on a
Scamper Holidays site near
Llangennith, which proved to
be an ideal location for the
walks and activities mentioned
in this article. We found our
hut to be perfectly-equipped
and incredibly cosy, while the
decking and outside seating
was the perfect place to watch
a sunset.

Where to eat
Head to the Beach House on
Oxwich Bay to be both fed
and treated like royalty with
beautiful views, or the Kings
Head Inn in Llangennith for a
proper pub with an awesome
atmosphere. The King Arthur
Hotel in Reynoldston is also
worth checking out for deli-
cious food in a beautiful loca-
tion, while Welcome to Town
in Llanrhidian is the place to
be on a Sunday for an incred-
ible roast with Yorkshires as
big as your face.

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UK Adventure

nearby hikes
Head further east and youll
find plenty of fantastic day
walks along the Jurassic Coast
including the mind-numbingly
beautiful Durdle Door and
Lulworth Cove. We recom-
mend heading there at sunrise
or sunset for the best views.

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UK Adventure


Old Harry
With the customary spring heatwave in full swing, Rob Slade takes a trip south
for coastal walking and pub garden dwelling.






hat the south lacks in on one side and the wildlife-rich heathland on the other.
rocky ridges and im- Before long, we climbed away from the beach, up a road and
posing crags, it certain- along a cliff top path with amazing views stretching all the
ly makes up for with way across the bay to the Needles on the Isle of White.
beautiful seascapes and Its hard to focus on much else but the views on this
dramatic cliffs. And stretch, but keep your eyes on the left of the path as there is a
on a crisp spring day, theres not much that can beat it. So, small trail that shoots off between some trees for panoramic
when a mini heatwave sprung a pleasant surprise in May I views that rival much of what the South Coast has to offer.
roped in my dad for a coastal adventure and jumped in the Theres a narrow headland just a few feet wide that juts out
car for the drive south, excited for what a couple of days of above the water with chalk cliffs making way either side and
sun might bring. from here the panoramic views are jaw-dropping.
After an overnight stop in the achingly beautiful New For- After re-joining the main track we eventually approached
est, we made the journey to Poole and onwards to Sandbanks. Handfast Point which was undeniably the highlight of the
A short chain ferry ride then took us across the mouth of walk. This is where youll find the showstopper, Old Har-
Poole Harbour to Studland (the end of the South West Coast ry Rocks. These stunning chalk formations stand in stark
Path). This is a great option as a starting point for walking to contrast to the inviting blue waters surrounding them and
Old Harry Rocks, taking you along Studland Beach on the photographers will have a field day. Walk a little further south
South West Coast Path. If you do decide to start from here, we and youll gain some fantastic viewpoints of the coast which
should probably warn you that there is a stretch which is des- make for an excellent pit stop.
ignated as a naturist area. From here, youll be looking at an From here, you can either head further south to Swanage
eight-mile round hike to Old Harry Rocks and back. or, like we did, head back the way you came via The Bankes
We started our walk a little further south and ventured Arms for a well-deserved post-walk pint in the pub garden.
along the beach, flanked by the calm waters of Studland Bay The perfect way to finish a hike

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UK Adventure


Blencathra Rory Southworth heads out onto one of the Lake Districts nest ridges.





f you leave the M6 at junction 40 and with snowball fights and impromptu sledding. Walking
drive for 15 minutes you come across into the hostel with tired legs and wet boots, we retired
Blencathra. It may not be the tallest to the log burner.
mountain in the Lake District, its not The next day was where the challenging hiking started
even in the top five, but it certainly after a short walk from the hostel to the foot of Blencath-
feels more of a mountain than most. It ra. The route saw us tackle Halls Fell Ridge, another great
has an almost alpine feel when you ascend any one of the grade one scramble to the summit of Blencathra that can
six ridges that can lead you to the summit at 868m. be made as hard or easy as you want due to the easier path
Found in the northern part of the Lake District, Blen- that runs alongside the ridge.
cathra is home to Sharp Edge, a classic grade one scramble The summit of Blencathra was awash with other excit-
that is easy enough to be attempted by most, yet still tricky ed hikers all enjoying the excellent weather and the great
enough to make you feel like a mountaineer. views, but eventually we moved on from the summit to
I had come to the Lakes with a bunch of climbers that Sharp Edge, our descent route. With pockets of snow still
I had met through Instagram, with the idea of going for hiding in the crevices, the route felt more alpine than ever.
a two-day hike over some of the northern Lake Districts A heart-raising descent lead us onto the exposed ridge
mountains with an overnight stop in the excellent but ba- that overlooks Scales Tarn. Scrambling along the ridge you
sic Skiddaw House, an independent hostel with no mains can understand what makes this such a popular route.
electricity or phone signal. With the excitement of the ridge over and back on trusted
The first days route was an easy hike over Carrock Fell, ground, all that was left was to join the Bannerdale Crags
High Pike, Knott, Great Calva and Little Calva, where the path to lead us back to Mosedale car park, signalling an-
last of the seasons snow kept us endlessly entertained other adventure over.

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UK Adventure

Maps & guidebooks

To follow the route that Rory
took youll need the OS Ex-
plorer OL4 and OL5 maps. For
more information on climbing
Blencathra or other walks and
scrambles in the area check
out Cicerones The Northern
Fells or Scrambles in the Lake
District North.

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UK Adventure


Tackling Tranters

Colin Henderson takes on a challenging 36-mile circular route in the Scottish Highlands.





natural progression if you aChairn. I didnt go out to An Gearanach, choosing to dry
enjoy backpacking trips is to my sleeping bag in the sunshine instead, but Na Gruagai-
look for opportunities to link chean soon came next, then Binnein Mor, Binnean Beag and
different routes together, in- Sgurr Eilde Mor. Roughly 16 hours after we started out, we
creasing length and difficulty descended and spent the night at Meanach Bothy, having
to set yourself a challenge. One climbed 10 Munros.
such opportunity is Tranters Round in the Lochaber region Our return leg on day two is commonly called the Loch-
of Scotland. aber Traverse. First we ticked off the Grey Corries, starting
Tranters Round is named after Philip Tranter, son of with Stob Ban then Stob Choire Claurigh, Stob Coire nan
the Scottish author, Nigel Tranter, who in 1964 devised a Laogh and Sgurr Choinnich Mor. A steep, grassy scramble
24-hour challenge for fell runners when he connected (at then took us up onto a very wintry Aonach Beag. It was here
the time) 19 Munros in the West Highlands of Scotland (the that we decided to cut our trip short. A storm that had been
Mamores, Grey Corries, Aonach Mor and Aonach Beag, Carn distant for much of the afternoon brought in 50mph winds
Mor Dearg and Ben Nevis) in a 36-mile epic that covers over and freezing rain and, in true Scottish style, what had been
6,000m of ascent. Tranters Round is a fell runners classic a pleasant summers day turned distinctly nasty with a great
(superseded these days in terms of difficulty by a longer risk of hypothermia.
Charlie Ramsay Round, and with a demoted Munro) but its None of us are new to bad weather but eight hours in,
a route thats also tailor made for backpacking. with three Munros to do (including Britains highest moun-
To give us a head start on our attempt at backpacking tain) and a sharp scrambly ridge between them, it wasnt
Tranters Round, we bivvied on a damp summit of Mullach hard to make the decision to bail over Aonach Mor and de-
nan Coirean in the Mamores at 11pm. Early the next morn- scend to the roadside. Despite our disappointment, it was
ing, we continued over the Mamores, ticking off the peaks a great outdoor trip. Tranters Round proved to be a very
of Stob Ban, Sgurr aMhaim, Am Bodach and Stob Coire worthy backpacking route.

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UK Adventure

Travelling light
The current fastest known
time for Tranters Round, set
on 1 October 2016, is 10 hours,
15 minutes and 30 seconds by
Fort William-based doctor Fin-
lay Wild. Although such a fast
time will be unachievable (or
undesirable) for most, adopt-
ing a hill running ethos for
backpacking Tranters Round
isnt a bad idea. Travelling with
as little gear as possible will
be easier on your knees.

Harvey Maps publish a map
for the Charlie Ramsay
Round, which includes the
same peaks and is ideal for
Tranters Round. The route
is also covered on Ordnance
Survey Landranger map 41
(Ben Nevis, including Fort
William & Glen Coe). You can
choose to go clockwise or
anti-clockwise. The latter has
the distinction of finishing on
Britains highest mountain.

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Dont get bitten get
an effective repellent!
The increase in travel to exotic locations coupled with the worldwide threat of insect-borne
disease such as Zika Virus underscores the need for effective insect repellents.

In 2002 researchers in the USA concluded that only products containing DEET
(diethyl-m-toluamide) offer long lasting protection from insect bites. They further
concluded that the use of non-DEET repellents in areas with prevalent mosquito-borne
disease would seem to be ill advised and that DEET-based repellents remain the gold
standard of protection.

DEET has an excellent safety prole and in the USA eminent bodies now recommend
that children over 2 years can use up to 30% DEET products.

The Bens range includes products up to 50% DEET (Bens MAX) as well as
an effective non-chemical alternative. For soothing insect bites the After Bite
range includes Classic, Xtra and new Kids formulations.

Helpline 0345 600 1891 or visit www.bensrepellent.co.uk

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Discover Britain


britain S n o w d o n i a N at i o n a l P a r k
With rugged peaks, beautiful valleys that will make you go weak at the knees and endless walking
opportunities, Snowdonia is the perfect weekend escape in the UK as Rob Slade nds out

nowdonia has held a cloud of intrigue and excitement of Harlech which will be your base for the night. Lying on
over me ever since my school years when I would read Tremadog Bay, Harlech is a great pace to digest a days hiking
about its imposing crags, perfect lakes and wild views. with a pint of local lager in hand and a huge platter of food in
Tales of famous adventurers cutting their teeth among front of you. The Plas Restaurant is worth a look for its chilled
the national parks mountains only piqued my interest more vibes and stunning views of the coast and the nearby castle.
and eventually, when I had my first opportunity to visit the The next day begins with a visit to the famous tourist village
area, the reality was as I imagined and more. So, when choos- of Portmeirion where youll spend a couple of hours craning
ing the next national park to be featured as part of our Dis- your neck to take in the impressive architecture of this Med-
cover Britain series, the decision was easy. The Peak District iterranean-styled settlement. Heading north east, the next
(in issue 128) and Exmoor (issue 129) were both fantastic, but stop is the Zip World Slate Caverns, where youll tackle a brand
now Snowdonia was calling, and with the promise of some new set of zip lines before heading underground for a blend of
fine spring weather over a May bank holiday I wasnt going to via ferrata and high wires. Both activities are ridiculously fun
turn it down. Before I knew it, I was hurtling up the A5 toward and will definitely get your adrenaline pumping throughout
some of Britains most impressive mountains with the other the day. Once thats all wrapped up and your feet are placed
half in the seat beside me (on her maiden voyage to the nation- solidly on terra firma, youll be heading to the heart-achingly
al park!), and over the next three days we plotted out what we beautiful Llyn Gwynant, the rest stop for the night.
consider to be one of the best adventurous long weekends that The next day is a big one as you rise early and take on the
you can have on home soil. one and only Snowdon Horseshoe. Its best to only attempt
We recommend taking three days to tackle whats outlined in this one in fine weather and youll need a head for heights, but
this article and, while we went from south to north, you can take after completing it youll feel like an absolute champion. After
on the weekend in whichever direction youd like. The weekend returning to your car you face the final leg of the trip, a drive
begins with an assault on Cadair Idris via the Minffordd Path, up the A5 via Llyn Ogwen and Tryfan for some of the national
a classic and rewarding route that you wont forget in a hurry. parks most dramatic views, followed by a visit to the remark-
While the Pony Track is the oft-used route to the summit, the able Conwy Castle. After a chilled visit and mandatory photo
Minffordd Path gives you the chance to pop along to Llyn Cau and session youll be free to head home with weary legs, aching
delivers unforgettable views all along the circular route. feet and a huge grin across your face following one of the best
From there, youll want to head to the quaint seaside town weekends you can have in the UK.

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Discover Britain

Llandudno see
Colwyn Bay



Carnedd Llewelyn

1. Tryfan and the Ogwen Valle y
Llanrwst No visit to Snowdonia would be complete without spying Tryfan
and the Ogwen Valley. With its dramatic, shark-fin appearance, the
Glyder Fawr former is probably one of the most famous and easily-recognis-
able mountains in Britain and just being in its presence is enough
PEN-Y-PASS Betws-y-Coed to make your eyes widen and your head spin. Rising to 917m, it is
Snowdon the 15th highest mountain in Wales but, with its status as the only
mountain on mainland Britain that you cannot simply walk to the
LLYN GWYNANT CAMPSITE top of (every route requires scrambling), its more than worthy of
your bucket list. We recommend stopping by Llyn Ogwen for a bite
ZIP WORLD SLATE CAVERNS to eat and a chance to see what your next visit might bring.
Aside from Tryfan, its worth exploring the Ogwen Valley fur-
ther, as it is potentially one of the most beautiful areas of Wales.
Even if youre only seeing it from behind the wheel along the A5,
the valley will leave you in awe, and if youve got time to jump out
for a walk, even better.

2.Conw y Cas tle
Snowdonia, and Wales for that matter, plays host to a huge num-
WALES ber of castles and ancient fortifications, and while the likes of Har-
lech Castle and Criccieth Castle are worth a visit, its Conwy Castle
HARLECH that steals the headlines here. The medieval fortification was built
by Edward I during his conquest of Wales between 1283 and 1289
and formed part of a wider task to create the walled town of Conwy.
In the years that followed the castle saw action from multiple wars
and eventually came to ruin in 1665. It wasnt until the 19th century
Dyffryn Ardudwy
A494 that restoration work was carried out and what is left is considered
to be one of the finest examples of late 13th century and early 14th
century military architecture in Europe by UNESCO.
Based on a rocky outcrop, the castle is astonishing in every
Dolgellau sense of the word, with its high towers and curtain walls standing
tall over the surrounding scenery. The castle has two barbicans
Barmouth (fortified gateways), eight towers and a great bow-shaped hall,
Penygadair while the battlements offer incredible views of the surrounding
CADAIR IDRIS mountains and sea. An impressive sight and a must-visit.


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Discover Britain


1. Cadair Idris via the Minffordd Path 2. The Snowdon Horseshoe

Cadair Idris is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful A route that needs no introduction. When youre having a con-
mountains in Wales and we can certainly see why. The views on versation about Snowdonia you can bet your house on the fact that
the approach are enough to make you go weak at the knees, with the Snowdon Horseshoe will come up. Quite simply, it is the walk.
Llyn Cau nestled majestically at the foot of the mountain. Starting The route takes you from the car park at Pen-y-Pass and then
from the Minffordd car park, the route takes you through ancient briefly onto the PyG Track before you branch off toward Crib Goch,
woodland and along a dramatic mountain cwm that will have you where things get gnarly with full-blooded scrambling. Upon gain-
reaching for the camera every five minutes. After glimpsing the ing the summit, youll continue along the ridges of Crib Y Ddysgl
idyllic Llyn Cau (the perfect lunch stop) you start to climb further and Garnedd Ugain before reaching the summit of Snowdon. From
upwards along the rocky Minffordd Path. here, youll venture along the continuation ridge to Y Lliwedd
As you gain the main ridge youll be treated to even better views before making your way back down to Llyn Llydaw and onward to
over Llyn Cau, with steep rocky walls forming a stark backdrop to where you started.
the deep blue waters. After following the rim of the cwm further Its a tough old beast, is the Snowdon Horseshoe, with exposed
round, youll eventually reach Penygadair, the highest point of Ca- scrambling, so youll need a head for heights and a good level of
dair Idris, where youll be treated to fine views as far as Barmouth fitness. Youll face narrow, exposed ridges and some seriously steep
Estuary, the Cambrian Mountains and the Brecon Beacons. The sections, with the route taking most between six and seven hours.
route then takes you along the ridge to Mynydd Moel and back to Once youve finished the route, however, youll be in a land of eupho-
the Minffordd car park. A rewarding hike that has it all. ria and it will be a day that lives long in the memory.

www.wiredforadventure.co.uk J U L | A U G 2 0 1 7 61
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Discover Britain


1. Portmeirion 2. Zip World Sl ate Caverns

Constructed between 1925 and 1976 by architect Clough Wil- Found halfway between Portmeirion and Betws-y-Coed, Zip
liams-Ellis, Portmeirion is a tourist village on the north west coast World Slate Caverns is ideally placed for a day of adventure.
of Wales that pulls in thousands of visitors every year. The village While the fastest zip line in the world has a home at the compa-
was built in an effort to show how a naturally beautiful site could nys northernmost base, the Slate Caverns location offers a good
be developed without spoiling it. Bearing a striking resemblance to alternative with a new zip line experience recently released called
the sort of picturesque towns youd find in the Italian Riviera, the Titan. With a total length of 2,000m and fantastic views, this is a
settlement is the perfect spot for a pit stop on a tour of Snowdonia. great way to get in the mood for whats next.
The eagle-eyed among you may also recognise the streets and While the zip lines are unadulterated fun, its the underground
buildings of Portmeirion from 1960s TV show The Prisoner, while it experience that really steals the show. After passing some
has also served as the location for various other films and TV pro- training to show that youre not going to kill yourself, youre set
grammes. Once youve finished lapping up the pretty buildings and loose on the underground complex which is made up of zip lines,
quaint back streets, there are miles of coastal paths to explore with rope bridges and via ferrata stages. With huge drops cascading
fantastic views across the estuary of River Dwyryd and numerous away below you, things can feel pretty hairy and there are bound
exotic gardens to discover. A visit to Portmeirion may not be the most to be heart-in-mouth moments, but the sheer thrill and sense of
adventurous of ways to spend a few hours, but after visiting and feel- achievement is addictive. This is three hours underground that
ing as if youve teleported to Italy and back, you wont regret it. you wont want to end.

S tay H E R E
If you want something quiet, simple
and in a decent location for the Dis-
cover Britain route then this is more
than up to the job. There are plenty
of facilities, Harlech is just down
the road and there are lots of walks
nearby too.


Tucked away in a beautiful valley
in the heart of Snowdonia, Llyn
Gwynant Campsite is a brilliant base
for your adventures in the area. The
lakeside site allows campfires and,
were thrilled to report that in high
season youll also find a marquee set
up with delicious stonebaked pizzas.

www.wiredforadventure.co.uk J U L | A U G 2 0 1 7 63

Conquering the
With all 282 Munros already under his belt, Will Copestake set himself the challenge of climbing each and
every Corbett over the Scottish winter. Here, he narrows down 222 to nine as he picks his favourite

64 J U L | A U G 2 0 1 7 www.wiredforadventure.co.uk


9. CL MR




tepping forward, my boot crunched deep into fresh
snow. All was silent except for my step. My breath,
which plumed into the air through heaving lungs,
was cast golden on the light of the setting sun as it
froze into a glittering shimmer. With a satisfying
chime of metal on rock, I tapped my ice axe on the highest
stone of an icy summit and looked up. Until now I had been
looking at my feet, lost in my own thought as I plodded up-
hill. Kind conditions meant easy route finding and I had en-
joyed the chance to slip into a personal bubble, no conscious
thinking, just motion. To reach a summit just before sunset
and take that first glance up to the distant horizon is a feeling
incomparable to anything on Earth. There is a satisfaction of
being there and the effort to enjoy it, but also a deep appreci-
ation that this hill had a view, for many summits are in cloud
and do not. For me there is only one greater pleasure to
share that moment with friends. At my side high-fiving and
hugging were three others, one I had known before, two had
arrived as strangers and, we would all return as friends.
This winter I set out on my second journey around Scot-
land. In 2013 I spent a year circumnavigating the coast by
kayak and then cycling home via 282 summits known as the
Munros. I had discovered the challenge and rewards hidden
in my own backyard. This time was different however, for
where before I had been very much alone, this time I invited
anyone and everyone to join me as I aimed for the next list of
hills, the 222 mountains between 2,500-2,999ft-high known
as the Corbetts. Often more remote, wilder and less accessed,
they offered as much, if not more, of a challenge than their
higher 3,000ft+ counterparts of the Munros.
I hoped that by crowd sourcing company I could share
those moments of satisfaction and beauty on top of the world.
In a journey that lasted six months living in a van as I went,
I returned to Scotland and was joined by over 60 people, re-
kindling that love of the winter hills. These were nine of my
favourite from around the country.

www.wiredforadventure.co.uk J U L | A U G 2 0 1 7 65



66 J U L | A U G 2 0 1 7 www.wiredforadventure.co.uk

1. BEN LOYAL (764 m )

long bog walk with a spectac- capped with a natural rocky castle, a
ular summit was how it was leviathan of granite improbably rising
described by my companion from the top. The unexpectedness of
as I tackled this peak. One of the scramble adds to its novelty. The Level:
the most northern Corbetts in mountain takes on a whole new person- Easy/moderate
the country, Ben Loyal is worth the long and ality, one of scrambling and exposure.
decidedly Scottish approach. Starting beside For those who wish to avoid it, there
the dark peat-stained waters of Loch Loyal, are easy routes to the top but for those
Wow factor:
an indistinct muddy quad track winds north feeling more adventurous there are more 4/5
west through the moors. As you ascend, challenging hands-on approaches. It
grouse and snipe flush from the heather, their is worth lingering high and wandering Starting point:
birdcalls filling the air. Underfoot frogs and to the very northern end of the arte to
the insectivorous sundew plant flourish. find a wide pinnacle. With a degree of Loch Loyal; NC 616,478
Approaching the ridge, the track turns to bravery it is possible to perch over the
grass and your boots dry out. This is where top and peer hundreds of metres below Nearest town:
the mountain starts to earn its worth. As if to the Kyle of Tongue, a sensation similar Tongue
from an ancient civilisation the summit is to being on a helicopter.


rguably one of the finest views in islands dotting the waters. Beyond lie
all of Scotland, Beinn Arigh Charr the rugged mountains of Torridon rising
is remote, seldom trodden and on the horizon.
wild in every sense. Perhaps the A good trail leads to a col at around Level:
easiest access to the mountain is 600m on the western side of the moun- Moderate/hard
via a long gravel track which winds east from tain which is well made and likely once
Poolewe. On foot it will take several hours to used for ponies as stalkers went into
reach the foot of the mountain, but by bike it the glens to hunt the deer. The final few Wow factor:
is much easier. If you are a fan of watersports hundred metres are on steep but easy 5/5
this hill can be accessed via a short paddle trodden wind mown grass. Reaching the
across the waters of Loch Maree, a novel way summit a surprise awaits. The mountain
Starting point:
to reach a hill should the weather allow. drops sheer to the north, a clifftop view
Before even starting to climb the walk is spreading west to east over an expanse of Poolewe; NG 857,807
rewarded with tranquil forest and riverside moors known, perhaps appropriately, as
views. When at last you emerge onto the bag bog toward the towering cliffs and Nearest town:
moors a tremendous panorama of Loch Ma- corries of the Fisherfield, one of Scotlands
ree spreads out with its Scots pine covered wildest places.

3. CIR MHR (798 m )

erhaps my favourite of the island as the Le Mauvais Pas, (a worthy optional
Corbetts, Cir Mhr is one of four extra if tackling the Corbetts south of Cir
on the island of Arran. A pointed Mhr, but also easily by-passable to the
and rocky summit, it is the central west). Now on the ridge and looking back to Level:
mountain on the highest ridge that the wide U-shaped glacial valley there is not Moderate/hard
transects the island and is a slightly more de- far to go. The wind scoured grassy slopes
manding hike than its often more wandered are scattered with colossal granite boulders
neighbour, Goatfell. including the famous Rosetta Stone, a pin-
Wow factor:
Starting in Glen Rosa, a wide and well-built nacle sub-summit just before the true peak. 5/5
track follows the winding river along the valley At the final 50m, the mountain becomes
floor. In the shadow of the mountains, the day narrow with an airy arte to the summit Starting point:
begins looking up into towering granite cliffs cairn, while below your feet the cliffs plum-
with excited anticipation. As the track slowly met to the valley floor with a wonderful Glen Rosa camp site
turns north and begins to narrow into a still exposure. From the summit a 360 degree
well-marked gravel trail, a series of steep steps panorama of the island is your reward, a Nearest town:
appear which climb steeply to a col between the view to cherish for the long return back Brodick, Arran
summit and an intense looking scramble known along the valley which you have come from.

www.wiredforadventure.co.uk J U L | A U G 2 0 1 7 67


As with any mountain
difficulty is subjective to
experience. It is essential
that all hills are treated with
respect and that mountain
equipment is always carried.
Jackets, a map and compass
and a head-torch are a must.
The ever changing nature of
the conditions is what make it
worthwhile, but it also poses
inherent risk.

4. BEINN LUIBHEAN (858 m )

ost walkers who venture to as you wander onto a wide ridge and the
the Arrochar Alps tend to
be drawn to the admittedly
chance to enjoy the views arrives. At
one side is the road now far below, on
spectacular summit of The the other massive boulders and a distant Level:
Cobbler, which rises just south rocky pinnacle below the next crags to
east of Luibhean. Whilst threading the nee- scramble. Through switch backs the path
dle through The Cobblers pinnacle summit winds onto an increasingly narrow arte.
is exciting, I found greater surprise and thrill In winter every step must be made with Wow factor:
on the narrow ridges of Beinn Luibhean. upmost care, for cornices hang over the 3/5
Lesser walked and quieter, the mountain is cliffs if you stray too far.
steep, rocky and offers a superb view down As the ridge flattens to a double sum- Starting point:
to the famous roadside pass known as Rest mit the two peaks, separated by a few
Car park north of Rest and
and Be Thankful. A well-trodden, if narrow, hundred metres, offer a wonderful view
track leads steeply uphill, breaking through across the Arrochar hills, and down to Be Thankful; NN 234088
a thin line between two crags. In summer the sea to the west. As motivation to peel
this is steep but relatively simple, in winter away from the top and return home, Nearest town:
it feels every bit as exciting as any mountain far below you can see a wee burger van Arrochar
I have been on. The trail briefly flattens out waiting on Rest and Be Thankful.

68 J U L | A U G 2 0 1 7 www.wiredforadventure.co.uk
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new trekking challenges



E-books, routes and

updates available
For inspiration, take a look at


his is a fantastic set of two hills summit of Creag Mac Ranaich. A superb
which are easily accessed and view along Glen Dochart to the north
offer good views across the and over Loch Earn to the west are the
Trossach mountains and Loch well-earned reward. Returning back to Level: Easy
Earn. Starting at a small church the col, a second short ascent brings you
in Lochearnhead, a wide 4x4 track wan- to the summit of Meall an T-Seallaidh, Wow factor: 4/5
ders through gentle farmland. Crossing this time offering a fantastic view south
stiles and avoiding sheep, the track starts toward a distant Stirling and Edinburgh Starting point:
to climb at a kind angle along the edge of far on the horizon. Overall, an easy day Lochearnhead NN 588 232
the wide Glen Kendrum. Leading to a col with great views to be had when the
between the two summits, the track gives Scottish weather is playing ball.
Nearest town:
a kind approach and from here a short,
if steep, ascent cuts to the north and the Lochearnhead


classic tough round of Cor- ents. This peak takes on a new person-
betts, this is one to test your
stamina. The hills are well
ality, more rocky and heathery than
the others with some impressive crags
spaced in a circular round that dropping to the north. Level:
can be made easier by carrying Following north west along a gently
overnight gear and camping in the middle. descending spur, you then return to the Tough/very tough
An early start before dark allows the chance valley floor. For many this is the perfect
to climb a gruelling steep ascent to Beinn place to camp and break the long day
Odhar. This sets the tone for the day with into two more reasonable ones. To con- Wow factor:
steep ups and downs with an incredible tinue a short but steep climb ascends to 4/5
view on each summit. Views spread across Beinn Nam Fuaran which is separated
toward the infamous Rannoch Moor and by a small col from the fifth and final
north onto the Munro of Beinn Dorain. summit of the day, Beinn AChaisteil. Starting point:
These hills are easy underfoot overall A short grassy descent leads back
with sheep-mown grass and small scree south east along the edge of a fine cliff. NN328 326
the theme of the day. A steep descent and From here you return to the valley and,
ascent brings you to Beinn Chaorach and following the West Highland Way, pass
a fine view west toward Glen Dochart. To fellow tired hikers back to the car and a Nearest town:
some relief the third summit Cam Chreag quick Cullen Skink soup in the famous Tyndrum
almost feels a free summit as the descent Green Welly Shop of Tyndrum.
and ascent is minimal with gentler gradi-

7. GARBH BHEINN (885 m )

he Ardgour peninsula is one area
of Scotland often overlooked by
Garbh Bheinn is steep, rocky moun-
tain. At first, a well definable track winds
hillwalkers as there are no Mun- punishingly upwards, but soon it starts to
ros in the area. I was one of these become a finer gradient. Clambering over
Level: Moderate
people and, until I came to climb rocky steps, the ridge feels safely wide
Corbetts, I had never visited. There are nine but gives a sense of height very quickly. Wow factor: 4/5
Corbetts on the peninsula, all of them truly Immense cliffs hang to the northern cor-
incredible mountains and many barely a ries which, as you skirt their edges, rise Starting point:
metre or two below the qualifying height of imposingly over the path. There are few NM923598
a Munro. Rising steeply above isolated glens Corbetts in the country that offer quite
these rocky peaks are a genuine adventure the same sense of height, remoteness and Nearest town:
to explore. wonder as the summit of Garbh Bheinn. Corran

70 J U L | A U G 2 0 1 7 www.wiredforadventure.co.uk

C R E A G M A C R A N A I C H & M E A L L A N T- S E A L L A I D H


www.wiredforadventure.co.uk J U L | A U G 2 0 1 7 71


8. CREAG MHR (1,047 m )

feel it is important to include a Cairn- Dropping through the wide glens to
gorm peak as there is a true magic of
the openness of the area. Creag Mhr
the Fords of Avon refuge, you then dou-
ble back to the north east to reach the
is a relatively easy Corbett to climb, summit. This peak is wide and open to
Level: Moderate
made harder by its remote location. the top with a rocky tor on the summit,
Following a fine track past the national out- a little similar to Ben Loyal, but without
Wow factor:
door centre of Glenmore Lodge, you wander as much mud.
through thick Scots pine forest. Taking the Spectacular views cascade to the heart
mountain pass toward Glen Derry the trail of the Cairngorm Munros to the west and
continues to be easily followable. This can be the wide open spaces all around is the Starting point:
trapping in poor weather where it becomes reward. It is recommended to plan this Loch Morlich
incredibly easy to become disorientated if as an overnight journey as the return
unsure on navigation. As with all mountains back to Loch Morlich via Glenmore is a Nearest town:
it is essential to be prepared. long, if relatively easy walk out. Aviemore

9. CL MR (849 m )

true classic which rises in the hare and ptarmigan (the snow grouse). THE FACTS
heart of the North West High- Passing a small loch, the hill starts to
land Geopark, Cl Mr is a twin rise steeply to the summit and clam- Level: Moderate
peak mountain which stands bering through rocks can be somewhat
alone amongst the moors. From hands-on but relatively simple. For me Wow factor:
its summit, a wild view stretches across to it is the rock that makes this mountain. 5/5
the nearby peaks of Suilven, Stac Pollaidh Ancient Torridonian sandstone which
and Cl Beag. The trail begins well-defined eroded through a millennia of wind has Starting point:
and well-made as it winds north toward the been sculpted into incredible formations NC 189 094
mountain. As you climb, the track starts to somewhat akin to piles of pancakes. The
turn from moors to open rocky scree in a views all around are truly spectacular
Nearest town:
wide ridge, a perfect place to spot mountain and well worth a walk on any day. Ullapool/Lochinver

www.wiredforadventure.co.uk J U L | A U G 2 0 1 7 73
walking in europe

74 J U L | A U G 2 0 1 7 www.wiredforadventure.co.uk
walking in europe

Just four years old and still relatively unknown, the Alpe Adria Trail is a magical route that takes you through
Austria, Slovenia and Italy. Naomi Dunbar was recently there to nd out why its so special.

www.wiredforadventure.co.uk J U L | A U G 2 0 1 7 75
walking in europe



UK POLAND he Alpe Adria Trail is an incredibly diverse

hiking route that runs through some of
the most alluring and culturally vibrant
AUSTRIA regions of Austria, Slovenia and Italy. As
SLOVENIA ROMANIA you can probably guess by the name, the
ITALY CROATIA trail begins among the strikingly rugged
mountains of the Alps and finishes at the
dazzling turquoise waters of the Adriatic Coast.
This 466-mile trail is sectioned into 43 stages, each total-
ling around 12 miles and varied in easy/moderate terrain.
GROSSGLOCKNER So, its super easy to pick n mix the sections youd like
to hike should you, like me, not have the time to walk the
Nockberge entire thing (which would probably take around six weeks
Lienz to a month to complete, dependent on your pace). Created
only four years ago, the Alpe Adria Trail is relatively new to
AUSTRIA the scene. This unique gem is still unknown to many trav-
Villach Velden
ellers, so I found, more often than not, I had the exquisite
scenery and awe-inspiring views all to myself. The trail
begins at the foot of the Grossglockner, the highest peak
ITALY in Austria (towering at 3,798m) and on its journey to the
Triglav National
Parco Naturale
Adriatic Coast, dips into green valleys, passes through vast
Regionale delle aga
Dolomiti Friulane forests, winds beside glorious rivers and meanders through
the great wine region.
Belluno Cividale
As much as I would have loved to, I didnt have the time
to hike the entire thing. So, I picked four of the gooduns,
varying in region and terrain, to give myself a flavour of
Pordenone Gorizia what this trail really has to offer us adventure travellers. I
must say, the small percent I have sampled has left me crav-
ing more. Ive completely fallen, heart-eyes emoji, in love
with the beauty and soul of this trail. In fact, Ive slapped it
straight onto the bucket list to tick off many more of its sec-
c Sea tions and hopefully, one day, to complete it.
Not only does the Alpe Adria Trail offer fantastic trekking

76 J U L | A U G 2 0 1 7 www.wiredforadventure.co.uk
walking in europe


opportunities, but its just dripping in local attractions, ac- Fuelled and ready to go, I continued the last part of the
tivities, culture, quaint villages and fine dining to explore. hike down to the village of Heiligenblut, which lead me
Which is ideal for slotting in between hikes or simply enjoy- through thick forests, bridges over gushing waterfalls and
ing on the days you want to give your feet a well-deserved meadows jam-packed full of wild flowers and butterflies.
break from the trails. I also stumbled across a friendly family of mountain goats
whos kid came over for a sniff and seemed very intrigued
section ONE AUSTRIA to find out what kind of strange looking goat I was. The path
KAISER-FRANZ-JOSEFS-HHE HEILIGENBLUT took me past the cutest little church and a peculiar carved
wooden sculpture of a pair of pants (I didnt ask!).
I was driven to the start of the trail via the High Alpine Buzzed after an incredible days hiking, I decided to vis-
road, which as roads go, is pretty darn epic. The road, which it the stunning Faak See lake. It was a beautifully still lake
many bikers and cyclists flock to each year for its awesomely and was perfect for taking a late afternoon dip. I thought
curvy character, twists and bends up through the valley. the lake was something special then, but boy, was I in for
The entire way up, it flaunts nothing but breathtaking views a treat. I was enjoying dinner in my hotel restaurant when
of the surrounding mountains seriously good views that all of a sudden I realised the clouds from earlier had finally
made the hairs prickle up on the back of my neck. The of- buggered off to reveal an incredible sunset. A sunset that
ficial starting point of the trail is at an altitude of 2,396m, transformed the lake from damn, thats a good looking lake
but its pretty easy-going. Its mostly a downhill trek which to HOLY MOLY LOOK AT THAT LAKE. With absolutely no
gradually fades from the magical scenes of snow-capped hesitation I partook in what I can only describe as some sort
mountains, views of the magnificent Pasterze Glacier and of restaurant parkour, scrambling my way over waiters and
the Sandersee glacial lake to luscious valleys and rolling chairs to go grab my camera from my room, followed by a
hills, thick with pine forests and not to mention the im- quick sprint down to the outstanding scenes taking place at
pressive Leiterfall waterfall that tumbles through the trees. the lake which again, I had all to myself.
Not only were the views spectacular, but when I looked a
little closer to the path I was fascinated to find white granite section 25 SLOVENIA
glittering in the sun and rocks with beautiful flecks of green BOVEC DRENICA
running through them.
If like me, youre always ready for a snack, then you can I wasnt hiking for long until I stumbled upon Virje water-
stop in the little refuge hut which is situated on the trail, fall an outstanding waterfall which spills down the high
about half way down the valley. This tiny little hut is a great and craggy rocks and plunges into a vibrant lagoon. It was
pit stop for hikers and, if you go, I recommend getting your- an idyllic little spot to sit down and soak in the breathtaking
self a good old slice of their hot apple strudel with whipped scenery around me. It was one of those tranquil moments
cream (my mouth is literally watering at the thought). thatll probably stay with me forever, dipping my feet into

www.wiredforadventure.co.uk J U L | A U G 2 0 1 7 77
d in
idu ally
DA YS oose
to c h
E q uota
azin g
a FR
f am .
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t o L
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the water, listening to the water cascade down into the la-
goon below and watching busy fish go about their day.
Back on the road again, I found that this part of the trail
mostly follows the winding River Soa, which is probably one
of the bluest rivers I have ever witnessed, my mouth fell open
when I first saw it and I couldnt stop gawping at it all day. As
I hiked the paths, I enjoyed the sound of splashing and laugh-
ing from nearby kayakers and swimmers. Along the trail I
was also met by the magnificent Boka waterfall, measuring a
total of 144m tall in all its glory with falls around 18m wide
S LO V E N I A S V I R J E W AT E R FA L L a truly spectacular sight.
It was a very peaceful hike and like most days on my trip, I
had the trail pretty much to myself, with the only sounds be-
ing my footsteps, the rustling trees above me, the rushing of
water and the gentle ambience of cuckoo birds. It had rained
in the morning too, so the rich woody smell of the forest
floor combined with the fresh smell of wild flowers flooded
my nose. Not one single sense gets left out in this place, I
thought to myself as I wandered on through the trees only to
be greeted by another stunning meadow.

section 30 SLOVENIA

This part of the trail was one of the highlights of my

trip (and it wasnt just because of the wine tasting I did at
lunch, promise). It winds through the wine region of Slo-
venia and takes you through some truly staggering land-
B E A U T I F U L V I E W S I N D U I N O , I TA LY scapes. As one of the easiest terrains I chose, this part of the
Alpe Adria Trail was a gentle hike through vineyards, fields
of olive trees and fruit trees such as cherry and apricot, that
stretch for miles and miles until the horizon hits the deep
blue sky. Gentle streams meander through small forests

LETS GO and the path winds through quaint villages. Along the way I
stumbled across the historic Dobrovo Castle. Dating back to
the 1600s its a great little pit stop for some cherry pie and
HOW TO GET THERE interesting history.
There are cheap flights (starting from 70 return) from Lon- I liked this section of the trail because it was fascinat-
don Stansted and Luton direct to Ljubljana airport in Slove- ing to watch farmers harvesting their bountiful crops all
nia with EasyJet and Wizz Air serving the route. Flights take around me. I stopped to talk to one lady (who much to my
around two hours. Once youve landed in Ljubljana there are delight handed me a big handful of cherries) who explained
plenty of buses and taxis to get you from A to B. they were preparing for the regions famous cherry festival
that weekend. A popular event which attracts a whopping
FURTHER READING 30,000 visitors from the local and neighbouring Italian and
You can order a free brochure online at www.alpe-adria- Austrian regions each year.
trail.com (its awesome) which contains details and maps
for every section of the trail. There is also a free Alpe Adria section 34 ITALY
Trail app (even more awesome) available on the App Store DUINO - PROSECCO
and Google Play. The app has GPS maps, emergency con-
tact numbers, information, and a whole heap of other super After sampling an irresponsible amount of Slovenian wine
handy features. the night before (I was like an unsupervised toddler at a buf-
fet), I set off early in the morning feeling, err slightly deli-
WHAT TO BRING cate. However, as soon as I was on the trail, up on the cliffs,
Youll need your standard hiking getup including stable the hangover was blown away by the fresh sea air. The views
walking boots or approach shoes, waterproofs, and warm out to sea and overlooking the picturesque Duino Castle
layers. Make sure you take plenty of sun cream and water were unbelievable and as the sun shone down, it sparkled on
with you as the Mediterranean climate can get pretty hot in the crystal blue waters below.
the summer. This part of the trail is spectacular for unspoilt coastal
wildlife and, being a nature reserve, the cliffs of Duino are an
WHERE TO STAY area of great scenic, historical and natural importance. As I
Luckily, the Alpe Adria Trail has been designed with pleas- walked along this trail I found myself immersed in the pano-
ure hiking in mind, so youll find a selection of hotels and ramic views and the intriguing nature that surrounded me:
guest houses within close proximity of each section of the the hustle and bustle of bees and butterflies busy at work,
trail. In summer you may want to book in advance to guar- lizards darting from shrub to shrub and magnificent per-
antee a bed for the night. egrine falcons gliding in the coastal winds.

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Head north east in Sweden and youll eventually stumble upon Sarek National Park, an
area of rugged peaks and imposing glaciers. Alec Forss finds out just how wild the area
can be as he bags some of the regions imposing summits
PHOTOS: Alec Forss/Bjrn Nordkvist

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Vaisaluokta Akkaja

Stora Sjfallets / Stuor Muorkke

National Park
jaure Sarektjkk Vietas

Padjelanta National Park


Sarek National Park







ied at the waist to the end of a 30m length ond-highest mountain in Sweden after the better-known Ke-
of rope, I stared down at my boots. Small bnekaise. It receives only a fraction of the latters visitors and
streams of meltwater carved out channels entails an arduous two-day walk-in over pathless ground just
as they flowed off the tongue of the glacier, to get to the foot of the mountain.
revealing tantalisingly blue ice underneath, Situated in Sarek, one of Europes first national parks es-
perhaps hundreds if not thousands of years tablished over a century ago, the areas reputation has long
old. I felt the tug of the rope and took a step forward, pressing attracted wilderness enthusiasts from relative trekking new-
the points of my crampons into the ice. bies wanting to cut their teeth in more challenging terrain, to
A shout suddenly interrupted the sound of trickling water. grizzled, knee-hardened veterans who make annual pilgrim-
In front, Bjrn, my Swedish trip partner tied at the other end, ages here. Its paradise too for mountaineers and off-piste ski-
stepped through a snow bridge. Theres a crevasse here! he ers enticed by its Alpine-like character.
yelled ominously. Theres good reason for it. With around 200 peaks topping
Nervously hopping over its unknown depths, we continued 1800 metres, dozens of glaciers, and spectacular deep-cut
to plod up the glacier to the pass without incident. But the valleys, most of Sarek also has no marked trails or open cabins
mountain ridge we wanted to ascend disappeared into thick (apart from the famous Kungsleden trail which cuts through
mist. We debated whether to go further, conscious too that we the southern corner of the park). Sometimes coined Eu-
were starting to shiver as the glacier acted like a giant refriger- ropes Alaska, anyone venturing here needs to be completely
ator on our by-now clammy bodies. self-sucient, carrying at least one weeks worth of provi-
It was time to beat a retreat back to our base camp, a bright sions. Thats a rare requirement in todays overcrowded con-
red tent pitched in a green glade at the foot of the glacial mo- tinent. Its so good in fact that even Norwegians justifiably
raine a large mass of dark rubble. It was a welcome sight after proud of their own mountains are occasionally tempted to
the monochrome world of ice and rock above. Defeated this venture across the border to experience Sarek.
time round, we then had to play a waiting game for a window The downside, I realised, is the weather, as I gazed out at the
in the weather that we knew might never come. sky from our tent porch. Sarek is notorious for bad weather.
Our objective was the peak of Sarektjkk lying some 60 It reputedly receives the most rainfall of anywhere in Sweden,
miles north of the Arctic Circle. At 2,089m, its the sec- while in winter blizzards can howl mercilessly through its val-

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whos writing?
ALEC FORSS hikes, paddles, and writes on the
North. He has been addicted to Sarek and Swedish
Lapland for nearly two decades now. He is currently
based in Stockholm, far from his native home of
Birmingham. His next trip will take him packrafting
in Greenland. You can follow his adventures on
Instagram (@alecforss).

leys (I know it well, I got stuck in one a few years back). Thick ened its grip as the evening sun punched through. We stopped
cloud and mist can frustratingly park itself over the land for as if stunned in our tracks. A world of charcoal-black moun-
days, with trekkers passing along the valley bottoms obliv- tain peaks cradling dozens of glaciers opened up. Wisps of
ious to the summits soaring steeply above. Each valley also cloud hanging around the summits seemed to exaggerate their
generates its own micro-climate. It can be raining on one side height. While dwarfed by the giants of the Alps, we whooped
of the watershed, only for glorious sunshine to be bathing an at the world-class spectacle laid out before us.
adjacent valley. We crossed back over the glacier for the fourth time and
Patience is key here. We snoozed away in the tent, occasional- collapsed in our tents, exhausted but happy. A herd of rein-
ly reading as our bored fingers reached for the chocolate rations. deer crossed a nearby creek gushing past our tent, reminding
We hardly knew if it was night or day with practically 24-hour me that other beings also inhabit these vast spaces. Giant elk
daylight reigning up in these latitudes in the summer months. browsed undisturbed in the thick birch and willow lower
But eventually we could take it no more and decided to go for down in the valleys, while wolverine, lynx and bear also thrive
it. The route through the moraine to the glacier was easier hav- here. While youre unlikely to see any of them, Sareks famed
ing already picked a way through. We retraced our footsteps park ranger Edvin Nilsson once told me that hed stopped
over the glacier and then started to clamber up the base of the counting after 200 bear encounters.
ridge, a steep but easy scramble where rope was unnecessary. Our main objective achieved, we cast our eyes over the map
The crest of the ridge narrowed in places to just over an arm looking for the next mountain to scale. We traced a route north
span the higher we went, until we finally reached the summit through the valley, crossing numerous streams which emerge
cairn some two hours after having left the glacier. from glaciers sitting in large armchair-like corries. Most were
On top, the visibility was practically zero, but we were con- easy, entailing just a hop across, but some needed to be waded.
scious of a gaping void, as a precipice plunges down the west- One of the crossings was especially painful as I felt the waters
ern side of the mountain to another glacier hundreds of metres icy fangs inch their way up my thighs the deeper I stepped in.
below. Immediately to the south lies an exposed ridge traverse Its the cold equivalent of walking across hot coals.
an alternative glacier-free route to the top, but one which I could hear the sound of rock grating on rock in the
requires rappelling to descend. swift-flowing, opaque grey water. Every step required care;
Returning the same way down, the mist momentarily loos- you cant just dash across. You also need to pick your spot well

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preferably where the stream braids into multiple channels. wed seen amassing in the west were suddenly upon us. The
Stories abound of people and their gear being swept away. ominous rumble of thunder sounded as we made a dash for the
Reaching the opposite bank after what seems an age, we tried summit cairn. Minutes later, a crash of lightning struck close
to rub life back into our numb feet. by as we stood exposed on the ridge.
After a few miles our mountain came into view. Its south face, There was no need to exchange words, we just needed to get
half of it fully vertical, rose 1,000m out of a beautifully nestled off as fast as humanly possible. Our ankles and knees twisted
tarn, its banks still partially clogged with snow. Looking behind awkwardly in the clefts between the rocks as we clambered
me, I spotted a localised weather front laden with rain blowing down. Spotting a large snow patch, I glissaded down it on my
cold on our heels. We made a run for the lake, despite lugging backside using my feet for brakes, descending a couple of hun-
25kg rucksacks, hoping to pitch the tent before the next deluge. dred metres in less than a minute. Later, we met a couple who
But you can never escape the weather here and just a few short had watched the storm engulf the peak, little realising we were
strides away from the lake we got pummelled from above. in the thick of it. But we had grabbed our third mountain top of
Thinking our luck was out, we stepped out of the tent the the trip and were in the middle of summit fever, feeling like we
next morning blinking disbelievingly at the bright sunshine could go on forever ticking off the hundreds of largely untrod-
and clear skies. Just a single cloud stubbornly clung onto the den peaks around us.
summit of Nijk. We rushed into action, determined to make After a week, however, our supplies and time were running
the most of it. One of the most recognisable peaks in Sarek, out. With only stale bits of rye bread and a crushed Snickers
topping out at 1,922m, its a heaving bulk of a mountain that bar between us, we dashed over the border of the park, strik-
sits squat over the head of the valley on the edge of the park ing upon a trail that took us to the boat across the lake to the
like a gatekeeper to the mountain riches beyond. Trailless like small settlement of Ritsem and the road out.
the other peaks here, we followed our own route, hiking up its A hut served as a waiting station for the boat, the smell of
glacier-free but scree-laden slopes. The reward: 360-degree freshly brewed coffee and smoked fish wafting divinely through
views from its table-like top, taking in a vast sweep of land all the wooden doors. A handful of trekkers the first weve seen
the way to the fjords of the Norwegian Atlantic Coast. Deluded in a week started to emerge, their faces weather-beaten and
perhaps by the Arctic sun, back at the tent we took a bracing damp clothes steaming in the warmth. Inside, tales of bad
dip in the frigid waters of the tarn. weather and river crossings were traded as badges of honour.
Still greedy for more peaks the next day, we turned our at- Others were quiet, switching on their mobile phones for the
tention north. This time we moved our way through slippery first time since they left civilisation. Like us, theyre tired but
scree and boulders. Both of us cursed at the rock lubricated by grinning converts both old and new, many of us will likely be
moss and lichen. A short distance from the top, the dark clouds back next year, captured by Sareks wild spell.

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le ts

When to go What to take one (www.lantmateriet.se/en), but Calazo

July and August are the best times to You need to be fully self-sufficient and now produce a more detailed 1:50,000
visit. Any earlier and there will still be a
used to trekking off-trail in sometimes scale map of the park (www.calazo.se). Ei-
lot of snow. Count on daytime temper- difficult terrain. Good waterproof gear ther order online or buy from bookshops
atures of around 8-15C, though it can and a sturdy three/four season tent are and outdoor retailers in Sweden. There is
be significantly cooler. September is an musts the latter preferably with plenty little detailed information in English on
especially beautiful month with the vivid of storage space for hanging wet clothes the park, though you can check out the
autumn colours, although snow can fall and for eating when its raining outside. Swedish national park agencys website
at any time. Winter trips here border on Remember, there are no open cabins for a more general overview of the area
expeditions with very low temperatures in the park. A spare pair of trainers as (www.sverigesnationalparker.se).
and potential blizzard conditions. well as trekking poles are also useful
for river crossings. Its sensible to take
How to get there a SPOT tracker or satellite phone as
Fly to Stockholm. From there take mobile phone coverage is practically
either an overnight train (www.sj.se) to non-existent, except perhaps for on a
Gllvare or fly to Lule (Norwegian or few of the peaks. Bring crampons,
SAS). Bus 93 runs from Gllivare to the rope, and ice axe if planning to
mountains with two buses going every venture onto glaciers. Water is
day in the summer high season. We got abundant except on mountain
off at Suorva from where you can cross ridges, though silty glacial
over the dam. Alternatively, you can start meltwater can give you an
or finish in Ritsem, a small mountain upset stomach. Mosqui-
village from where boats regularly cross toes can be a problem on
the Akkajaure reservoir, and from where windless days, so bring
you can hike part of the Padjelanta Trail repellent and smoke
before veering south east into Sarek. spirals to put in the
Count on about two days of walking to get porch of your tent.
to the foot of the peak in the Guhkesvag-
ge Valley, from where we ascended. Its Maps
also possible to go up from the Rouhtes- Lantmteriets
vagge Valley though I have never taken 100:000 BD10 Sareks
this route. map used to be the only

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With mile upon mile of pristine wilderness and some of Americas finest views, the John Muir Trail sits high
on the bucket list for many. Here, Danielle Fenton gives us a glimpse of why it should be on yours.

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e lay, wide awake, long before the alarm
went off gently at 2am. Whether it was the
trepidation of hiking up a mountainside
in the dark, or the excitement of a burger
and a beer waiting for us at the bottom in
Whitney Portal, we were both eager to get
up, get warm and get going. We had just five miles left of
the John Muir Trail to complete, our quest to reach Mount
Whitneys summit in time for sunrise, the official end of the
211-mile-long distance path, now dauntingly close.
Camped around Guitar Lake with other expectant hikers
preparing to make their own pilgrimage to the top of the
highest mountain in the contiguous United States, there was
a wave of anticipation growing amongst everyone. After 26
days hiking through the spectacular Sierra Nevada Mountain
Range, along alpine meadows and high mountain passes,
we were so close to the finish line! Yet despite us all getting
up and packing away our gear at similar times, it was eerily
quiet, each person lost in their own thoughts, under a thick
blanket of stars.
Named after Scottish-born naturalist John Muir, the en-
tire JMT route extends from Yosemite National Park to the
summit of Mount Whitney at 4,421m, the tallest peak in
the lower 48 states. Rated as one of the best multi-day hikes
in the world, the walk, which is predominantly in the wil-
derness, will take you on a breathtaking journey through
the national parks of Yosemite, Kings Canyon and Sequoia,
which together showcase some of the USs most stunning
natural scenery.
At 3am we had broken camp and were ready for the stren-
uous task that lay ahead, wondering if we were the last
thru-hikers to get back on the trail after seeing a procession
of headlights snaking their way up the mountainside far off
in the distance. Despite having hot drinks and wearing hats
and gloves, the early morning chill had gone straight to our
bones. It didnt take us long to warm up, however, as we be-
gan powering up the long, rocky switchbacks that had been
carved into the mountainside, Wayne leading with a brisk
pace. Our head torches shone brightly allowing us to see a
few feet ahead, our eyes intently searching out hazards. We
side-stepped loose rocks littering the trail, realising that
we were traversing a giant boulder field the closer we got to
the summit. Scarily at some points, it seemed like we were JOHN MUIR TRAIL
walking along a knife edge with sheer drop offs either side,
so I was glad to be the one following behind and that it was
disguised in the darkness.
Although hiking in the dark can be more tiresome with
having to concentrate harder, its sometimes better when Arizona
















































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whos writing?
DANIELLE FENTON is a primary school teacher
by trade, long-distance hiker by nature. Her
enthusiasm for the great outdoors spiralled after
she embarked on a round-the-world trip with her
husband Wayne back in 2010. Since then, they
have completed several thru-hikes together in
England, Europe, the USA and South America. As well as writing
about their experiences hiking as a couple on their walking blog
(www.treksnappy.com) Danielle has three main roles on the trail:
camp organiser, ration controller, and chief pot washer!

you cant see what lies ahead in terms of the possible dan- encouraged at the sight of the hut, and enjoying a renewed
gers you may be facing! Mount Whitney was one of those surge of energy, I too made my way hastily to the summit.
times. Just one foot wrong and you could easily find yourself The wind was howling and it was punishingly cold up
heading straight over a cliff edge as you have to navigate there, but we had made it. We savoured the moment just as
your way across thin sections of trail. Even more unnerving the sun crested over the mountain and winked at us. What
are the window openings at particular sections between an incredible end to our JMT journey! I had hiked with a Un-
jagged peaks that allow you to look out onto the town of ion Jack in my pocket for the entire 27 days and finally saw
Lone Pine. But at least in the dark we couldnt see how close fit to take out the flag for our picture on top of Mount Whit-
to the edge we really were, or take any notice of the quickest ney. We were so elated, anyone would have thought wed
way down! reached the top of Everest. After some more photos near
We continued on what seemed like a never-ending snake the JMT plaque, we signed the visitor book and took some
of switchbacks, watching the inky black sky turn to a deep much-needed respite in the mountain hut, reminiscing over
blue, with a smudge of orange haze appearing on the ho- the last month and what had been our most memorable hik-
rizon as we looked back. We desperately wanted to reach ing adventure to date.
the summit before sunrise. We had estimated that it would From our very first day on the trail we were overwhelmed
take us around three and a half hours to cover the five miles by the stunning landscape. The JMT truly showcases moun-
before the sun came up. But it was tough going and one of tainous scenery of epic proportions. Forget the movies, this
those hikes that when you look up and think youre almost pristine wilderness is America at its best. Day after day, mile
there, another set of switchbacks seem to appear out of no- upon mile, the valleys carved out before us were so beautiful
where, and what you thought was the top isnt the top at all. and captivating that we could not help but utter wow as
I was getting tired, finding it hard to catch my breath we gazed in wonder at one incredible spectacle after anoth-
with the increase in altitude, and was struggling to keep er. From a cooling swim and smouldering sunset at Lower
up with Waynes pace. I was almost ready to give up when Cathedral Lake, to following the gently flowing streams and
the mountain hut suddenly came into view. In a moment of lush meadows of Lyell Canyon, to an intense calm but feel-
pure joy, I shouted out, Were almost there! Wayne was ing of elation at reaching the top of Donahue Pass, to sitting
now racing to the top to try and get his tripod set up before by Marie Lake spellbound by the magnificent mountain re-
a delicate ball of brightness burst above the horizon. Feeling flections, to the complete solitude and isolation of camping

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along Le Conte Canyon, to witnessing an electrifying storm are three times higher than Scafell Pike, the tallest mountain
raging through Evolution Basin its hard to pick a favourite in England. Similarly, at home the most dangerous animal
scene or moment from this show-stopping trail. youre likely to encounter is a bull in a farmers field, how-
Even after just a few miles into our thru-hike, Half Dome, ever in the States its very different. With each step, with
a huge granite rock face reaching 2,694m, had us staring in each wild camp, you must be vigilant about wildlife, and
amazement. Looking just like its been sheared in two, the particularly attentive to the presence of bears, which adds
mountain draws lots of hikers to Yosemite Valley eager to another complexity to the trail, as well as extra weight to
scale its iconic cliff face, assisted by a metal cable system. carry in the form of a bear proof canister.
Access is restricted by a daily quota, so we were some of the In this region of the US, for overnight trips, its manda-
lucky few to obtain Half Dome permits along with our per- tory to carry all food stuffs, in fact anything with a scent
mit for the JMT. such as toothpaste, soap, medication inside a bear proof
To go up or not? Having sat for an hour watching other container. The container must then be kept inside a bear
people attempt the final ascent using the cables, Wayne de- proof locker at designated campsites, or at least 15m away
cided it wasnt for him, and I only managed to go about a from your tent when camping in the backcountry. After
quarter of the way up before I got jelly legs and found it was placing our bear canisters the recommended distance away
too scary. Traversing a rock face at a 45 degree angle will from our tent (but still in eye-sight), we also went so far as
surely explain why. Were not mountain climbers after all. to set up a homemade alarm system by placing our cook set
I think were both more than happy to stick to hiking! But and cutlery on top of the canister, just as an extra precau-
the view was incredible and Wayne captured a time lapse tion. We thought it would offer further reassurance and help
sequence of all the brave and crazy people slowly making us settle down for a good nights sleep. But instead of sleep-
their way to the top and back down via the same route. It ing, we lay listening to the multitude of noises in the night
was heart-stopping stuff. for any inkling that there could be a bear nearby! With the
The stark, granite peaks and alpine environment of the thought constantly in the back of our minds, it proved ex-
high passes contrasts greatly with the lush rolling hills and tremely difficult to relax. Yet exhaustion at the end of a few
green patchwork typifying the English landscapes were long walking days quickly got the better of us, resulting in a
used to at home. As with most things in the US that weve much more restful night.
experienced (from the size of the coffee cups to the size of It was about a week into our trip that we found out from a
the motorhomes), everything is on a much grander scale. group of hikers well versed in what to expect in the Sierras,
Along the JMT on any given moment, the mountains in view having completed the JMT three times over the past decade,

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that they had never once so much as caught a glimpse of the ers, collecting food packages for a fee from the Post Office
elusive animal we had been fretting so much about. We took at Mono Springs and transporting them by mule further up
this as a good sign and thereafter, bear encounters became the trail for collection from the ranch. When you are two
much less of a worry. But it wasnt the bears that we should days away from civilisation and theres no other option of
have been so concerned about. Much more of a nuisance purchasing food on the trail, and when hiker hunger simply
along the trail were the little creatures like squirrels, chip- knows no bounds, this is totally worth the cost.
munks and marmots, which we nicknamed trail bandits! We had been thoroughly looking forward to a fresh sup-
Right from the start we saw how cunning they were, nib- ply of rations, however trying to group and organise effec-
bling through another hikers backpack (left unattended) tively 66 meal portions, and fit them into two containers
because there was sun cream inside. of 11 litres capacity, had been much too optimistic of us
Prior to heading up the trail to Half Dome we had stashed (trying to fit a square peg in a round hole comes to mind!).
our bear canisters and removed a few other heavy items So, we had no alternative but to set about off-loading some
from our backpacks to make it easier going up there, hiding of our least favourite foodstuffs, whilst taking advantage
our stuff behind some bushes off-trail. On our way back of some of the surplus goods left by other hikers by swap-
down however, we were starting to regret that decision, ping out some heavier and bulkier items with other space
having visions that some pesky trail bandits had probably saving freeze-dried stuff we found in the hiker bins. Its
eaten through our sleeping bags. Luckily, we re-located amazing what things people leave behind after realising
our hiding spot and were thankful to discover that both our how excessive theyve been compared with the minimal
backpacks and their contents remained intact. But from an- needs of the trail. After several attempts at packing the
other hikers misfortune it was an important lesson learnt canister in different ways, and after a little fine-tuning, we
that your backpack should never leave your sight and that finally mastered it, fitting in everything we needed for the
everything should be stowed safely inside the bear canister. last week and a half. Well, almost (we really wished we had
Now that can be a real challenge! As difficult as it was fit- prioritised deodorant!).
ting in four days worth of food at the start of our hike, the Its hard to believe that in the state of California, a place
real test would be cramming in 11 days worth of food into thats 1.8 times larger than the United Kingdom and home to
two bear canisters at our final resupply location. This was on more than 38 million people, you can walk 211 miles without
day 15 when we picked up our final bucket of goodies that having to cross a road. We tried to imagine how John Muir
we had posted to Muir Trail Ranch prior to setting off on the must have felt discovering the pristine beauty of it all for the
JMT. The ranch provides an excellent service for thru-hik- first time. It really does capture your heart and soul. Instru-

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F ew places in t h is w o rld are m o re dan g er o u s

tha n hom e. F ear no t, t h eref o re, t o t ry t h e m o u n ta i n
pa s s es. They will kill c are, s ave yo u f ro m d ea d ly
a pathy, s et you f r ee, an d c all f o rt h every fac u lt y
into vigoro u s, en t h u s ias t ic ac t io n
John Muir

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The Challenge
Stretching from Yosemite Valley to Mount Whitney, the
211-mile John Muir Trail takes in the surrounding beauty of
the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range passing through three
of North Americas finest and best-known national parks,
and in total five designated wilderness areas: Yosemite,
Ansel Adams, John Muir, Kings Canyon and Sequoia
each a distinct area of outstanding character, showcasing
many natural wonders. The average, reasonably fit and
experienced hiker should be able to cover this distance
comfortably in around 21 days.
With considerable elevation gains and losses from
end to end, and the requirement to carry in excess of 10
days worth of food during the latter stages, you must be
prepared for some long, intensive walking days. In winter
its on another level entirely.

mental in preserving numerous wilderness areas across the

H I K I N G T H R O U G H E V O LU T I O N B A S I N United States in the late 1800s, the John Muir Trail owes its
standing to this insightful man. Not only were we walking in
his footsteps on the trail, but we also found ourselves gain-
ing a deep understanding of why he was so passionate about
the Sierras. Hiking around Lakes Wanda and Helen, named
after his two daughters, we found his legacy all encompass-
ing. Climbing almost 3,647m to reach the top of Muir Pass,
we took a breather in the Muir Hut, built in his honour by
the Sierra Club in 1931. There was a photograph of John Muir
inside the hut. His words were very touching and at that
moment we felt very privileged to be in this special place.
Out there on the John Muir Trail, there is a sense of soli-
tude like no other. We were in our own little bubble, seem-
ingly incommunicado from the rest of the world. No TV, no
music, no internet, no distractions. And thankfully no bear
intrusions. We wondered how many people today could
survive an entire month without access to the internet?
For some, we think this might be more difficult than going
D E S C E N D I N G F R O M G L E N PA S S without a shower! After 27 days on the trail and 10 mountain
passes successfully accomplished, Ive got to admit that on
the final day, we were feeling a little bit drained, a little bit
dirty and more than a little bit hungry! But what an incredi-
ble shared experience to have with my husband. No wonder
John Muir said, The mountains are calling and I must go...
What started out as a bucket list dream for the both of
us, finally became a reality. John Muir would be proud. We
were literally glowing from the experience. In our opin-
ion, its certainly one of the best reasons to visit the United
States of America!

www.wiredforadventure.co.uk J U L | A U G 2 0 1 7 95
100% TA STE

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Delicious mouthwatering flavours ricola.com

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Pre-planning hound bus service that runs from San hiking up and over a high pass daily which
Tackling the entire distance of the Francisco to the city of Merced. From can be extremely tough going. Take care
John Muir Trail whilst being completely Merced, it is only a couple of hours drive to to plan your itinerary based on your own
self-sufficient requires careful planning, Yosemite National Park. We took a YARTS hiking pace and what is enjoyable and
preparation and training. Initially, you will bus from the Amtrak Station in Merced di- realistic for you.
find the biggest challenge is obtaining a rectly to the Yosemite National Park Visitor
Wilderness Permit granting you access Centre. It was completely hassle-free and Where to stay
a picturesque journey! On the trail, the majority of your time
to the trail. As the JMT has become so
will be spent wild camping. The JMT is
popular, only a specific quota of people are
allowed onto the trail per day to protect
Getting home designed for independent, wilderness
Once you have completed the JMT, you travellers. Youll sleep in a tent, purify
the landscape and minimise the impact
will have to reach the town of Lone Pine, 13 water and keep yourself safe while leaving
from foot traffic. The key is to keep trying
miles from the Whitney Portal Trailhead. no trace of your travels. Either side of the
for different dates and different trailhead
This can be done easily by hitching a ride walk youll want to pre-book rooms in ad-
starting points in the hope that one of your
with one of the many day trippers that are vance as these can get booked up quickly.
applications will finally be accepted.
returning from their own summit of Mount
Youll also need to purchase or rent a What to take
Whitney. From Lone Pine you can arrange
bear canister, decide on easy cook hiker Gear: The importance of packing light
onward travel by bus (with East Sierra
meals, purchase food stuffs, package up on the John Muir trail cannot be over-
Transit or YARTS) to the city of Bishop and
and post food re-supplies and choose stressed. Lightweight waterproofs are
onward to Reno and Los Angeles.
suitable collection points. Your itinerary highly recommended, as are warmer layers
and how many days you plan on spending When to Go for higher elevations and cooler evenings.
in the wilderness is what will determine Generally, the trail is accessible from Ankle scree gaiters are effective at keeping
how many re-supply food parcels you will July through to September, but it varies stones out of your trail shoes and walking
need and where they should be. from year to year depending on the previ- poles helpful on ascents and descents.
ous winters snowfall. Its also a matter of Food: Easy cook food is useful to
Getting there risk tolerance, skill and the specific con- minimise gas usage so you may want to
For those walking the entire trail you ditions of that season. invest in dehydrated food or ration packs,
will be best placed to get an open-jaw or even make your own.
ticket (these can be slightly more expen- Timescale
sive than a standard return ticket), flying Traditionally the JMT is hiked south- Further information
into San Francisco and out of Los Angeles bound, and most thru-hikers cover the Elizabeth Wenks John Muir Trail, 5th edi-
after finishing. If youd prefer to get a 211-mile distance in two to three weeks. tion will answer most of your questions
return flight to the same airport, tickets We opted to complete the route in 27 days about this trail, and also recommends
start from roughly 400 for Los Angeles or so that we could take our time and enjoy other useful books with general infor-
600 for San Fransisco. it at a slower pace. If you only allow your- mation about lightweight and long-dis-
Once on the ground, there is a Grey- self a fortnight, you will be predominantly tance backpacking.

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Summer Base layers

Rob Slade and Naomi Dunbar get to grips with 26 base layers to nd out which will
do the best job in the hills this summer

heres no debating it. Layering is key to a good the skin and usually deliver fantastic temperature regula-
day in the hills, and the only way to kick this off tion. Having said that, drying times can suffer as a result.
right is with a decent base layer. But what makes Fit is also important. Most base layers are intended to
for a good base layer, and how do you make sense be worn close to the skin to achieve an optimum level of
of such a saturated market? moisture wicking and temperature regulation, but its
By far the most important aspect of a base layer is the important to find the right balance for you. Some brands
materials which they are made of. Just whisper the word manufacture base layers which have an alpine fit mak-
cotton at an outdoor event and youll get looks that could ing them particularly snug, while others may be quite
kill. The truth is that cotton does not wick moisture away roomy, so you may want to drop down a size or go up a
and wont keep you warm when wet, often with danger- size depending on which garment you like the look of.
ous results. Best avoid it then. This typically leaves us with Beyond the above, youll want to pay close attention
synthetic materials, wool and a blend of the two. Synthetic to the finer details. Does the base layer have flat-locked
materials are often very good at wicking moisture away seams to make it more comfortable and avoid chafing? Is
and drying quickly, but they can be itchy and are known it long in the body so that you wont be exposed to drafts
to become smelly relatively quickly. To tackle this, some if having to scramble up a steep section of land? Are the
base layers will feature odour-resistant technology such as labels out of the way to avoid any uncomfortable rubbing?
Polygiene which does a good job of counteracting this. Its definitely worth trying a base layer on before part-
Alternatively, wool is credited with being naturally ing with your hard-earned money, but on the pages that
anti-bacterial, so it can go longer without ponging com- follow well be doing our best to answer as many ques-
pared to a standard synthetic garment. Products which tions as possible and, hopefully, help you make an in-
make use of wool can also be more comfortable next to formed decision on which product is best for you.

98 J U L | A U G 2 0 1 7 www.wiredforadventure.co.uk

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7 10


7 10


8 10




Virda NosiLife Active Short Aerial Tee
20 Sleeved T-Shirt 25 30
www.regatta.com www.craghoppers.com www.rab.equipment/uk
The Virda is a polyester base layer from The NosiLife Active t-shirt stands out The first thing you notice about the
Regatta which comes in a huge range from all of the rest in this test, which is Aerial Tee is just how lightweight it is.
of colours and we have to admit, its one mainly because its so bright in the spiced Honestly, you might even forget you
good-looking piece of kit. The fit is spot orange colourway we are using. And are wearing it because it is so light. Its
on, being long enough to keep you covered we mean bright. Dont worry though, if comfortable too, and the material feels
when scrambling, while the material orange isnt your thing there is a more really nice against the skin which is
is comfortable against the skin as well. subtle bone colourway. As with a lot of important when youre in a sticky scenario
Unfortunately, although most of the seams Craghoppers kit, the product features the with a rucksack on, as I was when walking
are flat, we did find them to be quite brands NosiLife technology which helps to on the Gower Peninsula. On that day it
noticeable against the skin which could be keep nasties at bay. also did a very good job of temperature
irritating at times. The saving grace here We have to admit, the NosiLife Active regulation and moisture wicking, ensuring
is that the shoulder seams are offset so T-Shirt isnt quite as comfortable against I stayed comfortable on tough inclines and
they wont cause irritation when wearing the skin as others, with the material not level coastal paths.
a rucksack. The garment offers a good being the softest, but the low-profile seams While the top generally dealt with sweat
amount of stretch, meaning youll have no havent caused us any problems. Fit is well, we did find others on test dried
issues with restricted movement. generally good, but the garment could faster, but for the price we were pretty
There are mesh panels strategically definitely do with being longer as it did ride happy. At 30, the Aerial Tee represents
placed under the arms and on the centre of up a fair bit in use. It gives a decent amount great value and for that cash, you also get
your back to help with venting, but despite of stretch though, providing a good range of the inclusion of Polygienes odour control
this, we found it to be slightly less breathable manoeuvrability. treatment which ensures you wont be
compared to many of the other tops on test. In our drying test, the garment did fairly offending your fellow walkers. It also
The Virdas wicking capabilities were also well, coming smack bang in the middle offers protection against the sun (UPF30+)
touch and go, and while we found things of the mens options with a time of a few which is never to be sniffed at.
quite sticky during intense activity, more hours. Considering the NosiLife Active In terms of fit, we were more than happy
sedate sessions arent a problem. It came T-Shirt is only 25 thats pretty impressive. with the Aerial Tee. Its true to size and
out fairly low down in our drying test and Moisture management was generally has an excellent amount of give which
we found that after a bit of intense usage, it decent, but with a rucksack on things did ensures not only comfort, but also a great
does start to pong a bit. Having said that, at get a bit heated and sticky. Wed also point range of motion. This stretch also helps
20 the Virda represents great value and if out that although the garment is said to be the garment sit against the skin, offering
you catch it at the right time on the Regatta anti-bacterial, we did notice it started to more effective temperature regulation and
website you can often find it even cheaper. pong toward the end of the day. moisture wicking.


It might not make the headlines, but its An affordable option that will do the job. Comfortable, good value and a decent
worth considering if the money is tight. performer.

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S AV E w w w.W I R E D F O R A D V E N T U R E . c o . u k / S H O P

40% 01789 450 000




8 10


9 10


6 10




Capilene Daily Graphic Tee Mens Sveit T-Shirt HYDROPORE ATHLETIC T
35 35 38
www.patagonia.co.uk www.vaude.com www.jack-wolfskin.co.uk
The Capilene Daily Graphic Tee is another Another product which has a casual The Hydropore Athletic T from Jack
product on test here that looks good and I look about it is the Sveit from Vaude, Wolfskin is a base layer that uses a lot of
would be more than happy enough to wear which is a blend of polyester and wool the brands in-house technologies which
around town. In fact, Id happily where and as such, combines the properties of offer properties such as odour resistance,
it anywhere and everywhere. As well as both. It came out first in our drying test, moisture control and sun protection
looking good, it fits well too. Although, if beating thinner, more expensive options. (UPF50). Its a good looking garment
we were being fussy we would like to see This ability to dry quickly was also on and it feels good too. Upon pulling the
a slightly longer cut to avoid any riding up show when I used the Sveit T-Shirt on a Hydropore Athletic T on, you notice just
when scrambling or wearing a rucksack. coasteering trip in Wales. It offered great how soft and comfortable the material is
Patagonia has good form when it comes temperature regulation and dried in no against the skin. I would happily live in the
to social responsibility and it continues here time at all, leaving me very impressed. material all day, every day.
with the Capilene Daily Graphic Tee being We love the two-tone colour scheme Unfortunately, there is one thing that
Fair Trade Certified and bluesign approved. and found the garment to be extremely holds the garment back in terms of its
This means the methods and materials comfortable against the skin, while the fit comfort the label. The placement and
used in the garments manufacturing was spot on too. It doesnt have flatlock size of the label made it irritating enough
conserve resources and minimise the seams and they are not placed off of for me to notice it regularly. Aside from
impact on people and the environment. the shoulders, but this didnt affect the that, the elastic nature of the garment
This top has been designed to do a job no comfort, even with a rucksack on. It did ensures it fits well and allows for a good
matter what the situation, day in and day a great job at wicking away moisture and range of movement.
out, and while it does its job casually, how was breathable in hot weather, while It is worth noting that the Hydropore
does it fare on the hills? Well, its suitably temperature regulation was also good. Athletic T didnt fare so well in our drying
lightweight and comfortable to wear, The garment offers a pretty good test and took one of the longest times
is stretchy enough to provide a decent amount of odour resistance, though it did to dry out. During intense periods, we
range of movement and also comes with start to smell a bit on the second day. We found it wasnt the best at moisture
Polygienes permanent odour control so also liked the fact that the Sveit T-Shirt management either and it did get a bit
you can stay fresher for longer. It feels cool features Vaudes Green Shape label which sticky at times, but on slightly cooler days
and airy, and in our drying test it performed means it is environmentally friendly and where things werent so tough, it did a
very well, being beaten by only Vaude and has been made from sustainable material good job of temperature regulation and
The North Face. Its not too bad at wicking under fair working conditions. All of this dealt with sweat a bit better.
either, though there are others better is on offer for a very respectable 35 too,
suited for serious action. which isnt a bad price at all.


A fashionable base layer thats a good A good looking top that more than lives up Ideal for low-intensity activities and looks
all-rounder. to its billing. good too.

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8 10


8 10




Titan Ice Tee Light Long-Sleeve Shirt Eddy Short Sleeve
40 40 42
www.columbiasportswear.co.uk www.thenorthface.co.uk www.finister re.com
Were often impressed by the Being that The North Faces base layer Unlike a lot of the baselayers appearing
technology that Columbia employs when is long-sleeve, I was slightly dubious in this review, the Eddy Short Sleeve t-shirt
constructing its garments and thats about how it was going to fare during the almost looks just like a casual cotton
certainly the case here. The Titan Ice Tee drying test, but it actually did really well, t-shirt you would wear around town. As
employs the brands Omni-Freeze ZERO beaten only by Vaudes offering. Despite thats the case, we were more than happy
technology which basically means that those long sleeves, I also found that it to be seen wearing this in the mountains
the garment has a cooling effect which is remained quite comfortable in warm and in the pub, just as we have found with a
activated by sweat. In testing, we found conditions, which is likely down to how lot of Finisterres kit.
that this, along with super light mesh thin the material is and the hollow core But how did it cope in action? Pretty well
panels, ensured temperature regulation fibres that make up its construction. It actually. A blend of merino wool (80%)
worked well and overheating never really dealt with moisture pretty well, wicking it and polyamide (20%) offer characteristics
seemed to be an issue. away effectively and the material proved from both materials including durability,
Unfortunately, we were less impressed to be very breathable. odour resistance and shape retention while
with the fit of the top and found it to be We found it to be comfortable to wear offering a super comfortable experience.
quite boxy and loose, so it might be worth at all times with the flatlock seams and It dried really quickly and it was good on
going a size down here. The upshot is 5% elastane doing their jobs well, while the moisture management, not getting
that youre unlikely to be exposed when the materials stretch ensured we were saturated when exercising in warm
scrambling thanks to the length of the never found wanting. One thing we were weather. Having said that, with a full pack
garment. The Titan Ice Tee also has slightly disappointed about was that, as it on we did start to find the back getting
elastane in its make-up, so youre not is a long sleeved top, it would have been slightly sticky and clingy, but it was nothing
going to feel restricted even if you do drop nice to have a zip neck to aid ventilation too serious.
down a size. for when things really got heated. While The fit was true to size, but it would have
Surprisingly, the top didnt perform its not to everyones liking, a collar would been nice to have had a slightly longer
quite as well as we were expecting in the have also helped with sun protection. cut on the arms and body to stop the back
drying test, coming in the bottom half of Style-wise, its not really something I from becoming exposed when wearing a
the group, but its wicking performance would want to be heading to the pub in rucksack or scrambling. While we found
on the trail was not bad. At 40 there are and it does hug your figure fairly snugly, the Eddy Short Sleeve comfortable on the
definitely cheaper options available to but on the hill its more than acceptable. whole, we do feel that flatlock seams and
you, but if staying cool is a high priority could improve this during the activities
then youll want to give this a look. mentioned above, and at 42 this is
something we would have hoped to see.


A great option which will help you stay A really comfortable, fast drying top that A comfortable option that will look just as
cool when the mercury rises. does well in warmer conditions. good in town as it will on the hill.

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8 10








Echo L/S Zip Tee PEDROC DELTA DRY TEE Trovat Pro T-Shirt
45 50 55
www.outdoor research.com www.salewa.co.uk/en/ www.mammut.ch
This Outdoor Research garment might The Pedroc Delta Dry Tee from Salewa The Trovat Pro T-Shirt from Mammut is
be long sleeved, but dont let that fool you may raise eyebrows with its hefty price tag, another item on test that is constructed
into thinking it is any less suitable than the but the truth is that it is probably one of the out of a blend of materials. It uses
others for summer use. The material is most technical tops on test, with plenty of Polartec Power Wool (66% polyester
both ridiculously light and incredibly soft to impressive features on show. The inclusion and 34% merino wool) which offers
the touch, so comfort in warmer climes is of Polygiene technology inhibits the growth an excellent amount of comfort and
not something you have to worry about. of microogranisms that cause odour, so durability. In fact, I would probably say
The great thing about the Echo L/S Zip youll smell fresher for longer. This was this was up there as one of my favourites
Tee is that it offers a really impressive definitely something we appreciated on a in terms of the wearing experience, with
amount of protection from the sun. It has a recent multiday trip to Snowdonia. the raglan sleeves, flatlock seams and
SPF rating of 15 and the long sleeves and Beyond that, the garment also makes soft merino wool making it an incredibly
high collar help to protect your skin from use of the new Polartec Delta fabric which pleasurable experience.
the suns harmful rays. In terms of fit, the does a great job of temperature regulation It has an alpine fit, so it does sit fairly
Echo L/S Zip Tee feels pretty loose and and moisture management, even with a close to your body, but if you dont mind this
airy, so you may want to consider dropping close-fitting rucksack on. The garments then youll be very happy indeed. The Trovat
down a size if youd prefer it to sit closer hydrophilic (water-attracting in normal Pro T-Shirt is light, has a good amount of
to your skin. In practise, we actually quite speak) yarns absorb and distribute moisture stretch ensuring a full range of motion and
appreciated it on the trail as it allowed air around the fabric helping to provide a also offers sun protection (UPF30+). I really
in to cool us down and didnt get too sticky. cooling response. In practise, we found the enjoyed wearing this top, and would have
On the whole, the garment performed garment did exactly what it was supposed been more than happy wearing it in the pub
pretty well on the drying test, with only the to and helped ensure a comfortable climb or around town too.
sleeves taking a while, but were confident without things getting too hot and sweaty. We found other tops on test did a better
this wouldnt be an issue on the trail. We The fit is as you would expect, while a job of moisture wicking during highly
also found that the long sleeves and high four-way stretch ensures excellent range intensive moments and we had higher
collar didnt lead to overheating and the of movement and offset shoulder seams hopes for the tops breathability on these
AirVent fabric copes well on hot days, provide added comfort. Its not quite as soft occasions as well, but on less demanding
wicking moisture way really well. If you do as some others on test, but thats not to say sections of trail the Trovat Pro T-Shirt
find yourself overheating, a deep zip offers its uncomfortable, while the style also drew performs admirably. It also did rather well
excellent ventilation. It is more expensive attention in the office. At 50, it commands in our drying test, finishing in the top half
than quite a few of the others, but you do a hefty price tag, but if you can afford it you of the group.
get what you pay for. wont be disappointed.


A well-featured top that is well suited to A high tech base layer that is more than Super comfortable but pretty pricey.
summer use. up to the job.

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8 10


7 10




Koulin Womens Tech Tee Womens V Neck Tech Tee Mighty Stripe Tee
14 23 30
www.alpkit.com www.berghaus.com www.mountainhardwear.co.uk
I havent worn anything by Alpkit Berghaus has been developing base This is a nice and simple little base
before, so I wasnt really sure what to layers for over 30 years now, so youd layer which does everything you need it to.
expect from this base layer, but I must expect everything to be in order. So, Being the typical British summer, I got
say, I was pretty impressed. Being the Im pleased to report that everything caught in a spot of rain whilst I was out
cheapest of all the garments in this test is A-okay with this one. This is a (without a rain jacket silly me) and it held
at only 14, this is not a bad little base nice, simple base layer, which does up pretty well, with the water droplets
layer at all. The material is soft against everything you need it to, exactly when rolling off of the material for a good while
the skin and features mesh panelling you need it. The odour resistant fabric before the rain water started to saturate it.
which is super breathable and kept keeps the pong away (even after wearing Once the showers had finally buggered off
me cool whilst out hiking. I was also it more times than youd like to admit), and the sun was back out to play, it wasnt
impressed with its wicking capabilities, and the garments wicking properties long until the top had almost completely
the t-shirt kept the sweat at bay and kept keep the sweat at bay on a hard days dried out, which was ideal because no one
me dry throughout the day. trekking. This t-shirt is perfect for the likes to hang around in soggy clothing,
I really like the handy pocket on the summer months as it offers UPF 50+, even if it is a warm day.
back of the t-shirt; its small, discrete however this doesnt include the mesh Its a loose and casual fit, whilst still
and ideally sized for a credit card or a parts of the fabric, so be sure to protect cut to the shape and curves of the female
key, which would be perfect if youre out those parts with a good dollop of sun body, which makes it a comfortable top
on fast-paced pursuits. Another great cream to be safe. to wear, and its not bad looking either.
feature of the Koulin Tech Tee is the The garment is lightweight, so itll The t-shirt also benefits from wicking
reflective logo, which will help to keep you pack down with absolutely no fuss in technology and the fabric has an anti-
safe if youre still out when the sun goes your luggage and it also performed quite microbial finish to help control odour. I
down. We found the base layer performed well in the drying test. Being one of the really liked the colour of this one (crab
very well in a drying test, being one of cheapest base layers in this test, I must legs the name made me chuckle!) and
the first few base layers to be completely say, Im pretty darn impressed with there are three other pleasant colours
bone dry and leaving some of the bigger the value for money you get here this to choose from: shasta blue, steam
brands behind. This is a simple t-shirt t-shirt is a great all-round performer. It grey and black. This base layer is super
with three funky colours to choose from, also comes in two colours, well, shades: lightweight too, so there will be no issues
all with contrasting stitching, which keeps blue and dark blue. with shoving it into your luggage, even if
the style looking fresh. youre short on space.


An affordable base layer that more than A fantastic all-round performer at an af- Quick-drying with a flattering and femi-
keeps up with the rest of the competition. fordable price. nine fit.

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9 10


7 10


7 10




Comet Plus SS Tee W Endless Knot Tee Bamboo SS Contrast
30 30 Stitch Baselayer 32
www.salomon.com www.sherpaadventuregear.co.uk www.bambooclothing.co.uk
Out of all the base layers I tried for This top feels just like a simple cotton Im really fond of BAM. I always find
this test, Id say this was definitely one t-shirt to touch, but its got a trick or two the brands products luxuriously soft
of my favourites. Even when Im in the up its sleeve. The fabric is made with and super comfortable against my skin
mountains I still like my kit to look Sherpas quick-drying technology, which and this t-shirt was no exception. The
good, and I found that Salomon have means itll wick the moisture away material is thicker than most of the
done a superb job of finding the perfect from your skin much quicker than your other base layers I tested, but I still felt
balance between fashion and function average cotton-Joe. When it came to just as cool in it, even when hiking in
with this one. drying out, it wasnt the best, but, it did the sun on the hills. This is because of
My favourite bit about this base layer find itself in the mid-range of the bunch. the hollow microfibre properties of the
is the mesh back. Not only is this a Because of its cottony feel, this base bamboo material, which offers excellent
good-looking feature, but it helped to layer is really soft against the skin, breathability, UV protection and is also
keep me cool and comfortable while it also benefits from odour resistant pretty good at wicking moisture away
on trail. Ill be the first to admit that technology, keeping you feeling (and from the skin.
I can get a good back-sweat on when smelling) fresher for much longer This t-shirt also has a very feminine
scrambling tricky trails, and as gross perfect for travelling, camping or any cut, which hugs the curves of your body
as that is, a gal needs a t-shirt that will trip that laundry isnt at the forefront of without being too skin tight, making it a
help her out in those sticky situations. the agenda. super comfortable and stylish garment to
So, as you can imagine old Sweaty Its got a nice little knot motif to wear. The only thing that did disappoint
Betty here was very pleased with the the front, which is actually Sherpas me about this t-shirt was the seriously
breathability that this t-shirt has to offer. signature symbol. The symbol slow drying time. It really held the water
When it came to drying off, the Comet represents unity, wisdom and and was still wet when pretty much
Plus Tee performed exceptionally well, compassion and is said to be there to all of the other base layers in the test
being the quickest in the test. With all remind us that all things, in all ways, are had dried. This is probably due to the
those pros and no cons that spring to tied together as one I love things with thickness of material, but I have to say,
mind, Id say that 30 is a pretty good meaning behind them and I think that the Icebreaker base layer was of similar
deal for this product. Salomon also has one is a particularly nice one. This base thickness and was much, much quicker
a whole variety (six to be precise) of layer also comes in three colours, blue, in drying time. The apple green space dye
different bright and jazzy colours to pick pink and grey. colour of this t-shirt is really beautiful so
from too. that was another plus for me.


Fashionable yet functionable with impres- An odour resistant top which will keep you A luxuriusly soft garment with excellent
sive breathability. feeling fresh. breathability.

108 J U L | A U G 2 0 1 7 www.wiredforadventure.co.uk
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7 10


6 10


8 10




W HH Active Flow LS Ceramicool Pro Baselayer Cambia Short Sleeved
35 Shirt 35 T-shirt 40
www.hellyhansen.com www.odlo.co.uk www.paramo-clothing.com
At first, I was sceptical about how Im not too sure on the look of this Youve gotta love a good old
hot I would be on a sunny day in this one, but that just comes down to my reversible t-shirt, well, I like this one
base layer, because of the full-length (somewhat fussy) personal taste. Other anyway. But, this t-shirt isnt just
sleeves, but I have to say I wasnt nearly than the looks, this t-shirt has a range reversible for the fun of it, it offers
as hot as I thought Id be. Naturally, of other good qualities. Constructed with variable properties depending on which
when the sun was beaming down on me a cooling technology and mesh panels way round you wear it.
there were occasions where I did have positioned exactly where you need them, On the smooth side, the fabric holds
to roll the sleeves up, but all in all, the the fabric will keep you cool even at times moisture close to your skin helping
lightweight weave of the fabric kept me when youre working hard. Youll also to cool you down, whereas on the
pretty cool. find that this t-shirt will help wick away other, textured side, it directs water
Its got a relaxed fit so it is nice and some of the moisture when things start away from your skin and uses thermal
casual to wear, but some of the others to heat up. Ideally suited for wearing in properties to keep you warm. Pretty
in this test did feel better against the the summer, this base layer benefits clever, eh? So not only is this t-shirt
skin. When it came to tackling the from UPF 25+ protection from the sun perfect for summer, itll be your best
tougher hills, the Active Flow LS did (but dont forget to slap on the sun cream pal in the winter months too! It felt
have my back when it came to moisture too). The cut of the t-shirt is quite nice, nice and soft against my skin, and
management, wicking the sweat away a little on the tighter side of things but it the purple colour I tested was really
from my skin and keeping me dry. I fits well to the feminine form. striking which I loved.
tested out the latigo bay colour of this Unfortunately, in comparison to some When it came to drying out, this
base layer, and I have to say I really of the other base layers in this test, it t-shirt was one of the faster of the
wasnt keen (here we go, Captain Fussy didnt perform quite so well when it came bunch too. Yes, out of all the base
is at it again) but I had a look online and to drying out, being at the slower end of layers Ive tested, at 40 this one is
the ebony version looks really nice. things. All in all, its not a bad product, at the pricier end, however, with the
Unfortunately, I wasnt impressed with but for 35 I was hoping for a bit more nifty reversible technology, you could
the drying time of this base layer as it from it. If like me, spectrum blue isnt say that youre getting two t-shirts for
was still pretty wet whilst many others your thing, there are two other colours to the price of one so with that in mind,
in the test were bone dry. choose from: white and black, both with there are no complaints from me here.
pink detailing to the sleeves and collar.


A casual base layer that has your back A base layer which does a fine job when A comfortable base layer with a clever
when it comes to moisture management. things start to heat up. little twist.

110 J U L | A U G 2 0 1 7 www.wiredforadventure.co.uk



8 10


8 10


8 10




Rana Womens Tee Primino 140 T-shirt Oasis Short Sleeve Crewe
45 45 55
www.sprayway.com www.montane.co.uk www.icebreaker.com
You should have ditched the cotton You have to dig a little deeper into your Im a big fan of Icebreaker. Theyre
dear! I reminded my friend (much to her pockets when buying Montane, but I always pricey but oh-so-worth it. Knowing how
annoyance) as she was melting away in find the price matches the quality and Im well the other base layers performed,
her cotton t-shirt while we were hiking pleased to say that this was the case here. I decided to put this one through its
the hills in the hot bank holiday sun. Well, Constructed with 50% merino wool, 25% paces whilst hiking the Alpe Adria
wasnt I a smug little bugger, feeling PrimaLoft and 25% polyester, the Primino Trail in Italy and wow, it did not let me
nothing but fresh and cool in this Sprayway 140 T-shirt cleverly blends the properties down! Its the merino wool properties
top. As you probably know (and my friend of the three materials to offer a decent within the material which makes these
originally refused to believe), when it wicking performance as well as being Icebreaker base layers so fantastic. The
comes to hiking you need a technical base warm when needed, keeping you cool and feel of the fabric is thicker than most
layer that wont let you down. comfortable throughout the year. of the other base layers in this test,
In this case I had merino wool, which Not only is this t-shirt soft, but its but because its so breathable, its just
is fantastic because it dried quickly and incredibly fast-drying too. The fabric also as cool as the thinner ones its also
wicked the sweat away from my skin benefits from anti-odour properties thanks divinely soft against the skin.
well. These factors combined within the to the inclusion of Polygiene technology, When it comes to drying out, it wont
Rana Tee to make for a very comfortable so even after wearing it a good few times let you down either, it kept up with
garment which kept me cool and you wont offend your pals when theyre pretty much most of the thinner base
comfortable all day on my hike. Obviously, stood downwind from you. This is perfect layers in this test which is impressive
merino wool products can be a little for travelling or wild camping where you because some of them are literally
more pricey than other materials, but dont always have the time or the facilities paper thin. Its not the fanciest looking
you get what you pay for. This base layer to do your laundry. Flatlock seams give this of the bunch, but its simple and does
also offers a nice flattering shape, which t-shirt extra comfort and durability, while exactly what you need it to without any
is cut to fit the feminine figure theres just the right amount of stretch makes for fuss and when youre working up a
nothing worse than a t-shirt that makes easy reach and free movement. I also found sweat in the mountains itll help to keep
you look like a square. I hope you like grey, the style very flattering the cut follows you dry. It also folds down super small
because this t-shirt only comes in the one the curves of your body without being too so theres no trouble in the packing
colour, however, a nice touch is the purple tight. This t-shirt comes in three tasteful department here either.
stitching which jazzes the style up while colours: shadow (a grey), dahlia (a purple)
still keepin it classy. and juniper green.


A very comfortable base layer which will Comfortable to wear with excellent du- Super lightweight with fantastic wicking
keep you cool all day. rability. performance.

www.wiredforadventure.co.uk J U L | A U G 2 0 1 7 111
mini test: Outdoor watches

O n t e s t:

wat c h e s Advances in technology mean it is now easier than
ever to have navigational tech at the end of your n-
gers. Rob Slade gets to grips with four outdoor GPS
watches to see what all the fuss is about

he emergence of smart watches has meant a lot for
modern day society. Its easier to check on our Face-
book accounts, the NHS is facing a greater strain thanks
to people paying more attention to their wrists than the
roads and parents all over the world are now being faced with
the prospect of shelling out for an expensive phone and a pricey
timepiece. But there are positives too
Smartwatches allow for fitness tracking and have played a
vital role in getting people off the couch and into active en-
vironments. And then theres the impact they can have on
the outdoor world. It seems that there is no longer a need to
shell out on an expensive and bulky (compared to a watch)
GPS device as there has been an emergence of tough outdoor
watches offering navigational features for those that want it.
Weve put four of them through the mill to find out what they
can do for you.

112 J U L | A U G 2 0 1 7 www.wiredforadventure.co.uk
mini test: Outdoor watches


Adventurer 269.99 7 10
Traverse Black 325 8 10
www.tomtom.com www.suunto.com
At an impressive 269.99, the TomTom Adventurer is the cheap- Suunto is another big player in the outdoor watch sector,
est product on test and for the money you get a fully operational and in the Traverse Black, the brand has a solid, well-priced
GPS watch which offers a simple user experience thanks to the contender. It doesnt look too dissimilar to the Garmin Fenix 5,
multidirectional button below the screen and the basic menu set- with slightly industrial, understated looks, but it does feel a bit
up. This makes the Adventurer one of the easiest watches to use, bulkier. Still, we were more than happy to walk around with it
with no complicated menu systems to navigate. on our wrist. It doesnt have a colour screen, but the viewing
Our favourite aspect of the Adventurer is the ability to upload experience is nice to look at nonetheless.
GPX files simply and quickly via TomTom MySports. This means you The watchs navigational capabilities are on par with the
can follow walking routes youve found on the net without having Garmin and TomTom in that you get all of the useful metrics
to faff loads when uploading it. You can easily zoom in and pan you would expect, plus a breadcrumb trail on a map allowing
across the breadcrumb-style map while following a pre-existing you to see where you have been or where you are going. You
route or recording a new one which allows for a good overview can set a bearing lock in order to follow a specific direction,
of where you have been and where you are going. As well as this, with the degree reading on the watch face, while the Traverse
there are metrics such as altitude, duration, heart rate, distance Black also has a find back function so you can return to where
and calories burned. Most of this data is also available to you you started by following an arrow.
throughout your everyday life too. Theres a fairly basic app where you can view data too, while
The only frustrating thing here is that you have to regularly cali- the MovesCount web dashboard offers a greater deal of func-
brate the compass which can be a bit of a pain, but we understand tions such as route planning and creating a training plan. You
the need to maintain accuracy. We also missed a directional lock can upload your own routes to the watch after creating them in
when using the compass and a dedicated return to start feature. MovesCount with detailed topographical maps or you can pick
However, the Adventurer does show you where you have been via one that someone else has made. However, it seems you cant
the watchs map, so you should be able to find your way back an- upload a GPX route you have found elsewhere which is a shame.
yway. We were impressed at the speed with which the Adventurer We found the watch slick to use and once you know which
locked onto GPS too, with only the Garmin Fenix 5 beating it. buttons do what, cycling through the functions and options
The accompanying app is probably my favourite of the lot as its becomes a simple process. We liked the different watch face
easy to use, clear, and offers useful data. Interestingly, you can also views you can toggle through, giving insights into altitude, sun-
store up to 3GB of music on the watch and listen to it with wire- set/sunrise times and steps, but the screen did suffer in direct
less headphones which is a novel idea. We wouldnt recommend light at times.
it for hiking though, as it does drain the battery faster. Speaking While Garmin and Casios offerings have more features for
of battery life, you should be able to get through a day hike on one you to play with, we felt that the Suunto did everything we
charge, but beyond that youll need to plug it in for more juice. needed it to when we were in the outdoors and it did it well.
In terms of the styling, you can choose from a huge range of Battery life is nothing to shout about, but it sits on par with
strap colours and it is both light and comfortable to wear. Screen the likes of the TomTom Adventurer and Casio Pro Trek Smart.
visibility in direct light is also impressive, second only to the Something we really did like about the Traverse Black is the
Garmin and, while we preferred the depth of features and menus price. At 325 it is almost 200 cheaper than the Fenix 5 and
on the Garmin and Suunto, the TomTom seems to do all of the im- offers a lot of the same functionality, and thats something that
portant stuff well, and for a good price. cannot be ignored.

Does the job, but not as comprehensive as the others. Brilliant functionality at a very respectable price.

www.wiredforadventure.co.uk J U L | A U G 2 0 1 7 113
mini test: Outdoor watches


Pro Trek Smart WSD-F20 450 7 10
Fenix 5 500 9 10
www.casio.co.uk www.gar min.co.uk
Casio is a brand that has been making rugged watches for a long Garmin is a brand that has been in the outdoor watch sector for
time, and one of the companys latest offerings is the Casio Pro some time now, and the companys experience certainly shows.
Trek Smart. Running on Android Wear, it has the biggest screen out The Fenix 5 is simple in its design, yet is stylish enough to be worn
of all of the watches here and is just as much a smart watch as it every day and not look out of place. As with most of the products
is an outdoors watch. It has a full-colour touch screen, links with on test here, it has a large watch face and is reasonably thick, but
your phone and allows you to download various apps to use as well. we didnt find it to be too heavy or bulky and it very rarely got in the
It looks rugged with a robust strap and has been tested to mili- way. The strap feels rugged enough, but we would worry slightly
tary standards, so no dramas there. The colour screen is impres- for the exposed screen on any scrambling excursions.
sive with a vibrant display, but readability suffers in direct light. The The watch does all of the basics with an alarm, stopwatch, tim-
touchscreen and three buttons on the side are used to find your er and, of course, it tells the time too. But it also offers so much
way around the watchs features and these are fairly slick to use. more. You can preload the watch with routes which you have
Navigation is a big talking point with the Pro Trek Smart. Users created in the Garmin Connect dashboard online and you can
who have an Android phone will get the best out of this watch as also import GPX routes that you may have found online by using
they have more features open to them. One of these is the Vie- Garmin Basecamp. Once you have synced routes, you dont need a
wRanger app, which gives you access to full-colour (downloada- phone for it to work and the maps can be zoomed in on and panned
ble) topographic maps, plus the ability to follow existing routes or across, while an arrow will keep you heading in the right direction
create new ones. While using, youll also have live trip stats and on your predetermined routes. There is also a handy Sight N Go
real-time compass directions which works really well. feature which allows you to lock onto a direction which you can
The ViewRanger app isnt available on the watch for iPhone us- follow via an arrow while the handy TracBack feature directs you
ers though, meaning you have to rely on Casios in-built features back to where you started.
and sadly these arent quite as good. The map is trickier to use and Beyond hiking, there is activity tracking for pretty much any ac-
it took a while to find out where all of the functions were. A dedi- tivity you can think of. During an activity, you get information such
cated back-to-start feature isnt present, but you can use Location as total ascent, pace, distance, time elapsed, heart rate and a loca-
Memory to find your way back to the start. Youll need to download tion on a map, while it also continually tracks things like heart rate,
Mapbox in order to get offline maps (only one at a time), and you steps and quality of sleep. We found the watch extremely functional
have to do a lot of fiddling to get everything working as you would and after a quick look at the user guide we had no issues what-
like. We miss the ability to import GPX routes too. soever. The display is slick, vibrant and fully customisable and we
The watch has an in-built activity tracker (but no heart rate mon- generally found it a joy to use. When linked to your phone, all of
itoring) which you can use during a small number of activities. Dur- your notifications land right on your wrist, but you can avoid this by
ing the activity you can view metrics such as distance, altitude, pace turning on the do not disturb setting.
and ascent/descent totals, but unfortunately you cant actually save Youll get at least a full day out of it when in full use and a week
your activities to review later and once they are gone they are gone. or two with casual use but youll need to bear in mind that when
This is a pain, but the saving grace is that you can download apps it is connected to a phone it does drain your phone quickly too. An
such as Strava for basic activity recording. Finally, a word on battery accompanying app offers activity data while a web dashboard ex-
life. We found the Casio performed comparably to the Suunto and pands on that. We found the Fenix 5 to be a great piece of tech that
TomTom on battery life, but if you are making use of its smart fea- we would happily use around town and in the mountains. If youve
tures throughout the day, you will lose juice rather quickly. got 500 going spare, the Fenix 5 isnt a bad way to spend it.

Promises so much, but just misses the mark. Fantastic features and usability which commands a hefty price.

114 J U L | A U G 2 0 1 7 www.wiredforadventure.co.uk
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www.wiredforadventure.com J U L | A U G 2 0 1 7 115
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to advertise here
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01789 450000
discover your new adventure.....
14 - 24 SEP 2017

visit our web site or call us on 01529 488159

ADventure Travel Add Dec 2014 copy.indd 1 08/06/2017 10:19

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join us online...

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ays in the
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Tener e!
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www.wiredforadventure.com J U L | A U G 2 0 1 7 117
to advertise here
call Vicki or Will
01789 450000
discover your new adventure.....
14 - 24 SEP 2017

visit our web site or call us on 01529 488159

ADventure Travel Add Dec 2014 copy.indd 1 08/06/2017 10:19

like adventure travel?

join us online...

for the latest adventure news,
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ays in the
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Tener e!
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expeditions Doing something epic, eccentric or generally exciting?

Put it on our noticeboard email rob@atmagazine.co.uk

Roller-skiing Britain Run for love Crossing Oz

who? who? who?
Ex-army, arctic adventurer, ironman coach, and 100 others the TRIBE. 33-year-old Brit based between UK and
cross-country ski instructor/trainer. New Zealand
what? Approximately 1,200 miles (2,000km) in 14
My attempt to complete a solo roll- days including six days running and eight Riding an elliptical cycle (a bike you stand
er-ski (small cross-country training skis days riding from Sarajevo to London. Well up on) 5,000 miles across Australia fol-
with wheels) from Lands End to John be enduring six days running, with the lowing the southern coastline.
OGroats. longest day being 43 miles, and eight days
riding for as far as 136 miles each day, all when?
when? culminating in a euphoric 20-miler into August to October (approximately 75 days).
our Run Free Festival near London.
August 2017.
why? when?
To explore the parts of Australia rarely
Starting on 30 June in Sarajevo and fin- seen by travellers or only seen through
To promote roller-skiing in the UK as ishing on 16 July in London.
one of the best ways to gain all-round the windows of a high speed vehi-
fitness. And also to raise money for two cle. Raising money and awareness for
why? One Girl charity along the way, to give
Someone is taken into slavery every 30 education to girls in Uganda and Sier-
The National Autistic Society - seconds and this needs to stop. The orig- ra Leone. Ill also be making visits to
raising funds, awareness and inal 1,000-mile Run For Love in 2013 was schools during the adventure to share my
understanding for those affected undertaken by the three TRIBE co-found- experience of sticking with sports through
by autism. ers and inspired thousands of runners my school years.
Headway this Cardiff based char- and riders to help fight child trafficking.
ity provides rehabilitation and sup- We believe that, with our TRIBE commu- Why should we read your blog?
port programmes to survivors of nity behind us, we can come together
again and do something amazing to fight Im going to be sharing the highs and
brain injury. Personally important lows of riding this eye-catching human
after losing my twin brother who human trafficking in 2017.
powered vehicle across a vast expanse of
suffered a head injury. land. Ill be sharing everything! With dai-
Why should we follow your trip? ly vlogs youll feel like you are there with
Why should we follow your This is a completely different take on me the whole way.
trip? adventure the ultimate off-road, off-the-
Its an opportunity to set a record for grid, self-supported challenge. We will www.emmatimmis.com
roller-skiing the length of the coun- be pushing our bodies every single day /missemmatimmis
try!You can sponsor me by heading to: through nine different countries to get us @runemma
back to London. If we hit our target, we will @emma.timmis
be raising 250,000 to help stop trafficking.
This is an adventure with a purpose, and
one that will make a difference.


118 J U L | A U G 2 0 1 7 www.adventuretravelmagazine.co.uk
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