Tag Archive for Snowdon

Dave’s 11 Top Mountain Tips

 

 

Resident mountain expert Dave Sculthorpe has seen a peak or two in his time, having climbed to the heights of Kilimanjaro, Everest Base Camp and Oman. We asked him to come up with his top mountain tips to help you prepare for your next challenge.

 

 

Choose the right mountain, be realistic!
If you have never tried on a pair of walking boots, then Stok Kangri may not be the one for you. Here at Charity Challenge we’re all about being inspired, but we also want you to achieve that goal. It may be best to start with a UK challenge like our Snowdon Triple Challenge. Once you have the mountain bug then you can look at going farther and higher. Most of the best UK mountaineers cut their teeth in Scotland or Snowdonia and still keep coming back!

Choose your route and plan
Some of our challenges have different routes or seasons that you can ascend them in. Your first job is to do some research and see what will be best for you. Once signed up its time to start learning! Look at the history of the region, flora and fauna, myths, legends, language. This will heighten the experience when you get there. For me, reading about the mountaineering history of the Khumbu region made my trek to Everest Base Camp that bit more atmospheric.

Train
This is universal for any challenge. If you do not have the physical ability then the challenge will be much harder than it really needs to be! This is not to say you need to be an Olympian and everyone will still struggle at certain points. All it means is that you will not need to suffer unnecessary discomfort and you will really be able to enjoy what is all around you! We provide full training plans and advice for how best to maximise this.

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Let people know where you are going
More applicable to going out alone in the UK than one of our overseas challenges, but we have all seen 127 Hours…

Gear up
Along with training this is the one thing that can make or break a challenge. Most leaders will have seen waterproofs that aren’t water proof, soles falling off boots in the first 45 minutes, horrible blisters or just generally unusable junk. Firstly, do your homework, Don’t worry if you don’t know your boots from your Berghaus, there are plenty of reviews online, or go into a shop like Cotswold and ask the staff. Here are a few key things to look for in kit:

  1. Fit for purpose – do you need warmth, waterproof, sun protection, breathability?
  2. Good quality – Does it do what it needs to?
  3. Lightweight – You are going to carry it, so make sure you aren’t loaded more than the pack mule.
  4. Inexpensive – Kit can be expensive, but don’t always go for the most expensive kit. You can get good bargains when you know what to look for!
  5. Worn in – Try before you buy, then wear it whilst training so that you have worked out any problems. The last thing you want is for you to discover something catastrophic when you get to the mountain.

Dealing with altitude! Pace yourself
Altitude can affect anyone! It does not discriminate between how fit you are, how good your kit is or how old you are! No matter which mountain you are attempting you can bet the local guide will have a phrase that roughly translates to ‘slow down’. ‘Pole Pole’, which means ‘slowly slowly’ in Swahili, often becomes a mantra when climbing Kilimanjaro. And for good reason, the slower you go the better chance you have to let your body adjust or acclimatise. This will ultimately make the whole experience more pleasant and avoid the worst symptoms of AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness).

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Hydrate
Sounds simple, but staying well hydrated will solve so many problems it is a wonder to think it’s so underrated. Whether you are in the desert and mountains of Oman, the Cairngorms or the Andes, it is so important. Being hydrated makes our body’s performance better and ultimately the challenge easier, but it also helps prevent heat illness and aids acclimatisation to altitude.
Top Tip: If you really hate drinking water try and take concentrated squash or isotonic powders to make it more interesting, or mask the taste of your water purification tablets.

Prevention and protection
You only have yourself to blame…
Mountains can be harsh environments despite the amazing scenery. UV levels are much stronger at altitude due to the sun’s rays passing through less atmosphere. This can really surprise people so you should wear high factor sun cream and lip balm with SPF protection. Similarly the weather can be tough and very changeable, so the correct kit, hydration and attitude will help you prevent everything from hypothermia to heat exhaustion depending on the environment. Don’t be scared – all of this is easily avoidable!

Enjoy the journey
This sounds simple but is important. Often, if people aren’t used to walking on uneven terrain with walking poles and with a backpack on, they spend a lot of time hunched over looking at the floor. Remember to pick your head up and take in everything that is around you. Chat to the guides and your fellow trekkers, play games and take lots of photos and videos. Remember this is what you have been building up to for months so make the most of it.

Bring a treat
Sometimes it is incredible the morale boost a little home comfort can bring. Whether this is a sachet of cuppa soup or hot chocolate, your iPod or a comfy pair of shoes for around camp. It can make the difference in reminding why you signed up and why you are pushing yourself to the limits.

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Be ready to adapt
This is true of all expeditions but especially mountain treks. Things will change, plans will go out the window and the heavens will open when you really wanted that bucket list photo. This is just what happens and if you can take this in your stride or even learn to enjoy this inevitability of expeditions, then your time will be all the better for it.

 

Now that you’ve got the tips, we bet you’re ready to bag yourself a peak! Head over and choose your challenge today.

choose your challenge

Bag A Peak: Mountain Summits Infographic

Mountain infographic

Head on over to our website to pick your next mountain challenge.

choose your challenge

5 Great British Challenges To Tackle In 2017

Snowdon Triple Challenge
This multi-activity challenge sees you take to the dramatic scenery of Snowdonia National Park by bike, kayak and on foot. This mix of physical challenges is made more diverse by the changing landscape of this Welsh region, including a summit of Wales’ highest mountain, Mount Snowdon.

Coast to Coast Cycle Challenge
This famous cycling route see you pedal from one side of England to the other, tipping your tyres in both the Irish and North Seas. Over the course of 2 days and 140 miles you will see the rolling green hills of the Lake District, quintessential English villages, and ancient remains of Hadrian’s Wall before crossing the finish line at Whitley Bay.

Lake District 5 Peaks Challenge
Five peaks in one day is no easy feat, luckily this challenge is set in the heart of the stunning Lake District, with each peak offering you a stunning view of the surrounding landscape. Climbing over 3,000ft, which includes England’s highest mountain, Scafell Pike, this challenge is one to really be proud of.

Lake District 5 Peaks

Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge
Three peaks in 12 hours might sound easier than five, but this is no walk in the park. Ascending a total of 1,532m, which is higher than the UK’s tallest mountain, the Yorkshire Dales will push you to your limits. Get ready for plenty of ups and downs across some rugged, varied terrain.

National Three Peaks Challenge
The toughest challenge on our list, the legendary National Three Peaks pits you against Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon in just 24 hours. Starting in the early hours, you will be among the first trekkers of the day to tackle Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the British Isles, before hitting the road and heading to your next summit, Scafell Pike in the Lake District. After a good night’s sleep it’s time to finish this hat-trick of heady heights with Mount Snowdon. With spectacular views, it’s surely an emotional and thoroughly fulfilling finish.

National 3 Peaks

Think you’re up for the challenge? Visit our website and choose your challenge today.

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough…

This time last year, over 20 ambitious fundraisers trekked the Welsh 3000s for Mind, the mental health charity. Captained by TV Presenter, Matt Johnson, and with actor Nicholas Pinnock (most recently in ITV drama, Marcella), 28-year-old support worker Ceri Parker took on the 24 hour endurance challenge, and shares his story…

Ceri, with fellow trekker, Nicholas Pinnock in Snowdonia

Ceri, with fellow trekker, Nicholas Pinnock in Snowdonia

Why did you sign up to the challenge, Ceri?

I signed up to the challenge in memory of my cousin, who committed suicide in 2014. The anniversary was the week after the challenge, so it felt poignant.

Who did you raise money for?

I raised money for MIND because I wanted to save lives of people who felt there was no future due to their mental health, like my cousin felt.

Had you ever taken part in a challenge event like this before?

I’ve done a few 10k runs, and am generally fit, but nothing as big as the 3000s challenge! It’s definitely the biggest physical challenge I have ever undertaken.

How did you go about training for the event?

I joined a local walking group and did some long walks once a week, and continued to play sports on the weekend. Plus lots of gym sessions to get my legs used to those mountains!

How did you fundraise for the challenge?

I created a page on Facebook and encouraged all of my friends and family to like it. I would post updates about my training, and upcoming fundraising events. I also used it to give facts about mental health in men, and linked to articles in newspapers. I did some face-to-face collections at work, and the local football club – everyone was so generous with their donations.

What was your biggest highlight during the challenge?

I think the biggest highlight had to be finishing the trek after 24 hours, with a group of AMAZING people who all had smiles on their faces! Plus, raising over £70,000 for MIND was also a rather special highlight.

What advice would you give anyone who was thinking of taking on a similar challenge for charity?

The best advice I could give would just be: GO FOR IT! No challenge is too daunting, Charity Challenge were brilliant throughout so you’re in safe hands. And don’t forget to enjoy it – you’ve earned it!

Where is your dream challenge destination, and why?

I would love to do a cycling challenge next. Maybe across Europe or around the UK. Tour De France is an inspiring event where millions of people line the streets and cheer on the cyclists. Maybe taking part in a London to Paris event and finishing along the Champs Elysees would be pretty special…

If you are interested in following in Ceri’s footsteps and would like to take part in a challenge for Mind, there are still places left on their Kilimanjaro Summit Climb (7-18th October 2016). Visit the event page to find out more…

Spring Fling! Get 10% off our Open UK Challenges* for a limited time only!!

SF1Flowers? Check. Sunshine? Check. A strange thawing feeling in your bones?! Yes! Its official, the Great British Springtime has begun! 

The mornings are getting brighter, the days are getting longer and spring is in the air! To celebrate the beautiful British countryside coming back to life, we are offering a sprightly 10% off ALL of our Open Great British Challenge deposits until the 31/03/15. So, if you want to cycle from Coast to Coast or trek through the night to see the sunrise, we have the perfect UK challenge for you. With options for every ability, from trekking to cycling, there has never been a better reason to end your hibernation and get fit in time for Summer!

To see all our incredible UK Challenges click here and explore the best the UK has to offer, whilst raising money for your favourite charity.

Click here for Terms and Conditions* 

Yorkshire 3 Peaks – HURRY only a few places left!   

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Put your cuppa down because Yorkshire just called, we need you to take on not 1, not 2 but 3 of its famous peaks, part of the Pennine Range. This challenge should not be entered into lightly, it will push you through steep ascents and descents and varied terrain, in total walking for 12 hours and covering 24 miles. The scenery more than makes up for those aching limbs whilst showcasing the best of the Yorkshire Dales as you encircle the head of the River Ribble valley before reaching the finish line, tired but immensely proud! Just click here!

Snowdon Under the Stars 

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It’s time to start munching those carrots as you’ll need your night vision (and headtorch) to trek through the night. This is the ultimate way to tackle Snowdon – under the stars. Challenge yourself mentally and physically against some of the most testing landscapes in Britain, as you attempt to summit the highest mountain in Wales…in a single night! Beginning as the last rays of the setting sun cast their glow across the spectacular landscapes of Snowdonia National Park, you’ll then follow the classic route of the Llanberis track into the enveloping darkness. Tackling one of the most testing trails in the park, the plan is to arrive at the top in time to welcome in the new dawn, to enjoy some of the most extensive views in the British Isles, before completing the route back down to the start, where a celebratory breakfast awaits! Just click here!

Coast to Coast Cycling Challenge 

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Like Big Ben, queuing and fish and chips, this trip is quintessentially British, showcasing our beautiful coastline and everything in between on a challenging 226kms cycle across England You’ll tackle northern England’s most rugged and spectacular scenery from the west to the east coast. Start by dipping your wheels in the Irish Sea at Whitehaven before crossing the northern edge of the Lake District and the North Pennines, heading towards Northumberland and the route of Hadrian’s Wall. The ride ends with you dipping your wheels into the North Sea. Although only 2 days, do not be fooled, this is a tough challenge taking on some very difficult climbs and descents! Just click here!

Snowdon Multi Activity Weekend

So you love trekking, and cycling AND canoeing, that’s alright, it’s okay to be greedy, why not indulge on our Multi Activity Snowdon Challenge, because variety is the spice of life. This exciting and tough challenge will see you summit Mount Snowdon in the middle of a varied, activity-packed day. Set in Snowdonia National Park, this tough but beautiful environment provides the perfect location for such a varied challenge, however this should not be taken into lightly as it involves some steep ascents and descents over diverse terrain on both bike and foot! Just click here!

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A new generation of inspiration

We receive lots of enquiries on a daily basis, but this one stood out. It was from Faye Vanstone, a 9 year old who wanted to do something for charity. We don’t ordinarily take under 16s, so the answer was unfortunately (initially at least) “no”.

But having three sons of my own, and knowing how much they go on about when they will be able to do a Charity Challenge, it started me thinking.
Here’s what happened…

SNOWDON CHALLENGE (written by Faye Vanstone, aged 9)

My family and some of my friends have been affected by cancer. So I felt I wanted to do something for a cancer charity to help them find more ways of curing the disease.

In Year 4 at school one of our topics was Mountains and rivers. I decided I wanted to climb a Mountain and thought it would be a good idea to use this as a challenge and a way of trying to raise money for Cancer Research.

GroupI got in-touch with several charity organisations by myself and eventually one responded. That was Charity Challenge. Simon, the director of Charity Challenge, kindly said he would look at the possibility of helping me to achieve what I wanted to do to raise money for Cancer Research. Simon was so inspired by my email he planned and booked the event to climb up Snowdon! He even joined us with his two oldest sons, Benji (aged 10) and Gadi (aged 8) and their friend Jake (aged 10), and they raised money for Wateraid.

Simon also organised a professional guide, Dan, who came with two other “young people” Chloe and Ethan. My mum, step dad and Dad came with me for support while walking, with my Granny and Grandad waiting at the bottom of the mountain to congratulate us all on our return.

The Challenge walking up was the steepest parts as there was so much fog and it was so hard to see anything in front of you! In parts you couldn’t see more than a few meters in front of you. We all had a trip or a fall and wondered how long it would take (and kept askingFaye, “how much further?”) but we persisted and were all so pleased when we got to the top and had a rest and realised what we had achieved. Then the challenge of getting back down again started!!

It was hard work but all of the training paid off and we accomplished our goal. I set out to raise £400 and so far have managed to raise over £660.

Any further donations for Cancer Research can be given through my just giving page. I have been so grateful for all the money raised so far for this exceptional charity. http://www.justgiving.com/Faye-Vanstone1

Thank you so much Charity Challenge!

Faye Vanstone

Benji, Gadi and Jake were raising money for Wateraid. Here’s what they said on their fundraising page:

748 million people – roughly one in ten of the world’s population – have no choice but to get water from wherever they can, whether it’s a dirty pond or an expensive water vendor.

2.5 billion people – one in three of the world’s population – don’t have access to adequate toilet facilities.

Over 500,000 children die every year from diarrhoea caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation. That’s over 1,400 children a day.

We (Jake Lowy, Benji Albert and Gadi Albert) don’t think that’s right and we want to try and help change that. So we are going to climb Mount Snowdon in Wales and are trying to raise as much money as we can to help WaterAid, who help provide clean water solutions for rural communities around the world.  

Please help us to help them. Thank you.  https://www.justgiving.com/snowdonforwateraid

Simon Albert

If Faye, Benji, Gadi and Jake have inspired you to do a challenge and raise money for charity, then please click here.