Tag Archive for Trekking

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

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.

The Legend of Lombok

Operations Manager Phili Newell headed to Indonesia earlier this month to tackle Mount Rinjani, on our Lombok Lava Trek. Here is her account of the 10-day adventure.

As I touch down in Lombok Praya International airport; I am unsure what to expect of this challenge but as I breeze through immigration and see the smiling face of our local leader Brice, all feelings of apprehension are alleviated; and even more so as within the hour I find myself beachside for a delicious local fish dish in the small town of Sengiggi.

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I am pioneering and on recce trip of one of our newest challenges, the summit of Mount Rinjani.  We journey along the coastline and at some point I wake up from my jet lagged slumber to find we’ve turned inland and towards the mountain. Finally we reach our destination and I see for the first time the top of the “hill” peeking out through the clouds. Dusk falls, clouds part and the sun sets bathing the formidable Mount Rinjani in a mystical light and I realise that my initial assessment of this “hill climb” could be wrong. Rinjani stands at an impressive height of 3,726m the tallest volcano on Lombok and as I will find out one of the toughest to summit.

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Next on the agenda is to meet with our local Sasak guides and porters, the team that will be our support for the whole trek. They are friendly from the offset, their knowledge, passion and physical abilities on and about the mountain are second to none; and the chef makes a bloody good chicken curry. After briefs from Brice and the local guide to the rest of the support team and learning about the legend of Princess Anjani (Putri Anjani), after which the mountain is named; I am glad to roll into my bed.

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A day of exploration and planning lies ahead. Brice and I meet with Sar and he shows us the sights of Sembulan, a traditional village surrounded with fertile agricultural lands that sit in the foot hills of the now green lava fields. We visit the volcanologist’s centre to reassure ourselves this thing isn’t going to blow any time soon – it’s not by the way, only the small one inside might, it’s in the risk assessment.

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The group have arrived and it’s only taken us a few hours and decent meal to know that we are going to be a tight team and this challenge is going to epic.

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Briefs done, kit checked, bags packed, sun screen applied, water dispensed and that’s us ready to hit the “hill”. An early start is in order to beat the midday sun on the savannah in the foot hills of the Mount Rinjani. The undulating terrain is pleasant and the views spectacular, but the heat and humidity is stifling. I can see the glistening brilliant blue of the Bali Sea, the Lombok and the Alas Straits and across the way the silhouette of Gunung Agung in Bali. It’s these views that keep my mind off the task at hand, I also stop to take a lot of photos/catch my breath.

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Luckily after lunch and for the steepest climb of the day (actually it’s been up hill all the way) the clouds have rolled in providing us with some much needed coolness. Finally the rim is in sight and we arrive into camp as the sun sets over the crater lake.  A slap up meal and early to bed for all of us, we’ll need all our strength for the summit.

We’ve all read the trip advisor reviews and reckoned that the people who wrote the review must have been a bit wet – I mean really how hard can this summit be?!

01:30am, it sounds like a gale is blowing outside and I’m pretty cosy in my sleeping bag, I don’t really want to move but I tentatively poke my head out of the tent door to be greeted by Eric (one of our chefs) holding out a cup of coffee and the best jam sandwich I’ve tasted in a while. I imagine the rest of the team are going through a similar thought process as I’ve just been through, but when we set off morale is high.  It’s time to tackle this summit. The first section isn’t actually as bad as I thought it would be, it is dark and cold but I seem to have covered some ground. 2 hours into the climb, I’m thanking our amazing porter team for the light breakfast they provided before we started.

3 hours later, 1 step forwards, 3 slides back. I’m talking to myself, cursing ever so slightly under my breath. Walking up this ash and loose rock is beginning to feel like a reoccurring nightmare, and I have no idea if I’ve made any progress. I’ve lost all sense of time, but it is still dark and it is still cold. This is a mental game to reach the top and sure enough before you know it, I’m there, gratefully high fiving some of the more speedy of our team. We’ve made it for sunrise and as we marvel at the scenery all around, tea and biscuits appear. I love these guides!

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The way down from the summit is easier for the most part and once again we are greeted by our support team for a second and bigger breakfast. Around about 10:00am it’s onwards and downwards to our camp by the lake, Segara Anak. Although its downhill, it’s pretty steep and our legs are feeling the burn so we are all looking forward to a much needed soak in the hot springs.

That evening we sit around the campfire and reflect on the day’s achievement, yep made it to the summit of a volcano, trekked for another 9 hours, bathed in a natural hot spring, eaten delicious meals; seen several shooting stars and the milky way – does life get better than this?

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The next couple of days see us venturing into nature’s “spa resorts”. The natural hot springs have carved out caves which become steam rooms; caves that have magical healing powers that can make your wish come true but only if your return to honour it otherwise be damned forever.  It is our last night under the stars so we have a full team dinner with our guides and porters and do some short speeches to say thank you – as let’s be honest here – none of us were getting through this challenge without them to help us along the way.

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The final day of the trek, the route we take is little known to many groups, so it feels as if we are truly alone in the wilderness and this route is only for us.  The views are stunning, waterfalls, river crossings and ladders largely sum up this section of the trek. Some vertigo inducing heights, but always with a solid team to support you and at your side, there is nothing that we can’t achieve together.

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This has been an amazing trip not only for the vistas and the challenge, but for all the people I met along the way, the inspiring stories from our guides and porters. We all had our own reasons for taking part in this challenge but we all did it together.

Have you been inspired to summit one of Indonesia’s highest peaks? Visit our website and sign up today!

7 exciting European challenges to KICK OFF your summer…

Did you know that there are some beautifully picturesque challenges on our very own doorstep? Whether you want to TACKLE some of the UK’s highest mountains or cycle your way around Europe, Charity Challenge has the perfect expedition for you. Check out these breath-taking challenges, and KICK OFF your summer with your next adventure…


1. COAST TO COAST, UK

September 2016
Reg fee: £95

Be inspired by some of the most dramatic scenery England has to offer on this bike ride from west to east. Departing from the Cumbrian coast, you’ll need all your pedal power to tackle big ascents and descents as this challenging itinerary stretches for 140 miles to the North Sea.

Coast to Coast, UK

Coast to Coast, UK

 

2. BORDEAUX TO BARCELONA, FRANCE/SPAIN
May 2017
Reg fee: £325

The cycle from Bordeaux to Barcelona is a truly classic ride that takes you from southern France, across the Pyrenees and eventually arriving in Spain. Prepare for a superb variety of scenery and sights along the way including vineyards, famous Tour de France cols, gorges and fabulous rock formations.

Cycling the Alps

Cycling the Alps

 

3. LAVA TREK, ICELAND
July 2017
Reg fee: £295

Host to some of Europe’s most incredible wilderness, this Icelandic itinerary takes in thundering waterfalls, steaming lava fields, plunging fjords and spouting geysers. The trip is relatively short, but days are long and the terrain is challenging. Your hard work will be rewarded with an indulgent visit to Iceland’s famous Blue Lagoon.

Iceland Lava Trek

Iceland Lava Trek

4. LAKES 8 PEAKS, UK
September 2016
Reg fee: £50

Not one, not two, but eight peaks – and in just one day! This is one of the toughest challenges in the UK, testing your strength, endurance and determination. You will tackle some of England’s most rugged and demanding mountains over a matter of hours, including Scafell Pike.

Scafell Pike, Lake District

Scafell Pike, Lake District

5. TREK TRANSYLVANIA, ROMANIA
August 2017
Reg fee: £195

This unusual experience crosses the Transylvanian Alps, taking in huge mountains, rugged wilderness and small villages. We also visit King’s Rock National Park, home to the Carpathian Large Carnivore Project which shelters wolves, lynx and bears. Meanwhile no trip to Transylvania would be complete without a stop at Dracula’s castle.

Dracula's Castle, Transylvania

Dracula’s Castle, Transylvania

6. DOG SLEDDING, SWEDEN
February 2017
Reg fee: £475

A team of loyal huskies leads the way through the snow-covered forests and mountains of Swedish Lapland, across 200kms of beautiful, frozen landscape. Experience the silence of nature while gliding through this winter wonderland, taking the opportunity to spot elk and reindeer and even see the spectacular Northern Lights.

Dog sledding, Sweden

Dog sledding, Sweden

7. NATIONAL 3 PEAKS, UK
September 2016
Reg fee: £79

Brace yourself for a fast-paced and physically challenging adventure, as you take on the three highest peaks in England, Scotland and Wales in 48 hours. Considered one of Britain’s toughest outdoor challenges, the National 3 Peaks Challenge takes in Ben Nevis (1,344m), Scafell Pike (978m) and Snowdon (1,085m).

Mount Snowdon, Wales

Mount Snowdon, Wales

 

Set yourself a GOAL and TACKLE one of these exciting expeditions with Charity Challenge. Sign up before 10th July 2016 and you will also receive 16% off your registration fee! Enter code EURO16 when signing up.

Charity Challenge is turning 16 and offering a 16% discount off the deposit! Somebody get a cake!

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This month Charity Challenge turns 16 and to celebrate this wonderful coming of age, we are offering 16% off ALL CHALLENGE DEPOSITS* from 10/06/2015- 10/07/2016, all you have to do is type the promotional code: BIRTHDAY16 when making a booking!

If you’ve already done a challenge with us before, then take advantage of our repeat booking discount which has doubled to £100 (£50 for short haul challenges)! Don’t forget to quote VACU at the time of booking.

Our wonderful suppliers have joined us in celebrating by offering additional discounts to all of you that are currently booked on a challenge. Log into your members area and take advantage of this!

The real challenge is deciding where you you want to be in 2016….so to help you decide we’ve put together some of our Charity Challenge favourites…

ANGKOR WAT?

Charity Challenge,

Pedal off from the architectural phenomenon that is Angkor Wat, through the waterways and rice paddies of Cambodia, past the postcard perfect beaches of Thailand and into the barmy backstreets of Bangkok. This truly is the best way to discover South East Asia, can you take on the 450kms that will take you through the heart of South East Asia? Find out more…

 

Cycle or Trek Beautiful Burma

Burma charity Trek, Charity Cycle to Burma

Mystical Myanmar has managed to remain largely untouched in comparison to its neighbours, perfectly preserving its magic, beauty, culture and secrets. Previously known as The Land of Gems, the views in Myanmar are truly humbling, it is the people however that are its best kept secret – warm, inviting and gentle, we promise you won’t find anywhere else like it on earth. Trekking or cycling through Myanmar offers you the opportunity to explore the lazy villages, meet the lovable locals and soak up all the spectacular views. Whilst this might all sound like a holiday, the terrain and the humidity ensure that exploring Myanmar is an incredibly worthwhile but challenging task. Take a look!

Trek Machu Picchu

Charity Trek to Machu Picchu, Charity Challenge, trekking, PeruThe ancient Inca ruins of Machu Picchu sit amongst the clouds, set an altitude of 2,667m to see them is to witness something truly magical. To get there however is no walk in the park but an incredible trek through the rarely visited Lares Valley, a region untouched by time. The scenery here is breathtaking throughout and you will be greeted by llamas, alpaca’s and the Quechua people in their brightly coloured ponchos.  The route is hard and you will spend your nights camping, under the Peruvian sky, the sight of Machu Picchu as you re-join the Inca trail and complete the 3000 steps to walk through the Sun Gate will however make any aches disappear. Click here to find out how you can climb through the clouds….

Charity Challenge, Sapa Hill Tribe Trek, Vietnam Trek, Trek

Vietnam Trek – Sapa Hill Tribe

The hill tribes of Sapa combine the iridescent greens of the rice paddies with the vibrantly coloured dress of the remote hill tribes. Trekking here takes you away from the wonderful madness of the eclectic city of Hanoi as we head off the beaten track into this tranquil but rugged region where rolling hills meet the Red River. We will meet remote hill tribes as we trek further into the region, the varied terrain seeing you tackle Mount Silverstone before taking on the jungle terrain as we follow the footsteps of local farmers and camp in this remote and beautiful region. Explore more…

Lombok Charity Trek, Trekking in Indonesia, indonesia, Trek, Mountain

Brank New: Lombok Trek

Lombok Lava Trek! Set in the ‘Ring of fire’ this exhilarating trek offers towering peaks reflecting in ethereal lakes. Taking on Mount Rijani volcano, one of Indonesia’s tallest peaks standing at 3,726m is worth every metre you climb as you stand triumphant at the top overlooking breath-taking views from the natural colours of the forest to the surrounding turquoise bays. This challenge is not for the feint hearted and involves very long days and high altitude. If you think you could take on this sensational landscape then click here to find out how…

A massive thank you from all of us here at Charity Challenge!

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Here’s to another 16 years!

*Terms and conditions apply

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.

Kamal Bhandari, our Nepalese Challenge Leader had a secret urge to visit the Great Wall of China…

KamalKamal has been leading Charity Challenge Everest Base Camp Treks for over ten years. He has weathered some of the most rugged terrain on Earth and has never hesitated to go the extra mile for his team and those trekking with him.  Many of you reading this will have shared some memorable moments in the Himalayas with him and know how passionate he is about making the trips a wonderful experience for his clients.

We found out that a lifelong dream of Kamal’s was to visit the Great Wall of China and as he has been a truly wonderful guide and advocate of Charity Challenge over the years, we set plans in motion to try and make a trip for him as memorable…  Here’s what he has to say:

“My journey to Great Wall has been a memorable one. A dream come true. A Big THANK YOU and the credit goes to Charity Challenge for helping and sorting my trip. It really makes me proud working with them.

This trip was different from my usual treks in Nepal. It is not correct to say that it was easy compared with my trips in the Himalayas. We had to walk lots of ups and downs, half of which was natural and half renovated – some of them were killers! But I loved it.

I was given the chance from Charity Challenge to be with a trekking team from Royal Marsden Hospital of 24 trekkers. I felt lucky to be with them. Even though I was a stranger for everyone before the trip, I was never given a chance to think back. The care, love and friendly attitude of everyone made me speechless.

With nothing to worry about – altitude nor the clients, I was tension free.  I was more like aKalam in china small spoiled kid kept in middle of the toy shop. The views, walk itself, greenery, shopkeepers, locals, guides and participants are all still rolling over my head. For everything I give a BIG THUMBS UP.

On completion of the Great Wall Walk, covering 50 KM in 5 days, we advanced towards Central Beijing. Beijing was other place I always want to visit. Olympic 2008 stadium, watching aerobatics, visiting the square which could hold millions of people at once, the Forbidden  City which is renowned and famous and Temple of Heaven were all the highlights which I felt lucky to see.

I could easily make it that it was my holiday, as I felt very emotional leaving Beijing and departing with my friends, which normally does not happen with me.

Lastly, I am very grateful to CHARITY CHALLENGE and to everyone who supported me (Simon A and B, Carmel, Jo and David) to fulfill my desire to walk on the Great Wall and visit Beijing.”

Kamal we salute you! Thank you for your continued energy and experience looking after our clients in Nepal.

If Kamal’s dream has inspired you to trek on the Great Wall of China, then please click here.

To keep up to date on all our challenge news, you can subscribe to this blog by clicking on the orange RSS button, you can also enter your email address into the adjacent box to subscribe to our mailing list.

Celebrate festivals around the world and get 100 pounds off 2015 Peru and China challenges!

With the season of festivals in the air, we have some fantastic special offers waiting for you to celebrate. August is the month of  “Pachamama” or Mother Earth Festival in Peru and the ‘Moon Festival’ is celebrated throughout September in China.

To mark both festivals and to help us all have a successful season of trekking and cycling in the Andes and in China, we are offering a £100 discount* on all of our 2015Peru and China Challenges! This includes the popular Trek to Machu Picchu, Cycle Machu Picchu to the Amazon,the Great Wall of China trek, cycle, run and multi-activity triple challenge!

To take advantage of this fantastic offer, simply enter PERU (for Trek to Machu Picchu and Cycle Machu Picchu to the Amazon) and MOON(for the China challenges) at the time of booking. Offer ends 30/09/2014, so make sure you book before then!

Don’t forget to include your friends and family in the celebration and share the news of Pachamama, the Moon Festival and the £100 discount!

What is Pachamama?

Every year, in the Peruvian Andes, August is recognised as the month of the “Pachamama” or Mother Earth. The celebration consists of a ceremony called “Pago a la Tierra” (payment to the land) where Andean people offer mother earth the best of last year’s produce. Traditionally, it would include corn, wheat, potatoes, coca, but in more recent times also includes sweets, huayruros (mystical seed jungle), wine and animal foetuses – especially llamas. They are all placed together and buried as an offering to ask for a successful harvest in the coming year, to be sure that it will be good and healthy.  Click here to see how Pachamama is celebrated in Peru.

The Moon Festival

The Moon Festival (also known as Mid-Autumn Festival) is one of the most important traditional festivals celebrated in China. The festival is an inherited custom of moon sacrificial ceremonies. The ancient Chinese observed that the movement of the moon had a close relationship with changes of the seasons and agricultural production. Therefore to express their gratitude, to the moon and celebrate the harvest, the Chinese offered a sacrifice to the moon on autumn days. The Moon Festival is celebrated when the full moon rises, and families get together to watch the full moon, eat moon cakes, and sing moon poems!

If you have any questions about these challenges, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with our experts. Sylvana (the Operations Manager for our Peru challenges), is from Peru and has been to Machu Picchu over 50 times and Carmel (the Operations Manager for China) is managing over 25 departures to China and has a wealth of knowledge about the all the challenges in China. They will be more than happy to help you with any queries so feel free to drop then a note at sylvana@charitychallenge.com and carmel@charitychallenge.com.

Tupananchiskama/ Zài jiàn! (See you soon!)

Firdous
Marketing Manager

T: +44 (0)208 346 0500 | E: info@charitychallenge.com | W: www.charitychallenge.com

*Please note you must enter the promotional code PERU at the time of booking to claim the £100 discount. If you book on a challenge with the Self Funder or Flexi Payment option, the £100 will be deducted from your final balance, £100 will be refunded to participants who have booked using the Minimum sponsorship payment option. Offer valid from 01 Aug to 30 Sep 2014. Only one promotional code can be accepted per booking.

Win a Mini IPad, Kindle HD Fire, Samsung Camera and lots more!

Happy New Year!

To celebrate 15 years of organising Charity Challenges, we are doing a fantastic January Gadget Give-Away!

From Monday (06 Jan) to the end of the month, we will be giving away amazing gadgets EVERY DAY to someone booking on to an overseas challenge!

It’s simple to enter, just make a booking and we will enter you into our prize draw for that day! Prizes on offer include:

Jacqueline Peckham  – Samsung Camcorder
Amanda Sturges – Google Nexus
Mark Gardner – Kindle HD Fire
Anthony Wild – Samsung Camcorder
Jacqueline Jackson – Kindle HD Fire
Nicole Ramsay – Google Nexus
Fiona Rogers – Samsung Camera
Christine Saladas – I Pod Nano
Katie Hazelwood – Samsung Camera
Andrew Kouroushi – Samsung Camera
Samantha Webber-Cadby – I Pod Nano
James Fry – Kindle HD Fire
Martain Miller – Samsung Camcorder
Ahmed Khan – Google Nexus
Gerard McManus – Kindle HD Fire
Nicole Valentine – Mini I Pad
Hilary Lamb – Samsung Camera
Panjaruthnam Govender – Samsung Camcorder
Valerie Smith – Samsung Camera
Colin Cork – I Pod Nano
Janet Brown – i Pod Nano
Angela Rowlands – Google Nexus
Emma-Jane Adam – Samsung Camcorder
Simon Donaldson – I Pod Nano
Aoibhne O’Neill – Kindle HD Fire
Victoria Kennell – Mini I Pad

Congratulations to all of you!