Everyone loves a good inspirational quote on top of a nice photo, so to inspire you to get your walking boots out of the cupboard and head out to bag a peak, here are our top inspiring quotes about mountains!
Which is your favourite? Feel free to share with a friend you’d like to bag a peak with.
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.
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.
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…
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:
Fit for purpose – do you need warmth, waterproof, sun protection, breathability?
Good quality – Does it do what it needs to?
Lightweight – You are going to carry it, so make sure you aren’t loaded more than the pack mule.
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!
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).
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.
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.
If you’re fundraising for a forthcoming expedition, have you thought about hosting your own Academy Awards Fundraising Party to help you reach your sponsorship target? We’ve put together a list of ideas to help you win your very own ‘nomination’ for Best Fundraiser of the Year…
1. HOST YOUR OWN OSCARS PARTY Forget about the after parties in Hollywood, YOUR party is where it’s at! Invite your friends over for an all night Oscar’s party. Set the theme (black tie event, dress as your favourite movie character etc), pop open some bubbly, dish out some popcorn and charge your friends an entrance fee to attend.
2. NAME THAT MOVIE
Play some of your favourite games – with a movie twist! Do a film-themed game of charades, set up a Hollywood Pictionary tournament in the office or hula-hoop for the entire duration of the longest acceptance speech…
3. GO GLAM FOR THE DAY
Swap a dress down day at work for a dress up one! Ask your colleagues to come to the office in their best attire – the glitzier the better. Perhaps someone is bold enough to wear a gold spandex morph suit and come dressed as the Oscar statue?
4. HAVE FUN WITH A SWEEPSTAKE
How many awards will La La Land win? How many minutes will the longest speech be? Set up a variety of sweepstakes and encourage all your friends to get involved.
5. SILVER SCREEN QUIZ
Do you know your Spielberg from your Scorsese? If you’re a movie buff, create your own film-related quiz. There could be a picture round, an Oscars round, a Disney round etc – you could have endless fun with writing your own film trivia questions!
6. DEVISE YOUR OWN AWARDS SHOW
Set up your own awards ceremony and create some categories. Ask your friends to nominate, and shortlist the nominees! You can even create some awards that are relevant to your challenge. Who’s been your Best Cheerleader in a Supporting Role in your challenge journey? Who would you nominate for Outstanding Contribution to trekking/cycling?
This weekend, ladies and gentleman, our award for Best Participant goes to all of YOU for your dedication and enthusiasm to your challenge. Best of luck with your fundraising, and enjoy the razzle dazzle of the awards…
Cycling is well known to be the most efficient form of transport on the planet. We think it’s also one of the best ways to see a country, while burning a few calories too! But where, you ask, should you take to the saddle and pedal your way from A to B? To get you started, here’s a little inspiration, including two brand new cycling itineraries!
France is arguably the spiritual home of cycling, with Le Tour de France bringing a celebration of all things vélo to millions of fans worldwide each year. We think we’ve come up with the ultimate Tour de France experience. Come with us as we make our way to Paris from London on two wheels, arriving at the Eiffel Tower before catching the final stage in person!
Want to up the pace and follow in the tracks of the Tour de France riders? This brand new challenge sees you depart the beautiful coastal city of San Sebastian in Spain, before crossing the border into France and tackling the famous Pyrenees mountains. Will you face the most gruelling climbs, or take the easier route? The choice is up to you.
To cycle a landscape like no other, Iceland offers a volcanic ride through steams, hot springs and lava fields. The land of ice and fire is truly unique, but with a challenge grading of ‘tough’, you’ll have to work for those scenic views. It’ll be worth it though, and as a reward for reaching the finish line in Reykjavik, you can take a tip in the famous Blue Lagoon. There’s even a chance you might get to see the Northern Lights!
One of South East Asia’s best kept secrets, Burma is still a relatively new destination. Uncover this beautiful part of the world by cycling from Mandalay to Inle Lake through rural countryside, stopping at temples, farms, villages and towns along the way.
Morocco might not be an obvious cycling destination, but the High Atlas Mountains provide a magnificent backdrop for our 8 day cycling challenge. From the busy streets of Marrakech you will ride into the Mgoun Massif, passing remote Berber villages between dramatic, changing scenery.
Want to explore South East Asia and tick off a few of the region’s most famous landmarks? Cycle 450kms over 11 days, through Vietnam and Cambodia, following the Mekong Delta. You might lose count of temples and pagodas along the way, but you won’t forget the amazing Angor Wat complex, bustling Saigon or Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital city.
Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa, is well known amongst trekkers, and provides a backdrop to this incredible cycling challenge. Make your way 450kms from Kilimanjaro to Ngorongoro Crater, passing Maasai villages in the Great Rift Valley, be prepared for hot weather and amazing scenery.
Like the Tour de France, Italy hosts its own annual grand cycling tour, the Giro d’Italia. This prestigious cycling event pedals through some of the country’s most spectacular scenery, and now we have a brand new challenge dedicated to visiting some of these well ridden routes. With a leg-aching 400km between Lake Como and Lake Garda, this is no easy feat, but it will be so rewarding.
Feeling inspired to jump on your saddle? Take a look at our website for a full list of our cycling challenges, and sign up today!
Adventurous expedition leader, Penny Knight, has worked with Charity Challenge for over 7 years on a variety of exciting overseas challenges. From crossing glacial rivers in Iceland to trekking across the sun-drenched Sahara Desert, Penny shares some of her highlights with us…
Name: Penny Knight
(Current) location: North Yorkshire Dales
What’s been your favourite expedition (so far)?
It’s so hard to decide on one, but I think it has to be the Sumatran Jungle challenge, for so many reasons. I just love the smiley people, hot, humid climate and varied wildlife. The fantastic spicy food, physical variety of the challenge with river wading and steep ascents and descents – along with the remoteness and survival aspects- really make this a true challenge in every sense of the word.
What’s been your most memorable moment on an expedition?
I will never forget climbing the Heavenly Staircase on the Great Wall in China with one particular participants who shared their motivation and story with me. It was incredibly emotional and I remember there were a few tears (from the both of us!) as she conquered the challenge.
What qualities do you think a good expedition leader needs?
Good preparation is vital, and a sense of humour is key! You need to be able to balance caution and confidence simultaneously, and you must have the ability to make decisions quickly whilst remaining calm under pressure. An inherent spirit and wild enthusiasm definitely help, along with the ability to be supportive and empathetic throughout some grueling conditions.
What do you think you would be doing if you were not an expedition leader?
Very sad . . . . . but probably an outdoor centre operations manager ( as I was before I qualified to lead expeditions).
When you’re not hiking up mountains or cycling across countries, what do you do in your spare time?
You will usually find me outside! Yesterday I enjoyed a fantastic 12 mile walk in the Yorkshire Dales. I do enjoy writing about my adventures, and recently published my book, A Knight Fulfilled, which includes some of my experiences from around the world. I do love great food – but not cooking so much! And I love to keep in touch with friends that I have made on these expeditions throughout the years.
What is the best thing about being a leader?
The people you meet – both the participants and the guides in country. I also really enjoy the difference you hope you can make to those who trust you to lead them, and the way you can learn and motivate each other – it is priceless. It truly gives me a greater thrill than anything else I can think of in life – an excitement, satisfaction, exhilaration, pride, value and enjoyment which cannot be surpassed in any other line of work I’ve come across!
Have you been on an expedition with Penny? Did she help you achieve more than you ever thought was possible? Share your experiences and stories with us. Comment below!
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.
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.
In 2016 we saw our participants scale mountains, climb ancient walls, navigate rugged landscapes and pedal through dramatic desert landscapes, all for a good cause.
Those are just a few of the many challenges you can tackle this year, and to make the most of that January enthusiasm, we’re offering 10% off your registration fee until the end of the month!
Just enter code ‘ACHIEVE10’ when you register by January 31st 2017*. Believe in yourself, achieve something amazing, and be inspired. Speaking of inspiration, take a look at our new video to get some ideas for where this year could take you.
This year Charity Challenge has helped thousands of people trek, hike, bike and kayak around the world, all raising money for some incredibly inspiring causes. From summiting mountains in Africa to crossing glacial rivers in Iceland and beyond, each expedition has been filled with emotion and celebration.
“Making better places to live in, and better places to visit”- Cape Town Declaration on Responsible Tourism
Today marks the 10th anniversary of World Tourism Day at the World Travel Market, so we thought it would be the perfect time to launch our new Responsible Tourism policy.
We think that responsible tourism should be more than just a long list of Do’s and Don’ts. We want our responsible tourism policy to inspire you to take up one of our challenges. We work tirelessly with our local in-country teams to find ways to introduce extra special details that will make your challenge even more memorable. That can mean training up our local leaders or working with local youth projects to produce souvenirs to mark completing your challenge. These little extras, connecting you as closely as possible to local people and cultures, make the difference between having a great challenge and having a life changing moment.
Over the last few months Charity Challenge staff have been working hard to review and update our responsible tourism policy so that we can continue to ensure that we deliver on providing you with these life-changing moments on our challenges.
Within Charity Challenge, our Operations Team boasts not one, but two members of staff who are working towards a Masters degree in Responsible Tourism Management. Both Mireia and Andy care passionately about this new policy and are working tirelessly to make sure that Charity Challenge remain at the cutting edge of Responsible Tourism.
Our new Responsible Tourism policy aims to:
Use local owned services whenever possible.
Encourage transparency with our ground teams about what we DO and what we DON’T that is responsible on each challenge.
Support projects in the countries in which we operate, empowering local people, developing skills in a way that enhances the challenge experience.
Move towards using local leaders on all overseas challenges rather than UK or western leaders in destinations where we can maintain the same high safety standards and customer service.
Support the International Porters guidelines
Support internationally recognised best practice for animal welfare