Sat 09 Jun 2018

In aid of NSPCC

NSPCC

OVERVIEW

What to expect

ITINERARY

What you will do

COSTS

Ways to pay

INFORMATION

All you need to know

Everything you need to know

This page provides you with a variety of information about the challenge that you might find useful.

Why book with Charity Challenge

Level of Difficulty

Bike and Kayak Equipment

Clothing and Equipment

Training

Money

Insurance

Group Size

Leadership

Climate

Terrain

Responsible Tourism

Challenge Timings

Getting There

Accommodation

Food & Drink

Toilets

Safety advice for the NSPCC Chasing the Sun Challenge

Emergencies

Why book with Charity Challenge

  • Everything included from the moment you arrive. Unlike other operators we include everything from the moment you arrived including a breakfast buffet, packed lunch, snacks during the challenge and a celebration buffet dinner at the end.
  • Hire of mountain bikes and kayaks is included in the cost.
  • The very best Leaders, who are fully qualified, highly experienced, knowledgeable and fun. They will do everything to help you complete the challenge and have a great time doing it.
  • Fully qualified mountain biker and kayak leaders who can also provided expert instruction to guide you through each activity.
  • Mountain biking in one of the Lake Districts most famous mountain biking area of Grizedale forest.
  • Summit the iconic Lake District peak, the Old Man of Coniston, 803m high.
  • Kayak on the historic Coniston Water, scene of Donald Campbell and his famous Bluebird.

Level of Difficulty

This year we have launched to levels of difficulty so that you can choose how much to test yourself.

Classic - This is our hugely popular difficulty level which is graded as tough. This is the perfect challenge for participants who are of an adventurous spirit and an open mind, but perhaps haven’t taken on a multi-activity challenge before. You will not been to an expert mountain biker or kayaker, just somebody with a willing sense of adventure.

  • Climbing to the summit of the Old Man of Coniston – 10km, 803m, approx. 3-4 hours.
  • Mountain bike 12km through Grizedale Forest, included the lung-pumping ascent of the hill into the forest, approx 2 hours.
  • Kayak for 1.5km around Coniston Water, approx 1.5 hours.

Extreme - New for 2017!

For those wanting to test themselves to their limit we have introduced a new 'extreme' version of this incredible challenge.

  • Extended trekking route, summiting the Old Man of Coniston and then completing the classic loop along the northern ridge and descending via Levers Water. 12km trek,
  • Extreme bike ride. Once you have completed the grueling ascent into the forest you then complete a loop of the famous mountain bike trails of Grizedale forest before descending. Over 24km of off-road terrain.
  • Test yourself further with a intense 3km kayak on Coniston Water.

Bike and Kayak Equipment

All bike and kayak safety equipment is provided for you on this challenge and is included in the cost.

If you wish to bring your own bike then please let us know prior to the challenge by emailing challenges@charitychallenge.com

If you choose to bring your own bike then it is your responsibility to make sure that it is suitable for the terrain covered during the cycle section. This section takes you along the mountain bike trails of Grizedale Forest. It includes steep ascents and descents over loose terrain. Only Mountain Bikes are suitable for this challenge.

You will be paddling two-person, sit-on-top kayaks that are designed to be extremely stable. You will be sharing the kayak with another participant from your group. Full safety instruction is provided by our qualified leaders and these same leaders will accompany you on the water incase of any difficulties.

Clothing and Equipment

Equipment of good quality and durability could make the difference between a fantastic challenge experience and an uncomfortable one. For this challenge, you may wish to change kit between each activity. You will be able to leave any extra equipment in the support van. Waterproof and well-worn in boots will be indispensable for the trek. The terrain is uneven and can be very rough, so it is vital that you use a strong pair of canvas or leather boots with good ankle support for this challenge, coupled with a pair of good quality walking socks. Trainers are not suitable. The benefits of a comfortable day sack cannot be underestimated - so make sure that you train with this. Other essentials are high quality gore-tex waterproof and windproof jackets and trousers, as well as technical/wicking t-shirts rather than cotton shirts. We would like to emphasize that jeans should not be worn on this challenge. A full kit list for this challenge can be found here. Once you book you will have access to kit discounts with our partners The Outdoor Shop, Outdoor Hire and Cotswold Outdoor.
The hire of bikes and kayaks is included in the cost of this challenge. Any safety equipment required for the biking and the kayaking will be provided, including helmets and life vests.
 

Training

This challenge will have you biking, kayaking and hiking across   the glorious and exciting Lake District, therefore requiring a moderate to good level of fitness. The ideal training for this challenge is, naturally, hill walking and cycling. If you do not have the luxury of living near the hills, then the stairs at home (or an office block) are a great place to start. Most training should be part of an ongoing lifestyle, but if this is not the case then you should begin training 2-4 months prior to the challenge and gradually build up as suggested. Remember to use the walking boots that you will be wearing on the challenge in order to get them worn in, and take the daysack that you will be using during the challenge. There is no substitute for walking in the hills so try if possible to get out on a weekend and train in an area with steep hills. You should progress to training with your boots on from week 4 at the latest, but preferably from week 1. The more you exercise before the expedition, the more you will get out of it. Also see your Charity Challenge Fitness Training notes.

Your training should also include some cycle training, preferably including some hills. The biking section of this challenge takes place on off-road trails, but you should gear your training to being comfortable on a bike and have experience of cycling up hills.

For the kayaking, no prior experience is necessary, although if you have the opportunity to go to a local kayaking club then this would help you when you arrive for the challenge. Kayaking requires good upper body strength, so if possible doing some exercises or light weights to build your strength would be advantageous.

Money

During the challenge there will be no opportunity to purchase snacks. You may still wish to take some money with you but we would advise you should need no more than £20.00, excluding your joining and returning home travel costs.
 

Insurance

We don’t offer insurance for our UK trips, as any medical emergencies would naturally be covered through the NHS. If you wish, you could look into your own policy that covers cancellation for travel within the UK.
 

Group Size

Our maximum group size for this challenge is 200. For the purpose of this itinerary the group will be split into separate teams to complete each the challenge. If you wish to make sure that you are in the same team as someone please let us know at the time of booking. Depending on the number of people we may need to have separate groups doing the activities at different times.
 

Leadership

We employ experienced and fully qualified challenge leaders to accompany and lead you. Our leaders are first aid qualified and have extensive experience in leading expeditions throughout Britain and overseas. They will be ultimately responsible for the running of the itinerary and the safety of your group and will be carrying full safety equipment and mountain first aid kits with them at all times. They will also be in constant radio communication with the vehicle drivers and ‘base camp’ throughout the challenge. Qualified mountain bike leaders and kayak instructors are also employed to guarantee that you are very well looked after at all times and have access to expert advice.

 

Climate

As you know, the weather in the UK can be highly unpredictable and at times erratic, so being prepared is the key! We will run UK challenges between April and October, and although the summer months of June-August should be, in general, warmer, sunnier and more stable in terms of the weather conditions, we all know that this isn’t always the case. Please check the weather forecasts up to ensure that you bring clothing suitable for warm sunny walking weather and also sudden wind and downpours should they occur.
 

Terrain

Despite its location in the UK, the difficulty of this challenge should not be underestimated. The terrain on this challenge varies throughout and can be rough at times, so be prepared! The path on the trek is steep and uneven whilst the biking section follows off-road forest trails and as such can be uneven.

 

Responsible Tourism

At Charity Challenge we are committed to sustainable and responsible tourism. On this challenge in particular, we always liaise with the rangers at the Lake District National Park and the Grizedale Forestry Commission office to make sure that we minimise our impact on the local environment. Our leaders care passionately for the environment and will be keen to talk to you about how you can do your bit to conserve the local area and enhance your experience. We believe that acting responsibly should add to your enjoyment of the challenge so we won’t lecture you about not dropping litter. Instead we’d like to encourage you to support ‘Fix the Fells’ who maintain the excellent footpaths we will be walking on. Fix the Fells have an excellent website that provides information on their fantastic work and allows you to donate to them directly. Their website can be viewed here. We would also like to encourage all our participants to spend a little extra time in the local area. Why not consider booking an extra night in a local B&B, and go out for a meal in one of the excellent local pubs after the challenge? Not only will you be able to celebrate your achievements but you will also be putting more money back into the local area. For extra information, please visit our Responsible Tourism pages, where you will be able to view a list of the other projects that we currently support.

 

Challenge Timings

You will be sent precise timings and locations 1 month prior to the start of this challenge.

Your day will begin with an early breakfast, and time to prepare for the challenge ahead.

Here you will be split into your different groups depending on the difficulty level you have selected.

The challenge itself commences with the group taking on the iconic Lake District peak, the Old Man of Coniston, standing at over 800m high, and where you will be provided with spectacular views of the area.
Next, the group will undertake an exciting mountain biking trail through the Grizedale forest, which will be sure to get you heart pimping. You will then finish the day with a kayak challenge through a challenging circuit along the lake. You should expect to complete this challenge by early evening.

Please note that depending on the number of people taking part in this challenge it may be necessary for some groups to complete the challenge in a different order of activities.

 

Getting There

You should plan to arrive early, around 7am, on the morning of the challenge. The location of the base for this challenge is at the John Ruskin school in Coniston.

Exact timings and instructions will be sent 1 month prior to the challenge date.

Accommodation

This is a one day event, and overnight accommodation is not included. If you wish to camp the night before and/or after, camping places are available at the venue at a cost of £15 per pitch per night.

These camping facilities are basic, but toilet and shower facilities will be available inside the school along with water. There are several excellent pubs in Coniston village which is a 2 minute walk from the school.

Please book your camping spot via your online registration portal, or contact challenges@charitychallenge.com.

Food & Drink

You will be provided with a breakfast buffet when you arrive for the challenge, and a packed lunch during the day along with snacks during the transition between activities. Upon completing your challenge a celebration buffet dinner will be available. You may also wish to bring your own snacks to help power you through the day.

 

Toilets

Participants will be able to utilise the bathroom facilities in the morning prior to the challenge, as well as after the hike and again at the end of the day. However, during the challenges such facilities will be limited to the great outdoors!
 

Safety advice for the NSPCC Chasing the Sun Challenge

Charity Challenge considers the safety of all of our participants and staff to be a top priority, and as such we have set up Challenge Safe, one of the most advanced and thorough safety management systems in the industry. Challenge Safe formalises our ethos when it comes to safety, and brings together the procedures and risk management strategies that we use to audit all aspects of our challenges, from vehicles to accommodation to the challenge activity itself. Your welfare is absolutely paramount!

Here are a couple of important points that you should be aware of:

  • The terrain on the challenge is often rocky and in wet conditions can be extremely slippery. Please make sure that your walking boots have good grip. Trainers are not appropriate as they lack grip.
  • The weather on the summits of the hills can be very different to down in the valleys. Please make sure you carry an additional warm layer, waterproof jacket and trousers and a hat and gloves.
  • Always wear the safety equipment provided to you for the biking and kayaking activities.
  • We employ qualified instructors for each activity. Please listen carefully to the instructions given.
  • This is an all day challenge. Ensure that you eat lots throughout the day and keep yourself hydrated by drinking lots of fluids.

Emergencies

Your challenge leader will have a mobile phone and radios in case of emergencies and the team are trained to deal with any emergency situations. The event is not run as a race though and you will not be expected to walk or cycle at a pace beyond your capabilities. Should you find yourself unable to continue for any reason, you will be transferred back to the start point by safety vehicle.
 

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ATOL protected

We hold an Air Travel Organiser's Licence granted by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our ATOL number is 6546. Many of the flight-inclusive challenges on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. But ATOL protection does not apply to all holiday and travel services listed on this website. This ATOL protection only covers challenges that include flights booked by Charity Challenge and that originate in the UK. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking. If you do not receive an ATOL Certificate then the booking will not be ATOL protected. If you do receive an ATOL Certificate but all the parts of your trip are not listed on it, those parts will not be ATOL protected. Please see our booking conditions for information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOLcertificate

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