Year 8 of the Blog

Highlights from the Blog’s 8th Year, 2013

2013 – another year of adventure and another year of the blog! It’s a shame that many of the blog’s regular authors have found themselves short of time to write a few words and share their photos. I guess it’s a reflection of modern day pressures on our time that finds us preferring to tap away on Facebook instead. ๐Ÿ™

However, there has been loads going on. Here’s my annual round up of what stood out for me…

thailand climbing
Laetitia and Pete kicked off their new year with an amazing trip to Thailand – rock climbing alongside the Adaman Sea and sight seeing in Bangkok.
Lots of Skiing
Loads of skiing in Kentmere (surprising), Chamonix (of course), Mayrhofen, and on Mont Blanc…
kentmere skiing chamonix ski mayrhofen mont-blanc ski
An Awesome Scottish Winter Season
The harsh winter made for possibly one of the best Scottish winter seasons and certainly the best I’ve known!
pumpkin point five smiths
Epic tales from the Frendo-Ravanel
Jon placed himself in mortal danger solo on a classic Chamonix area winter route!
cave exploration
Continuing Spanish Cave Exploration
Colin and Jim continued with their dedicated exploration of the Matienzo cave system in Spain. Anyone who questions the dedication required to be an exploratory caver need go no further than reading these reports.
Anna keeps on enjoying her competitive running and I hear that even Ian is thinking of taking up competitive running. We’re looking forward to the UTMB draw results…
And, I wonder if they will give Rachel and Richard a challenge one day?
Work might suck, but not for Richard
It seems that while most of us suffer with the drudgery of turning up at work every day Richard just gets to travel the world attending various exotically located conferences. Well, that’s the impression one might get from his excellent posts…
lizard great wall
Amazing Summer Weather – for once!
Following on from the most amazing winter season 2013 delivered a late but fantastically sunny, hot, and dry summer. Brilliant for rock climbing! Who could doubt that Britain offers some of the best traditional climbing in the world when the weather is a good as this?
gimmer esk shelterstone wales
Setesdal, Norway
Richard, Paul, Pete, and Laetitia made a trip to Norway to sample some slab-tastic granite rock climbing. Superb long (up to 800m long) routes, but being all based around long sweeps of slabby rock they were all very samey!
Moroccan Rock
Elsie and team continued their exploration of classic rock destinations with a trip to Morocco…
red rock Red Rock
Red Rock, Nevada
Red Rock is supposed to be “one of the top five rock climbing destinations in the USA”. It’s certainly one of ours and Terry’s favourite US destinations. However, our plans were a little tempered by all-time record low temperatures.
A massive thank-you to all the blog’s authors, comment contributors, and readers!
Keep Visiting, Get Out, Have an Adventure, and Keep those Reports Coming
Have a very Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year!

The Blog’s 7 Year Itch?

Highlights from 2012, the Blog’s 7th Year

After another year of enthusiastic blogging here’s my annual round up of a few personal favourite reports from the past twelve months. It’s never easy picking out the highlights, so feel free to chastise me for missing yours. I hope these highlights help us all celebrate the blog’s seventh birthday, plus also hopefully go some way towards inspiring another full year of travel, adventure, and blogging following the excesses of Xmas and New Year…

January delivered poor winter weather (especially with our expectations being so high following the bumper snows of 2010 and 2011), so I set about delivering a better blogging experience for the site’s authors and readers with Automatic Excerpt Thumbnails and Adventure Location features. The latest mapping capability being current location tracking (if enabled in your browser) shown left.

Also, don’t forget to check out the growing number of adventure locations recorded on our World Wide Adventure Venues map

However, the snow did make an appearance in February! Of course there was plenty of snow in Bardonecchia, Italy for Rachel & Richard’s ski ski ski

In March Ian was coming to the end of his working trip to Antarctica (he must love the place though, he’s gone back again this year too); Richard & Rachel were in New Zealand; Terry was in Canada; while the rest of us were enjoying fine weather at home…

April saw Elsie, Koon, Pete, and Laetitia visit the awesome sport climbing venue of Antalya in Turkey; Terry had stayed in North America; Ian, Anna, Zac, Steve, Brian, and Jo were ski touring in the Vanoise (having already been to Andorra!); Dalma was visiting Dracula in Romania; while Colin was on one of several trips in 2012 to Spain exploring undiscovered caves!

Maybe it was the itching of the seventh year of the blog’s existence that made the Governor feel it needed scratching when he tried to ruin our fun. It took several weeks to recover and secure the site after the attack, and I have to admit to nearly giving up and not bothering for fear of a recurrence. Of course in the end I’m glad I bothered!

May also saw Rachel start her secret campaign to become a triathlete swimming outdoors at Bosworth. While Anna’s running team triumphed in Edinburgh.

June was the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, and she was kind enough to let us all have an extra day off work to enjoy the fantastic weather in Scotland (while she suffered the rain in London!). Bill made a stop on the blog posting about the Queen too, when he and Artemis attended a Buckingham Palace Garden Party. Richard & Rachel enjoyed one of several international fell-running victories in the Republic of Ireland.

June also saw the Olympic Torch, on it’s way to London, pass through Bowness!

Pete, Richard, Brendan, David, Ian, Rachel, Keith, and Laetitia at the Rhosydd exit
Following Rachel’s TV news debut, we had perhaps the best ever, and most well attended, Blog Rendezvous meet in Snowdonia. The meet included a classic through trip of Croesor and Rhosydd mines (brilliantly captured on video by Keef).

Escaping from the torrential rain that never seemed to end (in what is now recognised as the wettest summer in the UK in over a 100 years) Richard & Rachel went to the Lofoten islands; Terry and Bernie were in the Dolomites; Rebecca & Mina reported from Switzerland; and Astrid, Laetitia, Ian, and Pete were in the French Alps climbing … and painting shutters!

I tried out being part of the Kendal Mountain Rescue team in September, and I had a great time playing my small part in the East Cumbria Search Panel exercise near Shap. However, I soon realised that the Kendal team and I weren’t suited to a long term relationship…

Anna too had had enough of the crap weather this year and set off to the Canary Islands seeking the sun in October; Paul sneaked a trip to Cornwall; Istvan wrote his first (unaided by Dalma’s translation skills) report from the Monta Rosa group; Terry started learning to fly; while Laetitia and I squeezed in one last rock climbing trip to Chamonix (nearly getting benighted failing to find our way down from l’Enclume at les Fiz).

In November I had my first experience of Canadian Canoeing; the Kendal Mountain Festival was as amazing as ever – (perhaps) the worlds biggest “tribal” gathering of outdoorsy people; Elsie visited the spectacular Wadi Rum; and Pete & Laetitia enjoyed a week of hot-rock in El Chorro.

Winter seems to have arrived a little early this year and so far the first half of December has seen us skiing on Raise and climbing on Great End! What will the rest of the month provide (other than Xmas)?
A massive thank-you to all the blog’s authors, comment contributors, and readers!
Keep Visiting, Get Out, Have an Adventure, and Keep those Reports Coming

Adventure Locations

I think it was sometime in late 2007 that I first allowed posts to have a country, and thus flag, attributed to them. The Post Country plugin was eventually released to the WordPress community in April 2008. Although the plugin has always allowed a Latitude & Longitude to be entered and saved along with the country, promising that the location would be plotted using Google maps, this location data has never been used. Until now!

The observant may have already noticed that the box for entering location data has some extra hint-text…



  • The crucial hint is Please use decimal values.
  • To help get the Lat & Lng values use the map (initially hidden, click Show Map). Search by name (e.g. Paris), address, place (e.g. Todra Gorge), etc. or simply use the map to zoom to a location and click.
  • Lastly, please try not to create multiple posts with the exact same Lat & Lng values as this would make displaying the locations discretely impossible. This is because locations that are close to each other are grouped to de-clutter the display. Therefore two or more locations that are in exactly the same spot can’t be ungrouped.

The location map is easily accessed using the Venues button venues-button on the index page or the location links world-link found with reports (there’s one below for Show all locations). Links underneath the map allow you to reset the map (if you loose yourself panning and zooming around the world), filter the location markers by category (e.g. Caving), and provide hints and instructions on using the Google mapping.

So, knock yourselves out, provide some location data with your posts if you want to have the venue of your latest adventures plotted on the map!

Blog Birthday #6

It hardly seems possible, yet another year draws to a close and just like all of us the blog grows a year older!
Incredibly the site now gets around two million hits every month! ๐Ÿ˜ฏ Of course these readers come from a diverse range of sources, stuff like: WordPress Plugin users; disappointed BMW run-flat tyre drivers; cake eating connoisseurs; and most importantly, adventurers! ๐Ÿ˜› And what a lot of adventure and fun we’ve all been having in the past year…

Some Blogger Highlights from 2011, the Blog’s 6th Year

Anna sprint

Anna Runs to Glory (repeatedly)…

Anna got serious about running and was winning all over the place! :clap:

Anna’s RSS feed

Muddy Colin

Colin kept on Diving and Caving…

Colin went caving, cave diving, and even took some photographs! ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

Colin’s RSS feed

Dalma in Paklenica

We met our Hungarian friend Dalma…

Terry met Dalma in Croatia, France, and Wales. While the rest of us met up with Dalma in the Peak District, where we scared her and Elsie with a trip in to Giants.

Dalma’s, Eslie’s, and Terry’s RSS feeds

Ian at Halley

Ian’s Polar Adventures Continue…

Ian returned from Antarctica … and then went back again! ๐Ÿ˜ฅ

Ian’s RSS feed

Happy Rachel

Rachel’s Enthusiasm for Adventures is Unabated…

We took part in our first Mountain Marathon, and, on another level entirely, Rachel and Richard (despite a recently broken arm) were first mixed team in their class at the OMM. :star:
Jon put in a good effort at the OMM too. ๐Ÿ˜€

Rachel’s and Jon’s RSS feeds

Richards Broken Arm

Richard Broke his Arm…

Richard broke his arm in and got rescued from Darren Cilau. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

Richard’s RSS feed

Tahoe Camping

Meanwhile we carried on Rock Climbing…

Paul, Laetitia, Boris, and Pete went to Tahoe, California where it snowed a lot and Rachel made us an entertaining puzzle. ๐Ÿ˜€

Paul’s, Laetitia’s, and Pete’s RSS feeds

Yet another amazing year.
A massive thank-you to all the blog’s authors, comment contributors, and readers!

The blog’s sixth year has been as active as ever with authors travelling far and wide:
Antarctica, Austria, Canada, Croatia, England, Falklands, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Jersey, Morocco, Norway, Scotland, Spain, Turkey, USA, and Wales.

Keep Visiting, Get Out, Have an Adventure, and Keep those Reports Coming.