Wednesday, 2 July 2014


We left Scotland by 9pm with daylight on our side. 

Driving though the sunset into the night, along the western shore of Loch Lomond.  Fuelled, partly with adrenaline and the rest Redbull, we drove south along the M6 stopping once for a change of driver.  We drove until the the Northern sky became light and a small single track road brought us to the sleeping giants of  the Wasdale valley.  The home of Scafell Pike.  The 2nd stop on the INTO THE OUTSIDE National 3 Peaks challenge

We parked at the Wasdale head car park and unloaded as the sky brightened.  With time against us we made it a quick turn around and started on the trail just before 4am.  The team looked tired and pale faced but soldiered up Lingmell Gill.  The small trickle of water, scorched dry by the lack of rain, soothed our ears as we walked up the path.  Crossing Lingmell we looked back to witness the pink sky brightening over the sea in the distance.  What a sight, speechless and smiling.

The weather on Ben Nevis the evening before looked like repeating itself for the day ahead.  What a joy.  As we continued the group slowed as one of our team started to feel the effect of a lack of sleep, water and food.  Ishi was brave but had to head back to base camp at Wasdale Head.  

With her blessing we pushed on and continued at great speed to the boulder strewn valley below the awesome amphitheatre of rock that includes Black Crag, Scafell Crag and Pikes Crag.  The guys were totally blown away by the rock formations and the silence and stillness in the air.

After a few pictures and a snack we marched on to the saddle between our summit and Lingmell and with 2 and a bit hours we had reached our 2nd summit of the National 3 Peaks - Scafell Pike!  

The group were elated and sat in awe as they watched the sun rise.  The clouds over Great Gable were spectacular to watch and we had the summit to ourselves - perfect.  I pointed out all of my home county mountains and a few members of the group to me to shut up and stop being such a nerd.

After another quick snack we made our way back down.  Now the race was really on as it dawned on a few members of the group that 24 hours was going to be a push.  

No minute could now be wasted as we made quick progress back down to the Hallow stones.  We passed a group of Irish guys on the way up that we had met on Ben Nevis and said hi!  The the two climbers who had taken our picture on the summit of Ben Nevis crossed us!  We now had some other people to beat!

The sun was now warming the stones and grass below our feet and Wast Water was coved in daylight.  We got back to the car within the 4 hour mark and orders of a quick turn around were issued!  Food, stretch, water, boots off, sleep - GO…. But I wanted to wild swim… NO CHANCE!!

Next stop and 4.5 hours later we arrived at Pen-y-Pass ready to tackle Snowdon.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014


This weekend I had a group of eager young bucks ready and waiting to tackle the National 3 Peaks.  6 Students from Wooden Bassett, Natalia, Ishi, Alex, James, Fraser and Ricardo.   All going their separate ways this summer, to university and different careers alike, they came to INTO THE OUTSIDE to see off their sixth form by taking on the National 3 Peak challenge.

The National 3 Peaks challenge involves climbing the three highest peaks in Scotland, England and Wales within 24 hours!  As a send off, before they all go their separate ways, it was a brilliant idea.  

We all met up in the Ben Nevis visitor centre car park and had a quick chat before gearing up.  A few cups of coffee were brewed, items of gear exchanged and off we went at 4.27pm.  Spirits were high as we stomped up the trail and made steady progress up the Pony Track.  The heat was intense as we passing climbers coming down covered in sweat.

We stopped here and there along the way to look down into Glen Nevis, the forest growing ever smaller below and the views expanding.  After an hour and a half we had managed to get to the waterfall and stopped to have a well earned drink and snack.  

By this point the guys were full of energy, they seemed to have forgotten getting out of their beds at 4am!  A few calls from Mothers and friends started coming through with well wishes and job offers for the summer! Laughs were had and off we went, higher and higher.  A few other groups crossed us but other than that we had the old Ben to ourselves.

The Pony Track began zig zagging now, through the scree and boulders as we reached out first scarpa of snow.  The guys couldn't believe there was snow in June!  Amazed looks crossed their face as snow balls were exchanged!  As I threw my third snow ball I realised we were against the clock and ended the fun.

We marched on up through the bouldery Ben Nevis summit until we spotted the summit shelter perched high on its mountain for rocks.  It's amazing to think that the snow on Ben Nevis can get so high it covers the shelter in winter, almost 15 feet or more.

The view from the summit was spectacular.  All of the Munros on view.  I think I could even see Scafell, the Isle of Rum, Skye and beyond.  It was the most perfect view I have ever had on Ben Nevis - any mountain in fact.

We all climbed the trig point and had a nice couple of climbers take a picture of us! Celebration!  

The first stage of the National 3 Peaks done, well not yet, we still had to descend.  But after a quick bite descend we did, as the wind picked up a little and the chill came ever the group.  We layered up with gloves and extra jackets and began our way down the Pony Track.

The guys had fun shuffling down the snow patches as we crossed the boudoir field again.  After a few hundred feet the shelter on the South side warmed us up and we began to gain some speed.  

Another quick food stop and we made our way fast down to Lochan Meall an t Suidhe.  The group were so eager to post a good time that we got a jog on almost until we were above the turn off to the Glen Nevis SYHA.  The red of the sun on the mountains behind us, Meall Cumhann and Sgurr a Mhaim was beautiful, I couldn't believe how lucky we were with the weather.  

The group did amazingly well and completed the Ben Nevis leg of the National 3 Peak in 5.5 hours.  Arriving back at the Ben Nevis visitors centre at 8.57pm.

Back at the cars we had a quick coffee, cup of warmed curry and began our journey to Wasdale Head and the second summit - Scafell Pike.

Friday, 27 June 2014


It was a great weekend at the river Tryweryn last weekend and here are a few more shots!  It was good to see everybody paddling well and can't wait for Norway!  It was great to see Becki and Vicki on the river and swims galore!!  Lots of Tequila booties were consumed!  Theo stepped it up again with his spit roast chicken!




48 hours to go!  This weekend see us gear up for the National 3 Peaks, into the outside challenge events that involves scaling the highest summits in Scotland, England and Wales.  We start at Ben Nevis at 4pm on Sunday 29th June and finish at 4pm on 30th June at Snowdon! Supper psyched and the group are raring to go!

To find out more about into the outside challenge events like the National 3 Peaks, Yorkshire 3 Peaks and the Lakes 3000s log on to now!

Also check out and for more events and walks!



Monday, 23 June 2014


The iTO riders have just got back after an awesome weekend on the river! Great weather and great people! Spark and Dan got to test out the new Ainsworth paddles supplied by #canoeexpedshop#ainsworthpaddles! Cheers Craig for getting on board and sorting us with blades for Norway! It was a great weekend! pics by Dan Fylan-Smith and Becki Vale.



Friday, 6 June 2014


A great day was had on Blencathra today.  The conditions were a bit fierce for the time of year but we plodded along happily in any case.  We started the walk from Scales Farm and wandered up to Scales tarn before attempting our ascent via Sharp Edge.  The wind was very strong and the most was low which meant we had to abort and go the other way.  It was still exciting and the summit was achieved with zero visibility!

The walk down was amazing however, with brilliant view of the southern edges of Blencathra as well as other groups scaling Sharp Edge in the distance!  Another great mountain and guided walks.  I wonder if anyone as bought Blencathra yet?  It is for sale for a mere £1.75 million!

Check out my guided walks at £90 for a 1:1, £100 for 2 and £120 for a group of four! To book call 07748764640 or email me at