Now the North Face climb group are encamped on the north side of Kilimanjaro. Their location is a completely new camp on a level, sheltered strip of land below a vast scree slope and steep rocky ridges.
Today the adventurers climbed up onto the rock ridge and trekked to a point just above 5000ms to gain altitude acclimatisation. This was important preparation for their summit bid tomorrow. Continue reading At the foot of the new route up the North Face of Kilimanjaro – day 6
Yesterday saw the North Face climbers make the long journey from Barranco Camp to Moir Hut, a little-used camp situated on the north-western face of Kilimanjaro. Continue reading Crossing the Shira Plateau to Moir Hut – Days 3 and 4 of the Kilimanjaro North Face Climb
It’s day 2 of the North Face climb, and our team of intrepid trekkers have just ascended all the way to Barranco Camp via the very steep, and rarely-trodden, Umbwe Trail.
Group leader Wayne called in with two phonecasts, which you can listen to here: Continue reading Thursday at Barranco Junction – Day 2 of the Kilimanjaro North Face climb
The North Face team have begun their ascent! Reaching Umbwe Gate at 12 noon today, they are now trekking through the forested slopes to Umbwe Cave Camp, at 2,850ms: Continue reading Kilimanjaro North Face climb – Day 1
On 26 June, 5 adventurous climbers will depart from London on a flight to Kilimanjaro. They are to attempt to summit Kilimanjaro via its northern flank, in what will be the first official summit attempt via the newly opened North Face Route.
The group will be raising funds for the Special Boat Service Association, and are being supported by the Hogg Robinson Group.
Keep an eye on our blog over the coming weeks, as we provide regular updates from the climbers as they progress towards the summit of Africa’s highest mountain. Continue reading The first official ascent of Kilimanjaro’s North Face – departing in two days!
In November 2016, six special needs students travelled to Oman on a life-changing expedition organised by Gane and Marshall. Here, Rich Berry from Sky College, one of the two schools involved, recounts the experience:
As part of our aspiration to provide life changing experiences we embarked on an overseas visit to the Middle East. Staff and a group of four students travelled four thousand miles to Oman where they trekked through the mountains and deserts whilst carrying out roles to develop both personal skills as well as team skills. The senior leadership team had difficult decisions to make as over a dozen students showed an interest in the challenge, but only four places were available. Several students from year nine to eleven completed small challenges along the way as part of the selection process. Continue reading Oman School Expedition, Nov 2016 – Trip Report
At the beginning of this month, Gane and Marshall ran the Ardeche School Challenge for special needs school students. Taking place from 1st to 7th July, the expedition involved a thrilling journey by kayak down the Ardeche Gorge, with plenty of white water and plenty of spills! Then the group tried canyoning with some amazing dives into remote rock pools, and finally they went on a high ropes course (rather like an extreme version of Go Ape, was one comment!)
I was lucky enough to be able to join the group (23 in all) for the kayaking. We flew out on British Airways to Marseilles and then travelled in a convoy of three eight seater minibuses to Pont Vallon – a lively little town at the heart of the Ardeche adventure region. We set up our own tents on arrival and thereafter the group camped and prepared virtually all their own meals themselves. Managing not only the adventurous activities but also the flights, the transfers and the camping and cooking was all part of the ‘Learning Outside the Classroom’ template that we worked to. Flying abroad and seeing a foreign country for the first time was a wonderful eye-opener to many of the students. For all of us – teachers, mentors, outdoor leaders and students – this was an inspirational and challenging holiday. Each of the students on the trip had come from often exceptionally difficult backgrounds. They had been excluded from the main school system for behavioural issues and were several years behind with their education. But in an expedition environment, they performed admirably as a close-knit team.
Phil Worgan, our engaging main leader, founded the event after several trips to the Ardeche with small groups, seeing it as the ideal venue for outdoors learning. ‘Learning Outside the Classroom’ has become a recognised way of working with special needs students to help them improve academically and socially. Our School Challenges are designed with these goals in mind: connecting to the curriculum through outdoor experiences, developing socially and as a team, nurturing resilience, increasing self-esteem, and developing skills that will be useful in seeking work or further education after a student’s school years end.
Ray Mears will be following exactly the same route as us on ITV1 at 8pm on Monday. I’m sure he won’t overturn and disappear under the white-water as I did twice. But then he won’t have a team of brilliant special needs students to pull him out and retrieve his kayak either!
Gane and Marshall will be running one or more Ardeche Challenges during the first week of July 2017. The cost including BA flights will be £884 per person. The trips will once again be led by Phil Worgan. Our kayaking leader will be – as for this year – the amazing sport kayaker Chris Brain. There are various ways in which you can take part: recommend our Ardeche Challenge to a school you are in contact with, send a team from your school, sponsor a special needs student whose family/school cannot raise the funds to send that student. Subject to the safety checks, you could join the challenge as a mentor. We have found that most students want to join in these adventures and are keen to start preparing months ahead. Their preparations involve not only getting fit and learning to set up tents and to kayak, but also winning their place on the team as result of improving behaviour in school.
For more information about our Ardeche challenges, or our school challenges more generally, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
This year we’ll be launching several new safari and adventure programmes in Africa, including an original biking route around Mount Kenya; an entirely new climbing route to the summit of Kilimanjaro; a special peak baggers’ itinerary to climb Africa’s three highest mountains; and a photographers’ tour to Ethiopia, led by expert photographer Simon Stafford. We also have lots of exciting new developments outside of Africa to share with you.
Continue reading What’s new in Africa? New adventures: Kilimanjaro North Face, Mt Kenya bike safari, Ethiopia photo tour, and more!
Climb Mount Kenya – Technical Routes to Point Peter, Batian and Nelion Peaks
Jeremy Gane spent a week climbing on Mt Kenya in August of this year. Here he details his experience of Mt Kenya’s technical routes, including the climb to the highest peak, Batian. Continue reading Climb Mount Kenya
Botswana’s safari parks and game reserves:
private vs public
Botswana is unique among African safari destinations in that much of its wilderness has been divided into private concessions. While such concessions are common elsewhere in Africa, only in Botswana do they constitute such a large proportion of the country’s protected land (almost 50%). Unlike in Kenya or Tanzania, for instance, where the major public parks are huge and the private reserves comparatively small, in Botswana you can confine yourself almost entirely to private concessions and still experience the best wilderness areas that the country has to offer. This has its advantages and disadvantages, and it’s important to have a good idea of the differences between Botswana’s private and public reserves when planning your safari, particularly if you intend to visit the Okavango Delta.
Continue reading Our guide to Botswana’s safari parks and game reserves: private vs public