Journal

BETWEEN SEA AND SKY

HIGH UP IN THE ARCTIC CIRCLE AND A THREE-WEEK VOYAGE BY BOAT LIES GREENLAND, A PLACE OF ICE, ROCK AND SOLITUDE. IN A 34-FOOT SAILING BOAT AND CONCEDING TO THE WHIMS OF THE NORTH ATLANTIC, JÖTTNAR’S TIM HOWELL LEFT ENGLAND IN SEARCH OF NOT JUST ADVENTUROUS CLIMBING AND WINGSUIT BASE JUMPING, BUT REMOTENESS AND SELF-SUFFICIENCY. Growing up I was surrounded by sailing. I would walk to nursery along the foreshore listening to the cables slapping against the masts. But while my friends grew up to become national champions and presidents of the local clubs, I instead looked up to the mountains. On ski holidays I would gaze up at the snowy summits and wish to climb them without the use of lifts. As a christening present a family friend promised me a set of sailing waterproofs when I came of age, ...

J-15 (15 days to the start)

The last seven days have been a crazy mix of activities, feelings, problems and triumphs that have swept me along and stolen the hours of every day.

Dream of the Wild

“RUGGED, WILD, HAUNTED BY HISTORY; CREATION BEYOND MY WILDEST DREAMS. THIS LAND IT SHAPED ME. IT SOFTENED MY EDGES AND MAYBE IT SAVED ME.” Our friend Mark Thomas learned to climb as a child on the wild sea cliffs of west Wales. Thirty years on, the love for these crags and this untamed expanse of coast is undiminished. “As I move between holds my mind moves between memories.This land it shaped me; it softened my edges.It found me and maybe it saved me.” Filmed and produced by Daniel Wildey, both he and Mark revisited these cliffs and memories. Most of the sequences were shot at Porthclais, near St David’s, and Cemaes further to the north. Mark Thomas is an IFMGA Mountain Guide and the co-founder of Elite Mountain Guides, a Chamonix-based guiding business. Filmed and produced by D...

Commando Chef! BOOM

‘Commando Chef’, real name Mike Beaton, is an SAS marine and part of the Royal Marines Educational Awareness Team (RM-EAT). Through a range of exciting presentations and workshops, RM-EAT aims to develop students’ life skills and awareness of careers in the Royal Navy. A self-motivated, determined, enthusiastic Royal Marine who has served around the globe since 1988 bring peace to our world. Operational tours of duty include serving on the grim sectarian streets of Northern Ireland, to the hot humid evil jungles of Sierra Leon, I have faced many tasks as a serving marine. One of the highlights in my 26 years of service was being in a privileged position to take young men through Royal Marine Training which is known throughout the world to be the toughest most extreme basic training there i...

PlanX

Push your limits. Find you potential. Whether its kickstarting your health and fitness journey, or taking your exercise regime to the next level, we are passionate about helping people achieve their goals. Offering quality advice and guidance every step of the way, we offer the complete health and fitness package designed to transform and change our client’s lifestyles for the better. Based in Plymouth and South East Cornwall, and with the team including qualified personal trainers, nutritionists and chefs, DB Fitness and Nutrition make the process of getting healthy fun by offering realistic and affordable personalised training and nutrition programmes built around you. A healthy lifestyle doesn’t just start and stop in the gym, and the Nutrition Academy can help you to make the right cho...

Wingsuit Alpinism

FAST AND LIGHT IS THE MANTRA OF MOUNTAINEERS. UP AND DOWN IN A SINGLE PUSH. MINIMISING KIT CARRIED, CLIMBING FASTER, AND SO PROVIDING A BIGGER MARGIN FOR ANY INCLEMENT WEATHER ON THE HORIZON. ADD WINGSUITING AMBITIONS, AND THIS MANTRA BECOMES A MANDATE. Wind conditions in the mountains are fickle, and for a successful wingsuit flight very specific conditions are needed. Alpine starts are often even earlier, the rush to the summit is often greater and a rack is slimmed down even further. But the upside, if all goes to plan, is that a knee-grinding 1,500-metre descent can be done in an exhilarating 60 seconds rather than hours of arduous down-climbing. When I’m planning for an alpine wingsuit flight I have to focus on the fast and light aspect even more. I have the added weight of a parachut...

HOW TO RUN 60+ MILES

How to run an elite endurance distance, 60+ miles. I do not consider myself to be an elite endurance athlete in the fact that I enter competitions for places and achieving personal best times. I instead use my long endurance runs for more personal mental and physical resilience training when preparing for my long hard winter expeditions. There is nothing like being out in the wilderness for days, pushing yourself hard and focusing for hour after hour on the task at hand. In the end, you get quite good at learning how to switch off, how to push “just a little bit further” and do those extra 20 miles on an empty tank and where your personal limits really are. My single longest run to date without any sleep or proper respite is 176 miles in a 48-hour period. I have also run the wh...

NORTH COAST 110 MILE ULTRA

This Friday 2nd October Baz Gray will be taking on the gruelling South West Climbs new, North Coast 110 Mile Ultra. SW Climbs believe that this is their toughest event yet. If you’ve completed the Jurassic Coast 100 Mile Ultra or the Devon Coast to Coast Ultra, this could be for you. With nearly 6,000m elevation gain, and 12 hours of darkness, this promises to be a brutal adventure of epic proportions. To enter all competitors require a previous 100km finish in under 24hrs as a minimum.  The race starts with a particularly hilly section from Hartland Quay, before turning East at Hartland Point. The views out to Lundy island are incredible from here. The hills keep coming as you pass the pretty village of Clovelly and onwards to Westward Ho! From here a flat section takes you around th...

A seminar at sea on Sea Spirit

Fiona’s trip report April 2018 “My recent journey from the Cape Verde Islands to the Canary Islands aboard the 114 passenger adventure voyage ship Sea Spirit took the form of a ‘seminar at sea’, and what a fascinating one it was!  During my three days, on what would traditionally be a repositioning voyage, I learned a great deal about the finer points of polar expedition voyaging, immersing myself in the discussions about the many opportunities a polar voyage presents. My experience has inspired me to share some of this wisdom with clients, especially those new to polar travel, so you can get the best from an Antarctic or Arctic voyage.  To this end I’ve included my jottings and suggestions here.  Our annual polar travel broc...

THE STEEP EDGE

CHAMONIX: A WORLD-RENOWNED ALPINE PLAYGROUND. WHEN WINTER SNOW BURIES THE COULOIRS AND STEEP VALLEY SLOPES, THE LINES BETWEEN SKIING, ALPINISM AND EXPLORATION BLUR. Jöttnar Pro Team member Tom Grant lives in Chamonix, where he works as an IFMGA mountain guide. Watch his new video about his passion for Chamonix skiing, and see him shredding some of its finest steep lines. One of the world’s most accomplished steep skiers, he was part of a team that last year skied the 2,000-metre Caroline Face on Mount Cook, one of the world’s largest previously un-descended lines.⁠ As well as Mount Cook and some of the Alps’ steepest lines, Tom also has technical first descents to his name in Baffin Island, British Columbia, Norway and Alaska. Tom works year-round as an IFMGA guide, taking clients backcoun...

GROOVYFIED

In the summer of 2019, Jöttnar’s John Thornton linked together two existing hard sport climbing routes in Malham to create Groovyfied (8c). With imagination, skill and perseverance, John shows that the new-routing potential here which has tested generations of climbers is still very much alive. Watch the film below: “Malham is an iconic sport climbing crag in the Yorkshire Dales, which I’ve been climbing at for years. It comprises multiple hard test pieces and has a reputation of being steep and unforgiving. I thought I saw the possibility of linking up two established lines – Unjustified (8b+) and The Groove (8a+) – which had never been done before. If successful, the likely grade would be 8c – a grade I’d never climbed at before.” “Of course that feeling of being your best on rock is a h...