Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

 Just in from the Christmas paddle out of Port St Mary this morning, with some light refreshments to aid the festive cheer : )
A little different back home on the Isle of Man, in comparison the previous week in Chamonix!
Here's a Happy Christmas to everyone out there, especially Keri & Steve, Jake and Mandy and all those who helped me out on (and off) the slopes!
A particular Merry Christmas to Flybe who pulled out all the stops to ensure I actually made the flight!
Sunday's Sea Kayak Training took place off Peel sheltering from the wind, and using the interesting conditions to best advantage...
Thanks to Rachel for the photo

And here's a few from Nick's Coasteering Stag Party which I just caught the beginning of before heading for the airport last week : )
All the very best over the festive period, and we look forward to seeing you soon.
Merry Christmas Everyone!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Les Houches - powder

 Conditions have determined our back-up option of skiing has come into play, (the ice has yet to come into nick to allow us some climbing), and ideally the avalanche risk to also reduce...
 Simon and Phil took me up to Les Houches on Monday for a beginners experience... a lot of powder, constantly snowing, with increased reliance on feel as visibility was often missing : )
 A great day finishing with the red run back to the car!
 Tuesday we all headed to Grand Montets for some increased challenge and similar conditions. Fat powder runs, 'feel don't think' and a mountain cafe which sold tasty mulled wine...
Keri, Steve, Hilly, Ian.. and meeting many more folk : )
All these photo's are from today on Les Houches again, just me and Steve, in glorious conditions, and superb views! By the afternoon we were racing each other down the blue runs and comfortably taking the red run down as dusk fell... a terrific day!!!
Looks like we're on for snow again tonight, so back on the slopes again tomorrow...
I can't believe it - hands are warm! : ) A thousand new experiences, learning a lot!

Sunday, December 16, 2012


 Headed out for a stomp up to Chalet Glacier Du Mont Blanc today...
 Plenty of snow falling, Keri and Mandy delighted with wading through the powder.
 Spotted a festive tree, and some Ibex further up the treeline...
Back to the chalet in time for salmon and rice... a cracking day!
Sounds like the team at home had fun on the Adventure Club sunday sessions from Peel, and xmas vouchers are still coming through online. These will be posted out the same day : )
See you soon

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

measuring risk

I was over at Tollymore National Outdoor Centre last week for the Adventure Sports Conference, a terrific melting pot of ideas and experienced practitioners in the Adventure Sports industry, as well as characters who have helped shape what we strive to achieve in Adventure... 

What was exceptionally refreshing was the agreed philosophy of taking risks.... given that 'experiencing adventure' means just that. The education we deliver as Adventure Sports Coaches is developing the judgement and skill of healthy risk taking, measuring the benefits of an activity.
Discussion involved questioning what is acceptable risk? weighing up the fact that without risk there is no learning, and in fact no activity at all...

What are the risks involved with inactivity (removal of risk), both to our health and general well-being?!
Our focus should be on the benefits, and how to maximise these without unnecessary risk.

sunrise pics above taken by Kim Tastagh - risking more than a little chill to get them.
Our night paddle from Port Erin last night split into two groups, an intermediate training group and a beginners group. Both groups set out to challenge themselves, gain new experiences and above all have fun! 
They also took risks...

...that their individual 'arousal level' may go higher than anticipated, elements would likely be unfamiliar and unexpected, reducing our primary sense of sight sharpens other senses...  

But the real risk of harm was far outweighed by the benefits of a real adventure!!

Obviously everyone has their own perception of what real adventure is to them... A quote which came up last week that I can certainly relate to when i've pushed my own limits, (when not coaching students : ) and may often be the case when individuals embark on their own adventures;

real adventure is
"Extreme misery looked back upon with fondness"

Although not the norm, I can clearly reflect upon a few examples where this has been the case. 
More recently when winter climbing - standing in a mind-blowingly stunning landscape, (with a fair drop beneath you) belaying beneath a constant shower of spindrift and loose ice, hands numb, body not far behind, and then when its your turn to climb, the delightful 'hot aches' as the blood rushes back into the extremities...

Looking forward to next week with Keri & Steve in Chamonix!!

ps. I see that Sir Ranulph Fiennes is back over on the Isle of Man a year next June
Having missed his talk earlier this year, i'm keen to hear his next one : ) that will put 'hot aches' into perspective..

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Weekend's paddling

Alice came out in the 'Mighty Triton' with me on Saturday's full day training trip.
George has been motivating the girls group, in readiness for their circumnavigation of the Isle of Man this summer. I think Alice and Katia may come with us...
A total mix of conditions and variety of scenery and marine life along the way.
Some pretty cool rainbows, without much rain...
A fine tail wind and some varying tidal streams gave more challenge to the afternoon, and the girls each had their turn at leading and navigating.
Today's Sunday Sea Kayak Training was based from Port Erin Beach. We split into Intermediates who headed out to run scenarios off Bradda Head, and the Discover group who used the surf in the bay to get to grips with manoeuvring their kayaks.
All the coaches were really impressed with the personal performances today.
Tuesday has given a very calm and sunny day, so we've scheduled a night paddle to take advantage of it. This may be the last one we get before Xmas : )

ps. Many thanks to the Smiths for yet again hosting the Adventure Club Xmas meal & social : )
A great evening of food, wine and entertainment...

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Xmas Newsletter


A bright and breezy season’s greetings from Adventurous Experiences.

Welcome - Gift Vouchers - for the adventurous!
·         Adventurous Experiences Gift Vouchers - the perfect Christmas gift!
·         Available to buy online or alternatively over the phone or via email.
·         As one of our personalised experiences or cash values of £25 or £50.

For those wishing to buy Adventure Club memberships as a gift - please contact us for more information, and to arrange a time to chat.
Having held our prices since 2007, an increase is due in January. Any vouchers bought before then will of course be at the current rates.

Changing Robes - NEW
·         Booicore Changing Robe V2 (luxurious towelling) - only £34 through Kelvin's Tackle shop.
·         For Kayaking, Mountain Biking, Surfing, Coasteering, and many other outdoor sports.
·         In stock and in time for Christmas!
To order yours contact us and pay by card or cash.

Looking for a challenge to train for in 2013...
Isle of Man Adventure Race - 'A physically challenging fun event'
More details and Facebook Wall

·         'Elite' and 'Amateur' 1 day Races 15th & 16th June 2013
·         Teams of 2 & 4 persons, including social BBQ and FREE kayak training, all for £60 per person.
·         PwC - Official Sponsor of the Isle of Man Adventure Race

And lastly… Holiday Adventures
It’s been a fantastic year for paddling and coasteering, and it seems for some of you, Christmas is an excuse to do even more!
We are open to bookings throughout the Christmas period, with group discounts for 4 or more folk.
Many thanks to everyone who have shared adventures with us, it’s been a pleasure to meet you all.

To catch up with recent photos and adventures, follow this website Blog.  

I look forward to seeing you soon

Monday, December 03, 2012

Dragon's Breath

 Sunday's sea kayak training sessions ran from Port Erin Beach, on the south-west coast of the Isle of Man.
The two Discover Sea Kayaking groups led by John and Jan were on their final session of their course, completing a paddle to the Calf Sound. 
The Adventure Club Improver's group were using the moving water around Thousla Rock to give variable practice in timing and confidence building. Meeting up for flapjack and hot drinks then eddy hopping and ferry gliding followed, with seal spotting an inherent part of the exercise : )
Finishing with more challenging exercises in the overfall at the little Sound, before paddling back to Port Erin. Timed make best use of the spring tides and no wind! A really enjoyable morning.
 Swapping straight over at the beach to the Intermediate sea kayak training, we again headed South, working on positioning and precision breaking in and through eddylines and the Sound, before journeying further South and round to the Drinking Dragon stack.
 Now it was time to put the progressive skills we have building up in the past few months to use, in the strong eddylines and whirlpools forming nicely around the Dragon's Breath Overfall. Well known for its aggressive character, this venue can be utilised to provide excellent variable practice and experiential learning opportunities... A few pics from the session.
 A very dynamic environment, even the resting eddies were constantly changing and keeping everyone on their toes. Very beneficial to creating the motivation for developing your low brace : )
 Eventually the flow rate reduced and as darkness became imminent, we headed over to South Harbour for a quick off the water break, and refreshments. Then using the in-shore flows till picking up the main stream, through the Sound and back to Port Erin 
 and tranquility...
An exception day, one of the best coaching days this year for conditions lending themselves perfectly to the session planned outcomes : )
See you all next week