Explorers Connect

Powering an Adventure Revolution


Adventures Not Dams

OtherSimon Pearce

As construction companies move in on Europe’s last wild river, Adventures Not Dams highlights the irreversible damage this will have on the local environment, economy and communities along its banks.

Crossing Congo

OtherJames Hipkiss

I'm about to have a crack at walking and pack-rafting across northern Congo (Brazzaville). Ill be heading down some very small tributaries of the Congo River to accomplish this, for security purposes I don't want to mention which ones. As far as I know there is'nt much down there other than bush. Apparently there are pygmy tribes-people in the area and a few un-named villages dotted along the map. The maps were made in 1962 so it could have changed quite a lot, but judging by the Google Earth it looks pretty much the same. Iv'e put this post up in case anyone has been to this area of Congo. It is very difficult to find info on the area, even the provincial capital has no online photos bar one grainy image. Please write in the comments if you know the region. Would appreciate it massively.

Many Thanks,

Patrick Hutton

The Australian Outback - 4x4 Expedition for Photographers & Adventurers

OtherJames Hipkiss


Humans began to inhabit Australia 60,000 years ago - yet we have tamed a very small portion of this vast red continent.This photography expedition (non-photographers arewelcome!)will take you to the heart of the outback.It is a wild land of amazing rock formations, pristine beaches, coral reefs, stromatolites, koalas, red kangaroos, huge iguanas, and the second tallest trees on Earth - among many other highlights to experience and photograph over the course of 17days.This expedition isoffered to no more than four participants. You will travel with two of the most experienced outback guides out there (learn more on the expeditionswebpage), who have been exploring this area of Australia since the early 1990s. We will be self-sufficient for most of the time, as we will have our own mechanic and will be travelling in a seven-seater 4x4 Nissan Patrol equipped with a cargo trailer. The scenery will be changing more often than you may think and there will be many starry nights spent camping in the wild and listening to the sounds of the animals. Humans are still guests here, not masters.We will camp in the wild in quiet places where you will fall asleep listening to the beat of your own heart. It may be that for two consecutive days we will not see any other human beings. We will spend our time chasing great light and having dinners around the camp fire under the cover of a cobalt sky and constellations of stars, the names of which are unknown to us. We hope these nights will remain in your memory forever: delicious food cooked on the camp fire, steaks fried on a shovel, bush tea, wine, beer and endless stories about the Aborigines, their customs, mythology, philosophy and way of life.

For breakfast there will be bread baked by us in the desert oven.Formoredetailsabouttheroute, our guides, expenses and images,please visit:http://www.verticalshotexpeditions.com/australian-outback.

This is a very special expedition that we will run for the first time for photographers at a promotional (never to be offered again) price.It as a rare opportunity to join two of the most experienced outback expedition leaders on a journey that is truly exploratory even in the old-fashioned meaning of the word. It will provide you with images and experiences that you will never forget. Just be warned that when you arrive back home, your town may seem far too busy for you that's what the Outback does to people.

From Fire to Ice

OtherJames Hipkiss

The From Fire To Ice expedition will be the first time a burns survivor will attempt to reach the South Pole unsupported while conducting medical research tests.

The team hope to complete Shackleton's unfinished journey.On January 2010 while working in Zanzibar Robs life changed forever. The generator that was powering his house exploded and whilst trying to escape set him on fire. Rob sustained a 43% Total Body Surface Area burn. He spent the next 10 days In Dar es Salaam but with the lack of specialised burns medical care, felt life slipping away. A commercial airline took pity on him and flew him back on a standard flight to the UK where they were told He would be dead on arrival. Somehow Rob survived the flight and was transported to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. With only a 27% chance of survival the fantastic staff fought to save his life.

He was put into an induced coma for a few weeks and spent about a month in intensive care. After spending around 5 months in hospital in London (and 1 year in total) He had to learn to walk again and started to piece his life back together. At this point Rob was introduced to a charity called Dans Fund For Burns (DFFB). They were able to help him and provide the support that He so desperately needed. It has been 5 years and 31 operations later that Rob is finally physically in the position to give back. The From Fire to Ice expedition aims to generate money for DFFB from the very people it was set up to support.During December 2016 extending into January 2017, the team will be flown from Punta Arenas at the southern tip of South America to the Antarctic base camp at Union Glacier. After a few days further preparation we shall fly by Twin Otter to latitude 8823S. the furthest point South that Shackleton reached. The team will then live under canvas, travelling on ski, towing sledges of supplies 112 statute miles to the South Pole.Please come follow us on facebook.com/fromfiretoiceAny questions then feel free to ask!

The Kings Trail

OtherJames Hipkiss

It is known as Europe's last wilderness. This route hikes through spectacular mountains and valleys and from the 1800's become known as the king of trails The Kings Trail. During the summer season, it is essentially daylight all day and north of the Arctic Circle, the midnight sun shines brightly for several months. Lapland is also a sanctuary for wildlife, for those who know what tracks to look for, lynx, wolverine, bear and even wolf can be found. Sweden has 11 peaks over 2,000m. The Kings trail is 430km long, stretching from Abisko in the north to Hemavan in the south. You pass by several of these peaks through a well-built system of mountain stations and mountain huts making hiking both easy and fun. No need to bring a tent, - no camping involved. I am looking for companions for this potential trip. You will need to carry your own gear for the duration of the trip but with the hut facilities; you should be able to keep your backpack to a minimum weight.

You can wear the same hiking gear for a week, right? Summer Season: Midsummer Mid September. My plan is to hike the first section. Abisko Nikkaluokta and include the summit of Swedens highest mountain Kebnekaise. Summer trails are comprised of a well-worn path with painted poles/stones, where the trail is difficult to follow. In forest country, colour indicators can be on trees. There are mountain huts along the Kings Trail, a days hike from each other (10 20km) The huts have self-service accommodation, showers and WCs. You cook your own food. The kitchens have stoves, cooking utensils, and cutlery. There is no electricity and huts are heated with wood or LPG (Liquid petroleum gas) Rooms have 4 beds with mattresses, pillows and covers. You need to bring your own sheets or sleeping bag.

Food and water is available at many of the huts, but best to bring your own supplies to save on cost.Itinerary*I have reserved 9 days for this trek, although for experienced hikers I am confident the distances can be covered to shorten the trip to 8 days, (6 days trekking) but this is a good itinerary to start.*Abisko Nikkaluokta. Length: 105km Days spent hiking: 7 days.Starting Point: Abisko Mountain HutHow to get there: Fly to Kiruna and catch bus/train to AbiskoEnd Point: Kebnekaise Mountain StationHow to get out: Hike 19km to Nikkaluokta, Bus to Kiruna.Provisional Daily PlanDay 1. Flight to Kiruna Bus ( 105km 1.5hrs) to Abisko Mountain Hut (overnight Abisko)Day 2. Hike Abisko to Abiskojaure (15km)Day 3: Hike to Alesjaure (20km)Day 4: Hike to Tjaktja Lodging (13km)Day 5: Hike to Salta Mountain huts (12km)Day 6: Hike to Kebnekaise Mountain Hut (14km)Day 7: Ascent to the summit of Kebnekaise (2104m) overnight back at Kebnekaise Mountain Hut (16km)Day 8: Walk to Nikkaluokta, (19km) Bus to Kiruna (1hr 10min) overnight KirunaDay 9: Flight back to LondonA breakdown of estimate costsFlights SAS Scandinavian AirlinesLHR to Kiruna via Stockholm.Dates 1st July 9th July 240Mountain huts 23 per night. (with membership 13 per night)*STF membership costs 25 for the year and allows discounted accommodation in mountain huts and hostels around Sweden so worthwhile purchasing. *Night in Kiruna (30 -50) nice hotel. We will deserve this treat!Food Expenses. 100 (not including any alcohol)Bus Transfers 50 returnTotal Cost approx. 600 - 700If you are reasonably fit, love being active and want to get back to nature then please get in touch!"

Morocco Overseas Experience

OtherJames Hipkiss

Farscape Development would like to invite senior business leaders to participate with us on a journey with a difference. From 25 April 2 May 2015 we are facilitating an Overseas Experience in Morocco for a group of 8 - 12 senior leaders. It is an opportunity for you to step away from the office and reflect on how you might do things a little differently in order to get more out of your people and your teams. It is also a chance to go on an exciting adventure!

This development journey will take place in Jebel Saghro, on the edge of the Sahara, trekking through beautiful ranges with stark peaks, deep gorges and remote Berber villages. This environment will provide the inspirational backdrop for the learning journey that you will be going on with us. This journey will enable you to explore your toughest challenges in the workplace and your aspirations for the future in a safe, confidential and inspirational environment. It is an opportunity to take time out from your business and take a deeper look at your leadership style and set yourself some new courageous goals. It will create the head-space to reflect on what it really is that you want to achieve as a leader and allow you to take a creative approach to achieving this. It will enhance your understanding of the importance of combining commercial awareness with self-awareness as a leader.

It will enable you to network, share ideas and problem solve with other senior leaders and business owners. Click on the link below to find out more about the journey and to have a look at the itinerary. Or if you have any questions, message me on here or call me on 0117 370 1800. Ruth Moody

Land Rover Bursary 2015

OtherJames Hipkiss

The Land Rover Bursary, run by the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) on behalf of Land Rover, offers up to 30,000 and the use of a 110 Defender vehicle to take on a challenging journey beyond your normal limits and boundaries.

The award is open to teams between 2 and 4 people, embarking on an adventurous journey anywhere in the world, for which a Land Rover Defender 110 is an integral part of the expedition.

For more information visit www.rgs.org/landroverbursary Deadline for applications is 30 November 2014. "

Expedition companies in UK

Other, EC CommunityJames Hipkiss


I am a recent graduate in sport and leisure management and passionate about sports outdoors. I am looking to start a career in the travel industry, in an expedition company as a consultant, marketing, sales or a co-coordinator.

Can anyone provide a list of expeditions companies within the UK so I could contact them?



Scientists/Public Speakers wanted

Join a Team, OtherJames Hipkiss

A well established, boat-based polar adventure travel company is seeking scientists, researchers and/or public speakers to join us on our voyages as special guests. These voyages have afforded many scientists and researchers the opportunity to access remote locations in the Arctic and Antarctic, allowing them to collect samples, make observations etc.

In return for passage aboard one of our expedition voyages, you will be expected to present two or three lectures, make yourself available to the passengers, and generally help the expedition staff wherever possible. If interested, please contact me for further details. Please include a link to your bio and a short description of the topics you could lecture on.




Journey of a Lifetime Award

OtherJames Hipkiss

The Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) are offering a 5,000 grant and the chance to record your Journey of a Lifetime for a BBC Radio 4 documentary.

If you have a curiosity about the world and an enthusiasm to share your discoveries with others through the medium of radio, see www.rgs.org/journeyofalifetimeto apply.

The deadline for applications is 4 October 2014. For more information Send A Message using the blue button above

1000 Mile Unsupported Walk

OtherJames Hipkiss

I want to grab this summer by the nuts.

The plan is to do an unsupported solo walk, the distance of 1000 miles. Ideally the trek would be in a temperate climate. I qualify unsupported as having no direct assistance from start to finish apart from with a water supply.

I imagine pulling a sled with wheels to be the most appropriate means to carry the gear and I hope to raise awareness for a charity during the event. Does anyone have any suggestions, ideas, thoughts or comments?


Comparison of the Best Camping Mats

OtherJames Hipkiss

A comparison of all the different types of camping mat and sleeping pad: Foam roll mats, self-inflating pads and inflatable mattressesComplete with detailed comparison tables listing the sizes, weights and costs so you can make an informed choice between them all.


21st Century Altai

OtherJames Hipkiss

As a young adventurer, its easy to become despondent in the belief that everything has been done and that there is nowhere left to explore. At least, that is, without doing something so extreme as to require decades of experience or being extremely dangerous. We set about planning our expedition with an inflatable globe and a pin (used sparingly) with the objective of identifying remote yet accessible mountainous areas of the world. A trip to Stanfords, several reports from the Royal Geographical Society's database and a conversation at the Explore conference later, it became apparent that no one was climbing in the Russian Altai.

With only the aid of a 20-year-old piloting map, we were quickly able to identify un-climbed and accessible mountains. After the best part of year in the planning, I set off with five team mates to climb and explore the Altai Mountains. We succeeded in summiting several Siberian mountains which are all believed to be first British ascents. - EXPEDITION REPORT Abstract A team of six travelled to the Russian Altai mountains, establishing a base camp in the South Kurai Range and successfully climbing to five summits.

All peaks are thought to be first British ascents and it is possible that four of these had not previously been climbed. Some team members also spent a few days in the Northern Chuysky range at the end of the trip. What and Where is Altai? The Altai (or Altay) is both a mountain range and a Republic. The mountains span across quad-border of China, Mongolia, Kazakhstan and Russia. As we understand, climbing is possible in all four of these countries with Mongolia the most popular and explored; China, perhaps, the least. The Altai Republic is a region of Russia whose people and culture are quite distinct from the rest of the country. (There's also a region called Altai Krai next door but I shouldn't worry about that for now).

Reasons Not to Go to the Altai

In planning this expedition, we received no small amount of negative feedback about the area and timing of the trip. This was to the extent that we considered canning the whole thing on several occasions. We were told that the rivers would be too high, there would be too much snow, the roads would be covered in permafrost and unpassable, the roads would be covered in snow (and unpassable), we would need snowshoes, snow conditions would be bad and so forth. One charming gentleman even replied to our advert for team members with these words: the time for this trip is July! whose bright idea was the timing you suggest and why??? is the timing an indicator for the level of thought you guys have put into the project? now that would be scary. Needless to say, he didn't get an invite. Anyway, two things happened as a result of this: Firstly, we dithered for too long and couldn't get border zone permits to climb near Mongolia where we had hoped. Second, we decided that whilst the information wed received might indicate sub-optimal climbing conditions, this trip was to be about more than pristine snow conditions, it was to be an adventure and those can be had whatever the weather. So, we agreed unanimously to give it a go. You'll get the gist from the rest of the report but we had a fantastic time, the conditions were fine, rivers weren't scary, there was no permafrost or snow on the roads and the snow shoes didn't come out of our bags.

The Team - Tim Moss, Nancy Pickup, Matt Freear, Spike Reid, David Tett, Marc Bullock.

Read more, download the expedition report and see the professional photographs


Essential Gear for Adventure Cycle Touring

EC Community, OtherJames Hipkiss

If you're wondering what gear you'll need for an adventurous cycle tour of any length or budget, Essential Gear for Adventure Cycle Touring has got you covered. Written by veteran bicycle adventurer and author Tom Allen and drawing from the experiences of over other 50 long-distance cycle tourers, the 257-page digital guide covers in detail the foundations of equipment choice for a bicycle journey, the six main categories of gear, how and where to buy each item, and common mistakes and myths to watch out for - plus how to get all of this within your budget, no matter how small.

This summer, Explorers Connect members can get a 20% discount on Essential Gear using the promo code EC 2014 at checkout.

The code is valid until July 31st 2014. Read more about the guide and what's inside at http://gearforcycletouring.com.

Norwegian climber - question on mountains

OtherJames Hipkiss

I'm looking for a Norwegian mountaineer familiar with Nansen to lead a first ascent of a famous coastal mountain. as part of a maritime expedition to East Greenland in 2016. It will be filmed for television.

The mountain is bare rock and only about 3,000 feet, but is famous for several reasons. It should be a scrambling proposition rather than a hard technical climb. How do I go about finding one on his site?