Explorers Connect


Great locations and local contacts?

OtherJames Hipkiss

I'm running a 12-day charity educational expedition in 2015 for 20-25 year olds that incorporates the following elements. 1) Residential, 2) Adventure, 3) Community. Would like the residential and community phases to be based in huts/cabins/yurts/lavvus and the adventure phase to be a water based journey in Canoes.

Less than a 5 hour direct flight from the UK. Any thoughts or suggestions on specific locations where you could also put me in touch with a local contact and where Canoes can be hired? (I have run this at Destination Setesdal in Norway the last 2 years) Any other countries and suggestions much appreciated!




Anybody got a rickshaw/tuk tuk in London

OtherJames Hipkiss

Hi guys,

I'm Ed - running a new startup called world in London, It's all about helping Londoners discover unique experiences from around the world in their own city. www.worldinlondon.co.uk.

I'm looking for an auto rickshaw or bicycle rickshaw for a few events I'm doing. Thought this crowd of people might be able to point me in the direction of someone in London who might have one?

Thanks Ed


Good portable music device?

OtherJames Hipkiss

Hello! I'm (most probably) off to Antarctica in November this year - if anyone has any general advice or want to meet up - great! But also more specifically, what's the best mobile music device out there for travelling with? iPod Nano, MP3? I'd like to listen to music and audio books as I'm trekking along and ideally want a device that's easy to use and has a good battery life (and can survive the cold).

Any tips greatly appreciated!



New to Exploring and I'm still young and wanting to in life get a job from it

OtherJames Hipkiss

Hi there,

I'm Jon. I'm 22 and I'm new to exploring, and adventure, my life isn't going very well at the moment, i have 2 years animal care experience, but there is no jobs around in it, i cant get a customer service job, and I've always been a person who loves to travel and explore, is it possible to maybe in my life to get a job after ALOT OF YEARS training maybe get a job of a explorer or adventurer as it seems such a wonderful thing to do, and i would do anything to archive it, please i need all the help and info i could get, i have no experience but I'm willing to learn, i am wanting and planning to do a antarctic expedition unsupported and unassisted, starting at Hercules in let to south pole then to walk back alone, i'm also willing to do this training to, but a life as a explorer seems better these days and to work in this kind of area I'd dearly love.



The Captain Scott Society's Funding Awards

OtherJames Hipkiss

An Open Invitation to Explorers and Adventurers The Captain Scott Society makes its two annual awards in April each year. The Sir Vivian Fuchs's Youth Award of 500 is for 11 to 18 year olds. The Spirit of Adventure Award 2,500 is for 19 year olds upwards. Applicants are encouraged to submit details of their expeditions / projects from January to mid-March each year.

This enables them to report on the detailed aspects of their project and its planning. We do not have a prescribed application form but your proposal should embrace most of the following. 1) A Summary Letter describing The Nature of the Expedition and its objectives. 2) Planning 3) Finance / Funding 4) Logistics 5) Scientific / Community Value 6) Unusual / Firsts 7) Character Building The Expeditions Secretary reads all the applications and draws up a shortlist for final adjudication an Awards Panel in the first week of April.

The winner is notified by mid-April. Applicants are referred to the website www.captainscottsociety.com and the General Conditions associated with the awards. Further clarification can be sought via Jack Wright - Expeditions Secretary contact via029 20754869 and hazejon@talktalk.net "

Istanbul to Japan

OtherJames Hipkiss

After graduating, the call of the wild was too strong to just ignore it. I had to do something, but what?

Thinking about it a lot, I eventually came to an idea : I would travel overland by all means possible except air-planes from Istanbul in Turkey to the country of Japan. On the way, many adventures happened, the wind blew me off my itinerary and I ended up in Bali after crossing Indonesia on a bicycle I had just bought in Kuala Lumpour. Among other things, I hitchhiked my way across Kyrgystan, bought a motorbike in Hanoi for 250$ and crossed Vietnam and Laos before selling it on the border.That may be my first big travel but it didn't stop the fire inside me. Its even stronger, cant help thinking about my next expeditions ... but what ?


In the cave of the holy mountain - Athos, Greece part 3

OtherJames Hipkiss

In mid-October, 2013 ended the third consecutive expedition. It is managed by V. Gyorev with participants A. Genkov and K. Stoichkov (Bulgaria),I. Agapov, S. Kaminski (Russia), G. Lazaridis, L. Makrostergios, A. Radulesko (Greece), D. Tomich (Serbia). Researchers expanded the perimeter of studies, covering territories around the monasteries Hilendar, Esvigmen, the Great Lavra, the Romanian Skete Timiou Prodromou, Athos summitand the place Virgin Mary (Panagia) below the peak.

There are found and mapped 26 new underground sites (mostly caves), among which is the longest explored cave of the peninsula up to date in Karulya place (length about 130 m). It was explored also the so called Athos Large Cave, which recently is the biggest in volume cave on the Athos peninsula.

They're found and located with GPS receivers, finding 20 more cave entrances but because lack of time they were not surveyed! The total length of the surveyed sites together with the caves which exploration is in progress.


Mongolia voluntary work

OtherJames Hipkiss

I am looking for information about voluntary work opportunities in Mongolia which would be pertinent for a student group and NOT cost the earth to be involved in!

Any contact links greatly welcomed.


Unknown Profession

OtherJames Hipkiss

My name is Alison and I am a high school student. Realistically I know I would not be able to get my dream job right out of college, but I would like to know the direction in which I should go in. I have always been able to appreciate the outdoors, dessert or jungle, every aspect of this planet has fascinated me in nearly every aspect.

I am not afraid of getting dirty, at all. I guess my real question would be: Which profession should I consider if I want to travel the world, get paid well, do scientific research, and better the world with my discoveries, while loving my job? I'm not a very good writer, nor do I enjoy it, but I will if my profession calls for it with no complaints. I'd also like to know what college, and degree plan would prepare me the best for the profession you would recommend for me?


A hopeful future explorer

Google Earth and GPS files: trekking and safari routes in the Sinai

OtherJames Hipkiss

All the main trekking and safari routes in the Sinai have been mapped and can be seen with photos online in Google Maps, or you can download the KML files to see the routes in Google Earth, or download the GPX files with the way-points on a GPS device.

The treks are described in the concise guide titled Sinai Trekking And Safari, but even without the book it is fun to explore the routes on your computer screen. This is the first and only resource to the Sinai that covers all the main routes across the peninsula, from coast to coast and to the southernmost tip.

For more info please visit:www.sinaimaps.com

Changra La from Nirekhi, Khumbu

OtherJames Hipkiss

Hey. has anyone been from Nirekhi peak round to Changra La and down to Gorak Shep in the last few years? I am planning a trip for spring.

I am based in Kathmandu and a also asking locally. I would like info on conditions and route from Nirekhi base camp to the La.


Adventurers' adopted charity looking for donations

OtherJames Hipkiss

An A-List of Mountaineers support and endorse the Himalayan Stove Project. Chris Bonington, Doug Scott, Tom Hornbein, Erik Weihenmayer and Jeff Evans serve as very active Advisory Board members, guiding the efforts of this unique US Based charity. Reinhold Messner, Simone Moro, Rebecca Stevens, Carlos Buhler, Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin, Dave Hahn, Sandy Hill and dozens and dozens more distinguished Himalayan Mountaineers endorse their efforts as well.

All have suffered in the smoke-choked homes of the Sherpa's in Nepal, where the acrid wood and yak-dung smoke creates an enormous health hazard for the people who live in this fragile environment. The Himalayan Stove Project is dedicated to improving the health of the people in the trans-Himalayan region.The organisation provides free, clean-burning, highly fuel-efficient cook stoves to families living in the Himalayas who now cook with traditional, rudimentary stoves or over open fire pits inside their homes, consuming excessive amounts of precious fuel and polluting the indoor air to dangerously unhealthy levels.

Replacing open cooking fires and primitive stoves, improves health and quality of life of families by dramatically reducing indoor air pollution. It also decreases environmental damage in the fragile and sensitive Himalayan ecosystem by reducing de-forestation and reducing carbon emissions. The organisation has, thus far in it's first two years, delivered 1,400 stoves in Nepal, transforming the lives of individuals, families and communities, one clean cookstove at a time. It is staffed totally by volunteers who pay all their own expenses (including travel to Nepal) so that virtually all donated funds are used to accomplish their mission, and they make substantial contributions to the local economy.

Their on the ground work in Nepal is through experienced Himalayan Partners (including the Himalayan Trust (UK) and Community Action Nepal) who have had decades of close connection with the local communities, and know their needs.

For more information, and to make a donation, go to their website at http://www.himalayanstoveproject.org byGeorge Basch

Why is Via Ferrata Tridentina loved by all?

OtherJames Hipkiss

"Anyone who comes to the Dolomites in search of adventure is surely spoilt for choice when it comes to Via Ferrata. With 76 in the immediate area, it stands to question what makes the Brigata Tridentina so popular for our Alta Badia visitors. Walk organisers ventured out at the crack of dawn to get a feel for the Via Ferrata that receives such bright eyes and beaming smiles from our guests.

Upon arrival to the car park just below Passo Gardena, we were not sure how long the walk in to Tridentina would be. However, after following the well signposted Via Ferrata for ten minutes, we caught sight of the iron wire easy! Simultaneously a large waterfall revealed itself which attracted our eye to the iron stemples creeping up the side of the rock and out of view. The first hour of the route changed between stemples, iron pins and exposed rock. At no point did the climbing become difficult as stemples were perfectly placed when no visible footholds could be found. As we twisted round the face and climbed higher, the waterfall continued to flow alongside us among the orange-tinged limestone.

Easy, manageable hand holds were obtainable throughout which took focus away from the exposure, but having the wire present meant that it could be used if needed. Breath-taking views across Passo Gardena, Corvara, Sassongher and the Fanes National Park opened up during the second hour, encouraging frequent breaks to soak it all in. A local man of an older generation confidently overtook us at a safe place, whilst exchanging a warm smile and a chirpy good morning. His self-assurance and ability to do this Via Ferrata alone supported the 3B grading that this route has; any age and ability can happily complete this route with little difficulty or skill. A small, vertical ladder took us almost to the top before bringing to light the spectacular bridge. Balanced between two separate rock faces and supported by numerous iron wires, the bridge sits above a very large ravine from where the road below can be seen an adrenaline filled experience in itself./p As we reached Rifugio Cavazza, a five minute walk once unclipped, the temptation of Lago Pisciadu was upon us.

With its pristine turquoise water glistening in the sunshine, we all agreed it would be perfect for a post Via Ferrata swim before heading to the balcony for a well earned Cappuccino and strudel.

My personal blog can be found here for more info on the Italian Dolomites: http://www.dolomitii.wordpress.com "

Advice re driving expeditions?

OtherJames Hipkiss

Hi there,

I'm heading to Perth, Australia soon for a year and I'm thinking of doing a 4wd expedition somewhere around Western Australia. I have never done something like this before except for 3 days on Fraser Island driving around with other amateurs.I am planning on taking a few off roading courses to build up some experience, but I'm not really sure where to go!Has anyone got any routes or areas they would recommend or any advice they could give me about 4wd expeditions?

If you have any info please feel free to drop me a line at beneches@hotmail.com it will be greatly appreciated



The Scientific Exploration Society Explorer Awards 2014

OtherJames Hipkiss

The SES are delighted to announce awards totalling 15,000 available to 'Pioneers with Purpose' who will inspire others through their scientific research and daring journeys. There are 3 sponsored awards, each with a different focus: THE SESZENITH EXPLORER AWARD 2014 is for an outstanding entrepreneur, who will be applying for an award of 8,500 and a Zenith El Primero VpH 3600 watch. THE SES RIVERS FOUNDATION AWARD FOR HEALTH AND HUMANITIES is an award of 5,000 and aimed towards those who's expeditions will improve the lives of communities in under-developed regions of the world.

We are also keen to hear from those who's expeditions have a cultural interest within these communities. THE SES CADOGAN TATE EXPLORER AWARD is an award of 1000, and aimed towards those who's expeditions focus on natural, sustainable and organic practices, or on those with conservation and environmental purposes - seeking to preserve our planet and life on our planet. Two SESEXPLORER AWARDS 2014 will be made granted by the Trustees, recipients may be selected from those applying but unsuccessful in their application for sponsored awards, they may be selected from other planned expeditions which the SES learn about during the year.

Full details and criteria can be found at www.ses-explore.org/awardsor contact ses@ses-explore.org.

Kayak Aswan to Luxor, or more of the Egyptian Nile

OtherJames Hipkiss

"Hi, I had wanted to kayak a lot more of the Nile, but I apparantly alot of it is very dangerous still. So I'm reconciling to Kayaking a little bit for now. I'd like to kayak from Aswan to Luxor. Who if anybody would I need to get official permission from? I've heard people say that a river guide has to be part of the group.

Does anybody know if there are still a lot of restrictions on travelling along the rest of the Nile?

Kind regards,


Secret Compass explorer to 'Walk the Nile'

EC Community, OtherJames Hipkiss

Secret Compass co-founder Levison Wood this month sets off to complete an epic, world-first journey to become the first person to walk the length of the Nile.

He'll start at the Nile's source in Rwanda then walk through countries including Uganda, South Sudan and Sudan en route to Egypt and the Nile's mouth on the Mediterranean shores.He leaves the UK this weekend and will then spend a few days ironing out last-minute issues before setting off on December 1 2013.

Watch Lev online as he introduces his upcoming adventure (with thanks to Outside TV) or visit Levs Walk the Nile site.

If you'd like to join Levs historic walk on one of three expeditions to Uganda, South Sudan or Sudan, Africa in 2014 with Secret Compass, visit our Walk the Nile expedition page now.We'll be posting regular updates here and on the Secret Compass blog and if you have any questions or would like to join him, get in touch with Secret Compass today!

"Almost" doctors for an expedition?

OtherJames Hipkiss

Hey there everyone!

A friend and I are looking to do an expedition for our end-of-finals elective. We would be wanting to go AFTER we've finished all of our placements (i.e. AE along with everything else) and final exams, and will be juniour doctors in all but name.

We're REALLY keen to do some expedition medicine, but we're struggling to find the best way to go about signing up for things. We don't have any courses to our name (like 'mountain medicine' or anything), but we both have pre-hospital care experience.

We would be looking to do something around about this time (late April 2014) next year. Any help would be greatly appreciated!