Category Archives: Meet our Tribe

Meet Steve … the 67 year old adventurer!

Go Ape Crawley

If you’ve been to Go Ape Crawley in Tilgate Park recently, you may have been in the presence of Go Ape history. Our oldest (and wisest) instructor ever has returned for his second season – 67 year old Steve Allen! Steve is waving the flag for all adventurous sexagenarians (that’s a person who’s between 60 and 69 in case you’re wondering), proving that adventure knows no age.

Where it all began

We were lucky enough to have Steve join our Tribe in 2016, but we’d like to think that a life in the trees was always calling for him. Steve started out in stage management – not very Go Ape we hear you say, but hear us out… his main duty was scenery building which included an awful lot of forests. We’d like to think he’s always had a penchant for trees. From painting trees to swinging through them

Our Steve took to the outdoors like a fish to water (or a monkey to the trees). An outdoorsy man at heart, Steve always had the itch to be ‘in the wild’. It wasn’t long before Steve left the stage management business and jumped into the world of walking holidays – a job that took him all over the world, working alongside people from all walks of life (get it?). Steve has led the way on too many excursions to mention – he’s worked with the Duke of Edinburgh programme and has even walked from the UK to Cuba.Sunlight-through-the-trees-at-Go-Ape-Crawley

What made him swing our way?

We’re lucky as can be to have Steve in our Tribe – but how did we manage that? A simple email from an outdoor jobs company set Steve on his track to the trees. He acknowledges a few simple reasons for his attraction to Go Ape:

1) Steve was looking for an outdoor company to keep the adventure in adventure

2) Steve shared the same values as Go Ape

3) Steve was impressed that Go Ape didn’t ask for his age on the job application (we know you can’t put an age limit on an adventurous spirit)

The rest, as they say, is history. We’re happier than a chimp in woodchip to have someone like Steve monkeying around with us. We only hope that Steve can encourage other grown-ups (or Silverbacks) to get outside and experience Go Ape for themselves.

We’ll leave you with these words of inspiration from the man himself: “Keep going. Keep living life adventurously, and most importantly, keep enjoying yourself!”

If you’re interested in experiencing Go Ape at Crawley (and maybe catching a glimpse of the celebrity, Steve), you can book your day out here!

Sailing to Adventure

Set Sail

They come from different parts of the country, and from different backgrounds, but all our staff share one common trait – they can’t stop dreaming about their next adventure.

Day 1

And that’s where our Adventure Fund comes in. There’s just one catch… adventures must be naturally powered.

One our our tribe, Joshua Duncan, took to the seas for an exhilarating adventure…

Day1:

Strapped with a bag full of boxers, socks and Go Ape leaflets I’m off to sail the seven seas, pirate training once again. Wish me luck!

Day 1 continued… arrive in Portsmouth.

Day 2:

Touch down Isle of Wight. Met the crew from the Springbord School today, decent bunch of boys all eager to learn and adventure. Should be a great week…

Day 4Day 3:

Arrived in Poole, pretty smooth sail today. Hoisted the main and both headsails, tacked twice through the no-go zone. Team is gelling together well, and gaining more knowledge about the boat. Currently playing monopoly and trying to stand up a lighter with my bare feat. Weymouth tomorrow, over and out.

Day 4:

Mad one today, where do I start?
Left Poole around 9:30 and waltzed out of the marina with barely a breeze. One tack later we found ourselves amidst a ‘storm’ – rogue winds of nearly 30 knots, handrails now submerged in water, we found Challenger 4 nearly bottoming out. By the time we’d rigged reef 1 and 2, it was time to shake the reefs out! Southern fried chicken wraps scrapped, it was time to drop the head sails and main sail, and head on into Weymouth for some mast climbing – still as fun as the first time! 10/10 day for me, hope yours has been just as good. East Cowes tomorrow!

Days 5&6:

Quick one for yesterday as I found myself lost in writing reports last night. Slipped Weymouth around 9 o clock and motored straight out of the Balamory-looking town. A dead pigeon had more wind than us today,so we hoisted the main sail and the spinnaker pole. Halliards made, it was time to go pole climbing, after a beautiful demonstration by yours truly, we sent the kids and staff up one by one in time trials against one another, followed by a quick lesson on wind and sail control. We had exhausted all our energy and not quite reached the Solent yet, so we decided to boat party (severe tekkers) it up till we were close enough to port for lines and fenders to be run. A smooth mooring into East Cowes and Pokemon Go’s release had blown throw the whole crew. They split themselves up into fishermen and Pokemon trainers and went forth on their adventures. Today it’s just a quick motor back to Gunwarf Quays, boat clean and farewell to Springboard School.

Day 5Day 7:

1 voyage down, 1 to go. The boys of Springboard left us around 12 o’clock after a full clean through of the boat. Debriefed and final fair wells said, I had a few hours to kill so I had a stroll through Gunwarf Quays and a large afternoon nap.

Day 8:

Changeover day. Week two, Challenger 2 – begin!
Off to the Channel Islands this week so won’t be much internet. Expect an overload of beautiful islands when I return. All the best guys.

Day 9:

I took charge of navigating Challenger 2 across the channel to Alderney whilst the rest of the crew and staff introduced themselves and ran through various necessities and what not.

Day 10:

What a beautiful two days I’ve had in the Channel Islands, two more to go! It’s unbelievable scenery here…

Day 11:

Sark. It really is beautiful.

Day 6Day 12:

“We’re not anchoring tonight, we’ve got a mooring buoy. It’s not got a pickup line though, Josh, so we’ve volunteered you to attach one”.

Yeah cheers team. I managed to stay reasonably dry until the halliard conveniently ‘slipped’ from the hands of my skipper. Alderney water doesn’t taste as bad as I thought, although the seaweed is still in my teeth.

Day 13:

Home time now. What a two weeks I’ve had! Stormy seas, 8 day sunny streak, mast climbing, pole climbing, cave climbing, sea swimming, local ‘cuisines’, world famous sailors, national footballers, twix in blankets, broken boats, being let loose with a speedboat, and 12 days of truly incredible adventure.
See you next time Tall Ships!

Iron Man abroad!

Iron

Meet Alister from Go Ape Buxton, here, he tells his tale on Ironman Mallorca

The whole thing started roughly a year ago when a friend and I were on a cycling trip in Mallorca. Upon arrival there we noticed that there was the iron man Mallorca 70.3 taking part while we were there, and after watching it during our trip there I knew that I had to take part in it the next year.

Fast-forward roughly half a year and I had my ticket for the 2016 event.

Coming from a relatively sporty background I had a fair amount of stamina in the tank but nothing compared to what was needed, so I set myself to training for it. I set myself a plan that I was to travel a certain amount of distance each week for all disciplines, making sure not to take it all to seriously as I knew it was a long road ahead and in the idea of keeping it exciting was paramount in the plan.

Living in the middle of the peak district gave me a perfect area to train in all disciplines for hills and the flats and also living across the road from a swimming pool made swimming training all that much easier. To add to training I entered myself in a to a couple of triathlons in the run up to the event to allow for race specific tactics and experience to add to the locker.

A week before the iron man, my family and I flew out to Mallorca so that we could get familiar with the area and so I could get one week of training before the triathlon in the sun and the mountains.

On the day of the event the weather was not as expected…… torrential rain!

I would go as far as to say some of the worst weather that I have ever cycled in. All the athletes were to meet down at the beach in the bay and to enter the water in waves. In roughly 1 hour around 4000 individuals had entered the water and were beginning the 1.2 mile swim. Because of the bad weather, jellyfish had surfaced so we all had to swim with the added danger of getting stung while we did so. I felt reasonably good though and managed to complete the swim in 35 minutes.

Coming out of the water it was noticeable that it was warmer in the water than it was out but non the less all of us ran up to transition 1 where we all mounted the bikes and began the 56 mile bike section.

The bike section went up in to the mountains and then descended down through small villages and back to Alcudia. Coming from a hilly part of England and coming out of winter where riding in the rain was a normal occurrence the rainy conditions didn’t effect me as much as I was thinking they would. It kept me cool through the ride so was reasonably pleased with my 2 hour 54 minute bike section.

The last stage of the triathlon was probably my worst discipline, running. Coming out of transition 2 on to the run I was hoping that the crowd alone would be able to carry me threw, and it did for around two thirds of it. The only problem that I encountered though was the settling effect of all the energy supplements that I had taken on board through the bike and run. My stomach was doing summersaults and I had to resort to slowing down my run to cater for this. That being said I managed to complete the run a time of 1 hour and 50 minutes even throwing in a cheeky sprint finish when another runner tried to pip me to the line. My final position in the entire iron man was 771 out of roughly 4000.

I certainly have the bug for it now!

THEY DID IT!

Go Ape Three Peaks

It’s official, our Go Ape team has conquered the Three Peaks Yacht Race!

After setting sail last Saturday (11th June) the team has been battling their way against their fellow competitors, the elements and shall we say, a few technical troubles…all to cross the finish line at 6:30am this morning.

The monumental journey encompassed 389 miles of sailing, 72 miles of running and 18 miles of cycling and took our tremendous tribe approx. four days and 16 hours to complete.

We’re amazingly proud of Jerome Mayhew, Paul Love-Williams and Tris Mayhew for successfully sailing 62 sea miles from Barmouth to Caernarfon, 100 sea miles from Caernarfon to Whitehaven and a further staggering 227 sea miles from Whitehaven to Fort William – as well a few stops in between.

Not stopping at a broken impeller drive the crew also had to get creative once again after the yacht exhaust melted before coming into Whitehaven.

The kindness of strangers at the port meant the crew could continue after ‘borrowing’ some flexible piping. By cutting off the melted in/out section of piping and ingeniously gaffer-taping new sections together, coupled with a bit of lubrication from some washing up liquid the team was ready to set of again in search of adventure (and the next team to beat).

Coming out of Whitehaven the team made great progress hurling along against the current for four hours straight. On four occasions the rudder lost its grip keeping the crew on their toes. Yet, against the unseasonably brisk June winds, the yacht averaged around 14 knots, a solid speed for a 30ft boat!

Let’s not forget the other heroes from one of the UK’s toughest endurance races, the devoted runners, Ed Smith and Mick Rimmer.

We have been in awe of their perseverance as they’ve charged up the three highest peaks in Wales, England and Scotland. The stalwart runners not only had to experience hours upon hours of rumbling around in the cabin whilst at sea (an encounter I’m told that is much like spinning around in a washing machine!), they also had to adapt to ever-changing timescales, which meant running through the night…

Arriving at the final peak, Ben Nevis, at around midnight Ed and Mick ran through the early hours to cross the finish line at 6:30am, much to the joy of the team and everyone at Go Ape. Combining the distance of Mt. Snowdon, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis their running efforts equated to running three marathons in as many days across some of the trickiest terrain the UK has to offer.

Now we patiently wait for the Three Peaks Yacht Race to officially announce the positions for the finalists. A superb achievement by a team that truly eats, sleeps and breathes the Go Ape way of life.

Go Ape Cross the Finish Line

After speaking with a, quite rightfully, elated Jerome Mayhew, here’s a few words from the Skipper himself:

It was an intense, amazing experience – we just had to keep going! Our competitors were world-class and whilst we’re a fairly novice team in comparison we couldn’t be more delighted with the result. Some moments were incredibly challenging but when things go wrong you just have to turn I can’t into I can, and that’s what we did.

On asking whether Jerome would do it all again:

Without a shadow of a doubt.

Of course the team were racing for more than just the challenge, they were racing to help raise money for the Outward Bound Trust.

Your support will help change the life of a young person from a disadvantaged background. For every £200 raised, another young person is able to experience the challenge of an Outward Bound course. To find out more about the trust, visit https://www.outwardbound.org.uk/.

Please donate to support the tribe as they embark on one of toughest adventure races, just head to our Virgin Money Giving page.

We’ll be keeping the blog updated with first-hand tales from the race, including how they coped with 37.9 knot gales! Perhaps we’ll give them the weekend to recover first…

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