Tag Archives: inspiration

Climbing The Matterhorn


The Matterhorn is a mountain. I mean, it really is a Mountain.

If you were to ask a child to draw their idea of a snow capped peak, it would not look too dissimilar. The ‘Toblerone Mountain’ is one of impressive looks and one of solitude, sitting by itself with no other mountain dwarfing its majestic appearance, perhaps one of the most photographed peaks in the Alps. It is no wonder it is one of the busiest, its ability to catch your attention is undeniable. It caught mine and its been pinned up on my wall ever since.

The MatterhornAs I sit here packing, its all come a little quickly, it seems not long ago when my friend Rhys and I were standing in Zermatt looking up to where the Matterhorn should have been, but instead was shrouded in cloud, and with a weather report enough to terrify even the Night’s Watch, last year’s attempt didn’t even make it past the red draped tables of the Monte Rosa – it ended with a slight kick of a cafe chair and sigh, and an off the cuff trip climbing to the south of France.

Will it be second time lucky?

Here I am again, with a much tighter time restraint, a tighter wallet, but again waiting to board that plane in Bristol to take me back to the familiar streets of Chamonix and Zermatt, hoping against hope that I will be second time lucky. This time with Peter Hill who, before leaving to live in Chamonix, went climbing with me and witnessed my climbing prowess by seeing me spat off a climb in the Langdale valley called Mendez and promptly cracking a rib! All the same, he still wants to attempt the Hornli Ridge with me, kudos to him, he must have some faith in me…

For those who have little idea, the Hornli Ridge is the most popular route up the mountain, and is attempted by many people in the high season which runs from early July to Early September, the route is not overly technical – with high exposure, and a few pitches of some of the easiest rock climbing grades Vdiff – what makes the route a little more challenging, apart from the altitude, is the amount of people on one route. Rock fall is a very real danger on this route, from people abseiling back down the route, to waiting in exposed positions for the next party to move on. Route finding is also tricky business, especially when leaving the hut in the early morning.

Climbing The MatterhornThis mountain has been in the back of my mind ever since I joined a film crew, making a short film about the first ascent of the mountain, and was given a small part – walking about in tweed and hobnail boots, and giving me a tiny taste of what it may have been like for the first ascentionists. And you know what, tweed wasn’t too bad…(says the man with a Gore tex jacket sitting safely beside him whilst filming).

Go Ape’s Adventure Fund in practise

This trip wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for Go Ape. Their Adventure Fund enabled me to put my dreams into action.

If you’d like to read my whole story, the ups and the downs, then head over to my blog!

Thanks all. Joss Guyer.

What to see in September

Love Trees

For many of our birds, September is all about getting together and eating well as they prepare for the coming winter months.

Large roving flocks of birds comprising several different kinds can be seen foraging in and moving through our treetops at this time of year. Amongst the Blue, Great and Long-tailed Tits, it is worth looking out for Britain’s smallest bird, the Goldcrest.

GoldcrestWeighing the same as a 10p piece and measuring 9cm from the tip of its beak to the end of its tail, the Goldcrest is tiny, about two-thirds the size of a Blue Tit. Overall, Goldcrests are a yellowish-green colour and sport a small white bar and black square on the wings, but the most striking feature are the feathers on the top of the head, wholly yellow in the female and mix of yellow and bright red in the male. One of the best ways of locating Goldcrests in a mixed flock is to listen out for the thin, high-pitched ‘tsee, tsee, tsee, tsee’ call.

A small woodpecker-like bird also joins these roving flocks and, with its unmistakable blue upper-parts, orangey-buff belly, chestnut and white spotted under-tail, black robber’s face mask and chisel-like beak, the Nuthatch, when seen well, is unmistakable. It is the only bird in Britain that can run down a tree trunk as well as up. At this time of the year Nuthatches are very busy birds and can be seen hammering seeds and nuts into crevices in the bark of trees, creating a stash for when times get tougher later in the year. They also utter a liquid, ‘quip, quip, quip’ call.

September is also the month when most of our summer visitors leave the UK to head to their wintering grounds in Africa.

Whilst adult Cuckoos began leaving in early June, the young they left behind in the nests of Dunnocks, Meadow Pipits, Reed Warblers and even occasionally Wrens, will only just be beginning their long flight south to the Congo Rain forest. Something they will do for the very first time. How do they know the way having never met their parents? Before they undertake this mammoth journey they will have to store fat around their bodies, and to do this they will eat as many caterpillars as they can find. Young Cuckoos are huge compared to the birds that reared them, about the size and shape of a Collared Dove, but with a lovely mix of chestnut, black and white barred upper-parts and tail, and a barred, black and white belly. All Cuckoos at this time of the year are silent, so the characteristic ‘Cuck-oo’ won’t be heard again until next spring, but it is worth keeping an eye out in the forest clearings for this enigmatic bird.

A British symbol of winter, the Robin.

RobinOne bird will be singing in the treetops though; the Robin. Most birds have given up singing by now as they have no need for it. Song is used to attract a mate and to define and hold on to a breeding territory and, as most of our birds have now finished breeding, the focus is on preparing for the winter, growing and replacing worn out feathers and putting on life saving fat. However, Robins do things slightly differently, maintaining a winter territory that may or may not have been part of the summer one. They do this to secure a decent living through the winter months, and advertise ownership by singing. Listen out for a thin, wispy almost mournful song, and be secure in the knowledge that it can only be a Robin.

Providing more of a challenge is the ‘ghost of the woods’, or Goshawk, as it is more commonly known. Although this larger cousin of the Sparrowhawk can reach the size of a Common Buzzard, it is much harder to see. Goshawks spend most of their time resting in trees on the woodland edge, and seem to prefer conifer plantations when available.

GoshawkLong hours of boredom are interspersed with moments full of action as this supreme bird of prey chases down its food; grey squirrels and crows are at the top of the menu. Look out for a Buzzard sized bird of prey with a long, barred tail, small hand (the fingered part of the wing) and broad bulging arm (the inner part of the wing), a gleaming white under-tail is also a good pointer. The BTO are currently tracking 5 Goshawks to learn more about these mysterious raptors.

So, hanging around in the treetops this month could provide some great wild bird encounters.



Registerered Charity No. 216652 (England & Wales) SCO39193 (Scotland)

Patron HRH The Duke of Edinburgh KG KT

Images copyright of www.bto.org.


Need a little inspiration?

Forest Segway At Go Ape

With summer holiday season drawing to a close (*wipes tear*), there couldn’t be a better time to embark on an exciting adventure with your tribe!

There’s so much to see, do and experience, that it can be difficult making a decision. So, if you’re itching for an adventure but need a little inspiration, let Go Ape help!

One thing’s for certain: you need to head outdoors for your next adventure. Why? Well, in just a few weeks’ time it’ll be autumn, and although autumn is an awesome season (in our opinion), the days will get shorter and colder. You’ll be back in the office and your little monkeys will be back in the classroom, so you need to make the most of the great outdoors while summer’s still here!

So, what to do? Well, this time around, why not try something you’ve never tried before?

Get lost in a place you’ve always wanted to visit, whether that’s up a mountain, out in the countryside, or in the heart of a city.

You could buck up the courage to try something extreme – hurl yourself out of a plane with a parachute attached, leap off a platform tied to a bungee, or explore the deep, dark depths of the ocean on a scuba diving adventure.

How about re-connecting with nature? Forage in the forest for parts to build a den, find some hidden treasures on a Geocaching adventure, or pack-up your tent and spend a night or two under a star-speckled sky.


Sharing is caring, right? If you head to our #ShareAdventure site, you’ll be able to read all about the amazing things people have been getting up to lately, with pics for proof! From raft building and biking gnarly trails, to wildlife spotting in the Peak District and swimming with sharks in Scotland – the site has all adventures covered!


Do you know what the great thing about #ShareAdventure is? You might discover adventures you would have never thought of! You might feel inspired to head outdoors and recreate those adventures, or get out there and embark on an utterly unique adventure of your own!

We had one aim when we created #ShareAdventure: to inspire others to live life more adventurously (the Go Ape motto, if you didn’t know). We believe that all adventures – whether they are big or small, weird or wonderful – are worth sharing with the world. And we hope that by sharing these stories, people will realise that a life lived adventurously is a life better lived!

If you’re inspired by a particular adventure on the site, why not share it with the world – or at least, your friends, family and colleagues? All you need to do is enter your name and email address, and choose where to share. There are some awesome goodies up for grabs, including free Go Ape tickets, plus Go Ape tees, hoodies and other bits and bobs!

#TakeTheFirstStep: Times ticking…

Take the First Step - Go Ape

Tick, tock, tick, tock, tick, tock

Hear that? That’s the sound of the clock ticking down to the end of summer! We’re at the end of August, meaning autumn is just around the corner.

Were sure you’ve heard about our summertime campaign, #TakeTheFirstStep. Were encouraging people to leave their comfort zones behind, break out of the claustrophobic confines of sensible Britain and have some fun, a lot of fun!

All journeys begin with a single step, and that’s why we want you to take the first step to leading a more adventurous life!

Why? we hear you ask. Well, a life lived adventurously is a life more fulfilled! So long as you possess a can-do attitude and a willingness to embrace the unknown, the world is your oyster so go explore it!

Perhaps you’re a notorious putter-offer you’re always saying, Ill do that next month/next year/one day/when I’ve got time. You made a bucket list a few years ago but you haven’t got round to ticking a single thing off. You’ve got big dreams for the future but you haven’t taken any steps to make those dreams turn into a reality. The only thing stopping you is you!

Life’s too short for it to be put on hold!

Want to climb a mountain? Start making plans today. Want to try a new sport? Research local clubs on your lunch break. Want to go traveling around Asia for a month? Arrange a meeting with your boss to see if it’s possible. Adventure is waiting; you just need to take that first step!

Adventure is all about opening yourself up to new experiences. It’s about trying everything once and not being afraid to give something a go just because it involves risk. Adventure is all about meeting new people, learning new skills and discovering your true potential.

We read a quote the other day and it struck a chord. It was from French author and Nobel Prize winner André Gide, and read:

It is only in adventure that some people succeed in knowing themselves, in finding themselves.

If you need any more convincing, science shows that being adventurous makes you happier! Rich Walker, a psychologist, studied 30,000 event memories and 500 diary entries, discovering that people who engage in a variety of experiences are more likely to retain positive emotions and suppress negative emotions. There we have it: conclusive proof that adventure is the key to happiness!

Here’s an idea for your next adventure: swinging through the tree tops at Go Ape! We want you to unleash your inner Tarzan as you climb ropes, wobble across bridges, clamber through tunnels and leap from sky-high platforms.

With over 30 locations across the UK, all set in stunning parks and forests, there’s bound to be a Go Ape near you! Book a Go Ape Adventure now!

Page 10 of 12« First...89101112