Some impressive cardboard canoes - image VE paddles
This years Tryweryn Festival was a celebration of all things white water paddling. There was non stop activity on the river and of course our very own Legendary Alpkit Cardboard Canoe Race.
There were only 5 brave souls who took on the challenge, including our friends from Palm who put up a valiant effort. Lowri should get special points for her state of the art Cardboard Elbow pads.
The rest of the weekend saw battles in Duo rolling, King of the Waves and Extreme Slalom, along with some great courses and coaching sessions. International paddler Seppi Strohmeie from Germany demystified freestyle for those of us that don't know our tricky woos from our phonix monkeys, while expedition paddler Tom McLay shared his prolific knowledge of multi-day and expedition paddling.
Thanks to River Legacy for putting on a great event, for UK Rafting for hosting and to all our co sponors
And special thanks to Stu from VE paddles for getting us out of a hole.
See you at the next big kayak event of the year Venture Adventure
We've known Dom Bush for a long time and have a hugh amount of respect for his work and jumped at the chance when he asked us if we would like to support a new film project he was embarking on called In The Frame. The documentary will follow the journey of Joe Beaumont as he undertakes the biggest physical adventure challenge of his life. With his Llizarov frame still attached to his leg he'll undertake a 450 mile journey, starting from Holme Fen in Cambridgeshire at 2.4 m below sea level to the highest point in the UK, Ben Nevis.
We are not a company who are happy to just hand over a few samples pieces of gear and watch our logo scroll past on the credits, so Dom and Joe agreed to come over to meet us, to discuss the film and see how we could be involved. Sipping coffee, crunching hobnobs, bouncing ideas about, Joe was as psyched as any of us about the project. His drive and enthusiasm were infectious, a true adventure junkie. An hour or so into the meeting Dom played us a short film, a moving piece that introduced Joe the everyday challenges he faces and some of the reasons for undertaking this challenge. Whilst watching it hit us… this "project" it's Joe's life. He's living it, day in, day out.
Up until a hour ago we had not even met Joe, we certainly hadn't signed up to this project to help him. Until this point it had all been about increasing the exposure of our brand. After a heart felt discussion we realised this challenge is another step in Joe's rehabilitation. The challenge and all of its elements allow him to focus his energies towards it and distract him from the everyday realities of the recovery from his accident. He has taken the cards he was dealt and handed them back to the dealer. He'll never be able to do everything he could before the accident but he'll give it a bloody good go and one's thing for sure he'll inspire others. We are immensely proud to be part of this stimulating project.
Joe has set up a Facebook group that we would urge you to check out.
What is a Llizarov frame? Check out this film short shot by Dom.
Trans Iowa 2013 - courtesy of Vin Cox
It's been a pretty busy month for the Alpkit team and looks to continue right up to the end. However, sadly it's also been a month of mixed fortunes, showing that any of these outdoor activities can throw up obstacles and unforeseen problems at any time. No matter at what level you are pushing yourself it can simply be part and parcel of the game, it's then a case of getting back up and going again, it's the love of doing what you do that will bring you back.
At the very tail end of April we mentioned Vin Cox and Paul Errington were heading out for the 323 mile Trans Iowa race. Paul has finally written up his Trans Iowa Experience on how it all went. He finally came through in 12th spot with a time of 28 hours 39 minutes. Vin unfortunately had to pull up after an impressive 235 miles as he simply got too cold during the night and couldn't get it back.
Pete Rhodes set out on his SkateLeJog challenge to skateboard the 900 miles from Lands End to John O'Groats in 18 days with brother Mark. All seemed to be going well as they put in days of 40-70 miles despite the wet weather, however things started to go wrong on day 5 when Mark suffered with Achilies problems which resulted in him having to switch from his board to a bike. Following this Pete pushed on for another couple of days before having to pull up due to severe knee problems. Despite the training, injury reared its ugly head again. Mark continues on the journey by bike.. safe travels to him.
Consistency rules for Claire O'Hara, who despite travelling all over the world continues to pull out the competition performances. After spending the last couple of months in New Zealand and Australia, she pulled out a 6 day 13,000 mile journey via the UK onto the Plattling EuroCup freestyle event in Germany. Not letting jet lag get her down she duly pulled off the win to claim gold in both freestyle and squirt.
Scott Swalling started the month with solid singlespeed preparation at the Gorrick 100 before moving onto his main focus of the 24hrs of Exposure, however the fickle nature of this kind of racing came to the fore has he suddenly and unexpectedly had to stop. We're sure he'll come back stronger!
Alpkit Kenny couldn't let the team have all the fun, so he packed his van and headed out to Italy for the 10th edition of the bouldering festival MelloBlocco, before hitting the Italian Singlespeed champs the following weekend. He doesn't know where he finished, other than it wasn't first and it wasn't last. So not a bad result.
Amongst the climbing Ramon Marin has already ticked off one of his summer goals by completing Cider Soak at Ansteys. His first proper 8a. You'd think that would mean he can ease up, but we get the feeling he might be pretty psyched now... exciting to see if he takes this form all the way through to the winter when he gets his hands on those axes again.
But wait! May has still got time to run and we're not letting things ease up. There are a couple of bikepacking events taking place over the bank holiday weekend. Alpkit's Nick and Kenny will pack up their framebags and head over to the annual Welsh Ride Thing to enjoy this great 3 day event put on by Stuart and Dee. While up in Scotland Paul Errington and Paul Pomfret will be joining a strong list of riders taking on the challenge of the Highland Trail 400, a self-supported mountain bike route over 400 miles in length with around 12,000m of climbing. We're looking forward to hearing how it gets on.
For those of us in the UK it's the bank holiday and school half term, so a perfect opportunity to grab an extra day or two and get out on an adventure. If you want to let us know about your adventures then we love to hear what people have got up to so drop us a line or join us on Facebook. Whatever you get up to, have a great end to May and bring on June, and maybe some more summer weather!
Introducing Anna Wells.
We love the Alps and for Anna Wells it will be true Alpine Dreamin' at its best as she heads out this summer on a quest to summit all the 4000m peaks. Having recieved planning help from Simon Jenkins, who completed the first complete traverse of the Alpine 4000ers with Martin Moran, she is positive the goal is acheivable. We're pleased to be supporting Anna, so we'll let her get in with a quick intro.
"My name is Anna, and this summer I am setting off on a massive adventure with my boyfriend Tim. We are going to drive out to the Alps, and spend three months attempting to climb all of the peaks over 4000m, based on the UIAA list of 82.
We are going to start in the North East, with "Piz Bernina" and head South-West towards "Barre des Ecrins", altering our plans as per the weather. We will be returning to the valley between groups of climbs, occasionally using uplifts, and spending the nights either bivvying or in huts.
Both keen climbers, and living in the North of Scotland we are particularly keen on long mountain routes and winter climbing. Last year we had a brilliant week Alpine climbing in Saas Fee, and I instantly became hooked. Moving fast and light over interesting ground, enjoying snow and ice without shivering for hours on belays, rocky ridges, stunning views and even sunshine - what could be better!?
It seems to encompass all the best aspects of different styles of climbing. When we got home we made a list of all the routes we wanted to go back and do this summer, and the list rapidly expanded! After pouring over guidebooks and maps, and contemplating the fact that it was our last 3-month summer holiday as medical students before days-off became more scarce, we decided to go all in, and spend our whole summer in the Alps.
We will be updating our Tim and Anna Climbing blog as we go and posting photos as often as possible. Fingers crossed for a summer full of sunny weather, brilliant conditions and 82 summits!"
Anna Wells is 23 and currently studying for her degree in Medicine at University of Dundee. She as been a previous winner of Scottish Tooling Series, three Scottish University championships, while also competed in an ice climbing world cup. Tim has a history in international competition orienteering, mountain marathons and hill running.
Holidays should be fun right? Correct, of course they should and holidays packed full of adventures should be even more fun, for everyone, whether you're dragging the kids along or going it alone. So having a stress free build up to going away will simply elevate that relaxed feeling you are meant to gain from taking time out.
So what happens when you've booked that holiday off weeks ago (organised as you are), but catch yourself sitting bolt upright in bed, 5 days to go and you can't even remember who you lent your tent to? Well here at Alpkit we try to minimise stress levels wherever we can, it just doesn't sit right with a coffee, so we've got down some pointers down for gearing up to a adventure fuelled holiday. Check out the Perfect Getaway.
Last Post for upcoming Bank Holiday and school Half Term.
Remember to check your kit and order replacements or suitable new kit for your upcoming adventure while you still have time. In most of the UK the last chance to get your order in for a Friday delivery is up to 2pm Thursday 23rd. Larger items and orders will go out for next day delivery as normal with CityLink, but for orders going Royal Mail then you will need to select the Next Day by 1PM option. If you are unsure, then simply give us a call.
ASS Award winner Bob sizes up his Singular Swift for a new Stingray frame bag.
Kenny has just got back from this years Italian Singlespeed championships in Sovico. The 3 day event attracted around 80 riders from around Italy. Participants who uploaded a picture of themselves with their bike had the chance to enter the prize draw for an Alpkit Stingray framebag. The lucky winner was Bob who commented (in Italian) 'It's difficult to find people in Europe who can make bags to custom dimensions'. Read the full SSIT trip report.
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