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There are many mountainous regions in Afghanistan and prior to the Soviet invasion in 1979 it was a popular destination for climbers and mountaineers. In May 2009 the new democratic government created the Band-e-Amir National Park which it hopes will boost national tourism to the area. It should also help to encourage the international community to take adventure travel and hiking holidays in the spectacular and remote countryside of central Afghanistan.


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A huge part of climbing (and abseiling) is the adrenaline caused by the risks being taken. However, an even bigger part of climbing is the calculating of these risks in order to ensure the safety of the climber is not in any way compromised. This is no easy task with many considerations such as climbing ropes, safety harness, climbing shoes, karabiner’s, chocks, helmets and other climbing equipment.

In this post I want to take a look at Climbing Helmets, take a glance at why they are used, how they work and which one is right for you.

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The Nine Edges Race in the Peak District is for walkers, runners, climbers and mountain bikers. Starting from Fairholmes Car Park, the route takes competitors over nine gritstone edges to the Robin Hood pub, near Baslow. For walkers, runners and climbers the distance covered is 20 miles, for mountain bikers 32 miles. There is no fixed route, but competitors must use footpaths and bridleways and must also pass by either the top or bottom of each gritstone edge. Climbers must also climb each edge.

Stanage Edge Gritstone Rocks in the Peak District

Stanage Edge is a popular place for climbing. Source: Flickr by Darren Copley.

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At last the waiting is over and the Harrogate Climbing Wall is now open.

Get yourselves down here and get climbing.

Harrogate Climbing Centre (HCC) offers both indoor climbing and bouldering, as well indoor and outdoor climbing courses and qualifications. On offer are taster courses for people new to climbing, beginners courses and courses for climbers to develop their skills and even leader courses.

The Harrogate Climbing Centre's Indoor Climbing Wall

HCC's 14 meter multi-angled climbing wall.

The main indoor climbing wall is a whopping 14 meter multi-angled wall, designed by Entre-Prises. Climbing grades range from 3+ to 8a. There is also a bouldering section which features problems from V0 – V8, as well as a Fr7b stamina circuit.

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If you’re thinking about walking up Ben Nevis this could be the most important post that you will ever read!

At 1,344 m, Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in Scotland and the UK. As such it is a very popular mountain for people to climb. It is often attempted by inexperienced hikers who have no idea of the scale of the task or of the potential dangers involved. Many people attempt the summit of Ben Nevis without taking proper outdoor gear.

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Extreme Sports Map LogoHave you ever been climbing, mountain biking, kayaking, skateboarding and found a great new place for some exciting action? Perhaps you’ve found a place that’s not the best but its close to home and offers the opportunity to get a bit of practice in, just to help keep your skills up to speed? Or maybe you’re going somewhere new and looking for the best place for some extreme sport action? If you want to share your favourite places or find something new then one place to look is Extreme Sports Map!

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Mountaineering Ethics will help protect the Mountain Environment.

Mountaineering Ethics will help protect the Mountain Environment. Source: Flickr by dino_olivieri.

To coincide with International Mountain Day 2009, the UIAA International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation released their new code of Mountaineering and Climbing Ethics.

The UIAA’s bold summary encompasses the thinking behind the declaration:

Stretch Your Limits, Lift Your Spirits, Aim for the Top!

The mountaineering and climbing ethics code encompasses the following twelve points, which I have summarised below:

  1. Individual Responsibility – Be responsible for yourself, for others and for the environment.
  2. Team Spirit – Support and encourage your climbing team members.
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Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team have put together a very cute little video to promote the sale of “Mountain Rescue Teddies” as part of their fund raising efforts. The video which is posted on You Tube is embedded below. It shows the teddy mountain rescue team embark on a heroic mountain rescue typical of the type of rescue the real Wasdale team embark upon in real life.

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Stepping Lightly on his climb up Blackpool Tower, August 2009.

Stepping Lightly on his climb up Blackpool Tower, August 2009.

In August this year, climber and urbex legend “Stepping Lightly” hit the headlines in the national press following his covert ascent of Blackpool Tower. Stepping Lightly has climbed many structures including one of Battersea Power Station’s iconic chimneys, Willington Power Station cooling towers and the famous Angel of the North in Gateshead. He also likes bridge climbing and has climbed the Forth Rail Bridge, and the Humber and Severn Bridges.

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We always encourage our readers to get in touch and share their views when they feel strongly about something. Freddy Phillips did just that and got in touch to respond to our article on wild camping. You can read Freddy’s response below.

Wild Camping

On the matter of wild camping, I do this routinely on multi-day walks and now that I have disengaged myself from the restrictions of a working life I have time to tackle the many long distance walks that excite the imagination and itch the footfall.

High street summit

Freddy Phillips High Street summit - Freddy Phillips ©

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