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Sharp Edge, mountain ridge in Cumbria

Sharp Edge ridge scramble

Taking on a scramble can be a very rewarding achievement. If you have a fear of heights you are inevitably going to be scared. You will have to push yourself, but that makes the challenge all the more rewarding.

So if you are scared of heights but you want to go scrambling you are likely to find yourself in a bit of a dilemma. That is to say, if you embark on a scramble are you going to end up on a mountain unable to proceed along your route and unable to retreat? Will you end up completely stuck and not able to move a muscle, i.e. cragfast?

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From November 2015 to April 2016 Chaz Powell will attempt to walk the entire length of the Zambezi River. This is going to be an ambitious expedition during which Chaz will have to contend with extreme weather and a myriad of wild animals, as well as the threat of contracting malaria. Update: In order to avoid the worst of the rainy season, Chaz will now start the walk in July 2016.

In our introduction we have put together some information about the terrain, climate and previous expeditions to the Zambezi to give you an idea of what Chaz Powell will be up against. Then, in our interview, Chaz tells us about his motivation for adventure and for Walking the Zambezi in particular, as well as his passion for wildlife.

Adventurer Chaz Powell walking in the forest

Adventurer Chaz Powell preparing for his expedition to Walk the Zambezi

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Mike Dunne at the bottom of a crag

Climber Mike Dunne

Regular followers of our blog will be familiar with Lake District climber Mike Dunne. If not, you can read about his climbing adventures and his perspective on climbing in our previous blog posts. For this post we caught up with Mike to find out what he’s been up during 2013.

Over to you to Mike…

This summer I spent a good chunk of time living in my van on the Cumbrian coast surfing.

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It was back in September 2011 that we last interviewed Alastair Humphreys about his adventures large and micro. At the time Alastair was part way through his year of Microadventures. The concept of a microadventure being that it is an adventure close to home that is cheap, easy to organise and most of all, fun!

Alastair Humphreys enjoying a coffee at Grisedale tarn

Alastair Humphreys enjoying a coffee at Grisedale tarn
during a Lake District Microadventure

In all my corporate talks I was aware that nobody in the room would ever set off to spend 4 years on an expedition. Yet I felt that the spirit and the benefits of adventures in wild places were important for everyone, perhaps even more so for people who have not done much in the great outdoors before. Alastair Humphreys.

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Yesterday (30th April) saw the beginning of Dave Cornthwaite‘s eighth adventure in his twenty five Expedition 1000 challenges. For each of his challenges Dave is using non-motorised transport to travel at least 1000 miles. In this latest adventure, called the GO trek Dave Cornthwaite and Squash Falconer will be travelling 3000 miles on ElliptiGO running bikes. This will be a record breaking distance for travelling on ElliptiGOs! During this adventure Dave and Squash will be encouraging people to take exercise and “Say Yes More!” They are also raising money for CoppaFeel, the charity promoting early detection of breast cancer. You can find out more about the GO trek on Dave’s website.

Photoshoot at Everton FC's training ground

The GO trek photoshoot with Dave Cornthwaite and
Squash Falconer at Everton FC

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Embarking upon any expedition takes commitment, planning & perseverance. When Dave Cornthwaite packed in his day job to become an adventurer, the goal of achieving a single expedition was not enough to give him the motivation he needed to pursue his new career. After all, why stop at one expedition when you can do twenty five? So, Dave conceived Expedition 1000, a project that will see him complete twenty five expeditions each of at least 1000 miles, all of which are powered by non-motorised transport.

Adventurer Dave Cornthwaite

Dave Cornthwaite celebrates swimming 1000 miles down the Missouri River.

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We all enjoy looking at pictures of climbers attempting dangerous moves high up cliff faces, but do we ever think about the person who took the picture or filmed the movie? Who has shot the image and how did they get into the right position to capture the action?

Matt Sharman and camera halfway down a cliff face

Adventure cameraman Matt Sharman in position to film climbers.

Adventure cameraman Matt Sharman is sponsored by outdoor gear company Jack Wolfskin and is one of the authors on the Jack Wolfskin Blog. He is a keen climber and mountaineer which enables him to get into the positions required to film and photograph professional climbers on their ascents.

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Dan Martin is in adventurer who has set himself a challenge of enormous proportions. His plan is to extend a triathlon into a “Round the World” expedition. Billed as “The single greatest feat of human endurance, ever attempted” Dan Martin will cycle across Europe and Asia, run across North America and swim 5700km across the Atlantic Ocean.

Dan Martin in the water with swimming hat, googles and a smile

Dan Martin plans to swim across the Atlantic Ocean


No one has ever swum across the Atlantic before, so that will be no small challenge in itself. His training has so far involved swimming in the English Channel, the North Sea, the Atlantic and Loch Ness

Swimming the Atlantic – it’s impossible

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An MSR tent pitched in the mountains of Patagonia

Tim Moss wild camping on an expedition to Patagonia

Opportunities for adventure can be found almost everywhere, if you know where to look. If you are stuck for inspiration, Adventurer and Expedition Manager, Tim Moss can help. There are lots of ideas on Tim’s The Next Challenge website, through which he also offers advice, research and support for expeditions. For example, Tim has helped some of the adventurers who we have previously interviewed on the CheapTents Outdoor Gear blog, such as Leon McCarron, Alastair Humphreys and Mikael Strandberg.

[Tim] has also supported over a hundred different individuals, expeditions and groups. Will you be next? The Next Challenge.

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Erliah China: The border crossing between Mongolia and China.

Leon McCarron and Rob Lilwall arrive in China

Way back in November last year, two men embarked on an amazing adventure that would involve hiking 3,100 miles from Ulaan Baator to Hong Kong. “After 195 days, 10 million steps and far too many instant noodles” Leon McCarron and Rob Lilwall have completed their epic Walk Home From Mongolia!

The journey took Leon and Rob from the capital city of Mongolia, straight out into the wilderness of the Gobi desert. In the middle of winter they crossed through the border into Northern China. Heading south, the Great Wall led them down to frozen Yellow River. After visiting the ancient city of Xi An they crossed the mountains of central China and Guilin, before passing through GuangZhou and finally arriving in Hong Kong.

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