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Tamara Lunger started competitive ski-touring in 2002 and, as a member of the Italian national team, won several major titles. These include Italian Champion in 2006 and 2008, winner of the Pierra Menta 2007 and Long Distance World Champion 2008. Following these successes Tamara has progressed onto mountaineering, becoming the youngest woman to climb Lhotse (8516m) in 2010. Now sponsored by The North Face, she is continually looking for new challenges in high alpine mountain terrain, the environment which gives her an almost indescribable feeling of happiness and contentment.

Mountaineer Tamara Lunger on Lhotse

Tamara Lunger is the youngest female mountaineer to summit Lhotse

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Alpine climber David Gottler is a professional mountain guide and cameraman. Having summitted four 8000m mountains his mountaineering skills are more than proven. He has also made impressive winter climbs of famous north faces such as the Eiger, Grand Jorasse and Matterhorn. Twice attempting a K2 summit and a new route on Ama Dablam, David has been thwarted when snow and ice conditions became too risky to continue.

David Gottler, in the mountainous Khumbu region of Nepal

The North Face Alpinist David Gottler, Khumbu, Nepal

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If you are an ultralight camper or hiker you’ve probably heard of Lightwave. Lightwave are dedicated to the design and development of high-quality lightweight and ultra-lightweight tents and rucksacks.

As we see it at CheapTents, Lightwave offer great products which cater for the specific needs of ultralight and lightweight adventurers and campers. Lightwave balances the needs of durability, weight, comfort, ease of use and function amazingly well.

Mount Cook

Mount Cook in New Zealand – source fotopedia

A little about Lightwave and Carol:

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Many climbers and mountaineers dream of summitting unclimbed peaks. Making 8 first ascents might seem like an unattainable feat, but for Polar explorer Phil Wickens this was accomplished on just one expedition!

A skier on a mountain on the Antarctic Peninsula

Photocredit: Phil Wickens

In January 2012 Phil led a small team of mountaineers and skiers to climb 13 peaks located in the Antarctic Peninsula. Travelling between islands by yacht, the summits were achieved in multi-day and single day tours. Rising straight out of the sea, the mountains range from 500 – 2600 m in height and are heavily glaciated, even during the Antarctic summer. Due to uncertainty over the thickness and conditions of the sea ice, choosing which mountains to summit in advance is not always possible. This adds an extra dimension to the adventure which must include contingency plans in case thick sea ice makes sailing in some places impossible.

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Snow covered mountains

Nanga Parbat (Killer Mountain)
Source: Flickr by Faisal.Saeed.

Whilst it is fairly true to say that health and safety regulations protect us from harm, injury and death in many circumstances, they can be a bureaucratic nightmare that end up stopping us from doing things that we enjoy. Some people believe that we live in a Nanny State that has taken health and safety so far that it is impinging upon our civil liberties.

Outdoor pursuits, such as hiking, climbing and mountaineering carry risks and as such health and safety must be considered, especially by companies that provide guiding services or by schools and other groups that take children on these activities. However, the inherent risk is one of the aspects of outdoor activities that makes them so rewarding. By placing health and safety restrictions on outdoor enthusiasts is our personal freedom being curtailed?

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Mountaineers wearing crampons cross a snow field

Snow traverse using crampons. Source: Flickr by ribekak.

If you are thinking going mountaineering then you will need to get some crampons, this may also mean buying new crampon compatible boots. But what if you’re thinking of going hill walking in the winter? There may only be small sections of the hike where there is hard snow and ice. You may feel that buying crampons and compatible boots is too expensive and unnecessary. Fortunately there is a solution! Winter hardware manufacturer Stubai have brought out 4 point and 6 point crampons which can be fitted onto most B0 boots.

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Lonnie Dupre endures the cold on high altitude climbsFor over 25 years Lonnie Dupre has been exploring the colder parts of our planet. Travelling by ski, kayak and dog sled, Lonnie has travelled over 14,000 miles across various regions of the Arctic. These expeditions include travelling across the North West passage, circumnavigating Greenland and two journeys to the North Pole.

With Australia’s John Hoelscher, Dupre dog sledded and kayaked the perimeter of [Greenland] covering 6517 miles all non-motorized in three visits. In being the first to round the island, the men dog sledded 3442 miles and kayaked 3075 miles.

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When ‘PoleKitty’ left a comment on a post we wrote in February about the Gear needed to climb Ben Nevis,  the name made us wonder if it was spam at first. We soon realised it wasn’t as we watched in awe at the sight of Kat pole dancing at the top of Ben Nevis, as part of the 3-Peaks Challenge. The video is below.

Once we’d watched the video we decided to contact Kat to find out more about this rather odd celebration at the top of Ben Nevis. We wanted to know what had driven her to do it, and if there was any other mad outdoor stunts she had done. Here is our interview with Kat ‘PoleKitty’ Humphrey, outdoor enthusiast & extreme pole dancer!

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BMC LogoA while back the UK coalition government announced the creation of the Big Society. It has been hailed as a way to give power to local communities and criticised as a way of introducing spending cuts. One potential drawback is that it could give more power to people who are intent on pushing their own financial agendas. But, what about us outdoor enthusiasts? Are there likely to be any positive or negative outcomes for hikers, climbers and mountaineers? There are certainly people out there who are not sympathetic towards walkers and climbers, and who may try to use it to hinder our activities. All is not bleak however, enter the BMC. The British Mountaineering Council (BMC) has recently published an article about how it intends to embrace the Big Society for the benefit of its members and the natural environment.

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This weekend news headlines read “man falls 1000ft from mountain”, the mountain in question was Sgurr Choinnich Mor, around 5 miles east of Ben Nevis. The climber in question was Adam Potter, an experienced climber from Glasgow.

Sgurr Choinnich Mor

Sgurr Choinnich Mor, The Aonachs and Bealach Coire Easain - Source Flickr by pamilne

At 2.30pm on Saturday, just moments after reaching the summit Adam began to fall. As his friends looked on in horror Adam tumbled down the mountain 1000ft, approx 300m and 1/3 of the mountain’s height, glancing off 3 craggy outcrops. As he tumbled off each outcrop Adam must have felt almost like he was flying as he plummeted.

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