The Matterhorn

5 years ago I climbed in The Monte Rosa range, a mountainous area sandwiched between Switzerland and Italy. It’s famous for its range of 4000m mountains, lengthy glaciers, its typically alpine climate and, at one end, a rather good view of the Matterhorn.

I was tired, 10 days of traversing 4000m peaks had left me a bit wrecked, and in need of some english food and solid ground under my feet. I sat on a ledge and stared across the horizon at arguably the most iconic mountain in the world; The Matterhorn. It rose like a  shark fin, isolated on the skyline, but majestic in it’s prominence. My tiredness aside, I thought to myself that one day, i’d like to stand on the very top of it. And so…last week and a mere 5 years later, I did.

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Of course it didn’t actually take me 5 years to climb it…I kind of got distracted along the way. A few expeditions here, some other mountains there. But as they say, the big mountains never go anywhere, they remain in place for us to climb, when we are ready.

And so, July 17th 2017, at 4am, I set off and stood at the base of the giant mountain. I placed my hand on the cold slab of rock and acknowledged what I had to do. 1200m of vertical ascent, followed by the same, only in reverse. It took me just over 4 hours to reach the summit. Once there, I looked back across the valleys and glaciers, to a place where roughly I thought I sat those 5 years earlier, and I smiled. It’s a wonderful feeling when you take your dreams, and give them a memory, a place in time. It’s even better when you make them come true.

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A little bit of Paradise 

Sometimes in life, if you put in the hard yards, you get rewarded. Thankfully, this applies to travel also; if you’re prepared to take several flights, then one more, jump on a bus, and spend some time on a boat…then you might just end up somewhere awesome. 

That’s what happened to me in the Philippines: 


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Hitting the Ho Chi Minh Trail

It’s fair to say that Vietnam has had a bit of a chequered past. Much like Rwanda, Honduras, South Africa and many other countries i’ve visited, Vietnam has suffered from civil war, political upheaval and unwanted international attention. But just like these other countries, it also continues to wow travellers with its unique landscapes, unbelievably cheap food and a population of warm, open people. And the best bit? If you get a motorbike and a sense of adventure, you can see it all. Just remember to hold on!

A kiwi kind of adventure

I left the UK on Boxing day 2016. It wasn’t raining, which was nice. The debacle surrounding Southern Trains was set to continue (if you’re not familiar with this, google #southernfail), the Brexit debate rumbled on, and we were at the end of what many people would agree was a rather naff year. There was only one thing for it, one way to wash away the 2016 blues and see in 2017 with a bang. Yep, I needed another adventure.

New Zealand tops the list of my favourite countries in the world. OK it doesn’t come anywhere close to the incredible wildlife found in many African nations, or the food and drink journeys you can go on in South American or European ones, but damn does it make up for that with one thing – being an adventure paradise!

Helicopter rides to stunning rock pinnacles in Paihia, swimming with dolphins, white water rafting the highest commercially raftable waterfall in the world in Rotorua, skydiving in Ashburton, bungees and wickedly fun jet boats in Queenstown; all backed up by kick ass scenery, empty roads and (sometimes) ace weather. January was a bit good, February hasn’t been too bad either. This post comes from a quiet title cafe in a town on the East coast of Vietnam. Just a shame there’s no skydiving here.

Drones and high places

So here it is, the final edit of my short video for the International School of Mountaineering, a showcase of their UK Rock Climbing & Alpine Preparation course. It was such an awesome challenge having to carry and pilot my drone from the climb, but one that produced some ace shots. I’m now freeing up space on my memory cards as I pack my bags for New Zealand, where I know some cool filming awaits! For the adventure

Autumn on the rocks

As always, my latest post suffers from a rather lengthy delay and frustratingly, a bad internet connection! The result? My latest video isn’t that new and it certainly isn’t sharp, but hey….modern problems! I’ve been lucky enough to be working with the International School of Mountaineering (ISM) on some cool projects, including this weekend of rock climbing, filming and all round fun. ISM offer a huge range of climbing and mountaineering courses, from the rocks of the Lake District to the frozen ice in the Alps. For me…well, i get to film it all.