7 Things that freaked us out about EBC Trek (but turned out to be very different)

This article is part of a collaboration between Berkeley Square Barbarian and the tour operator Spiritual Excursion. When Ellie & I were preparing for our Everest Base Camp Trek April ’22, there were seven things that really freaked us out a little bit:   (1)   IS IT GOING TO BE TOUGH COPING WITH THE HIGH ALTITUDE?   Everest Base Camp lies at 5,364m above sea level. Kala Patthar, a nearby peak with great views of Everest, is 5,644m. Climbing it is usually included as ‘optional’ in every Trek package. But only one in ten trekkers completes the climb. Most don’t try or make a U-turn half way up. Either way, the trek goes pretty high up. The altitude can affect people. Were we going to see fellow mountain lovers being helicoptered out in emergency evacuations? Trekkers falling seriously ill? Was it going to be hard to sleep because of all […]

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Fisherman’s Trail – Four Days of Hiking in Beautiful Southern Portugal

A month ago, my buddy Pete from The Man Who Hiked The World, was invited by Ricardo Estêvão from Vicentina Travel to check out their self-guided, four-day Fisherman’s Trail package. CHIPPING IN After Pete’s plus-one had had to bail out from the Fisherman’s Trail on very short notice, Pete asked roughly two dozen friends of his if they wanted to join him instead. Fortunately, they all had to decline because of conflicting commitments. This meant that I got a chance to join him on the trip. Throughout the trip it was one of our running gags that I had been so far down the list. Of course, I made sure that Pete got a good run for his money, too, banter-wise. Pete and I have only known each other for a short while. We met on an organised group hiking weekend in the Peak District with GO London end of […]

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Caving at Pridhamsleigh Cavern in Devon – Quite the Adventure

A couple of weeks ago I went on another caving adventure with Somerset Adventures. Following Goatchurch Cavern and Swildon’s Hole in Somerset, this time we picked Pridhamsleigh Cavern in nearby Devon. I specifically requested a ‘tough and challenging’ experience that would push me to my limits. DISCLOSURE (PREVIOUS COLLABORATIONS) AND PRICING For complete transparency, I should mention that I have been invited on a number of activities by Somerset Adventures in the past. I did pay the full price of £150 for this one-day caving trip, though. If you are happy to join a group or you are a group of 3 or more, then the cost goes down to £60 per person. The half-day speleological experiences start from an amazingly good value £35 per person. Further discounts are available, for example for young folk. EASY TO GET TO FROM LONDON The train from London to Exeter takes around two […]

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Caving in the Yorkshire Dales with Lost Earth Adventures: Alum Pot & Sell Gill Holes

A couple of weeks ago, Lost Earth Adventures invited Ellie on a weekend of caving in the Yorkshire Dales. I tagged along, of course. CAVING WITH LOST EARTH ADVENTURES The train ride from London to Giggleswick takes 3.5 to 4 hours. Then there’s a 15-minute cab ride to Horton in Ribblesdale. This tiny hamlet seemed particularly well-placed for the caves we were planning on doing with Lost Earth Adventures. However, you could equally book yourself a B&B in any of the other near-by villages. JUST ON TIME FOR DINNER We were lucky to arrive minutes before the kitchen at our tavern closed. At least off-season and on the weekend, there were no open shops in the vicinity. We felt rather pleased that we had brought sandwiches and vast amounts of muesli bars from London. Our aluminium bottles could be filled from the tap.   PACKING OUR BACKPACKS FOR THE NEXT […]

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Indoor ice climbing – there is a great one-hour taster course here in the UK

A week ago, I took part in a four-day winter skills mountaineering course in Scotland. The trip was a lot of fun. Great group of adventurous people from all types of backgrounds and of all ages, men and women. Only problem was the weather. Not enough snow to actually use ice axe and crampons. Too stormy to attempt the Ben Nevis summit via the ridge. As luck would have it, the day after we left the conditions became perfect.     MORE TIME AT OUR HANDS THAN EXPECTED We managed to get a fair bit of hiking done nonetheless. However, all days were cut short and we usually returned mid-afternoon, beaten by the hail and gale force winds, but happy. This had the advantage that we now had some leisure time at our disposal.     A LUCKY COINCIDENCE Our hostel was located at Kinlochleven, about half an hour’s drive […]

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