Longboarding in Ireland

Published in OutDare Adventures on 1 Oct 2012.

A stretch of tarmac, a summers breeze, and a longboard – that is all you need for an evening of bliss. You yearn for an adrenaline rush, but you are restrained by a tight leash;  the dreaded word that consumes your thoughts and haunts your dreams; money. You are broke.

I’ll share with you a little secret. There are kicks to be found outside of the pricey niche of skydiving, BASE jumping, snowboarding lessons, etc. The growing sport of longboarding is accessible wherever you may be. It just requires practise and a pair of balls.

The longboard was created to mimic the motions of surfing and snowboarding, now it stands on its own, as a sport in its own right. But why just pave down your own road when you could be racing all over the world.

America and Australasia seem to be leading the charge when it comes to surfing the roads. When I went searching I discovered a bustling hub of festivals and races dotted around the globe, all dedicated to this niche sport.

The following are just a few races to try out around America and Canada, plenty more lie just a google search away:

As for the rest of the world we’ve got some options:

For more events around the world click here.

When I purchased my first longboard, I took it down to the tennis courts behind my old school to practise, hiding it from prying eyes because people in my little town in the south east of Ireland did not understand what this board was. I began to think this was going to be one lonely sport as I carved the pavements on my own with just my Ipod tucked in my ear for company. But now my eyes have opened and I see the world out there, the people that are traversing across their home lands via their boards to join together and unite with this epic booming community of longboarders.

You want to try longboarding in Ireland? Be warned; its hilly, the weather is crap and the community of riders is small. However, if you catch her on a good day, it can be spectacular.  You can roll through the streets of Dublin city; dodging cars, cobbles and people or you can dapple in the extreme and push out to rural Ireland (aka nearly every other county outside of Dublin) thereby taking on the country lanes, the cattle and the wildlife.

If your curiosity has been piqued then you’ll need to know that the Dublin Longboard Crew are at the forefront of the rise and they are waiting to welcome you to our home.

Interview with Mountain Guide and Mountaineering Instructor James Thacker:

1.What age were you when you started climbing mountains?

I first started walking with my parents when we moved to Derbyshire in my early teens.  We spent most weekends exploring the moors of the Peak District and later climbing on the grit-stone edges.  My parents despite being active weren’t walkers so we started together really, learning to navigate and look after ourselves on the hill.

-What was the first mountain you climbed?

Most likely Kinder Scout in Derbyshire, but the ones I most vividly remember are Tryfan in North Wales and Ben Nevis in the Highlands.  Tryfan was particularly exciting as it involved a lengthy scramble up the north ridge and I had never experienced anything like that before.  Ben Nevis I also remember as we turned back from fairly close to the summit in bad weather, we were worried about the large cliffs of the north face in bad visibility.  Turning round was a good learning experience an something that might be essential on any mountain.

Mont Blanc du Tacul

2.What are the most impressive mountains you have climbed?

Argh, hit me with a difficult question there.  This is a tricky, I guess for me I like the variety so it’s nice to climb summits in Derbyshire, remote Scottish Munros and peaks in the European Alps.  The ‘Steeple’ in the Lemon Mountains of East Greenland stands out as one of my best achievements, it’s fairly low and technically relatively easy by modern standards but is very remote.  I climbed this route in 2000 on an expedition to Greenland with some friends, all in their 20’s at the time, making a number of first ascents including the Steeple which had been attempted previously by Chris Bonington.  22 hours after starting we were back at our skis having climbed a fantastic icy couloir line aided by the “midnight sun” of the Arctic Circle.  Some seven or eight years later I went on to climb the North Face of the Eiger in Switzerland with Nick Wallis, a route with a considerable reputation and standing out as a definite high point for me.  Firstly, because of the route and secondly getting to share it with Nick – we had a great time and everything went well which was great as we had bumped into each other in Chamonix randomly.  It just felt right!

3.Any good stories of danger to share with us?

By choosing to visit the mountains we all expose ourselves to greater risk that is always present.  Certainly for me part of the appeal of climbing is trying to minimise this risk as much as possible.  Being adequately prepared, checking the weather and avalanche forecasts, choosing the right route and partner are all really important.  But inevitably some things are out of your control, or sometimes you just overstep the mark.  Getting avalanched in Greenland, was a massive learning experience, nearly getting hit by a collapsing ice fall in France meant I learned a bit more…

4.Why did you go into mountain guiding?

I always wanted to be a fighter pilot to be honest!  Having got as far as doing my aircrew selection for the Royal Air Force, I realised that the shortest contract I could sign up for was eighteen years and I was eighteen at the time.  To start such a career at the time just seemed inconceivable so I chose to go to University to study Geology instead.  Going to University in Sheffield I inevitably met some really keen climbers and decided pretty soon that I wanted to climb professionally.  As a teenager I had been on a climbing course at my local outdoor centre, the course being run by a British Mountain Guide – this was a really positive experience and the first time that I realised that there were people out there who could take you to amazing places or reach elusive summits.  

5.Whats next on the list to climb?

Today I am checking the weather forecast to see if I can climb Mont Blanc over the weekend.  I then have a week with a friend and regular client Martin, we are yet to decide on exactly where to go – but we could go anywhere and thats the beauty in guiding with a person you know well.  Later in the year I am off to Ama Dablam in Nepal.

6.What needs to be done to save our mountains of the world from problems such as litter, etc.?

As individuals I think we just need to be a low impact as possible when visiting the mountains.  That might mean taking your litter home or making sure that you employ local porters and kit them out properly at the other end of the scale.  The danger is that people fail to even give it some thought.

Abseiling on Creag Meagaidh

7.How many times a week do you get out yourself on the climbs or are you mostly a man of the office now?

I am better at climbing mountains than sending emails, so I am usually out working whether it be in Derbyshire, Scotland or here in the Alps.

8. What are the most popular climbs your company offers?

Most of my work is done at fairly low ratios (i.e. one or two people) and is pretty flexible in it’s nature.  As a result I get to go to lots of different places and do different things.  Of course some climbs, summits or itineraries are more popular than others so I often find myself on Ben Nevis winter climbing, on Mont Blanc or in the Swiss Valais for example.  This year I have already got some requests to go Ice Climbing in Norway, rock climbing in the Lofoten Islands and mountaineering in Nepal…

9.Is there a particular big or difficult climb that you really want to do in your lifetime?

I have always wanted to climb the six classic North Faces of the Alps: The Eiger, Matterhorn, Grandes Jorasses, Cima Grande de Laverado, Petite Dru and Piz Badile.  I have done four of the six so the remaining two i.e. Colton/MacIntyre on the Grandes Jorasses and the Schmidt Route on the Matterhorn.  The Colton/MacIntyre was climbed in 1976 by British alpinists Nick Colton and Alex MacIntyre and remains a classic and highly saught after prize today.  By chance I bumped into Nick Colton the other day and was dying to ask him (again) about the story of the first ascent.

10. What do you bring with you on a long climb?

On a big route, quite simply as little as possible.  The lightest equipment is the stuff you left behind.  On big alpine routes there are a few things that always go with me, the first is some abseil tat (i.e. cord) and a knife incase I need to retreat.  The second is a MacDonalds straw – sometimes these can be really useful for collecting melting snow which saves on the amount of gas you might need to carry.

11.What brand do you think offers the best quality mountaineering gear?

Well I have been supported by Haglöfs and Edelrid for a while now, both of whom make very good clothing and equipment which I would now find difficult to be without.  The reality now is that the mountaineering market is so competitive that bad equipment or brands just don’t flourish or even survive.  The result is that we have so much good gear available now to make our lives easier (or more comfortable) on the mountain.  I’m glad to have been a small part of that by providing product feedback for Haglöfs and Edelrid.

12.What does the UK have to offer the mountaineering folk worldwide?

The UK has a great mountaineering pedigree.  We are used to putting up with bad weather and making the most of it, and sometimes just toughing it out a bit with a slow and stready approach.  That results in British alpinists having a really good expedition record in the greater ranges but also an ability to miss the telephriques in the alps and get benighted!  The British Mountaineering Council run a popular Winter Climbing International Meet in Scotland every two years and climbers from around the world are always amazed at the Scottish weather and the climbing.

13.Its a pricey sport; how long did it take you to build up equipment stocks when you first started?

It can be expensive, but so are golf clubs, paragliders etc!  One of the best things about climbing is that you can participate at different levels.  I started out bouldering and soloing on Derbyshire outcrops with a chalk bag and a pair of rockshoes (now probably available for £120) max.  Other kit can then be built up as you go along, and or be split with a climbing partner.

14.Did you ever have any accidents while out on a climb?

No yet! But I did badly break my leg skiing.  

15. What is the average age group of your clients?

I have worked with everybody from 12 years – 65+ and age isn’t a barrier to climbing really if it’s your thing.  Most clients are 35-50 I would guess.

Mont Blanc de Cheilon

16. Is fear still a factor for you after so many years experience?

Fear, yes definitely.  Ultimately, fear is what keeps us safe.  I think you become better at managing it and deciding whether it is rational or irrational and then getting on with the task in hand.

Check out Jame’s website and Twitter @jamesthacker.

Interview with American kayaker Ryan Dolan

Claim to fame:

National Kayak Team Member from Hawaii.

2011 Pan American Games Bronze Medalist.

 

1.What is it that first attracted you to kayaking?

I was in highschool and had already been doing lots of outrigger canoe paddling in 6 mans and 1 person boats and my older brother Pat was a US National Team Member already so lots of people were encouraging me to do it. My good friend Stuart Gassner really helped me get going and made it fun. Initially it was just something to try and help cross train for Outrigger but then slowly it became about beating the guy who was faster or better and then I realized I really enjoyed it and got introduced to the Hawaii Canoe and Kayak Team and sprint kayaks in 2008. I decided I wanted to really persue the sport and try to make the Olympic Team.

2.Is there anything thing in particular you love about it?

I love being on the water and making a boat move through the connection of your body and muscles. I also really enjoyed the speed and smoothness the boats had. It’s a very addicting sport that made me and keeps making me obsessed to get better and faster.

 

3.Do you have any other hobbies?

Growing up in Hawaii I also have loved watersports. I love to fish when I have time, but it really comes down to just paddling. If I am not kayaking I enjoy going back to my roots of Outrigger canoe paddling and surfski paddling in the ocean. Paddling in the ocean can make me really relaxed and forget everything else. I am also into learning about and building websites. It’s a new hobby that I am also pretty obsessed at getting better.

 

4. If, say you, fail to qualify for something or don’t perform as well as you hoped in a race. How do you pick yourself up after the disappointment?

I always try to whatever I can to leave everything on the water so that way if I am not happy with the result I know I did all I could. I get dissapointed but its those moments that help me train better for the future or a goal I have. Sometimes its hard in kayaking just because it’s a sport that takes quite a bit of time and commitment to get what your looking for but you always have to keep that in mind and focus on small goals along the path to bigger goals.

 

5. What are your personal aspirations in and for the sport?

I am aiming for this coming years 2013 U-23 World Championships in August first of all and slowy building towards 2016. A 4 year cycle is so long yet so quick at the same time. The main goal is to make improvments along the cycle and hopefully be in Rio in 2016.

6. What does your weekly training schedule involve?

During the training season I usually paddle 6 days a week with paddles 2 times a day usually with 3-4 weight sessions mixed in there. Right now I am training for the Molokai Hoe which is a 42 miles race so training has been a little different for that but also because it’s the offseason and right now I am trying to build up a very big base of miles for later this season.

 

7.How many races a year do you participate in?

I will usually do 3 major kayaking competitions a year including world cups, worldchampionships and our team selection races. Before my racing season starts I try to make an effort to race 4-5 ocean races in Hawaii which are anywhere from 8-15 miles for cross training and a change of scenery from the flatwater.

 

8.What kind of sacrifices did you have to make in order to make it as a professional athlete?

Well, I wouldn’t consider my self a pro athlete since I don’t make money to paddle and I live at home with my parents and still attend University. But as a full time amature athlete it takes a lot of time and commitment as well as money to train and race. I think its really more about how well your support team supports you, its not a single effort. My family, sponsors and even community are very supportive and it goes a really long way.

 

9. How do you ensure training does not become monotonous?

“Keeping the eyes on the prize”. I love paddling and for some crazy reason I love training too so I always enjoy it but when it gets hard having people there with you helps or traveling somewhere new to train keeps things fresh and new.

 

10.What is the criteria you have to meet in order to qualify for the Olympics in kayaking?

See ICF website for full details but you must win the US spots but also the team must have qualified a start for the Olympics.

 

11. Did you get to go to the Olympics?

No unfortunately I missed out on the Olympic Team by 8/100s of a second to my team mate.

 

12. When your program lost its funding from the Olympic Committee, you began fundraising efforts. How are they going so far and what can people do to help?

We did a ton of fundraising efforts and like I said above none of it would be possible without family, my sponsors and the paddling community of Hawaii. Everyone stepped up and backed my dream as if it was their as well. People can make a donation to Hawaii Canoe And Kayak Team which is non profit club.

13.Advice for anyone who wants to follow your lead into professional athleticism?

Doing what you love to do is great and so rewarding but it doesn’t come without hard work and dissapointment at times. Greet failure as a way to success and always look at the bigger situation before jumping towards something too quickly.

 

14.How does it feel to represent your country in events?

It’s a really big honor, and makes me feel proud to be a part of such a big team of people.

 

Follow Ryan through his website or via Twitter @RyanDolanKayak

INTERVIEW WITH IRISH PRO SURFER EASKEY BRITTON

1. What countries have you surfed in?

Let’s just say I’ve been quite nomadic from an early age, going on surf trips with my parents and little sister to the Canaries and road-trips through Europe. The biggest turning point for me was a trip of a lifetime to Tahiti aged 16. I was pen-pals with a girl from Australia whose Dad was a great surfboard shaper, Nev Hyman and he invited me on the trip.  I travelled by myself from Ireland to meet up with a bunch of young, hot-shot surfer girls from Australia that I’d never met before. We stayed with a legendary character, Moana David who took us to surf Teahupoo and other spectacular reef breaks. That trip really opened my eyes to the world, pushed my surfing, made great friendships and caught the travel bug. I’ve been on the road more or less ever since. And more often than not pretty off the beaten track. After I finished my Leaving Cert at school I worked my butt off running a surf school at my local beach doing back to back surf lessons dawn till dusk and saved up enough to get to Hawaii for a winter on the North Shore when I was just 17. Worked on building up a profile and good relationships with people and sponsors and organised a lot of trips myself. I’ve had the opportunity to travel to some pretty amazing far flung places – some stand-outs being Micronesia, Galapagos Islands, Africa and more recently Cuba and Iran.

2. Do you have a signature trick?

Not really, it all depends on the wave and how you interpret it…

 

3.Goofy or regular?

Regular

 

4. What does Ireland have to offer the surfing world?

Ice-cream headaches, big heavy waves, wild storms, lonely windswept isolated landscapes, great music, rain, myths and legends, true characters and dedication, a rising mass of surf schools, and the finest pint(s) of Guinness.

 

5. What are your greatest achievements in surfing?

Probably more personal than podium. Although it was great surfing to a home crowd at the Eurosurf in Bundoran in such quality waves last year, finishing with a PB in the top 5. But for me the greatest moments have been defined by the waves I’ve ridden and the people I’ve shared those experiences with –  towing-in at Aileen’s for the first time and catching the big-wave bug, quite unexpectedly; A new year’s dawn patrol, climbing down the 700ft Cliffs of Moher for a paddle session out there; Getting to know the beauty in the beast that is Mullaghmore and being the first woman to ride these waves. As a result of some heavy sessions out there last year, I got nominated for the women’s Billabong XXL Big Wave Performance of the year, along with some very inspiring chargers like Keala Kennelly, Maya Gabeira and Mercedes Maidana. So being able to represent big wave women’s surfing in Ireland and Europe on that world stage was amazing!

 

6. You studied environmental science, is that a back up if the pro surfer life doesn’t work out?

I think the two belong very much together. My passion for the ocean and my surfing life have ultimately shaped who I am and have greatly influenced my relationship with the environment, so naturally I wanted to explore that more. I have a hungry mind and I like to look at the bigger picture as well as where the next wave is coming from.

 

7.Where was the best wave you ever surfed? Describe it?

Oh that’s such a tough question, one that I get asked a lot…it’s hard to answer because no two waves are the same, even a wave you know well and surf all the time is always changing and can be unpredictable which is the beauty of it. What makes a wave the ‘best’ is a combination of factors – who you’re sharing the experience with, the back-drop, the wind, the wildlife, the colour of the water and the shape of the reef, how the swell hits it just right and how perfectly positioned you are to take advantage of all those elements… so I can’t really answer that question!

 

8.How many boards do you have? What are they?

Ummm, a fair few. Hard to keep track of because they come in and out of storage depending on the conditions or are rediscovered, some big beauties, my pink tow board by Mark Maguire, some kept for sentimental reasons, others borrowed or passed on or donated…my fun little 5’6 sx model shaped by JP who has been surfing my boards for years and I’m loving them.

 

9.What does your name mean?

It translates from the Irish word for ‘fish’ – ‘iascaigh’ and is the name of Mum and Dad’s favourite wave!

 

10. What’s your ultimate ambition?

Well, that’s a cracker of a question! I have a daily ambition to keep an open mind and open heart and to never make a decision out of a place of fear.

Credit: Laurence J. Photography

11.How do you think the women’s surfing industry is shaping up?

I think the standard of women’s surfing is exploding and there are a lot more women in the sport and pushing hard the limits of what’s possible. A lot of inspiring female role models which is great. BUT unfortunately this isn’t well reflected in the media at all (as with a lot of sports), or sponsorship with woefully inadequate funding for events including the women’s professional ‘dream tour’ (WCT) which is virtually unknown compared to the men’s and is over by the summer, mostly held in average beach breaks. This compared to a tour in 1990s that took them to world-class, heavy waves like Teahupoo, Cloudbreak in Fiji, J-Bay, and a full Triple Crown series in Hawaii. I don’t understand this lack of support, not when women are trying so hard and there is so much talent.

 

12.How often do you get out on the water?

Every day if I can, which can be hard in Ireland especially with the fickle climatic conditions we’ve been having lately but I also love to get out paddling or freedive, any excuse to be out there.

 

13. You’re an artist too and a good one by the looks of it…..what cant you do?!

I like creative expression as well as scientific inquiry… I sometimes feel this great sense of urgency, that thinking in Buddhism and Native American Indian culture where you live as if it your last day or ‘every day is a good day to die’  which might sound terribly morbid but it’s not. It’s about being here now, fully present. Not putting off your hopes and dreams for some time later, when you have more time. That’s an illusion. So, really I’m not great at sitting still –  I think I’d be rubbish at golf because of my lack of patience!

 

14.What does it take to become a pro surfer?

Belief in yourself, confidence and good guides/mentors in life. As well as a lot of focus, and remembering why you do it in the first place, not to let it get too serious, and have fun.

 

15.Whats your wetsuit?

A very toasty Xcel

 

16.Do you prefer cold or warm water surfing? Why?

In the depths of winter in Ireland when it’s howling another gale force 10 storm for the 6th consecutive week I would say somewhere warm for sure! But when it’s firing in Ireland there’s nowhere else I’d rather be. I don’t feel a burning desire to go somewhere colder than Ireland though!

 

17.Big or small waves?

Both. Both give you very different experiences and it’s certainly not big all the time so you need to make the most of it. Small can be beautiful too, big tends to be awe-inspiring and heart pounding though!

 

18.Whats the biggest wave you ever surfed?

At Mullaghmore last year. It was a solid 20-30foot, wintry day.

 

19.Whats the ten year plan?

I’m not even sure where I’ll be or what will be happening next month let alone ten years. I think I would feel suffocated if I had a ten year plan. Goal setting can be a good thing but mapping it all out into a plan can be a bit too rigid sometimes. One thing’s for sure the biggest thing I’ve learned is how to cope with change and adapt and be flexible. The gifts often come along in the unexpected moments. I think I have more of the Alchemist in me…!

Easkey Britton – Tikehau surf

 

20. Where’s your favourite spot to surf?

Now that would be telling wouldn’t it?!

 

Follow Easkey on Twitter @Easkeysurf and check out her site.

She is also an ambassador to an amazing organic superfood company Organic Burst.

Interview with Adventurer Dave Cornthwaite

1.Do you have any regrets on the path your life took?

What an opener! I don’t think you can do anything that will result in true regret without being aware of it at the time you made the decision, so if you chose to have regret you chose to live with it. I’m pretty happy with where I am, that’s the main thing.

2.What do you think your best and worst qualities are?
I’m a positive chap and I enjoy spreading the smiles around. Worst qualities? I probably enjoy my life so much that when I talk about how it’s possible it could come across as a bit of preaching. And I’m genetically geared to test the boundaries of everything, everything! I’d imagine that could become annoying sometimes!

3.When it comes to Adventures , do you have a line that you won’t cross (certain things you won’t try)?
I won’t do anything that would have a high chance of fatality. I adventure to live, not to die.

4.Is there a reason why so many of your adventures are based in America lately?
There is. I have a career plan geared around making a living from the stories my journeys generate, either through books or speaking, or perhaps film too. My first two adventures were in Australia, the last few have been in or touched the USA, after my Missouri swim I’ll move on to somewhere else having established relationships, sponsors and a speaking reputation in the States.

5. Did you learn anything in university that has proved useful to you now?
If I did, I can’t remember it!

6.Does it all get a whole lot easier after the first expedition?
It does. And then after the 2nd, and the 3rd. It’s never easy, there’s always a battle, but if you stick to your guns the accumulated experience, contacts, relationships and ability naturally makes the whole process a bit slicker. It’s rewarding for me now looking back at how difficult it was to put my first couple of projects together, that it has become easier is testament to the power of looking after relationships and honouring the promises I made back then.

7.Did you not ever get scared  sleeping in a tent alone in the middle of nowhere?
There was a night on the Mississippi when a racoon really had it in for me and was imitating a very angry bear, but no, I love being in the middle of nowhere by myself, liberating.

8.Rank your exhibitions from easiest to hardest. 1-been the easiest to complete, 10 – been the most difficult.
Wow, cool question, never done this before:
1 – Sail Mexico to Hawaii
2 – SUP Lake Geneva
3 – SUP Bath2London
4 – SUP Wolf River
5 – Kayak Murray River
6 – Tandem Vancouver to Vegas
7 – Skateboard John O’Groats to Lands End
8 – SUP Mississippi River
9 – Skateboard Australia
10 – Bikecar Memphis to Miami

9.Are you losing your accent the more you travel or is it getting stronger?
I’m not sure I ever had an accent. I’m super fickle with my voice, now and then I’ll break into an Aussie twang if I’m feeling tired. Basically, I just accidentally copy everyone I speak to. Wuite embarrasing.

10. What stays the same in your backpack for all your expeditions?
MacBook Pro. Powergorilla. Passport.

11.Do you ever get recognised/ approached in the street (like a celebrity). What’s that like?
Very, very rarely. When I was doing the BoardFree project I had a very recognisable skateboard, but people would come up and say ‘there’s a guy skating across Australia on one of those.’ I was just like, ‘really? How cool!’

12.How long did it take to plan your first ever expedition?
13 months, between stepping onto a skateboard for the first time and setting off on John O’Groats to Lands End. It didn’t need to take that long, but I was planning for Australia during that time as well and at the beginning it can take a bit of time to get your head around crossing over into a non-comfort zone.

-On average how long does it take you to plan one now?
About 3-6 weeks.

13.How important are the sponsors to the success of an expedition?
Massively. I’ve never had anyone write me a big cheque to do a journey so I rely on new and old sponsors to support me with gear, which is always the most costly part of an exped. Without their support I’d be paddling, skating and swimming naked, which wouldn’t be fair on anyone. Big lesson here though: look after your sponsors, always!

14. What time do you go to bed at and what time do you get up at?
I sleep around 1am and am up between 7 and 8 each morning when I’m out of expedition. During a journey I live with the sun.

15.How do you come up with your ideas for expeditions?
They tend to just appear. I won’t do a journey for the sake of exposure or ticking another item off my list, I need to feel it. These things just fit into place.

16.How important is social media in your line  of work?
Most important part of it. I’m in love with the creative storytelling side of adventure. New things happen everyday so there’s unlimited material, and with so many mediums and ways to share these stories I’m in heaven.

17.Have you ever had to deal with uncomfortable/potentially dangerous situations?
Yes. But I’m careful, I prepare well and am relatively cautious so I don’t stare death in the face everyday (unless I’m riding a Bikecar across America)

18. How do you personally, market yourself to a potential sponsor and the outside world?
I’m just me. It’s important to be honest and open, and human. Some people think these endurance events are only achievable if you’re a true athlete but I’m not, I just love life, appreciate keeping fit and I just happen to have a stubborn streak that takes over when my body is angry with me. We’re all unique so if we be ourselves instead of worrying about what people think of us then we have a unique brand, if we want.

19.How are the book sales going?
Well, thanks!

20.What’s next on the cards after the Missouri swim?
I’m tired! I’ve done four expeditions in the last 13 months, so after the Missouri I’m going to take 6 months off and write a few books. Stories bursting to come out.

21.Do you ever get tired of repeating yourself/ answering the same questions for all the different media interviews?
Nope, if this is as bad as it gets then I’m perfectly happy!

22.Is there a downside to your lifestyle?
It depends how you look at it. It’s taken about 5 years to get to the point where I stop dreaming about all the things we think we’re supposed to have, like a house and a car and a bunch of stuff and a big TV. For me I need to do what I love and I can’t do that by living your average, stable lifestyle with a steady job and income. I’d be miserable doing that, I was! I need to be on the move, so compromise everything I grew up thinking I needed. For a few years there that was unsettling, but I wouldn’t change a thing.

23.Do you ever doubt yourself?
Rarely. I’m still a little self conscious sometimes, as a hark back to a fairly unhappy time at school, but I know who I am and what I’m capable of and nothing will stop me giving life a damn good crack.

24. How do you keep the spirits high during an expedition?
I think everything is ridiculous. I’m ridiculous. The way we choose to live is ridiculous. My line of work is utterly ridiculous. It keeps me laughing.

Bikecar Expedition:

1.Any funny stories from the bikecar expedition?
The day after I got hit by a speeding car I was pedalling into 35mph headwinds and then all of a sudden my seat fell off. It just fell off, and I was on it. It was an office chair that had been bolted onto the Bikecar chassis. I replaced it was a $12 beach chair from Walgreens. Check out the video – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdp30_12vUg

2.What was swimming with the Manatees like?
I loved it. Gorgeous, friendly, huggy creatures. Imagine crossing a mermaid with an elephant then snorkelling with it. Glorious.

3.How many kms/miles did you cover a day?
On average 45.5 miles. Shortest day 17.2miles. Longest 59.2 miles. On a Bikecar weighing in at a ¼ tonne.

4.Where did you sleep every night?
I camped most nights in my hammock. Now and then I was taken in by a friendly stranger.

5.How long did it take your legs to adjust? (considering you didn’t do much training for it)
I didn’t do ANY training for it, I’d been sat on a sailboat for three weeks beforehand and hadn’t pedalled anything for a year leading up to the journey. The first days were tough over the hills of Mississippi and Alabama, but after 5 or 6 days I was nice and conditioned, just in time for Florida, one of the flattest places in the world!

6.What did you do to keep things interesting while en route?
I didn’t really need to try hard. This is America. I love it. If they weren’t trying to run me over I was biking through cities that are effectively theme parks. Shopping miles have giant sharks with their mouths as the doorway. You can rent golf buggies to drive next door. Their cars are bigger than our houses. It was always interesting!

7.Did you learn anything new about America or Americans?
I despaired everyday at the driving. It was hard to take. 700 roadside memorials in 1000 miles tells the story. Heartbreaking, bad, lethal habits.

8.Did you become a self taught bike mechanic?
Ha. I make no secret of the fact that I’m mechanically retarded. Unbelievably in 2400 miles on a tandem and a Bikecar, I’ve not had a puncture, only one chain has fallen off, and the hardest thing I’ve had to do was affix a beach chair to the Bikecar with a couple of bolts. I think they’re called bolts, at least…

9.What did you eat day to day and where did you get it from?
The beauty of travelling 1000 miles on a Bikecar that weighs more than twenty bicycles is that whatever you eat you’ll burn off. I snacked incessantly, feasted on Bugers and Waffle House breakfasts and gas station hotdogs. Problem with endurance pedalling is that while there’s no shortage of places to buy food, it’s usually greasy, unhealthy and comes with slight risk of disease.

10.Did you get to meet many new people?
Oh my goodness, yes! I didn’t pass a person without them questioning the contraption I seemed to be having fun on. Hundreds of new friends, I love travelling!

11.Tell me about getting hit by the car?
4 hours out of Memphis at the start of the journey, I was pedalling with my friend Rod Wellington, the Canadian Adventurer. My friend Dale decided to shadow us in his van for the day because Memphis traffic is notorious. We’d covered about 18.5 miles when there was this almightly screeching of brakes and tyres. Sounded like someone mourning death. I held the wheel tight, braced myself and expected an impact, which came. I would have thought our support van was struck from behind which them subsequently hit us, but actually the woman driving had missed the van and trailer, texting is silly when driving, swerved, lost control, hit the van on the side, spun and hit the Bikecar and my seat when going backwards. We were bounced down a verge and into a corn field. So lucky, so so lucky.

12. What’s the longest you went without a shower?
5 days. Rank.

 

SUP Wolf River Descent

  1. Spill the beans on that….
    On my way down the Mississippi River last year I met an amazing crew of people in Memphis. This April some of them decided to descend the Wolf River, which runs 105 miles through swamp and back-country before dropping into the Mississippi River in Memphis. Nobody have ever gone the full length in one go, certainly not by Stand Up Paddleboard, mainly because of the swamps and copious amounts of lethal snakes.

It was just a cool challenge. It was an obstacle course. Trees across the river every few metres, beaver dams, cypress knees, snakes everywhere. Good people. Camping on the banks. Loved it. Check the video out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUoseDa9NuI

 

Missouri Swim

1. How do you plot distance and direction while swimming in a river?
Direction is easy, you just go downstream. There are river charts for most navigable waterways which indicates distances, I’ll be swimming pretty much dead on 1000 miles from Chamberlain, South Dakota to St Louis, Missouri.

2.Who is a part of your team?
I wanted to make some noise with this one so opened up applications to anyone who wanted an adventure. I got a great crew of 6 down from over 50 applicants. Everyone has a role to play, whether it’s social media or blogging, organising camp, fundraising, photographing, filming, physio, medic.

3.Are there any potential consequences of swimming in a river that polluted?
Illness, death, the usual. I’ll make sure I’ve covered, all jabs done etc. Main lesson is don’t swallow the water!

4.What training have you done?
Not much swimming, to be fair, I don’t have time! It’s a busy business organising an expedition but I’m about to head to Cornwall for 9 days of training in the sea, and as with all expeditions I’ll take it nice and easy at the beginning until I’m properly conditioned.

5.When do you depart?
The swim begins on 10th August and should run for 50 days.

6.Any plans for stops along the way?
We’ll stop at every town en route and organise clean-ups and fundraising parties.

7.How good a swimmer are you?
I do a fine doggy paddle.

8.How are you going to video this one?
As with all of my trips, there will be GoPros and a nice raw feeling representing the expedition through YouTube episodes.

9.Target finish time?
1st October.

10. What wetsuit do you have?
An Orca 3.8, the same suit worn by Martin Strel on the Amazon and David Walliams down the Thames. In fact, I’ll have four suits, decreasing in size as I lose weight down the river!

11. Are you excited?
Like never before.

Follow the trip via @DaveCorn and www.facebook.com/expedition1000

 

The Traditional Life

I currently sit at a crossroads. Sitting as opposed to standing because I have a pretty big decision to make. One which requires a seat. You have all been there. Two options at my feet. To follow the road my parents and countless others took before me;  university, job, house, marriage, kids or the latter, to forge my own way with no plan except to get out and explore the world, figuring out the direction as I go. But something which I cannot pinpoint has stopped me choosing thus far. However, If I continue to ignore this feeling that is pushing me to claw my way out of my comfort zone I fear I will never be happy knowing that I folded?

I cannot fairly place one person on a podium when the audience is filled with similarly achieved individuals. But in my life, one guy stood on his own and changed the path that I was hurtling down. You may have already heard of him, his name is Dave Cornthwaite. He gave me the option of a crossroads, the one which I now sit. Usually people don’t stop to think about the line they are following, they just go with it. I have stopped and I am questioning it. At first I wrote about incredible people like Dave to fill a void- so as I could phase out the fact that I am not out there doing these things myself  but from here on in I will walk or run or kayak the path I have been preaching my whole life.

Sailer, Kayaker, Skateboarder, Stand up Paddleboarder, bikecar cyclist, sleeps 6 hours a night Adventurer extraordinare Dave Cornthwaite set me free with the lines; “It’s taken about 5 years to get to the point where I stop dreaming about all the things we think we’re supposed to have like a house and a car and a bunch of stuff and a big TV. For me I need to do what I love and I can’t do that by living your average, stable lifestyle with a steady job and income. I’d be miserable doing that, I was! I need to be on the move, so compromise everything I grew up thinking I needed. For a few years there that was unsettling, but I wouldn’t change a thing.”

For the next generation of Adventurers climbing up the ranks aiming to build on what past explorers have achieved. Those who want to beat their records and explore what they have not yet discovered. This is the How to Guide built around what Dave Cornthwaite has taught me:

  • The first is a welcome fact; it all becomes a whole lot easier after the first expedition -“It’s never easy, there’s always a battle but if you stick to your guns the accumulated experience, contacts, relationships and ability naturally makes the whole process a bit slicker.”The first ever expeditions he went on (Longboard Australia) took 13 months to plan. Rather reassuringly it now takes Dave about 3-6 weeks to whip one up.
  • His essential items to pack –  MacBook Pro, Powergorilla and Passport.
  • A note on sponsors; they play a huge role –  “I’ve never had anyone write me a big cheque to do a journey so I rely on new and old sponsors to support me with gear, which is always the most costly part of an expedition. Without their support I’d be paddling, skating and swimming naked, which wouldn’t be fair on anyone. Big lesson here though: look after your sponsors, always!”
  • Social media is the most important part of it – “I’m in love with the creative storytelling side of adventure. New things happen every day so there’s unlimited material, and with so many mediums and ways to share these stories I’m in heaven.”
  • You will need to market yourself to a potential sponsor and the outside world –  “I’m just me. It’s important to be honest and open, and human. Some people think these endurance events are only achievable if you’re a true athlete but I’m not, I just love life, appreciate keeping fit and I just happen to have a stubborn streak that takes over when my body is angry with me. We’re all unique so if we be ourselves instead of worrying about what people think of us then we have a unique brand, if we want.”

Everything stated above form’s the backbone of an expedition but the real pull lies in the raw tales of his conquests.

Dave recently travelled via bikecar from Memphis to Miami. He covered on average 45.5 miles per day on a vehicle that weighed more than twenty bikes, slept on his hammock by night, swam with Manatees, got knocked off the road by an oncoming vehicle, ate fried food, didn’t shower for 5 days at one stage, ate more fried food and met hundreds of new people with their own stories to tell.

In the days just before the bikecar expedition, Dave descended the Wolf River in Memphis on a Stand Up Paddleboard. The river runs 105 miles through swamp and back-country before dropping into the Mississippi River in Memphis.” Nobody have ever gone the full length in one because of the swamps and copious amounts of lethal snakes .It was just a cool challenge. It was an obstacle course. Trees across the river every few metres, beaver dams, cypress knees, snakes everywhere. Good people. Camping on the banks. Loved it.”

And now, come August 10th he will pull on his Orca 3.8 wetsuit and swim 1000miles of the Missouri River from Chamberlain, South Dakota to St Louis, Missouri. The crew of 6 will voyage for 50 days. Dave himself has, as always practically zero training done, referring to his swimming abilities as; “a fine doggy paddle”

Final question Dave; are you excited? His response; “Like never before.”

Me = Sold.

Decision made.

 

Follow the trip via @DaveCorn and www.facebook.com/expedition1000

Follow @orlaomuiri

The Ultimate Trilogy – Interview with Margaret Bowling

“In 2013 four of the world’s most experienced female adventurers take on the Ultimate Trilogy of modern day exploration and adventure. 2000km of wilderness terrain covered in 10 weeks by human power: skiing, rowing, walking, climbing.”

Meet one of the team Margaret Bowling.

1.It is an all female expedition. Was this a conscious decision or just something that happened?

It was a conscious decision. I did my first ocean row with another woman. Since then I have been on mixed teams and worked with some pretty capable men, who I had become overly reliant on. After so many things went wrong on my first trip (19 major rudder repairs, electrical faults, broken watermaker, and much more) I knew I could deal with pretty much anything out in the field but I’d become lazy. I had slipped into patterns that are so familiar in our culture – always asking the guys to “just fix this for me” or “just carry that for me”. So this expedition is an opportunity to be the strong self-reliant woman that I know I am.

2.How do you think females are progressing in the field of adventure these days?

We may be in the minority but there are some big advantages to being a woman in the field of adventure. It’s easier to get sponsorship and the press are often much more interested in your story. Again I think this is cultural. I meet women every day who are capable of doing what I do. We just don’t live in a society where they are encouraged to give it a go. So when women do give it a go, it catches people’s attention.

3.How do you all know each other?

Tara and I met at the start of the 2007 Atlantic Rowing Race and have been hoping to do a row together ever since. Linda is one of my heroes so I aimed high and asked her to join us. We then needed a mountaineer to complete the team but nearly all of my contacts are ocean rowers or polar explorers so I came up with a shortlist of female mountaineers who had either done the 7 summits or spoke Spanish and sent out a cold call email inviting them to join us. And that’s how we found Cathy.

4. What does your training consist of for each section of the journey?

The main thing is to develop muscle memory in the disciplines I’m not familiar with. I can get in a boat and row without any problems so my focus is on climbing stairs and hills wearing a pack and pulling tyres along the beach. And of course general fitness is key. I work best with small training goals so have just entered the City2Surf here in Sydney.

5. In the team you all have a specialty!

  • Linda Beilharz  (AUS): Polar traveller – 1st Australian woman to ski to both South and North Poles.
  • Margaret Bowling (AUS): Ocean rower – 1st Australian woman to row an ocean (Atlantic) and the first Australian to row an ocean twice.
  • Cathy O’Dowd (ZA/AND): High-altitude mountaineer – 1st African to climb Everest. 1st woman in the world to climb Everest from both sides.
  • Tara Remington (USA/NZ): Ocean rower— World record holder for fastest all-women Atlantic crossing, east to west, with a four-person crew.

How do you think this will help the team?

It will help us immensely. Because we’re all specialists in our own disciplines we each bring a level of knowledge to the leg we’re leading which would be hard to find anywhere else. For me that’s what makes this an Ultimate adventure.

6.  There will be a lot of Expedition firsts in this journey:

  • 1st team to do a multi-terrain traverse of this nature in Chile
  • 1st all-female team to cross the Northern Patagonian Ice Cap
  • 1st team to attempt a modern-day ocean rowing expedition in South America
  • 1st women to do a sea to summit ascent of Aconcagua

Are you doing it so as to achieve these firsts or why are you doing it?

World records weren’t something I was thinking about until we put together our website and promotional material. My focus was always on putting together a cracking squad of female explorers and creating the Ultimate team.

7.You will embark in late December 2012 and return in  early March 2013, On average you will spend ten weeks completing the expedition. That is a fair chunk of time, how do you keep morale and enthusiasm up when going on long adventures such as this?

With difficulty. But our ability to manage the stresses and stay focussed is one of the things that really excites me about working with a team of such experienced women. With every expedition you do, your resilience improves so I expect fewer blow ups and dark moments than I’ve had when I’ve been with expedition novices.

8.What will you be packing?

EVERYTHING. We have to prepare for 3 legs which all have very different requirements so this is going to be one monster packing job and each leg has to be packed and carefully planned in advance. It’s lucky my mind works like a tetris game.

9.What will you be eating?

Freeze dried meals most of the way and lots of high protein snacks like salamis, chocolate and peanuts.

10.How will you navigate?

Compass, maps and handheld GPS devices are our main tools.

11.How did you come up with the idea?

I was working on a multidisciplinary endurance event called the Trip to Remember which gave me the idea to do an ultimate expedition trip that incorporated the big 3 disciplines of modern day exploration and adventure. I then spent a lot of time trawling through maps of the world to find the perfect location.

12.Why the charities you picked and why pick one’s based in different countries?

We’re doing this expedition for largely personal reasons and not ‘for charity’. Although we are focusing on the Charlotte Lucy Trust, the Wilderness Society and the Wilderness Foundation (who we each have longstanding affiliations with) we hope that by sharing our love for wilderness we will inspire people to either donate to or campaign for causes everywhere that embody our ethos of women and wilderness.

13.It is a physically demanding expedition, how will you keep your body in good condition?

On the ice any injuries we get won’t heal and on the water they will rot so preventing them is out top priority. And that is done by making sure we’ve done our research, have the right gear, are in great physical shape before we go and monitor any niggles and don’t let them turn into severe problems. Keeping hydrated and eating enough is also very important so we’ll be monitoring our daily calorie and fluid intake very carefully. We were quite concerned about muscle wastage and sea legs after the boat leg. Attempting to set off with big packs in that state is a no go so we’ll be fast packing for the walk from the port at Valparaiso to the base of Aconcagua and relying on the support team to carry the bulk of our gear.

14. How do you set a time limit for completion of a journey like this?

Sorry – pass. Not really relevant because we don’t have one.

15.Is there a level of fear in undertaking an expedition of this scale?

Yes, a massive one! I am scared shitless. I’m reliant on the skills and experience of my team mates to get me through 2 out of 3 legs so I have to be prepared to trust them 100% and let them lead those legs.

16.What kind of tent do you have to sleep in?

We’ll be taking Hillebergs. They’re the best tents on the market and I wouldn’t take anything else on an expedition like this.

Interview with Cedric Dumont – Redbull athlete

1.You have done 10,000 skydives  and 2,000 BASE jumps , holy shit!  Tell me about the first time you did each?

First skydive in 92 and first base in 95, long time ago. Both felt really good but even after so many jumps, i still feel this rush and excitement, you have to keep this in order to push yourself in the sport.

 

2.Its a pricey past-time, how did you afford them at the start, when you where a youngster?

I didn’t jump that much in the beginning, but I was working hard to pay for it.


3.Your a Red Bull athlete. How did you get involved with Red Bull?

I met the right person on the right moment on the right place I guess…Life is all about pushing your luck and take the opportunities.

 

4.What is the appeal of reaching a certain speed?

Speed is addictive and even more when you create it just with gravity, no engines, it’s pure human power.

 

5.When did you get your first wingsuit?

In 1999

What brand was it?

I think it was a prototype built by a friend back then.

Do you still have it?

Unfortunately no, but I do have my last 7 wing suits since 2004.

 

6.You’ve dappled in several sports and excelled in them all, skier, surfer and golfer… What made you choose base jumping as the one to pursue as a career?

Way easier than golf 🙂 No seriously, it just came like this, I never calculate or planned anything back then.

 

7.Where did you get the time to get a degree, become fluent in five languages and perfect that amount of sports?

Having a very well-organized and balanced life and being quick in learning maybe helped me to achieve this. But it never seemed too much at the time, still today i feel the need to learn other things and pursue my passion.

 

8.How big a part of your life is the coaching aspect ? Explain your role as coach to me?

Right now, my life is like 50/50 basejumping and mental coaching, I like and keep this balance, I also need a more intellectual approach to life. But both activities are linked with my core values, which are freedom and travelling.I really love to fly and jump off stuff, but I have always needed a foot in the real life too, otherwise you just completely leave reality.Being with other pro athletes and sharing ideas is also very inspiring and push me aswell in my sport.

 

9. The coaching seems like a brilliant idea, I know so many people, myself included, that find it hard to just let go and chase their dreams. There is clearly a market there, but are customers letting go and using it?

For sure, all my “students” are improving or at least learning something. It is such a great satisfaction to see people achieving their goals and dreams and unleash their full potential.It’s a question of making choices and being aware of your talents. It’s finding your element, the crossing between you passion and talent. This is what life is all about I think and this is what will make you happy. Relationships with others is also crucial to be happy, but remember that a happy person will have better relationship. Happiness is something you find within yourself, it’s an emerging process and a state of mind that can be cultivated.

 

10. What is the average age of going pro and subsequently retirement in a career like this?

Retirement?What is this? Ask Kelly Slater, he is 40 and surfing better than 15 years. He told me that in 10 years from now he will be better than today! If you take care of yourself in all aspects, there is no limit to physical age anymore.I love my life as it is and wouldn’t want to change it!

 

11.Are you living the life you always dreamed of or had you something else in mind?

Living the life I always dreamed, simple as that!

 

12.You provide 7 steps that your coaching programme is built around. How did you come up with them?

Lot of learning, reading and working made it possible to build this program.

 

14.You seem like a spiritual man, is that correct?

Wouldn’t say spiritual but more like “hyper-aware” and full of positive energy.

but maybe this is being spiritual after all…

 

Have you always been or is it since you started flying?

Always been like this I guess. Flying is only a way of expressing myself, just like an artist.If it was not flying, it would have been something with the same values.

 

15.Working with/for Redbull is a lot of people’s dream job, mine included. How are they as a company to work for?

It’s more than a company, it’s a family, especially after 12 years, it’s like we have been progressing together and they gave me the opportunity to achieve some of my dreams, what else can I say!

 

16.You say you are a nomad, would you still consider Belgium home?

Yes for sure, this is where my family and friends are, my roots, my base camp. I have been chasing the ideal place for years when I finally realized 7 years ago that the place is made by the people and not only by the weather or activities.

Where do you live right now?

Based in Belgium at the beach, north sea.

Video:

17. You say people inspire you, who and what is it in particular about them?

Kelly Slater as an athlete, my good friend Nicolas Colsaerts who is pro golfer on European tour and ranked 64th in the world, but also some friends in the business world, my parents, everyone with a dream basically.

 

18. You have  jumped from the highest railway bridge in the world (201m), the highest suspended bridge in the world (384m) and jumped from 431m in a BASE wingsuit off of the Jin-Mao tower in Shanghai.

You have competed in the X Games three times, finished third in the skysurfing world cup and won the Brazilian open skysurfing and recorded the lowest BASE-jumps in the world, including a freefall jump from just 35m!

Woah, way to make everyone reading this feel like a underachiever!

No, everyone has different goals and dreams, not everyone is willing to take such risks too and I totally respect it too.

 

-Do you go out seeking these records or do they just happen?

Nothing just happen in life, you make things happen, same for records or projects.

 

19.Whats the big plan for the next 10- 20 years, a guy like you surely has a rough plan?

Never had a plan, always had a vision of myself in an ideal situation but never more than 3 to 5 years, we live life’s full of uncertainties.

Website: http://www.cedricdumont.com/

Interview with Adventure Filmmaker – Seb Montaz

Age: 36

Location: Chamonix, France

Job Title: Filmmaker, mountain guide

Watch before reading on:

Trailer:

I believe I can Fly (Flight of the Frenchies)

Courtesy of Seb Montaz

1.How did you start basejumping/tight-roping , snowboarding…all of it?

I grew up near the mountains and was snowboarding and skiing from a young age, like most kids I knew.

2.You are a self-taught film man? Why didn’t you just enrol in a course?

I just started filming while working as a guide and got more and more interested in it. There aren’t really any courses near to where I live, and I didn’t have time to be able to do a course anyway.

3.What was your day job before your filmmaker career took off?
I have always worked in the outdoors – mountain guide, ski instructor, now filmmaker.

4. How do you turn profit in a career like this?

I don’t think I do yet! My work is getting more attention and requests for commercial projects, but my documentaries have been self financed so far.

5.What kind of training do you have to do for the kind of jumps featured in your videos?

All extreme sports take a lot of time and commitment to learn and practise them. For basejumping everyone starts with skydiving, and you’re not really able to basejump until you have completed around 200 skydives.

6.How do you attach the lines connecting the cliff edges?
We use standard techniques from mountaineering – using slings and pulleys around boulders and pillars to attach the lines.

7.Is there any fear in jumping off a cliff?

Of course there is – this is talked about in the film. Fear is always a part of extreme sports, but it’s controlling your reaction to it that’s important.

8.Have you had any injuries from the extreme sports you participate in?
Where we live, climbing, skiing, snowboarding etc  are what most people do. It isn’t exceptional… I’ve been lucky and haven’t had any injuries.

9.Your film has been very success, has the success impacted your life?
It hasn’t been such a success to make an impact – it’s not like it won an oscar or anything! It’s been a bigger success than we expected which is great, and I now have more work from other projects… so I guess the impact is that I have even less time now than before!

10.What camera and camcorder do you use?
I film everything on digital SLR – canon 5D & 7D, so no camcorder.

Courtesy of Seb Montaz

11.How important was it to keep the dialogue in your national language?
It’s better for the way I like to film, in that it’s all natural and nothing is staged or forced… but for the audience it’s probably better to be able to make films in the English language.

12.The scenery is epic, do tourists see these places in the world or are they all local secret spots?
Tourists can see some of these places, but a lot of the filming is done in places that are hard to get to, and you have to do some mountaineering to be able to access the spots. They aren’t secret, but this isn’t a very common sport so there aren’t lots of people going to the same places doing the same things.

13.How does someone learn to be a basejumper/tightrope walker?
As I said earlier, basejumping comes from learning to skydive. Highlining normally starts with slacklining, which lots of climbers do – it’s the same but much closer to the ground and not in the high mountains.

14.What is the next big thing you want to do?
We have a few exciting film projects coming up this year – the second highline film will be great.

15. Do you think everyone has the kind of opportunities you did on their doorstep?
No of course not… not everyone lives in the same type of place. But the guys in the film aren’t from here… they discovered climbing and then decided to spend more and more time in the mountains. But there are lots of things to do and ways to do them… and life would be very dull if we all did the same things. We are very lucky to live in such an amazing place, and to have the chance to do what we do.

Courtesy of Seb Montaz