What lies beyond the edge of running – My #AdventureList

At freestak we have recently started working with Berghaus on a campaign that will be hitting magazines and computer screens near you soon. Now that we are part of the Berghaus team, we have been included in a few things that this great British brand have been organising. One of the big ones this year is their #AdventureList campaign which is an opportunity for everyone who loves the outdoors to get involved in some amazing adventures (and be in with a chance of winning some rather lovely stuff if they tell Berghaus about what they have been doing).

Hiking with Sir Chris Bonington

Me and Sir Chris Bonington - hero worship in full effect!
Me and Sir Chris Bonington – hero worship in full effect!

It was as part of this, that Berghaus invited Julie and me to join a group for a hike with legendary climber and adventurer Sir Chris Bonington in the Lake District. That was far too good an opportunity to miss out on, so late on Friday afternoon J. and I climbed in the trusty Matrix and headed north.

The Berghaus team were putting together a little film, that will be out in March, about some of the adventures that the people linked to the brand are embarking on. Hopefully Julie and I will make the cut – I will certainly post the video once it is out, because the group that Berghaus had gathered together were really fascinating and inspiring, so there will be plenty of moments to savour in the film even if yours truly ends up on the cutting room floor!

What is the #AdventureList?

Famous for forty seconds... maybe!
Famous for forty seconds… maybe!

The whole idea of the #AdventureList campaign is that people can create a list of the outdoors challenges that they would like to take on. The big difference between this and the idea of a bucket list is that it is specifically about outdoors adventures, so ‘seeing the Mona Lisa’ or ‘visiting the Taj Mahal’ wouldn’t be on the list… unless you cycled from London to see the Taj Mahal or ran from Edinburgh to see the Mona Lisa. You get the idea.

Hiking with Sir Chris Bonington for the day was an amazing opportunity to meet and talk to someone whose whole life has been about pushing his boundaries ticking off the things that are on his adventure list. To give you a flavour…

  • He made the first British ascent of the North Wall of the Eiger
  • Led the expedition that made the first ascent of The South Face of Annapurna, the biggest and most difficult climb in the Himalaya at the time.
  • Led the successful expedition making the first ascent of the South West Face of Everest in 1975
  • Reached the summit of Everest himself in 1985 with a Norwegian expedition

This is just a tiny fraction of the things that Sir Chris has done. There is much more detail here.

Knowing that I would be meeting a man who had probably done more last week than I have in my 38 years on the planet, I was a little nervous about committing my adventure list to paper. But that is what Berghaus asked us to do and I thought that it would be a really interesting exercise.

My #AdventureList

My twitter biog is “I run marathons. Everything else is a result of that” and one of the things I mean by that is that if it wasn’t for my fascination with trying to find out what I am capable of over 26.2 miles, I wouldn’t have the fitness, confidence and drive to attempt anything that I have now committed to on my dream adventure list. And I will admit that as I get older and I realise that I have to train harder and harder to shave time off my marathon PB, the attraction of the things on the list that are not trying to improve on my time over 26.2 miles, grows ever stronger.

So in no particular order (and most definitely subject to amendment) here is my #AdventureList as it currently stands:

  • Run the UTMB CCC in under 18 hours
  • Train for and race in an Ironman
  • Climb Mont Blanc
  • Complete the Patrouille des Glaciers
  • Go free diving
  • Do more ice-climbing
  • Trek in Patagonia
  • Ski to the South Pole
  • Ride the Dunwich Dynamo
  • Spend time training for a marathon in Iten, Kenya

The list goes on and on and on. I love reading books, magazines and websites about adventure so there is a constant stream of new ideas. The challenge is that whilst the list of things I’d love to do grows, the time and money to do all these things doesn’t!

The first item on my list – the UTMB CCC in under 18 hours – is actually only a few months away (August this year) and whilst the time target is going to be a challenge, I do think it is possible. Last year I ran the race with J. and finished a shade over 24 hours. But J. fell during the race and really hurt her knee which, combined with misjudging the start and really getting caught up in a lot of bottle necks at the start of the race, meant that we never really got into our stride. So this year I hope that I can push harder and be smarter and see how close to 18 hours I can get.

The Berghaus #AdventureList team on Catbells
The Berghaus #AdventureList team on Catbells

Some of the things on the list are really just pipe-dreams but one thing that I have learned since I started trying to get fitter, is that I am (and that means everyone is) more capable than I ever imagined. As far as I am concerned, what we need is determination, imagination, supportive people around us and a bit of luck to make any adventure list a reality.

As I take on the things on the list, tick some off and add others, I will update you as I go.

And if you have something on your adventure list, please tell me – I might want to add one or two to my list. Finally while you are inspiring me to do more interesting stuff, make sure you tell Berghaus (they are on twitter @therealberghaus and you can use #AdventureList) not least because there is a chance to win some of their very, very nice gear if you do. Oh and if you have a twitter account, Sir Chris Bonington is @ChrisBonington – well worth a follow.

Here’s to a future full of adventures.



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