Great feedback and testimonial!

A couple of weeks ago I did a talk for a group of disabled adults embarking on a weekend of outdoor and adventurous activity through ‘Shared Lives’ in partnership with Aberdeenshire Council.  Today I had this message from the organiser:

The Glenmore event began and finished at fever pitch.
For us as last year, your talk just sets the whole event off with a bang and fires up the enthusiasm and the “I can do” spirit, which has to be said starts from your input. By Saturday evening people were high on their personal journeys and often in the conversations your name was mentioned.

One lady spoke of how if Dave can do this I can and committed
herself to walking during the weekend without her sticks. And she did!
I have booked Glenmore next year on the back of the success of this event
which is the 14th June and if costs allow would love to hear your update as
I feel there is a new adventure for you on the cards which we would love to
be able to share.

My sincere thanks for your time, company and brilliant talk.

How great is that!!!

Also, in a massive explosion of my enormous inflated ego, I have made a showreel of sorts to try to help promote my speaking and lectures…  If anyone’s particularly worried, the doors in my house are already widened, and I’m sure Pike the dog will soon cut me back down to size…

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After a great Jubilee weekend spent in and around Wasdale Head in the Lake District, I wanted to share a few thoughts and reflections with you, dear reader.

The purpose of the trip was two-fold – firstly to get some training done for my forthcoming trip to Mt Elbrus, and then to give Pike the dog his first camping experience…  The campsite at the Head has been taken on by the hotel, and has some nice new showers and toilets, with a really good area for washing pots with hot and cold water – a far cry from the tap on the side of the shop and much more pleasant experience but for me the campsite will always be known as ‘Jims Field’…

Typical of Wasdale, the weather was somewhat mixed.  Saturday was baking hot, Sunday much cooler and windy.  I thought saturday, with the glorious weather, would make Scafell Pike rather popular and decided to seek out a bit more peace.  I had not climbed Pillar for a long time, so decided to head that way.

As Pike and I toiled our way up towards Black Sail Pass, I spotted the thinner track that would put us onto Looking Stead and took that.  Now the route got a little steeper and a little looser, and my balance is not the best in that situation.  Pike, off the lead would be fine, but connected to me with me slipping around, on steeper ground, he started to get a little nervous.  When we reached Looking Stead, and looked up at the next looser steeper scrambly section, and I looked at Pike and thought it best not to push it.  I had been with Pike heading up Devils Kitchen in Ogwen a couple of weeks before and he had been very anxious, so I guess I new what would probably happen.  So we took a nice long slow amble back down to Black Sail Pass, into Mosedale and back to Wasdale Head, by which time it most certainly was Beer O’clock…

By about 5pm, the weather was changing.  The temperature dropped, the wind picked up and the cloud came over.  I thought that might dissuade some people from heading to Scafell Pike on Sunday as that’s where I decided to head.  Pike and I rose and started to plod up Lingmell Gill the following day, meeting a number of 3-peakers on the way down.  An early highlight was watching the full size luxury coach, doubtless carrying a payload of 3-peakers, gingerly inching its way over the Down in the Dale Bridge… with the traffic building behind…

Quick rant.  One of the major reasons people love the Lake District, the mountains and the Wasdale valley in particular is it’s pristine beauty.  While I know 3-peakers are not the soul culprits for the litter debris left around the Green and on the mountain, there seems to be a definite increase in litter when there are more 3-peakers around.  Come on people, do better!!  The 3-Peak Challenge raises a huge amount of money for some terrific charities deserving of the funds, but at what cost?  Here’s a suggestion: All those major charities that benefit from the challenge, send just one person each to each mountain after the challenge ‘season’ and participate in a mass collective clean up.  Put something back in by taking the rubbish out.

Rant over…

Pike and I reached Lingmell col and the wind was whipping over.  People coming off the summit were reporting the wind was gusting a bit and making it difficult to stand.  So we went to Lingmell instead, sat on the top for a coffee and took a couple of snaps, and headed back down.

That evening I had a thoroughly enjoyable evening doing silly quizzes and talking about mountains with Richard Crabtree and Alison.  Their great blog talks about their day on the Needle Ridge on Great Gable the following day, well worth a read –

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