May, 2015

Whales, bears and my Páramo

WhaleWatchingBaja-opt

© Chris Breen 2015

“I travel to some incredible places around the world and I have finally found the perfect gear to wear when I am away. My Katmai shirt is cool, feels good next to your skin and has an all-important concealed pocket for my passport which I like to keep close-by at all times – and it looks good whether I am on safari in Africa or looking at bears in Canada. It’s light-weight, easy to wash and doesn’t need ironing – that’s about perfect for me!

Ben Osborne’s Antarctica Report

The sense of anticipation was palpable. A hundred passengers on board and it was their first ever landing in Antarctica. The biting wind and drifts of sleet and snow the previous night had changed the atmosphere on board from “cruise” to “expedition”.

Gareth Mottram’s Chamonix Report

Chamonix June 2014

We had a really poor winter in the UK at the start of 2014, wet and warm, and the European ice climbing wasn’t much better, meaning I really didn’t get any done. So I’d set my sights on some early season alpine climbing. After emailing the usual climbing suspects I found that a group of my old university climbing friends were heading out to the Chamonix area mid June. This was perfect, there was a good chance that the conditions would be starting to get worthwhile up high. In retrospect, a week later would have helped as not all the lifts and huts were open, which limited our options. But there is so much to choose from in the Chamonix area, that wasn’t a huge problem.

Zero Footprint Páramo

In 2008-2009 we built a low-carbon house on a Galloway hillside, previously grazed for many years by sheep. From the outset we wanted to make the build as environmentally friendly as possible using low-carbon materials sourced locally where available. After two years plus of being immersed in researching techniques and materials, Ted came up with the idea of trying to translate some of the same principles to a photographic project.

Ethiopia Rocks

Sun, dust, rock, wildlife and cries of Farenji!

Ethiopia is in the Horn of Africa, it is the oldest African independent country and it is 4.6 times larger than the UK. It covers 1.13 million km², and has the second largest population of any African country. It’s a country of extremes, with the fertile Omo Valley in the South, with an average annual rainfall of 1134mm, (in 2013 the UK’s average annual rainfall was 1091mm). The Danakil Depression in the North is –125m below sea level and one of the hottest places on earth, while Ras Dashen (the highest mountain in Ethiopia), is 4550m above sea level (just 260m below Mont Blanc). These differing weather conditions mean that it’s a great place for our Ethiopia Rocks 2014 team to test out the new Páramo Enduro and Ventura fleeces and windproofs, as although we saw some very hot weather, we also came across cool evenings, shady crags and rain showers.