Reindeer, Mountain Char & Super Noodles: ‘Gröna Bandet’ Stage 2

High summer days

 Mark Waring continues his 1,000 miles on foot across Sweden

The small village of Duved nestles amidst the mountains of Jämtland, in the summer it’s quiet as any ‘out-of-season’ ski resort. A few shops and bars lie below ski runs and lifts, with a sense of everything waiting for the return of snow. For me, it’s my first ‘town stop’. A chance for a ‘rest day’, an opportunity to eat properly, wash clothes and, importantly, to resupply for the next leg of my journey, another ten days through Sweden’s forests and mountains. Continue reading

The Little Owl in Britain

Little Owls are amazing birds. They’re only eight inches tall, yet they ooze so much personality. Their quirky behaviours are utterly charming and a sheer joy to watch. Many people are surprised to learn that this much loved owl is not native. Landowners successfully introduced the Little Owl into England during the 1880s; these were brought over from mainland Europe to control ‘garden pests’. After its initial and rapid spread across England and Wales, the Little Owl started to decline from the late 1930s. More recently, this decline has accelerated, with numbers down by 64% in 25 years.

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Reporting from ‘The Last Wild Race’

Patagonia Expedition Race 

As reporters on www.SleepMonsters.com, we end up in some far flung places covering expedition adventure races all over the globe. Even so, a recent trip to report on the Patagonian Expedition Race was something special, perhaps our biggest reporting challenge of all. Continue reading

Páramo wins Guardian Sustainable Business Award

David Bacci in PFC-free Páramo clothing on Ragni route of Mount Fitz Roy, Patagonia, January 2016

Páramo has been announced the winner of the ‘Bold Move’ category in the prestigious Guardian Sustainable Business Awards 2016, recognising the importance and impact of the British clothing company’s sign-up to the Greenpeace Detox Commitment in January 2016.

In January 2016 Páramo became the first outdoor company to sign up to Greenpeace Detox commitment, leading the outdoor industry in ensuring hazardous, persistent pollutants are excluded from textile production. The resulting publicity from this sign-up was linked with professional climber, David Bacci, successfully summiting Fitz Roy in Patagonia wearing PFC-free Páramo clothing.

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Flight of the Swans – the big Flight prep

Sacha over forest

 

There is nothing so magical as flight. If you’ve ever been asked what your preferred superpower would be, I bet it was high on your list. In September I will summon my inner superhero and begin the first ever attempt to follow the migration of Bewick’s swans from the air, flying 7,000km from the Russian Arctic back to Gloucestershire.

Unfortunately, I won’t have superpowers on my side. Instead I will be flying a paramotor – basically I will be dangling from a wing of fabric, with a propeller strapped to my back. Continue reading

1,000 miles on foot

Mark Waring tackles a Nordic wilderness walk – the 1,000 mile ‘Gröna Bandet’

First miles on good trail

In the midst of Borgafjäll, a remote mountain range in Sweden’s sub-arctic, I pitch camp after another long day’s hiking. The intention is an early bed, it’s been a hot day and I’ve covered around 35 kilometres carrying all I’ll need to live comfortably in Lapland’s wilderness for another 7 days.  Just as I almost fall asleep I am disturbed by the sound of an aircraft, at odds with my remote location. The Sámi are herding reindeer by helicopter!  Continue reading

Saving the albatross in comfort

OliYates-01The endeavours of ocean wanderers like the albatross never cease to amaze us. Perhaps it’s because we humans struggle to endure the mighty seas and freezing temperatures of the southern oceans where these birds thrive. For those who spend any time upon the raucous seas where albatrosses roam, it is a constant reminder of just how frail we are compared with the albatross which have perfected their physiology to cope with the harshest of environments. However, sometimes their adaptation works against them because they are so adept at foraging over vast distances that our presence in their habitat has become a threat to these seabirds. Continue reading

Páramo Sapiens – a winter climbing adventure

→">ParamoSapiens-01The day dawned clear and cold as we left the car park at Sligachan and took the path towards Sgurr Bhastier through iced up puddles crunching under foot. Following the right side of the Allt Dearg burn, we soon reached the snowed up slopes under the north face. A few days before I had been climbing on the lower buttress and had come across this excellent looking route, but armed only with nuts and a bulldog I decided we were not “hard” enough to attempt pure ice, so reluctantly left, but you know what happens in your mind… Continue reading