Category Archives: Staff

Staff Bio – Clive Gibney

As a kid I loved being outside.

As a kid I loved being outside. “I’m going out do my work” I would say to my parents. Then proceeded to dig in the sand pit for hours, or build another den. I had limited access to technology then, however as I moved into my teens that changed and my life was consumed by Gears of War and Call of Duty. 

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Our Gear Story in 2018 – A year in the outdoors

Far too often, outdoor equipment is commoditised and starts it’s post-shelf life as ‘a good deal’. We’re all guilty of buying something on a whim because it looks cool and isn’t too pricey.

But to us at ProAdventure, providing great gear, great customer service and great advice is all a part of what we do (with the handy side effect that we make just enough money to get outdoors and enjoy ourselves too!).

When you buy something from ProAdventure, you are supporting a group of highly committed outdoors people, enthusiasts and professional and voluntary guides and coaches. We couldn’t do what we do without your purchases supporting our everyday financial needs, so thank you for loving to get outside and contributing to our fun too!

Here’s what you have helped make happen in 2018:

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Becoming A Rock Climber

Palms sweaty, legs trembling, bits of gear I had? fallen on an outward pull. I was clinging on hard at about 30ft, knuckles white, fumbling to get a piece of pro in. I was shaking so hard I couldn’t place a wire, nothing would stick, F***, dropped them, dropped the effing wires! Precariously balanced on my foot, I somehow retrieved them, too late, I was PUMPED! I’d contracted Elvis leg and for that moment I thought this is it. I’d reached the brink, so I relaxed, in my head I had already fallen. I clipped the nuts to my harness, leg still shaking erratically, and stepped up on to the other leg. After that I just kept climbing, bold side pulls and smears I easily made it to the top. It was probably the smoothest I had ever climbed but I didn’t return to climbing until my Rock Climbing Instructor training.

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Log Rafting in Sweden and Skiing Under Concrete

Torsby Ski Tunnel Map
Torsby Ski Tunnel Map

In May 2010 we were invited to the Outdoor Academy of Scandinavia, hosted by the Varmland Region in Sweden.

We flew into Norway and met the fantastic OAS crew at the airport then jumped in a coach and headed off to Torsby just over the border in Sweden. Our first taste of cross country skiing was in the Summer, in a concrete tunnel, a 1500m loop used for summer training by athletes from all over Europe.

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Via Ferrata Les Bettieres near Bourg Saint Maurice

Les Bettieres

A Vertical Section on Via Ferrata Les Bettieres
A Vertical Section on Via Ferrata Les Bettieres

 

This Via Ferrata is in a village called Peisey Nancroix which is a 40 minute drive from Bourg Saint Maurice.  You park in an obvious car park with toilet block on the left, near a mountain refuge, just keep going up the valley and you will find the car park, go to far and the road soon becomes a dirt track. Cross the river on the foot bridge and follow the sign to the right, soon you swing left along a tree line and follow the sighed footpath to the foot of the climb. It has three different levels in three parts and is suitable for climbers of all abilities. It ascends from 1610 m to 1910 m and offers spectacular views.  We climbed the first two sections in August 2015 and finished the job in August 2016. The first two sections have some great vertical sections and a 20 foot monkey bridge, the rock is solid with good holds or gear everywhere you need them, fantastic views and a lovely vertical section.

The third section has a short overhang with an alternative route to the right which skirts around the overhang and rejoins the cable above. This means you can do the top section in an easier way than the bottom two, or be brave and do the overhang.

The decent from the top is via a descending via ferrata to the left then a steep fairly rough zig zag path through the woods.

Escape from top of the first section is via cable and path to the right. To exit above the second section the cable goes left and down the zig zag path.

The first time we did this we went around 9/10 in the morning, it got very hot. In 2016 we left the car park at 7am and got back down around 11 with that super smug feeling that you were first on the mountain and saw the sun come up on the mountains, much better and we also had time left for the Via Ferrata Roc Du Vent in the afternoon.

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Sticks and Water – an Introduction to Canoe Slalom

I am the eldest daughter of ProAdventure patrons Lesley and Peter, and I have just succeeded in gaining promotion to the Premier Division of canoe slalom in Britain.

Canoe slalom is one of two Olympic disciplines of canoeing, the other being sprint canoe (yawn). It is essentially a time trial, and the winner is the person who gets down the course in the least time, with the least penalty seconds added.

Racing on the mighty Tryweryn
Racing on the mighty Tryweryn

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Meet Gabs, yachtswoman, adventure racer, private chef and wild swimmer

GabsGabs is really Gabrielle, but as she is moves at a million miles an hour she thinks it’s poor use of time to have such a long name.

Gabs spent her early days shooting with her dad and learning outdoor skills. She spent a decade working overseas as a Chef in the Caribbean on yachts in her 20s and in her spare time racing smaller faster boats out there. (J24s and J27s if that means anything to you.)

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