Our season started with a collaboration with our local Community Cinema, New Dot Cinema and ProAdventure sponsoring their showing of the film Mountain. The town hall was full to bursting with the big screen showing this visual delight.
Adventures at the Leading Edge
October brought Sarah McNair Landry and Erik Boomer across from the US with tales of some awe inspiring expeditions.
American professional white water paddler Erik Boomer, and Canadian polar adventurer Sarah McNair-Landry came and did a tour of the UK a few years ago detailing their recently completed a gruelling 65-day expedition across Baffin Island, covering over a 1000km by kayak, ski and foot.
Avoiding crevasses to cross the largest Icecap on Baffin Island, Boomer, Sarah and two friends descended into the Weasel River valley. Here, Boomer did a first descent of the class 5 glacier fed river surrounded by some of the world’s tallest cliffs. This was only the first week on a two-month expedition. It was an amazing lecture (and expedition).
Since then they have continued exploring and expeditioning. It is with good reason Erik was voted “expedition-er of the year” by National Geographic magazine.
Their latest trip – kite ski across Greenland towing kayaks to get to the river paddle this river, which “looked interesting on Google earth” from the glacier to the ocean. The film of this trip “into Twin Galaxies” was the winner of the peoples vote at both Banff and Kendal Mountain Film Festivals.
Sarah is very modest but has done many ground breaking polar trips and is a pioneer of expedition ski kiting.
The Women’s Euro-Arabian North Pole Expedition 2018
Misbah Khan presented her own story of the Women’s Euro-Arabian North Pole Expedition 2018.
An international team of women from across Europe and the Middle East successfully skied together to the North Pole in April 2018, despite being predominantly novices. The expedition aimed to foster greater dialogue and understanding between women from Western and Arabian cultures, as well as to inspire all women to reach beyond the expectation of others and fulfil their own life ambitions.
Misbah paints a picture of herself as an ordinary mother, but a long series of ever more ambitious trips brought her to the point where she undertook her trip skiing to the North Pole.
January 2019 – Our Locals Night
So in a packed room upstairs at the Bridge End Hotel we had the legendary adventurer Phil Blain. Phil was a pioneer of extreme paddling in North Wales and brought us tales of his pioneering open canoe descents of The Fairy Glen and Swallow falls. I’ve been wanting to see these for a couple of decades and they did not disappoint.
Robyn Lovelock told us about stage hiking the Appalachian Trail, including tales of snake bite in canyons and 10 day wilderness sections with no chance of escape.
Irene Evison calls herself a slow ultra runner and shared slides and stories of this years Cape Wrath Ultra. With a relaxed attitude Irene still ran over 200 miles in a week and fitted in the odd slap up lunch. Rather than run herself into the ground Irene took her time and enjoyed the scenery in the far north of Scotland.
Kylie Jones Mattock told us of her April bikepacking adventure the GR247 in Spain, enjoying excellent refugios, suspect route guides, repeated monster climbs and diversions through caves Steve and Kylie came home to tell their tale. You can read Kylie’s blog article at Vinyl Bear Clothing.
February 26th Triple Bill – Pete, Sarah & Tom
Pete Cornes dazzled us with stunning images and video of the Trans Madeira Bike Race. Five days of riding from above the clouds and down to the sea through stunning scenery and daily cloud inversions. With superb organisation this is a great week for the enduro enthusiast, with riders from slow and steady to world champions there for the craic.
Tom Laws shared stories from his 2018 ski mountaineering trip to Argentina. Although snow cover wasn't 100% the skiing looked amazing with a scary traverse over massive cliffs as their exit route from a high mountain refugio. The drone footage was spectacular, according to Tom if the drone is high enough it makes even the most mediocre skier look great.
Sarah’s cycling trip was a catalogue of broken bikes and expensive repairs along with many humorous anecdotes from a trip through rural France and on to Spaqin,
“5 years ago (aged 45) I cycled from UK to Barcelona solo on an ancient Peugeot bike I bought for £100 on eBay (starting bid had been 99p so I was disappointed to pay so much). The bike only lasted 2 days of the trip and I had to buy the cheapest bike I could find in Decathlon to continue. I had never cycled more than 30 odd miles before and was not a fit or adventurous person. I was a stand up comic at the time and wrote a comedy show about my trip which I performed for 22 days in a row at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
I will talk for about half an hour or so about the trip – not a comedy show but plenty of laughs and cock-ups and hopefully bit of inspiration that anyone can give stuff a go.” Sarah
Professionals Night – March 30th 2019
New for this winter talks season we are hosting a night of tales of adventure and daring do with hand picked (or shanghaied) adventurers who work in the great outdoors.
So far we have probables including,
Anthony Ing of Stand Up Paddle board UK
Tom Parker of Tom Parker – Coaching and Guiding
Aaron Kendall and Rob Hirst of Whitewater Active
Joshua O’Brien formerly of Llangollen Outdoors
Please pay or otherwise on the door. Bridge End Hotel, Llangollen 7:30pm
£5 donation without expectation.
London 2 London: via the World with Sarah Outen May 28th 2019
Sarah Outen is an adventurer by land and sea, bestselling author and motivational speaker. Keen to encourage people outside and enable young people to access adventure, she is a proud ambassador and patron of a number of charities. In November 2015 Sarah completed her most recent major expedition: London2London:Via the World, an attempt to row, cycle and kayak 25000 miles around the Northern Hemisphere. The journey took 4.5 years and was all the richer for not turning out exactly as planned.
Sarah will be sharing the story of her around the world woman powered journey with us here in Llangollen.
Tickets are £10 per person, there are currently tickets available on the door.