Yosemite: High Sierra Loop | Adventure

Yosemite: High Sierra Loop

Mount Hoffman rises from the forests of Yosemite like a stone titan. From its steep and dauntingly exposed 11,000-foot summit the Sierra Nevada Mountains unfold before me in a panoramic of swirling granite peaks, like waves frozen in a storm, sunbeams break over the sheer face of El Capitan and the cracked edifice of Half Dome cuts like a shark’s fin through the mist of the valley below. Yosemite is the crown jewel of America’s National Parks, one of the most recognisable and stunning landscapes on Earth. But it is something more than that too.

read more…

Colorado: Cliff Camping | Adventure

Colorado: Cliff Camping

I am hanging from a cliff, 500ft above the ground, in the middle of the night, with nothing to occupy my thoughts but pitch black air, bare rock walls and a dose of vertigo strong enough to cower a harpy eagle. I should be sleeping; I’ve been trying for hours. But six billion years of evolutionary common sense is keeping my pupils dilated to a steady panic. Some fears, I realise in sudden horrific clarity, are too primal to be conquered. They must be endured.

read more…

Iceland: Into the Volcano | Adventure

Iceland: Into the Volcano

As I stand on the edge of the volcano these words echo in my mind – “to descend into the interior of a canon … when perhaps it is loaded, and will go off at the least shock, is the act of a madman.”  So begins the ‘Journey to the Centre of the Earth’ described in Jules Vernes 1864 novel, and so too begins my own. I am about to do something truly extraordinary. I am about to go inside a volcano. read more…

Scotland: River Nevis Race | Adventure

Scotland: River Nevis Race

I am standing on the edge of a thundering 40ft waterfall with an inflatable pool Lilo in my hand, a swirling mass of white-water beneath my feet and a man telling me to jump.  This is the defining moment of the River Nevis Race – an annual bout of Scottish lunacy which sees competitors fling themselves down a two mile stretch of white-water rapids with nothing but a novelty inflatable device for company. read more…