Promoting the benefits of UK mountains for mental health, Lake District (May 2018).
Fancy taking a step back and escaping to the mountains for a long weekend? In need of a recharge and some outdoor inspiration?
Put mind over matter and join an inclusive group of like-minded adventurers with our brand-new impact adventure: ‘Mind Over Mountains’, May 5-7, 2018, in partnership with Adversity Adventurer, Alex Staniforth.
With places limited to 20, Mind Over Mountains is a laid-back weekend of walking and talking this Spring, with plans to summit two of the Lake District National Park’s best-loved mountains (Skiddaw and Blencathra) and explore the local environment with a few surprises along the way. Curated by us and led by Alex Staniforth, this weekend is a unique, one-off opportunity not to be missed!
‘Mind Over Mountains’ aims to promote the benefits of UK mountains for mental and physical health, when 1 in 4 people in the UK now experience a mental health problem. By climbing mountains, we can put our minds over mountains – no pressure, no expectations, no worries!
The inclusive group will also get the opportunity look inward, to explore and discover themselves through an evening NLP workshop, enjoy wild cooking in good company, and learn about the Lakes (a UNESCO world heritage site) from passionate local experts. With accommodation at one of the most remote UK youth hostels (Skiddaw Bunkhouse), you will enjoy a fascinating weekend of truly getting away from it all and re-discovering direction, when our modern lives make little time for our mental and physical wellbeing.
Suitable for all abilities and ages (18+), the weekend’s highlights are themed around mental health and include:
- Two guided hikes into the Lake District National Park in Spring
- Wild cooking in good company
- Unheard talks from passionate and inspiring adventurers overcoming mental health challenges
- Learning about the outdoors and conservation in the Lakes, from passionate local experts
- Optional outdoor swims (or dips!)
- Workshops and skills to help you find new direction and options in life
- Two night’s accommodation in one of the UK’s most beautiful and remote youth hostels
- Other secret surprises throughout the weekend.. ssshh!
Day 1 – Saturday, 5th May
We will meet at Blencathra Field Centre for tea and coffee, with a chance to meet the Adventure Uncovered team, ask any questions and check kit if required. After a welcome talk, we will begin a gradual walk into the Glenderaterra Valley for approximately 3 miles, following a track beneath Blease Fell, with the shoulder of Skiddaw across to our left. We will be joined by a ranger from the centre who will show us some of their conservation projects and talk about the local environment as we walk into it.
At the head of the valley, we reveal our remote base-camp of YHA Skiddaw Bunkhouse. We will stash our kit for later, and continue a gradual stroll along the Cumbria Way and stop for a brew at the impressive Whitewater Dash Falls in this secluded area known as the Back o’ Skidda’. For those feeling up to it, we’ll climb the broad ridge of Birkett Edge towards Bakestall, reaching our first summit of the day. We follow a fence most of the way to the plateau of Skiddaw. The summit at 931m high is the sixth-highest in England, yet more forgiving and less-rugged than many of its Lakeland counterparts. We’ll sit back and enjoy unrestricted panoramic views as far as the Mourne Mountains of Northern Ireland (at least on a clear day!) before descending towards Sale How and a quick descent to the bunkhouse.
At 470m this is the highest hostel in Britain, with no mains electricity or phone signal. This former shooting lodge and shepherd’s bothy, complete with coal and log fires, offers simple but comfortable and cosy accommodation whilst feeling like you’re truly living in the mountains.
Day 2 – Sunday, 6th May
Our biggest day begins by crossing Salehow Beck and climbing the grassy west flank of Mungrisdale Common to the Cloven Stone feature. This is a rarely-trodden side of the mountain with intermittent paths that levels slightly onto the featureless expanse of Mungrisdale Common, our first summit of the day. We’ll approach the back of Atkinsons Pike and onto Blencathra (also known as Saddleback for its a saddle-like appearance). The true summit, marked by a small trig station at 868m, is smaller than Skiddaw, but its sheer scale and rugged high ridge line certainly make amends. From here we should enjoy far-reaching views over Keswick and most of the fells in the area.
We have a couple of descent options dependent on weather and how the group is feeling. We will descend to the bunkhouse via a Mungrisdale Common loop or over Bowscale Fell, visiting a tarn and enjoying Afternoon Tea with a difference en-route. Either way, we’ll be shadowed by the fells with Blencathra looming proudly behind us, giving us a chance to reflect on the day.
Day 3 – Monday, 7th May
We’ll enjoy the mountain views over a leisurely breakfast, pack up camp and continue for a gentle stroll back down the valley with a surprise or two on the way. Our legs might be glad that it’s almost all downhill from here! We’ll celebrate with cake and snacks at Blencathra Field Centre before departing for home.
*Please note this itinerary is subject to change up to and including the event weekend. The organiser reserves the right to adjust the schedule if necessary for safety reasons/factors beyond our reasonable control.
Not only will we be joined by our lead speaker, Adversity Adventurer Alex Staniforth throughout the event, but we’re delighted to announce other inspirational speakers and experts in the mental wellbeing, adventure and outdoor world below:
Alex is an Adversity Adventurer and Walk4Nepal Founder, ambassador, author and fundraiser from Chester. Aged 22, he is the fastest person ever to climb all 100 UK county tops in 72 days and has attempted to climb Mount Everest twice, being caught up in the 2015 Nepal earthquake. Through adventure challenges, he has raised over £85,000 for charities and founded the “Walk4Nepal” event raising funds for the Nepal earthquake victims. He is an ambassador for YHA England & Wales and ViewRanger, and is passionate about empowering others to change their mindsets towards adversity – putting their minds over mountains!
In this talk, Alex will introduce how the majestic allure of mountains and physical challenges has shaped his own difficult, yet incredibly successful journey from overcoming mental health difficulties, bullying, stammering and more to a mature and inspiring state of acceptance, humbleness, and gratitude for life.
Alex will explore and cover the following core issues and themes within his talk:
- Strategies for mental resilience
- Overcoming fear of failure
- Empowering other people
- Disaster on Everest.
Oli Broadhead (Young Adventurer, Photographer, and Writer)
Oli Broadhead is a 22-year-old adventurer, photographer, and writer. His most recent expedition entailed walking across Sumatra, conducting a biodiversity study of a previously unresearched rainforest, and attempting (read “failing”) to make the first ascent of the 3080m Mount Kurik.
Previous adventures include two months spent walking coast to coast across South India – living on 75p a day, sleeping in fields frequented by tigers, and facing the monsoon with no tent (his fault); and cycling solo to the Arctic circle through the fjords and forests of Norway.
Chris Spray (NLP Expert)
Chris formed Spring Coaching in 2012. The company has one mission, to help people find the resources and resilience they need to create change in their lives. Much of Chris’s practice revolves around taking people into the outdoors, to stretch them and experience how they can imagine new possibilities. Nature also often provides all the answers we need.
Chris has a supportive and engaging style that quietly and safely gets to the heart of a problem. His coaching practice is based around NLP (he is a certified trainer) and Transformational Narrative Coaching; reconnecting and making new sense of your life and its story. Chris is an outdoor fanatic having completed many “ultra” walks of over 200 miles and cycle tours. Last year Chris and his daughter Erin, who was 11, completed a 2,000km Lands End to John O Groats cycle. Chris is also a trustee of a charity called Crossroads that helps people make informed choices at critical moments in their lives.
Session 1 – What’s your story?
This will be a guided exercise where participants reconnect with their life story, remember what makes them unique, open the possibilities that are starting to become apparent to them and the things they’ve achieved already. This will help them to feel more positive, re-focused and excited about their journey ahead.
Session 2 – “Resource Treasure Hunt” – You have everything you need
We will use this helpful technique to “wire in” resourcefulness ahead of “stretching” situations we may encounter. When we prepare for a big event such as a challenging presentation, an interview or the first time doing something in a new job, it helps to be mindful of the great inner resources you’ve picked up through life that can help you deal with the current situation.
After using this exercise in pairs, you will be able to equally and effectively run through it alone before any challenging or big events you face back home.
Throughout the walks, Chris will run a few smaller exercises to think inwardly and help us to deal with challenging situations that we may face in life back home.
Emma Holland (Mountain Leader)
Emma is a qualified Mountain Leader who has a real passion for walking and exploring the hills and mountains of the UK. As a walk leader, Emma is known for the energy and enthusiasm that she shares with her groups, inspiring and encouraging them every step of the way.
When she’s not out walking, Emma works as a support worker within mental health and believes that everyone should have equal access to the outdoors, which she views as a therapeutic environment that enhances all aspects of health and well-being.
Emma particularly enjoys piecing together her own long distance walks using Youth Hostels or wild camps as a base en-route. She’s a keen birdwatcher, amateur naturalist and an experienced Equality and Diversity Trainer.
(Dad, Husband, Grandad, Just a normal guy with a passion for adventure and for helping others to realise their true potential).
Qualified Life coach, Mental Health First aider and Founder of @1Clearhead, a twitter page raising awareness of mental health and promoting wellness through mindfulness. Past sufferer of work-related stress & anxiety. Former Military survival coach, who loves being in the Mountains and has lead many adventurous team building experiences for civilian and military organisations.
Register your interest for Mind Over Mountains 2019.