OUR TREKKING EXPERTS ARE IN-STORE AWAITING YOUR QUESTIONS
In the UK we are blessed with some incredible natural countryside, and it stands to reason that walking and hiking is a favourite past time for many outdoor enthusiasts. Our shop staff are no exception, and most of our stores have a few keen trekkers on the books. If you need a new pair of walking boots, or you just want to swap ideas about great places to hike both in the UK and elsewhere, find a trekking expert near you and visit their store.
Dean first visited the mountains when he went on a school outing to an activity centre in Snowdon, which inspired him to plan a trip to scale all of Snowdon’s 14 peaks shortly after his exams. He then went on to join the mountain club at Univeristy, which took him on frequent expeditions across the Scottish highlands.
Starting out with hill walks, Dean is now an experienced Munro bagger and enjoys solo bothying weekends, grade 2-3 scrambling and winter climbing, so if you need advice about where to go and what to take with you for a trekking trip in the UK, come in and talk to Dean.
Glen Coe, Scotland. “Glen Coe is great because not only is it beautiful, there are so many options, depending on what you want to do you can plan walking, climbing, scrambling and mountaineering routes all within a fairly small radius.”
Store: MILTON KEYNES TREK
Walking expert Simon has been hitting paths and trails since he left school. Over the past ten years, he has been gradually turning his attention to steeper and steeper terrain, and has extensive knowledge of mountain walking and scrambling throughout the UK. Simon is now working towards his mountain leader qualification.
Simon has completed many multi day treks in central Asia and the foothills of the Hindu Kush, but admits it can a little dangerous at times: "I once found myself in an uncharted minefield in central Asia, which required a very careful retracing of my route!"
Wales, UK. "My favourite destination for walking is, and always has been Wales. The scenery of north wales and the more challenging aspects of the beacons. "
Setting off on the right foot, trekking Expert Kirstie took her very first steps on Scotland's rugged and beautiful Isle of Skye. A self-proclaimed 'outdoor hardgirl', Kirstie relishes the extremes, and loves to head out on the trail when the weather is unleashing blizzards, heat-waves or torrential rain. This gives her a fantastic insight into the performance of kit and gear requirements in the great outdoors.
In the summer months, Kirstie spends a lot of time at her static caravan in the Val d'Anniviers area of the Swiss Alps, and last summer spent time trekking and mountain biking through Eastern Europe. When she's not braving the elements, Kirstie is a budding illustrator and writer, taking inspiration from her alpine wanderings.
Isle of Skye, Hebrides. "The mountains are untamed and wild. Its a stunning isle to visit anytime of the year. Every mountain is worth conquering as the views are aewsome from the top!"
Store: COVENT GARDEN
Elena has only just arrived in the UK but we’re really pleased that she chose to come and work in one of our shops, because she brings with her a wealth of outdoor sports experience and knowledge, which she gained growing up in her home in Seville, Spain.
The Andalucia region draws visitors from far afield due to the huge diversity of its terrain, and Elena was lucky enough to live on its doorstep, where she started trekking at an early age, then gradually progressed to skiing, canyoning, climbing and mountaineering. If you’re planning any kind of mountain holiday in Spain, then be sure to come in and talk to Elena – she spent the last 7 years in Spain working for a mountain outdoor activities company, when she was able to spend literally every day out in the hills hiking and climbing.
Elena struggled to name a favourite destination, because mountains are so different and each place offers different attractions. Andalucia will always stay close to her heart as it's a region that she knows so well, and a recent trip canyoning and climbing in the Caceres region was one of her favourites so far, where the scenery was breathtaking.
Climbing Expert/Trekking Expert
Store: ST. PAUL'S
Jose has only been in England for a short time, and has yet to explore the famous British countryside, but if you’re planning a trip to Spain, and in particular Andalucia, then you should make it a priority to come and talk to him. Brought up in a small village near Seville, the mountains were never far away, which led Jose to try out mountain biking at an early age and abseiling at the age of 13.
Studying physical education became a big part of Jose's like, and he went on from secondary school to do a PE degree, then a Masters in outdoor sports. The countryside and mountains in Sierra Nevada offered huge varieties of terrain, where Jose soon became an expert climber, and found a natural playground that allowed to him practice his favourite sport – canyoning. He is currently keen to go to Chamonix to explore the French Alps, but as he points out every outdoor activity can be practiced within Andalucia, and all within a 3 hour drive of each other.
Picos de Europa, and Madeira, Spain. For climbing, Naranjo de Bulnes, in Picos de Europa, Asturias. This is a huge limestone peak in the Spanish National Park that has amazing climbing routes on the West and North faces. For canyoning, it has to be Madeira Island, off the coast of Portugal. Simply the best canyoning in Europe.
Store: THE NORTH FACE SHEFFIELD
James got in to hiking with his family at a young age, before joining scouts and moving on to bigger and more difficult routes. As a teenager he joined the Royal Marine Cadets, and he is still a member now. Through the Cadets he's learnt a lot about the great outdoors, and how to get the most out of it, through courses in field craft, wild camping and adventure training in Germany (consisting of multi activities from climbing to skiing) to name a few.
He recently undertook the summer Mountain Leadership course at Plas-y-Brenin, which gave him some great experience in leading groups on overnight camping trips involving navigation work, rope work and equipment training.
It's fair to say that if you've got queries about any hiking or camping kit, James will be able to offer good advice. He’s currently working on his mountain leader assessment, which means he needs to rack up 40 mountain days, and he's planning them across Snowdon and the Scottish Highlands.
Bavarian Alps, Austria. During his training with the Cadets, James did a 'Klettersteig' day in the Bavarian Alps, which meant he gained a lot of new experiences in a short space of time, in a fantastic alpine location. He was climbing and scrambling with fully trained Marines, and members of the public with hardly any experience, so the trip offered huge variety.
Walking & Climbing Expert
Store: MILTON KEYNES TREK
With a 4 year degree in Adventure Education and all the training needed for her summer Mountain Leader certification, Jade Dicerbo is more than qualified as a walking and climbing expert.
Jade has only a few more days needed to log for both her Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award and her ML assessment, so has all the experience you could wish for when seeking advice for mountain gear.
Jade truly understands the value of a well-fitted walking boot after a mishap on her Duke of Edinburgh expedition: "I once lost a walking boot in a bog and had to walk to the next campsite with one shoe on! My Top tip? Make sure you get your boots fitted properly!"
Wales, UK. "I love going on expeditions around the UK especially Scotland. It's so, so beautiful and has so many great areas to explore. Wales is also a personal favourite, having completed ML training in Snowdonia, I’ll always enjoy trekking around there. "
Trekking & Camping Expert
Malcolm has been trekking in the UK for many years, spending a lot of time with youth club camps in the Lake District. In 2000 he went to America during which he trekked in the White mountains of Vermont. Malcolm also love to get out on his mountain bike.
Spending most of his time in the Lake District, but equally at home all around the UK, Malcolm has managed to complete the 3 Peaks Challenge 5 times!
During this time Malcom has used a lot of different products gaining knowledge on what works best.
Having experienced bad health problems, but not wanting to be slowed down, Malcolm found that the equipment we have, has aided him to carry on with activities as he did before he was ill which he's found that communicating this to customers reassures them with the choice they have made.
I have two favourite destinations, the Lake District and Fort William both have amazing are-as for my two favourite activities, trekking and mountain biking. One of my aims for this season is to get out and spend as much time as I can doing my favourite activities. I also plan to extend my knowledge in snowboarding as I recently had my very first lesson which was an awesome experience."
Trek & Travel Expert
Store: ST. PAUL'S
Trek and travel pro Hannah has been joining the dots of the world atlas for over ten years. With extensive experience backpacking around Europe, Asia and Africa, she knows what to expect, what to take and how to prepare for any adventure.
Of all her journeys, a two week trek in the Himalayas when she was sixteen remains the apex of her jet-setting career.
Brecon Beacons, Wales. 'The first and still the favourite! Though have recently got to explore the Lake District so it’s a close one.
Aims for this season? There are plenty of places in the UK I am yet to explore and top of the hitlist is the Yorkshire Dales'.