Archive for the ‘Raise funds for the charity of your choice’ Category

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London to Paris bike ride – you know you want to….

Our London to Paris bike ride is an experience not to be missed.  It’s a classic journey and a great cycling challenge. We begin our journey in Greenwich before heading out of London and into the rolling Kent countryside. Our second day of cycling takes us into the rural landscape of northern France and through some beautiful and varied scenery. Cycling along mainly minor roads and quiet lanes, we will just over 275 miles during the 4 days. We finish our challenge in the heart of Paris at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, and then have some time to explore this great city before celebrating our achievements over dinner.

Taking part in our London to Paris bike ride is one of the very best ways of experiencing the beauty of both the English and French countrysides, and what an amazing sense of achievement on completion!

“I knew why we wanted to do it, raise money for our chosen charity, Cancer Research. We had all been affected by recent deaths so it seemed the right thing to do. What fun I thought, and yes it was but also hard work. Thank goodness for the training we had put in!!

The whole event was amazing. The route [apart from getting out of London] was great and well planned out and signaled. The Across the Divide team were truly sensational and nothing was too much trouble. We all had an amazing event and will definitely look to do another one in 2012!!”   Clive Moxham, 2011 London to Paris cyclist

Join us in 2012

Everest Marathon part 4 – Altitude

With a busy events season now drawing to a close and October striking, we are drawing a deep breath, and setting our sites to focus hard on marathon training for the next month.

Our last week has been spent in Ireland and between family commitments and catching up with friends, we’ve managed a couple of runs in the Mourne mountains, Co.Down  and Connemara, Co.Galway. Nice to change things up a bit and with distances progressing nicely it is looking more likely that the distance is achievable. Another factor, largely out of our control that will undoubtedly affect our performance on the day but hopefully not forbid our participation is altitude.

The main difference between running the Everest Marathon and a marathon in the hills of the UK is the effect of altitude. The higher you go, the air is less concentrated and so there is less oxygen. With less oxygen available, your lungs and heart have to work harder, and without proper acclimatisation serious illness, or worse, can result.  The effect of altitude starts to become noticeable for most people from around 2500 metres (approximately 7000 feet plus). With the Everest Marathon starting at 5000 metres (over 16000 feet) it is going to be very hard work even though we should be well acclimatised!


Everest Marathon blog – part 3

Hello All,

Back for a quick update. Training continues to go well – battered out 16miles in the Chilterns today, so hopefully on track. Starting to consider giving up booze (poor will power on that one so far), giving up coffee (even worse will power), sorting out nutrition (eating as much as possible) and getting plenty of sleep (that’ll be the day working in the events world!), all in the name of training.

Just a bit of info on our fundraising! This wasn’t really our main priority in setting ourselves the goal of running the Everest marathon – more the lust to travel and have an achievable goal ahead to train for. Neither Patrick nor I really enjoy sticking our necks out and asking for cash, but Bufo ventures (the Everest Marathon organisers) recommended setting up a Virgin money giving page and we thought we would give it a go! The result has been astonishing and we have been both overwhelmed by people’s generosity and support of our endeavours and three very worthwhile causes.


Dog sledding in the Arctic Circle

 Join us on the experience of a lifetime! Our dog sledding trip takes you through the Norwegian wilderness and deep into the Arctic Circle. You will have your own team of huskies to work with, as you travel across this region’s deep snow and frozen lakes. Accommodation will be in heated cabins, some with the option of a sauna in the evening.

2012 also looks set to be one of the best times to view the legendary Northern Lights. NASA has forecast that the Northern Lights will shine at their brightest levels for 50 years due to increased solar particle activity, and the far north of Norway is one of the best places in the world to see this amazing phenomenon.

Trip of a lifetime. Loved every moment. Tim, dog sledder Feb 2008.

Thanks for the most amazing week here in Norway. The trip surpassed all expectations. Excellent company, great food and surprisingly comfortable accommodation. John, Open dog sledder 2010


Just Walk photographers tell us why they love the event so much

On the 7th of May we were shooting for the second year at the amazing Just Walk event at Goodwood racecourse.  This event is a charity walking event run by Across the Divide, under the “Just Events” banner.  These events are organised by Across the Divide, and groups or individuals take part to raise money for a variety of charites.  We shot as this event for the first time last year, and were quite amazed by the whole thing!

Last year we turned down the organisers offer of staying on site the night before, which was a mistake, so this year the friday night saw our photogrpahy team converging on Goodwood from various places across the Midlands and London, and being hosted by the wonderfully friendly ATD staff, complete with barbecue and beer!

At six the next morning the campsite came to life with people begining to set up the registration area in the grandstand for the first walkers to arrive.  Those taking part in the 40km and 60km routes arrived, had breakfast, warmed up (complete with music and fitness instructor) and set off at 08:00.


Trekker of the month – Alan Chamley

Alan is our trekker of the month.  He is a truly inspirational man he has taken part in three overseas challenges and has never let his disability get the better of him.

  • What made you want to do a charity challenge

The chance to travel to places that I had not considered before.  I’d never been beyond package holidays.  To go to the Sahara Desert, then Namibia, was something other people did.  With Iceland, lots of people will say it’s a place they would visit,  though most just don’t get around to it. 

  • How many have you done


  • Which was your favourite?

They are like children; I like each for different reasons, and can’t really choose.  I guess the first is extra special.  Namibia, where we built school playground equipment and took part in some school classes, had the special element of giving help to a community.       

  • Which charity did you raise funds for and reasons why

RP Fighting Blindness – the charity’s main purpose is to raise funds for research into finding cures and treatment for the eye condition retinitis pigmentosa, which I have myself.  The Charity also focuses on information and support to individuals and families affected by RP, via its Helpline service, for which I do a weekly session. 


Everest Marathon blog part 2 – The Trek and Race Day itself!

It’s been about one month since our previous blog and, despite being away working on various cycling events overseas, training has been going well! We have completed training runs locally in the Chiltern hills and slightly further afield, enjoying the UK’s many varied mountain areas e.g Brecon Beacons training run (see image). I thought I would take the opportunity to tell you a little more about the Jiri to Namche Bazaar trek and the Everest Marathon route itself.

In early Nov Patrick and I will set off ahead of the main Everest Marathon pack (possibly the only time that we will be ahead of them!) and get a rickety bus from Kathmandu to Changma and trek from Jiri  to Namche Bazaar. In Namche we will meet the rest of the gang who will have flown Kathmandu to Lukla.  The Jiri to Namche trek will take 8 days and should be excellent training as it traverses the valley systems of the lower Khumbu and therefore provides lots of ups and downs! View the route.

By the time we reach Namche  we will be at 3440m and will have an acclimatisation day before setting off on the trek to Everest Base Camp via Gokyo Lakes. View the route.

Finally, on 2nd Dec 2011 we will attempt the 26 mile run from Gorak Shep back to Namche Bazaar and hopefully the Everest Marathon shall be complete! View the route  .

From there it is a flight from Lukla back to Kathmandu for fine dining and a knees up before flying home, well…..that’s the plan anyway.

Why book with Across the Divide

We know that price is almost everything in this day and age and we understand that, but we are not budging on our values.   We have very high safety standards which means that we are not always the cheapest option, but we are one of the safest. We endeavour to have a UK medic on every trip, and provide up to date medical equipment and the latest in technologies out in the field.  We never compromise on our safety standards and we hope you’ll take this into account when choosing your overseas or UK challenge operator.

We recently asked a few key clients why they booked with us and these were some of their responses…..

  • You are very trustworthy
  • We know how much you value safety on the treks and appreciate the importance you place on this (i.e. a doctor on all treks, taking an extra day to ensure everyone gets to the Kili summit etc)
  • You help us to create the itineraries that we want and that sell so well to our corporate supporters.
  • Your in-country partners are usually fantastic
  • You send great teams of Expedition Leaders, Guides and Doctors on our Challenges – who pretty much always get excellent feedback from participants.
  • Your office staff are very responsive – I feel we have an excellent relationship and that you always get back to us promptly and add value wherever you can.
  • All of you are very friendly, approachable and experienced.
  • You really look after our participants well 
  • You are a small but committed team and we really appreciate that and the fact that we know you all – we know who to speak to about which element of the trek and appreciate getting the same familiar (expert!) voice 
  •  The knowledge that we have a fully qualified doctor who is trained to deal with emergencies in extreme environments is a huge comfort when taking 40 supporters of the charity abroad.
  • The ATD trip leaders really take all the stress and pressure off the charity staff members.  They run the projects extremely efficiently and are excellent at dealing with all situations whether it is an emergency or dealing with difficult participants.  The support provided at the information evening is also hugely appreciated and really helps to reassure any nervous or high maintenance participants.

So if you are speaking to your current overseas challenge supplier make sure you check about UK staffing ratios, if they supply a medical kit and what’s in it, and if a UK Doctor is on the trip.  These are key values which we know our clients appreciate over cost.

In Praise of Porters! By Claire Langford AKA…ATD Travel Writer

Those of you who have taken part in any of our high altitude treks will know the feeling: you’re short of breath, legs feel like lead, and you’ve slowed to a mere shuffle. Then a group of porters pass you, carrying at least four times the load that you are, yet moving at four times the speed!

The work that porters do is often key to the success of a trek, and yet not all operators recognise this. On Kilimanjaro in particular, local crews carry loads of up to 25kg up the mountain, before pitching tents, setting up the dining tent and catering area, collecting and boiling water and preparing a hearty meal for the trekkers.  They often still find the energy to sing and dance, to welcome the group into camp!

At Across the Divide we are committed to the fair treatment of porters on Kilimanjaro, and work closely with our local agent, Good Earth Tours, to improve the working conditions of porters on the mountain and ensure that they receive a fair wage for their work. We are therefore delighted to announce that we recently became a Partner for Responsible Travel with the International Mountain Explorer’s Connection (IMEC). IMEC created the Partnership for Responsible Travel Program to recognize those tour operators committed to fair treatment of porters on Kilimanjaro. In order to become a partner you must consistently meet IMEC’s guidelines for proper porter treatment on Kilimanjaro: this is monitored by IMEC’s local initiative, the Kilimanjaro Porters’ Assistance Project.


ATD Guide takes on the Everest Marathon

Jen Sinclair – ATD guide is training for the Everest marathon Dec 2011

Welcome to my first blog about the Everest Marathon! Why am I doing it? I’m sure half way through I’ll be asking myself the same question! The event has been on my radar since I spent three months in Nepal and Tibet back in 2006, I decided this year was the year. I’m running the event with my boyfriend Patrick; we’re both keen fitness enthusiasts but wanted a goal in training. To aim for this unique and challenging endurance event whilst also incorporating a trek in this stunning part of the world, fitted the bill perfectly.