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The launch of the Canal & River Trust

We are delighted for our friends at The Canal & River Trust which takes over from British Waterways and The Waterways Trust in England and Wales.   They now are looking after our historic waterways in England and Wales, which is over 2,000 miles of historic canals and rivers .  The Trust hopes to get more communities involved in their local waterways.  

The Trust is holding it’s first fundraising challenge event – a Euro Cities Bike Ride , which sets off on the 31st August.  We hope that we can continue to work with the Trust for many years to come with their fundraising challenges and wish them all the very best.

To mark its launch, the Trust has unveiled its first appeal, 50 projects across the nation that will breathe new life into towpaths and riverbanks.  By pledging money or time people can get involved in projects such as creating new habitat for rare water voles, planting linear orchards for people and wildlife, and restoring neglected towpaths.  To see a list of the appeal projects, learn how to become a Friend of the Canal & River Trust and find out how you can get involved visit


A great dog sledding video from our recent corporate trip with npower

Dogsledding for charity above the Arctic Circle is one of our most popular challenges for both charities, individuals and companies looking to engage with their employees in a novel and adventurous manner.

Spending a week caring and working with your dog team exploring the stunning beauty of Northern Norway, where with luck you will sleep under the Northern Lights, this really is an amazingly different charity adventure

Join us on our next fundraising dogsled adventure!

Join the Bobby Moore Fund in Brazil as they help to construct a new school in the remote community

The Bobby Moore Fund raises money for research into bowel cancer.   Stephanie Moore MBE established the Bobby Moore Fund, in partnership with Cancer Research UK, in 1993.   The Fund was set up in memory of Stephanie’s late husband, legendary footballer Bobby Moore, who sadly died from bowel cancer aged just 51.

This September the Booby Moore Fund head out to Brazil for 10 days to to construct a new school in the remote farming community of Corrente.   The original school building collapsed in 2008, and since then the region has been in desperate need of a dedicated school building, including two classrooms, a kitchen and bathroom.  Project Brazil promises to be an incredibly rewarding trip that will provide memories to last a lifetime.

Stephanie Moore MBE, Bobby Moore’s widow and founder of the Bobby Moore Fund, said:   “I have taken part in several Projects and found them to be the most rewarding experiences of my life. The help that is being given in these remote areas is vital for the local people to be able to remain in their village, and the money raised through the participants’ fantastic fundraising efforts is hugely important to the work of the Bobby Moore Fund.”

To book click here.


My volunteering day by Luci Ridout

Luci Ridout, our Charity Events Administrator recently took part in a project at Ham Hill CountryPark just outside Yeovil.  She gives us an idea of her experience below.

Way back in December, I took part in a day’s project work at Ham Hill Country Park.  It’s a monthly project aiming to clear areas of scrub land with the Park.

The project is run by BTCV (, a charity set up in 1959 with a background in environmental conservation through volunteer work.

I chose to volunteer at Ham Hill Country Park as it’s a place that our family frequently visit and I wanted to give something back, as the old cliché goes!


Kilimanjaro – Why Pay More?

As a company we place a lot of emphasis on the safety of our treks, and are not prepared to compromise on the safety of our clients in order to keep our prices in line with other operators who do not offer a product of a similar quality.

We have spent the last 5 years working with our Tanzanian local agent and our medics to bring our Kilimanjaro ascent profile as close to that recommended by the British Mountaineering Council as possible, without making the trip prohibitively expensive. We added an extra 2 days to the itinerary to allow more time for trekkers to acclimatise, and have found that this has greatly increased our summit success rate. We have also changed our staffing ratio from 1 ATD staff member for every 15 participants, to 1 ATD staff member for every 10 participants. We have also worked to become members of the IMEC Partnership for Responsible Travel by meeting the porter protection guidelines set by the Kilimanjaro Porter’s Assistance Project.

Across the Divide does not claim to be the cheapest operator of Kilimanjaro treks, but we do pride ourselves on being one of the safest operators on the mountain. If you are looking at other suppliers who offer a cheaper Kilimanjaro trek than we do. I would ask that you consider the following points before making a decision as to which operator to use:

  1. We take 7 days to summit which is 1 day more than our competitors. This makes us more expensive than those who offer a shorter itinerary; however the additional day allows participants more time to acclimatise and therefore dramatically increases their chances of summiting.
  2. We ascend the mountain using the Rongai Route on the north-eastern side of the mountain which, unlike some of the other routes, retains a true sense of wilderness. The Rongai Route benefits from fewer trekkers (usually one-tenth of those on the Marangu  – or “Coca-Cola” -  trail, which is the route that Classic Tours take) and is generally considered to be one of the easiest of the quality routes on the mountain. We believe that by taking 7 days to climb the mountain via the Rongai Route, we offer the best chance of summiting and are confident that this is the best choice for those looking for a quality Kilimanjaro experience with the least chance of difficulties.
  3.  We have a ratio of 1 member of ATD staff per 10 participants. Any staff we send on Kilimanjaro treks have prior altitude experience. This helps to dramatically reduce the risk of serious injury or death due to altitude related illnesses. We also carry a fully-equipped high altitude medical kit inc. oxygen and a Gamov bag, which allows for the immediate treatment of life-threatening cerebral and pulmonary oedema, reducing the risk of death. I would clarify the situation with regards to  other suppliers participant-to-staff ratio and their use of “volunteer doctors”.
  4.  We have a 100% safety record on the mountain, even with some incidences of serious illness, including one participant who had a suspected heart attack at 5,600 metres.  Our doctors have saved the lives of people trekking with other operators that did not have the same high level of support.  We believe we offer the highest level of medical support should you fall ill on the trek.
  5.  Our summit success rate for 2011 is 93%, with 97.5% of trekkers reaching Gilman’s Point (on the rim of the volcano). 2 of our trips this year have had a 100% summit success rate: the average for Kilimanjaro is just 42%. We believe that the quality of our staff and the time we have built into the itinerary for acclimatisation contribute to our high success rate.
  6.  We care about porter protection and we ensure that local staff are paid a fair wage.  We are proud to be a member of the International Mountain Explorers Connection’s Partnership for Responsible Travel Program which recognizes those tour operators committed to fair treatment of Kilimanjaro porters. I note that not all operators are not a member of the porter protection / responsible travel programme.
  7.  We use a local agent with 30 years’ experience.
  8.  Our groups fly into Kilimanjaro Airport, saving 7 hours of overland transfers.  This means that participants have more chance to recover from their longhaul flight before starting the trek, leading to a better chance of summiting.

We strongly believe that budget is not necessarily best when it comes to climbing Kilimanjaro. Whilst we could reduce our costs by losing the acclimatisation days, reducing our staffing levels, using a local agent who does not meet porter protection guidelines, and so on, we will not compromise on the safety of our trekkers, and feel that we offer a quality, ethical trek at a reasonable cost.

Book your trip of a lifetime to Kilimanjaro with Across the Divide



Guest blogger – James Chesters

It can be hard to keep yourself motivated when you’re training on your own, but Across the Divide has provided me with a helpful guide to preparing for the Arctic Circle, and while I’m working hard with my fundraising I also need to be working equally hard on improving my fitness.  What better way to prepare than joining a running club?

Run Dem Crew was formed in east London in 2007 by a runner and writer called Charlie Dark — less than five years on the running club he started has more than 100 members, with some now forming spin-off groups in other parts of the capital.


Everest Marathon – final blog post

Final countdown for the trip now! The training is almost complete, whilst Patrick has been battering his way to the top of Kilimanjaro, I have been trotting endlessly about the oxygen rich air of the Chilterns. Hard to know which effort will hold us in greatest stead for the race day but at the moment our focus has turned to packing and kit.

So what to take? We are in the happy position that we only need our trekking kit from Jiri to Namchee Bazaar, where we will meet the rest of the Everest Marathon team. They will bring our bags of running kit to Namchee. Always a bonus to be met half way with extra snacks, toiletries and a layer or two. We’ll also have porters from there….pure luxury!  See below for full trekking list.


Children in Need’s Rickshaw challenge with Across the Divide

We are delighted to announce that we are working on a fantastic new event, The One Show Rickshaw Challenge for BBC Children in Need, launched this evening.

ATD will of course making sure Matt Baker from The One Show has all the support he needs as he cycles the rickshaw from Edinburgh to London.

Matt will embark on his arduous journey on the morning of Friday 11th November from Edinburgh Castle Esplanade and will attempt to complete the marathon 484 mile journey to the BBC in London, finishing live on The One Show’s Children in Need special on Friday 18th November on BBC One.

The One Show will go live to Hawick on Friday 11th November, the first stop in Matt’s Rickshaw Challenge. The programme will greet him live on air every weeknight as Matt crosses the finishing line at each location. Every day viewers will be able to follow Matt’s progress online at the BBC Children in Need website and on Twitter at @BBCCiN, @bakermattbaker and #CiNrickshaw, as he travels onwards from Hawick to Hexham, Barnard Castle, York, Lincoln, Peterborough, Cambridge and finally London.

Throughout the challenge, Matt will be picking up passengers along the way, these will be a variety of surprise guests and Children in Need’s very own Pudsey. He will brave the harsh winter elements and battle steep hills, to cycle his rickshaw for up to ten hours each day and burn up to 9000 calories daily.

Route Summary

Day 1 Edinburgh to Hawick 53.5 Miles

Day 2 Hawick to Hexham 59.2 Miles

Day 3 Hexham to Barnard Castle 49.0 Miles

Day 4 Barnard Castle to York 70.6 Miles

Day 5 York to Lincoln 78.0 Miles

Day 6 Lincoln to Peterborough 73.2 Miles

Day 7 Peterborough to Cambridge 41.0 Miles

Day 8 Cambridge to London 59.3 Miles

We are delighted to be involved in this event we’ll be updating our social media outlets and blog on a regular basis to follow their progress.  Good Luck Matt and all the ATD team.

To Donate £5, text “MATT” to 70705, texts cost £5 plus one standard rate message, £5 will go to BBC Children in Need.  Go to for full terms and conditions You must be over 16 and ask the bill payer’s permission.

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!