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Tag Archives: Expeditions

The first school exped of 2017, setting the year alight!

We recently had the pleasure of working with staff and students from First Point School, Dubai, on their Duke Of Edinburgh International Award Silver and Bronze adventurous journeys. Together with Camps International, we visited the Tsavo area of Kenya where the students planned and undertook group hikes and wild camps over three days and two nights.

Because of the nature of the terrain and lack of local maps, each team was accompanied by a local ranger who acted as a “silent guide” only showing the way and providing no other support or advice, except security.

Pupils from First Point School, Dubai, embarking on Day 1 of their adventurous journey

The students had no access to purpose built campsites and wild camped at pre set locations, cooking local foodstuffs on open wood fires.

Students collected wood and cooked local food on open fires.

The “A” Team consisting of four young men, undertook a series of interviews with people they met during their travels. Their final presentation painted a vivid picture of the accounts they gained of local people’s lifestyles, hopes and ambitions.

Team Bundi (Swahili for Owl!) was a mixed gender team of five, and contained a Bronze Level student who’s only opportunity to undertake the award was to accompany an older group on a much longer trek than her level of the award required. Hats off to her for an excellent achievement! Their presentation highlighted the global impact of litter and in particular plastics and it’s links to climate change.

A dust storm approaches Camp 1

All nine students displayed an excellent espirit de corp and successfully completed their journeys in a manner of which they can be justifiably proud!

2017 overseas expeditions start well below Zero!

Mountain Experience spent eight days ice climbing and exploring on snow shoes in the Valnontey and Lillaz valleys near Cogne, Italy.

Our route took us high above the valley through the woods on the right hand side of the picture.

Our route took us high above the valley through the woods on the right hand side of the picture.

Joined by Steve K, our regular Alpine team-mate, each of the days began with an early morning, cold start that was easily worth it for the superb views and brilliant climbs we had. If the rest of 2017 lives up to this, it’s going to be a great year!

Patri is a multi pitch ice climb near Valnontey

Patri is a multi pitch ice climb near Valnontey

Nigel Lewis high above the village of Lillaz

Nigel Lewis high above the village of Lillaz

Looking across the Aosta valley from Lake de Loie

Looking across the Aosta valley from Lake de Loie

Southern end of Valnontey valley

Southern end of Valnontey valley

Final school expedition for 2016 a great success!

Mountain Experience together with Camps International and the American School of Dubai, have finished a great expedition in Malawi. 19 students and 2 teachers joined Nigel Lewis for a road trip through Khuti National Reserve, Cape Maclear on the shores of Lake Malawi and down to Liwonde National Park before returning to Lilongwe.

Hippo running into the Shire River at Liwonde, Malawi

Hippo running into the Shire River at Liwonde, Malawi

The students undertook service projects including construction and renovation work at the Park Offices and a local school, and assisted with planting new trees that will help local farmers fix nitrogen in their fields. Like all good expeditions, the work was mixed with exploration and fun, with students befriending local children, camping with Emus and seeing lots more wild life on boat and jeep safaris. When asked to describe his experience, student Leendert replied “Better than words!”

Students from American School of Dubai help to plant trees that will fix nitrogen into local farmer's fields.

Students from American School of Dubai help to plant trees that will fix nitrogen into local farmer’s fields.

Liwonde national park, near Mvuu Lodge.

Liwonde national park, near Mvuu Lodge.

A fantastic month in Ecuador

Cayambe under morning clouds

Cayambe under morning clouds

 

Mountain Experience, together with Camps International, have just spent a fantastic month in Ecuador with Team Toucan from Hove Park School. The team undertook three weeks of hard labour, working on projects in five different communities. They painted schools, dug foundations, mixed tonnes of concrete by hand, moved countless barrows full of rocks, demolished derelict buildings and taught a few English lessons along the way!

The team quickly developed a reputation for hard work and efficiency and a special shout out goes to the teachers Hannah B and Sophie M who were inspirational.

Beautiful walking in Mojanda

Beautiful walking in Mojanda

The reward for all their hard work was a six day trek in the Mojanda region with ascents of Fuya Fuya and Imbabura peaks.  Every single team member reached the summit of at least one +4,000m peak, with a hard core reaching the highest peak of their trip, Imbabura amid exciting conditions and high emotions!

Nigel was also praised highly by the team…..

“you have been amazing throughout the trip and words can’t explain how grateful I am.” Hannah.

“Thank you so much for all your effort throughout this trip. You’ve taken it to another level.” Toby.

“Nigel, thank you for being the engine of the team and making this experience truly unforgettable. You have been amazing.” James.

As ever, the real thanks go to the members of Team Toucan and our hosts, the people of Ecuador.

 

Leader Team members, Nigel Lewis and Sophie M on the summit of Imbabura, 4,630 metres.

Leader Team members, Nigel Lewis and Sophie M on the summit of Imbabura, 4,630 metres.

A lake fills the old caldera

A lake fills the old caldera

Final week in Amalfi brings the season to a close

Mountain Experience have had a fantastic month in Amalfi this year. The fourth week was a great success with the usual fantastic fare of food and drink, calorie free ice cream and cake, and more than enough wine, beer and limoncello!

My favourite spot for elevenses. I'm keeping the location secret!

My favourite spot for elevenses. I’m keeping the location secret!

Amalfi in the distance as seen on the ferry from Positano

Amalfi in the distance as seen on the ferry from Positano

This year’s autumn expedition will be in Chamonix and Lake Como areas so we won’t be returning to Amalfi until next year, but of course, that will make the return all the more sweeter!

Nadolig Llawen! Merry Christmas!

Mountain Experience are about to embark on the southern migration for the winter! We hope to keep you updated on all our adventures if WiFi will permit us.

Xmas card 2016

Nodolig Llawen! Merry Christmas! Best wishes for your adventures off the beaten track in 2016

A whole month of Africa

Mountain Experience have had a fantastic month in Kenya and Tanzania, working with Camps International and West Hatch School from Essex. Several weeks of project work preceded the finale, an attempt on Mt Meru, Africa’s 5th highest peak.

The view from Meru summit with Little Meru, Rhino Point, the Ash cone and Kilimanjaro all visible.

The view from Meru summit with Little Meru, Rhino Point, the Ash cone and Kilimanjaro all visible.

Staff and students mixing concrete for a floor.

Staff and students mixing concrete for a floor.

Installing windows into a classroom.

Installing windows into a classroom.

The project work was diverse and included deworming goats, building Elephant deterrent fences, laying floors, making mud bricks, mixing concrete, digging ditches, crafting desks, installing windows, the list could go on…….!

The trek was a great challenge and resulted in 27 of 28 people safely reaching the summit. Special thanks go to Sammy K and the staff of Camp Tsavo for looking after us so well and of course, to the staff and students of West Hatch School for their fantastic effort during the trip.

A herd of elephant visiting a waterhole near our camp.

A herd of elephant visiting a waterhole near our camp.

A proud mum telling us about her family.

A proud mum telling us about her family.

A great three weeks in Vietnam

Mountain Experience are proud to have been associated with Belmont House School on their recent trip to Vietnam. Working with Outlook expeditions, the team spent time visiting the sights of Hanoi before moving onto the village of Tien Dong where they undertook project work at a kindergarten and school.

Hot work in the fields

Hot work in the fields

They cut back undergrowth, shifted building debris and painted a series of murals that they designed themselves.

Team members walking through the fields near Sa Pa, North Vietnam

Team members walking through the fields near Sa Pa, North Vietnam

The team also spent several days trekking through the beautiful scenery of the Tonkin Alps where they stayed in local villagers homes, before moving on to the coast and visiting the stunning Ha Long bay area.

Sa Pa market place

Sa Pa market place

Red Dzao villagers on the trail

Red Dzao villagers on the trail

Water buffalo getting out of the heat

Water buffalo getting out of the heat

Summer expeditions are starting now!

Mountain Experience are just about to start their first expedition of the summer. Working for Outlook Expeditions, Nigel Lewis is leading a team of ten people to Nicaragua for the rest of this month. Allowing for the right technology, we hope to post updates here as we go along.Off to Nicaragua

Mountain Experience are now accredited DofE expedition assessors!

Mountain Experience are delighted to announce that Nigel Lewis is now an accredited Expedition Assessor for The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. “I’ve really enjoyed the work so far.” said Nigel. “It’s so rewarding seeing the young candidates develop as they put themselves through their paces. I’m particularly grateful to “School Camps Ltd” and The Abbey School, Reading, for their support in gaining the qualifications.”

Expedition Training in wet North Wales

Expedition Training in wet North Wales