Tuesday, 17 January 2012 10:35

Scott arrives at the pole 100 years today

Robert Scott Photo - South Pole Centennary January 17 2012Robert Falcon Scott, CVO (6 June 1868 – c. 29 March 1912) was a Royal Navy officer and explorer who led two expeditions to the Antarctic regions: the Discovery Expedition, 1901–04, and the ill-fated Terra Nova Expedition, 1910–13. During this second venture, Scott led a party of five which reached the South Pole on 17 January 1912, only to find that they had been preceded by Roald Amundsen's Norwegian expedition. On their return journey, Scott and his four comrades all perished from a combination of exhaustion, starvation and extreme cold.

The march south began on 1 November 1911, a caravan of mixed transport groups (motors, dogs, horses), with loaded sledges, travelling at different rates, all designed to support a final group of four men who would make a dash for the Pole. Scott had earlier outlined his plans for the southern journey to the entire shore party without being specific about precise roles – no one knew who would form the final polar team. During the journey, Scott sent a series of conflicting orders back to base concerning the future use of the expedition's dogs, leaving it unclear whether they were to be saved for future scientific journeys or were to assist the polar party home. Scott's subordinates back at base were unsure of Scott's intentions, and consequently failed to use the dogs in a concerted attempt to relieve the returning polar party when the need arose.

scotts_party_at_the_south_poleThe southbound party steadily reduced in size as successive support teams turned back. By 4 January 1912, the last two four-man groups had reached 87° 34′ S. Scott announced his decision: five men (Scott, Edward Wilson, Henry Bowers, Lawrence Oates and Edgar Evans) would go forward, the other three (Teddy Evans, William Lashly and Tom Crean) would return. The chosen group marched on, reaching the Pole on 17 January 1912, only to find that Amundsen had preceded them by five weeks. Scott's anguish is indicated in his diary: "The worst has happened"; "All the day dreams must go"; "Great God! This is an awful place".

More below...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Falcon_Scott

 

Published in Expedition News
Friday, 18 November 2011 13:07

The Secret Of The Stone Documentary

The secret of the stone. (film/tv) documentary

Patrick Morell international film maker, French director  living in the US for the last 35 years and his assistant Archie Linval were over with me this week doing a film piece on the Reeks and looking for the secret of the stone.

I thought this was a crazy notion and yet I was interested in the project. There were times I felt that we were looking for some lost treasure or power like in the film Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. Patrick of course being Indiana Jones.

With camera in hand we investigated some ancient pre-historic sites around Ireland's highest mountains "the Reeks" for a preparation of a treatment for a 4 part series on ancient Ireland. We recruited one of my best friends Con Moriarty who has an incredible knowledge of these sites around Kerry as well as a incredible passion for Irish history and culture and folklore.

Before moving onto The second half of the weeks filming which was based at the  Kildreelig Artist Village an old stone village dating back to the 6th or seventh century, situated near Waterville, Ireland.

At Kildreelig a number of houses have been rebuilt and refurbished and are used by well known artists as an artist retreat throughout the year.

Among the local attractions filmed by patrick with local historian and archaeologist Dan O Meara. Where the McCarthy Castle & Abbey (built on the Isthmus to defend the place from pirates), Kilrellig (early Christian monastic settlement ruins located beside the road to Bolus Head), the Kildreelig Alignment (an alignment of four standing stones which is the reputed burial place of the Milesian leader Erannan), Wedge Grave (situated at Coom, Ballinskelligs) and the Irish Romanesque structure Killemlagh Church, built on the site of Saint Finan's original settlement. The majority of the ruins are inside a stout circular rampart which has all the massive appearance of the local circular stone forts. South of this church is the "Pagan's Grave", an enclosure of standing stones.

Before filming on one of the world's most famous monastic sites  on the windswept Skellig Rock.

Interesting
In search of the secret of the stone, nuts I thought but what a week of interesting learning about our Irish past.

Patrick Morell  has done cultural documentaries in Nepal, Tibet, Russia, Alaska and many more interesting places around the world. I'm really looking forward to his preparation of his vision on our Irish past and we are look forward to the edit of his filming and his interpretation of our Irish landscape, history and culture. I'm looking forward to further working with Patrick in the future through our Tv and film production division.

Special thanks to Noelle Campbell-Sharp for her encouragement towards the project, To Kildreelig Artist retreat centre, to Con Moriarty local historian on the Reeks and Dan O Meara archaeologist on the Iveragh peninsula.

Friday, 18 November 2011 12:48

My Private Everest - TV Series on Setanta

After a year in the making, Helen Shaw and here team at Athena Media handed over their latest film series to Setanta Sports Ireland in December 2010. This three part series, which was funded by the BAI, was shot over the last 15 months here in Kerry, Cork and Dublin. Helen weaves a compelling story of Pats personal endeavour and sacrifice through the years from childhood to the present day, with contributions from his family, friends and mountaineering colleagues. The story is full of archive footage from Pats many exciting expeditions & features amazing photos from the Pat Falvey collection.

Speaking to Pat via Satelite phone about the project, he had this to say:

'Its been an amazing journey for me personally making this documentary and also my team for filming and preparing the archive footage from my earlier life, sifting through the tens of thousands of images which I have in my collection. Even just talking to some of my old colleagues and friends has bought back so many memories to the forefront of my mind. I would like to take this oppurtunity to thank those involved including all contributors, my family, my friends and my own team in helping me on this film. A very special thanks has to go to Helen Shaw and her team who have created a great biography documentary, well done, its been a fantastic journey working with Athena Media. Even though I am in a very remote location in Canada at present, we have arranged a location to see Setanta on Sunday. Its funny as already many locals here want to see it also!!'

You can see more trailers on vimeo.com/channels/falvey

Press release from Athena media:

3 x 24min – documentary series is an Athena Media production for Setanta Sports funded through the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland Sound and Vision funding scheme. The series is due to air on 6th February 2011. It will begin with episode one on 6th February, followed by episode two on 7th February and episode three on 8th February. All episodes will be broadcasted at 10pm on Setanta Sports.

‘Some people say I’m a self publicist, some people say that I can be very arrogant, immediately I think of something, I say it. I’m going to climb Mount Everest, I’m going to become a millionaire. I’m going to be the best motivational speaker in the world. People think, how can he actually say that?. There’s no harm in dreaming and dreaming big,’ Pat Falvey.

Pat Falvey’s life story is the stuff of fiction. The teenage boy who left school at fifteen determined to be a millionaire and built a multi-million property business by his twenties. The serial entrepreneur who lost everything by twenty-nine and nearly took his own life in despair. But a chance encounter took him hill-walking and his first venture to Kerry’s Carrauntoohil made him vow to climb Mount Everest, the highest peak in the world. By thirty-four he stood on Everest and soon became one of Ireland’s most celebrated, and controversial adventurers. He has been to Everest four times, reached the summit from both its north and south face and is the only man in the world to have climbed the highest peaks in every continent twice. He has trekked to the South Pole and now planned one last great adventure, this time to the North Pole.

This documentary and biographical series takes us into the psychology of Pat Falvey and finds out what drives him to follow dreams bigger and bolder than anyone else. Production Company, Athena Media, with producer/director Helen Shaw, filmed Pat across a year and interviewed those close to him throughout his life, both in Cork City where he was born and reared and in Beaufort, Co Kerry where he now lives and works at the foothills of McGillycuddy Reeks.

Pat’s journey starts in north Cork where he was born the eldest son of Tim and Abina Falvey. His father Tim was a bricklayer and Pat followed his father’s trade but says his maternal grandmother, Mary B. O’Callaghan, a street trader, was a central influence on shaping him and his life. His grandmother encouraged him to think big and had him running little businesses when he was still a small boy. Her sense of confidence and will-power is what fuelled him to be a millionaire. His property business was worth in excess of €70 million in today’s value but the recession in the mid 1980s hit him hard and his empire began to crumble. By 29 he was broke, bankrupt and he even thought of killing himself. His own marriage suffered. But when a friend took him to the mountains he began to see life anew and mountains became his obsession. It was an obsession which eventually brought him to Mount Everest and to the honour of being the second Irishman to stand on the summit.

This series tracks Pat Falvey’s life and tells his story. We hear from friends like Con Moriarty and Mick Murphy who have known Pat from the early days in Co Kerry when he joined Kerry Mountain rescue to mountaineers like Dawson Stelfox, the Belfast architect who became the first Irishman to summit Everest in May 1993. We hear from his family from his sisters Majella and Abina and his brother Barry Falvey. His son, Patrick Falvey, shares insights along with those who have journeyed with Falvey through many expeditions including Dr Clare O’Leary. Clare went to Mount Everest with Pat in 2003 and 2004 and her successful summit in 2004 made her the first Irishwoman to climb Everest and since then she has trekked with Pat to the South Pole and now joins him on what he describes as his last great adventure – the North Pole. Pat’s ambition has been to journey to the highest and most extremes points on earth, from Everest to the South and North Pole and this final expedition, in Spring 2011, will complete what he calls the ‘three Poles’.

Pat Falvey: My Private Everest is a series which promises dramatic footage as well as unique revelations including how Pat Falvey’s determination to bring the tricolour to the summit of Everest provoked debate and even animosity with some accusing him of detracting from Dawson Stelfox’s own summit. Pat’s philosophy ‘that everyone has their own private Everest’ has brought him into motivational leadership and mentoring and he now makes a living from motivational speaking both in Ireland and abroad. Contact Athena Media -01 4885851 for more details including press photographs or stills from the documentary series.

Athena Media would like to thank everyone who helped us and supported us during the production particularly the Falvey family, Niall Foley and all the crew who have worked on it in Athena Media particularly Anita Walsh, Paula Cunniffe and Niall Brew. Our cameraman Barry MacNeill has been with us throughout the shoot and we have had excellent support from Lotus Media in post production. John E. Turner did the offline edit while Scott Smith was online and Simon Flanagan did the audio mix. A special thank you to Ella McSweeney who did the voice-over on the series and to the wonderful folk in Seneca, the band who produced instrumental tracks for the documentary mix and who have been great supporters of the project.

Further Information:

www.athenamedia.ie

www.setanta.com/ie

www.bai.ie

 

Friday, 10 June 2011 14:24

The Secret Of The Stone Documentary

The secret of the stone. (film/tv) documentary

Patrick Morell international film maker, French director  living in the US for the last 35 years and his assistant Archie Linval were over with me this week doing a film piece on the Reeks and looking for the secret of the stone.

I thought this was a crazy notion and yet I was interested in the project. There were times I felt that we were looking for some lost treasure or power like in the film Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. Patrick of course being Indiana Jones.

With camera in hand we investigated some ancient pre-historic sites around Ireland's highest mountains "the Reeks" for a preparation of a treatment for a 4 part series on ancient Ireland. We recruited one of my best friends Con Moriarty who has an incredible knowledge of these sites around Kerry as well as a incredible passion for Irish history and culture and folklore.

Before moving onto The second half of the weeks filming which was based at the  Kildreelig Artist Village an old stone village dating back to the 6th or seventh century, situated near Waterville, Ireland.

At Kildreelig a number of houses have been rebuilt and refurbished and are used by well known artists as an artist retreat throughout the year.

Among the local attractions filmed by patrick with local historian and archaeologist Dan O Meara. Where the McCarthy Castle & Abbey (built on the Isthmus to defend the place from pirates), Kilrellig (early Christian monastic settlement ruins located beside the road to Bolus Head), the Kildreelig Alignment (an alignment of four standing stones which is the reputed burial place of the Milesian leader Erannan), Wedge Grave (situated at Coom, Ballinskelligs) and the Irish Romanesque structure Killemlagh Church, built on the site of Saint Finan's original settlement. The majority of the ruins are inside a stout circular rampart which has all the massive appearance of the local circular stone forts. South of this church is the "Pagan's Grave", an enclosure of standing stones.

Before filming on one of the world's most famous monastic sites  on the windswept Skellig Rock.

Interesting
In search of the secret of the stone, nuts I thought but what a week of interesting learning about our Irish past.

Patrick Morell  has done cultural documentaries in Nepal, Tibet, Russia, Alaska and many more interesting places around the world. I'm really looking forward to his preparation of his vision on our Irish past and we are look forward to the edit of his filming and his interpretation of our Irish landscape, history and culture. I'm looking forward to further working with Patrick in the future through our Tv and film production division.

Special thanks to Noelle Campbell-Sharp for her encouragement towards the project, To Kildreelig Artist retreat centre, to Con Moriarty local historian on the Reeks and Dan O Meara archaeologist on the Iveragh peninsula.

Published in TV & Video News

After a year in the making, Helen Shaw and here team at Athena Media handed over their latest film series to Setanta Sports Ireland in December 2010. This three part series, which was funded by the BAI, was shot over the last 15 months here in Kerry, Cork and Dublin. Helen weaves a compelling story of Pats personal endeavour and sacrifice through the years from childhood to the present day, with contributions from his family, friends and mountaineering colleagues. The story is full of archive footage from Pats many exciting expeditions & features amazing photos from the Pat Falvey collection.

Speaking to Pat via Satelite phone about the project, he had this to say:

'Its been an amazing journey for me personally making this documentary and also my team for filming and preparing the archive footage from my earlier life, sifting through the tens of thousands of images which I have in my collection. Even just talking to some of my old colleagues and friends has bought back so many memories to the forefront of my mind. I would like to take this oppurtunity to thank those involved including all contributors, my family, my friends and my own team in helping me on this film. A very special thanks has to go to Helen Shaw and her team who have created a great biography documentary, well done, its been a fantastic journey working with Athena Media. Even though I am in a very remote location in Canada at present, we have arranged a location to see Setanta on Sunday. Its funny as already many locals here want to see it also!!'

You can see more trailers on vimeo.com/channels/falvey

Press release from Athena media:

3 x 24min – documentary series is an Athena Media production for Setanta Sports funded through the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland Sound and Vision funding scheme. The series is due to air on 6th February 2011. It will begin with episode one on 6th February, followed by episode two on 7th February and episode three on 8th February. All episodes will be broadcasted at 10pm on Setanta Sports.

‘Some people say I’m a self publicist, some people say that I can be very arrogant, immediately I think of something, I say it. I’m going to climb Mount Everest, I’m going to become a millionaire. I’m going to be the best motivational speaker in the world. People think, how can he actually say that?. There’s no harm in dreaming and dreaming big,’ Pat Falvey.

Pat Falvey’s life story is the stuff of fiction. The teenage boy who left school at fifteen determined to be a millionaire and built a multi-million property business by his twenties. The serial entrepreneur who lost everything by twenty-nine and nearly took his own life in despair. But a chance encounter took him hill-walking and his first venture to Kerry’s Carrauntoohil made him vow to climb Mount Everest, the highest peak in the world. By thirty-four he stood on Everest and soon became one of Ireland’s most celebrated, and controversial adventurers. He has been to Everest four times, reached the summit from both its north and south face and is the only man in the world to have climbed the highest peaks in every continent twice. He has trekked to the South Pole and now planned one last great adventure, this time to the North Pole.

This documentary and biographical series takes us into the psychology of Pat Falvey and finds out what drives him to follow dreams bigger and bolder than anyone else. Production Company, Athena Media, with producer/director Helen Shaw, filmed Pat across a year and interviewed those close to him throughout his life, both in Cork City where he was born and reared and in Beaufort, Co Kerry where he now lives and works at the foothills of McGillycuddy Reeks.

Pat’s journey starts in north Cork where he was born the eldest son of Tim and Abina Falvey. His father Tim was a bricklayer and Pat followed his father’s trade but says his maternal grandmother, Mary B. O’Callaghan, a street trader, was a central influence on shaping him and his life. His grandmother encouraged him to think big and had him running little businesses when he was still a small boy. Her sense of confidence and will-power is what fuelled him to be a millionaire. His property business was worth in excess of €70 million in today’s value but the recession in the mid 1980s hit him hard and his empire began to crumble. By 29 he was broke, bankrupt and he even thought of killing himself. His own marriage suffered. But when a friend took him to the mountains he began to see life anew and mountains became his obsession. It was an obsession which eventually brought him to Mount Everest and to the honour of being the second Irishman to stand on the summit.

This series tracks Pat Falvey’s life and tells his story. We hear from friends like Con Moriarty and Mick Murphy who have known Pat from the early days in Co Kerry when he joined Kerry Mountain rescue to mountaineers like Dawson Stelfox, the Belfast architect who became the first Irishman to summit Everest in May 1993. We hear from his family from his sisters Majella and Abina and his brother Barry Falvey. His son, Patrick Falvey, shares insights along with those who have journeyed with Falvey through many expeditions including Dr Clare O’Leary. Clare went to Mount Everest with Pat in 2003 and 2004 and her successful summit in 2004 made her the first Irishwoman to climb Everest and since then she has trekked with Pat to the South Pole and now joins him on what he describes as his last great adventure – the North Pole. Pat’s ambition has been to journey to the highest and most extremes points on earth, from Everest to the South and North Pole and this final expedition, in Spring 2011, will complete what he calls the ‘three Poles’.

Pat Falvey: My Private Everest is a series which promises dramatic footage as well as unique revelations including how Pat Falvey’s determination to bring the tricolour to the summit of Everest provoked debate and even animosity with some accusing him of detracting from Dawson Stelfox’s own summit. Pat’s philosophy ‘that everyone has their own private Everest’ has brought him into motivational leadership and mentoring and he now makes a living from motivational speaking both in Ireland and abroad. Contact Athena Media -01 4885851 for more details including press photographs or stills from the documentary series.

Athena Media would like to thank everyone who helped us and supported us during the production particularly the Falvey family, Niall Foley and all the crew who have worked on it in Athena Media particularly Anita Walsh, Paula Cunniffe and Niall Brew. Our cameraman Barry MacNeill has been with us throughout the shoot and we have had excellent support from Lotus Media in post production. John E. Turner did the offline edit while Scott Smith was online and Simon Flanagan did the audio mix. A special thank you to Ella McSweeney who did the voice-over on the series and to the wonderful folk in Seneca, the band who produced instrumental tracks for the documentary mix and who have been great supporters of the project.

Further Information:

www.athenamedia.ie

www.setanta.com/ie

www.bai.ie

 

Published in Current Projects
Great Endeavour - Ireland's Antarctic Explorers by Michael Smith, author of An Unsung Hero - Tom Crean.  It deals with 200 years of Irish exploration to the Antarctic, starting with Bransfield and Crozier in the 19th century, onto Crean, Shackleton, Keohane, etc in the 20th and then onto the modern day travellers such as Pat Falvey, Clare O'Leary and Mike Barry. Details on the publishers website - www.collinspress.ie

Michael Smith is delivering an illustrated talk on Great Endeavour at Killarney Library on Tuesday October 12 (7.15pm) and Cork Central Library on Wednesday, October 13 (7.30pm). Michael is also scheduled to give lectures for Mountaineering Ireland in Dublin and Cork on November 18 and 19 respectively, venues to be decided. For details, check with Mountaineering Ireland website, www.mountaineering.ie

UPDATE:

Children's Book Festival
  • • Tuesday 5 October: Tipperary: Templemore Library 10 a.m., Thurles Library 1 p.m. and 6.30 p.m.
  • • Wednesday 6 October: Tipperary: Roscrea Library 10.30 a.m., Nenagh 1.30 p.m.
  • • Thursday 7 October: Waterford Library
  • • Friday 8 October: Waterford Library

Other talks:
  • • Saturday 9 October: South Pole Inn, Annascaul, Co Kerry, at 9 p.m.
  • • Monday 11 October, morning: Scoil Phadraig Naofa, Bandon, Co Cork.The teacher there, Mary Murphy, was involved in translating Tom Crean – Ice Man into Irish and is retiring (and she played Orla Fitzgerald's mother opposite Cillian Murphy in The Wind That Shakes the Barley).
  • • Monday 11 October, evening: D'Arcy's Restaurant, Kenmare, Co Kerry, at 8.00 p.m.
  • • Tuesday 12 October: Killarney Library 7.15 p.m.
  • • Wednesday 13 October: Cork City Library 7.30 p.m. Michael will also be in the library in the morning with the Children's Library, as part of the Children's Book Festival.
  • • Wednesday 10, Thursday 11 & Friday 12 November: Nenagh, Tipperary. This is part of a literacy promotion project based around Tom Crean – Ice Man.
  • • Tuesday 16 November: New Ross, Co Wexford. This is part of a literacy promotion project based around Tom Crean – Ice Man.
  • • Tuesday 16 November: Cloyne Literary & Historical Society, Ballymaloe House, Cork, 8.00 p.m.
  • • Wednesday 17 November: Lawlor's Hotel, Bridge Street, Dungarvan, Co Waterford, at 8.00 p.m., in association with Waterford Museum
  • • Thursday 18 November, in association with Mountaineering Ireland: Basecamp Outdoor and Travel Store, 108 Middle Abbey Street, Dublin 1
  • • Friday 19 November, in association with Mountaineering Ireland: Cork (venue to be confirmed)

Published in General
Thursday, 10 June 2010 12:43

Annapurna Sanctuary Trek

Annapurnasanctuary
Trip:
Annapurna Sanctuary Trek
Altitude:
4,000m/13,123ft
Route:
KTM - Pokhara - Macchapuchare - Annapurna - Poon Hill
Date:
Between March and Oct are best
Duration:
12 Days total - Land only
Grade:
Trekking – Easy to Moderate
Price:
Please contact us for prices

The Annapurna Sanctuary is “high glacial basin lying forty kilometers directly north of Pokhara, Nepal's second city.” This oval-shaped plateau sits at an altitude of over 4000 meters, and is surrounded by a ring of mountains, the Annapurna range, most of which are over 7000 meters. With the only entrance a narrow pass between the peaks of Hiunchuli and Machapuchare, where run-off from glaciers drain into Modi Khola River, the Sanctuary was not penetrated by outsiders until 1956. Because of high mountains on all sides, the Annapurna Sanctuary receives only 7 hours of sunlight a day at the height of summer. The unique combination of heights and depths in the Annapurna Sanctuary give rise to an extraordinary variety of ecosystems. The south-facing slope are “covered in dense tropical jungles of rhododendron and bamboo”, while the north-facing slopes, in the rain shadow, have “a drier colder climate similar to that of the near-by Tibetan Plateau.”

This beautiful trek mixes easy to moderate trekking on pathways through stunning local villages full of colour and charm. Overall a great short to medium trek in the stunning Annapurna Sanctuary.

Overview

Our adventure first takes us to Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, also known as the City of a Thousand Temples, and where every other day is a festival. Kathmandu is home to over 500,000 Nepalese, living a humble life in this vibrant city, the starting point for many expeditions to the Himalaya. It was once a Mecca for the drop-out Hippie generation of the 60’s. However, today, Kathmandu has returned to its former ways, a place alive with the traditions and cultures of its many ethnic peoples. While here, we visit some of the famous Temples of the Hindus and Buddha’s.  We saunter through the busy streets and markets of the Thamel in the old region of the city and experience at first-hand the hustle, bustle, sights, sounds and smells whilst mixing with the locals of this lively, cultural city.

Each day’s trek is more spectacular then the day before as we make our way deeper into this mountainous wonderland of a Shangri-La. Mountains project like massive pillars from the deep, river-gorged valleys. We make our way along narrow paths etched from the steep hillsides in a mystical world of mountains. This is the heart of the most beautiful and inspiring mountain range in the world, the Himalayas ‘home of the snows’. They stretch in a great arch across Asia, 150 miles wide and 1700 miles long, from Indus in the west to the Brahmaputra in the east. All along the length of the Himalaya, its mountain tops are revered by the people of the valleys below as the place of their gods. You are in a place that for centuries has been the setting for epic feats of exploration and mountain climbing.

The area of Annapurna is famous for its possibilities of trekking and is considered to be the most famous and popular trekking destination in all of Nepal.This area region is mainly famous for beautiful mountains such Annapurnas,Dhaulagiri, Manaslu, and Machhapuchre, There are three major trekking routes in Annapurna Region: to Jomsom Muktinath , to Annapurna Sanctuary (Annapurna BaseCamp), and a circuit of the Annapurna Himal itself. About two-thirds of thetrekkers in Nepal visit the Annapurna region. The area is easily accessible, hotels in the hills are plentiful, and treks here offer good scenery of both high mountains and lowland villages. Pokhara is also a good starting place for shorttreks of one to four days, such as Ghorepani Trekking, Ghandruk Trekking andothers. Mustang is also geographically a part of the Annapurna region, but treks to Mustang are subject to special restrictions.

The entire sanctuary was held as sacred to the Gurung people, the only people to inhabit it before the 20th century.They believed it was the repository of gold and various treasures left by the Nāgas, the serpent-gods known in India. The sanctuary was believed to be the home of several deities, from Hinduism and Buddhism as well the older animistic gods. The peak of Machapuchare at the entrance was believed to be the home of the god Shiva, and the daily plumes of snow were thought the smoke of his divine incense. Until recently, the local Gurang people forbade anyone from bringing eggs or meat into the Annapurna Sanctuary, and women and untouchables were prohibited from going there as well.

In recent years, the number of trekkers to the Sanctuary has increased substantially, in part because the Sanctuary forms the base of one of the major routes to the peaks of the Annapurna range. The Annapurna Sanctuary is now part of the Annapurna Conservation Area Project, which places restrictions on number of outside travelers, gathering of firewood, and domestic animal grazing.

Route

Kathmandu - Pokhara - Macchapuchare - Annapurna - Poon Hill

See Itinerary for further details

Grade

Grade is: Trekking - Strenuous

This trek is suitable to walkers & hillwalkers and can be achieved by a beginner with training. A good level of fitness and experience on mountain trekking is recommended prior to departure. You will enjoy your trip a lot more if prepared well. Easy to Moderate going on good tracks that most fit people should be able for. Most days will require 4 to 7 hours walking excluding acclimatizing days and a climb day. We also run Fitness assessments and Hill-walking weekends that are ideally suited for those who need a little more preparation, please go to our Training Courses section. We recommend these options to ensure a good level of understanding of the requirements for the upcoming trek and remeber to contact us if you have any queries or need advice.

Acclimatisation
At Irish & Worldwide Adventures we have agreed to allow for acclimatisation or rest purposes. It is worth spending a bit extra to stay safe and achieve your goals. The pace is key to preventing *AMS. The group will be monitored by the guides at all times for symptoms of the effects of altitude. Only if these symptoms persist that a person should get advice or will be advised to decend. (*Acute Mountain Sickness)

Prices

Please contact us for prices. Groups are based on a minimum of 4. We can check availability on dated groups if you are interested as an individual.

Guides

Our highly experienced trekking guides have been working with us in Nepal for over 20 years. They will provide you with all information and help during the trek. On selected 'Guided from Ireland' trips (or on request for groups over 4) a guide will escort the group from Ireland. The guide will also arrange the porters role with your bags and any issues that may arise.

Info on Porters

We at Irish and Worldwide Adventures ensure that all our agents in every destination value and treat their employees including porters with respect and ensure their working rates and conditions are adhering to the local employment and Health and Safety guidelines. We have built up a good relationship’s with all of our operators to ensure the welfare of their guides and porters is priority. For more guidelines and information on porters please go to our 'Porter guidelines' (link) in the righthand menu. Bags acrried by porters are not to exceed 25kg in weight.

Itinerary

Here is a sample daily Itinerary, on booking you will be issued a more detailed version. We can also customise the itinerary to your needs if required.

Annapurna Sanctuary Trek:
DAY 1: Kathmandu. Fly to Pokhara
DAY 2: Trek to Landrung
DAY 3: Landrung to Chomrong
DAY 4: Chomrong to Dovan
DAY 5: Dovan to Macchapuchare Base Camp
DAY 6: Macchapuchare Base Camp to AnnapurnaBase Camp
DAY 7: AnnapurnaBase Camp - afternoon descent to 'Bamboo'
DAY 8: Retun to Chomrong
DAY 9: Chomrong to Ghandrung
DAY 10: Ghandrung to Ghorepani
DAY 11: Poon Hill - then trek out to Pokhara
DAY 12: Pokhara - afternoon flight to Kathmandu

Preparation

Preparation, Passports / Visa's

Preparation - We have selected a walking weekend to help you adjust to the goal of the trek. The weekend has two walks with advice and techniques for clothing and gear given also. On the Saturday we will climb one of Irelands highest peaks during a day hike and on Sunday morning early we will go on a night hike simulating the requirements on the summit day of a trek which takes you out of your comfort zone prior to the real thing. This method allows your body and mind to adjust to the challenge ahead. For more info on this fitness assessment weekends and day walks, go to our Irish training section. If you are a total beginner to walking/hillwalking then a 12 month training program is recommended.

We suggest a training program of at least 6 months to comfortably trek to 4000-6000m.

Months 1-2, this should include fortnightly hillwalking for 3hrs+ with a small/medium pack of weight of 5-10kg approx.

Months 3-4, this should be increased to include longer days (6hrs+) and pack weight of 10kg approx. Attend our Free meet day!

Month 5, Two days walking back to back twice giving 4 days total. Example: Saturday 7hr & Sunday 6hr = 13hrs walking. Avoid injuries at all costs!!

Month 6, Continue with some walking but reduce to lower peaks and durations of 4hrs, avoid injuries at all costs!!

Passport / Visas
You will need a valid full passport, please ensure it has at least have six months before expiring before we leave. Before applying for Visa please check dates on passport. Please bring 4-passport photos for visas at departure.

We will need to get a visa and this can be got on entry.

Gear

For general wear on trek: cotton pants, t-shirts and if you have light thermals these will be ideal.

  • One pair of trekking boots for trek. These boots can be used for good wear also. If you have a hillwalking pair of boots you can also bring them.  If you like comfort we recommend boots with extra insulation in sole around 150euro with vibram or similar sole.
  • Four pair of warm trekking stockings. (Thorlo or similar)
  • Adjustable ski poles: these take a lot of pressure off the body and makes walking less tiring. Some use two spring loaded ones as it takes 36 ton of pressure off you knees per day as well as allowing you to have a crutch to lean on when you are tired.
  • Thermal under-wear heavy gauge: 2 Tops and 2 bottoms. Dryflo etc.
  • 1 fleece or pile jacket. Windproof is good.
  • Wind and water proofs (Gortex or similar): Top jacket and bottoms.
  • Sleeping bag range to -5/-15C degrees make sure it packs small.
  • Also for sleeping it is important to bring an insulating sleeping mat. I usually bring a Thermarest full-length non-slip. There is insulating mattresses provide on trek but for extra comfort bring a Thermarest.
  • 1 Water bottles with wide neck and 1 with narrow neck (Nalgene or similar) or one Platypus container, the platypus is ideal for trekking as you can stay hydrated by drinking from a tube as you walk.
  • Gloves: 1pair of thermal and 1 pair over gloves or mitts, no harm in bringing spare sets.
  • Headtorch, Petzl with spare batteries and bulbs. I cannot stress the importance of this to have in good working order. (New LED versions are also lighter and smaller)
  • Peak hat for the lower regions to protect your head from the sun. (bandana or neck gaiter also)
  • Ruck sack 30 liters daypack for mountain to carry your camera food and day gear.
  • For traveling, 70-100 liters rucksack or strong gear bag- this will also do to give to porters on trek to carry your general gear.
  • Optional for night up high for cold, a light down top or extra fleece.
  • Personal first aid and medicine kit. (All our guides will have these for emergencies only)
  • UV sunglasses – Cat. 3 or Cat. 4 recommeded if there is a lot of time in or near snow.
  • 2 x Earplugs pairs – If you have an inside pocket in sleeping bag, leave one there fulltime.


    Miscellaneous items:
    Sun-block (very important and use it!!)
    Backpacking towel and general toiletries.
    Insect repellent
    Extra Clothes for travelling and/or socialising.

    Tips on Gear- Make sure your boots are well broken in. For the mountain, a layering system works best to allow you to cool down or warm up with ease - Tshirt or thermals, shirt or warm top, a good fleece and good heavy-duty waterproofs if you intend doing more treks in future. Gloves and hats are vital. Bring waterproof gear that is made of breathable material. You can use a normal 3 season sleeping bag. If you tend to get cold very easily, you can add in a sleeping bag liner. Remember that sleeping bags work on trapping layers of air so wearing clothes in your bag doesn't help. If you wear contact lenses take plenty of saline and comfort drops as the paths are dusty. Also glasses are essential for summit night as temperature and altitude may effect eyes if contacts worn. Common first aid complaints are headaches, dehydration, stomach bugs, diarrhoea, sunburn and occasional mouth ulcers. Looking after yourself with plenty of fluids, rest and enjoying the gentle ascending pace will assist in avoiding these. Your personal first aid kit should contain treatments for these minor aliments. Please get advice from your GP before departure. Money can be left in the Hotel safe. All currency can be easily changed to local currency in the cities you will be staying in. The only money you will need to carry for your treks will be to cover porter and guide tips and bottled water if you choose to purchase. (Hotels offer Launderette facilities if you wish to wash clothes following trek otherwise there is no opportunity to wash clothing. Digital cameras will cope fine with the conditions if you keep them warm close to your body where possible especially on summit morning or when reaching you highest day, otherwise batteries can run down. Spare batteries are a must.

    Published in Asia
    Thursday, 10 June 2010 10:28

    Rolwaling Trek & Ramdung Peak

    Trip: Rolwaling Trek & Ramdung Peak Altitude: 5,925m/19,439ft Route: KTM - Barabise - Pheriche - Kala Patthar - Basecamp Date: Between march and may, then Sept to Oct are best Duration: 29 Days total - 2 Days Rest/Acclimatisation Grade: Trekking – Strenuous Price: Please contact us for prices Ramdung peak lies in the upper Rolwaling area, Ramdung is one of a cluster of peaks around the Yalung La, a pass giving access to the upper Rolwaling from the south, via the Khare Khola. Although the mountain, by it normal route of ascent, is straightforward, its virtues lie in its magnificent position and splendid summit panorama that ranges from Langtang to Everest and provides a splendid view of Gauri Shankar and Menlungtse. This beautiful trek mixes moderate trekking on pathways through stunning local villages full of colour and charm with steeper streuous trekking and snow trekking to reach Ramdung Peak. It also crosses some glaciers requiring the group to be roped up. Overall a great long trek with a high altitude peak and everything else that surrounds this trek as you ascend and descend in the Rowaling region. The peaks in the area were first explored by Scottish Himalayan expedition, led by Bill Murray in 1952, when three of the peaks near the pass, Yalung Ri (5,630m/18,471ft), Chhugyima Go (6,259m/20,534ft), and Ramdung were climbed. In 1955 the peak had its second ascent by members of the Merseyside expedition. Since then Ramdung has been climbed numerous times is an ideal summit for groups wanting to trek and climb in the still little visited Rolwaling Himal area.The trek starts from the busy bazaar of Barabise on the highway to Tibet. Leaving the civilisation behind our trek head towards in the tranquility of the mountains, alpine forest of rhododendron and magnolia amidst the hidden land of Rolwaling Valley. The trek leads to the last village of this area Rolwaling at Beding. Journey continues farther east to scale the 5,925 meter Ramdung Peak. The climb is not technically hard, but it is certainly challenging on account of the altitude and the peak's remoteness. Ramdung offers an excellent view of Everest, Melungtse and Gaurishankar and array of other snow peaks.

    Overview

    Our adventure first takes us to Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, also known as the City of a Thousand Temples, and where every other day is a festival. Kathmandu is home to over 500,000 Nepalese, living a humble life in this vibrant city, the starting point for many expeditions to the Himalaya. It was once a Mecca for the drop-out Hippie generation of the 60’s. However, today, Kathmandu has returned to its former ways, a place alive with the traditions and cultures of its many ethnic peoples. While here, we visit some of the famous Temples of the Hindus and Buddha’s.  We saunter through the busy streets and markets of the Thamel in the old region of the city and experience at first-hand the hustle, bustle, sights, sounds and smells whilst mixing with the locals of this lively, cultural city. Each day’s trek is more spectacular then the day before as we make our way deeper into this mountainous wonderland of a Shangri-La. Mountains project like massive pillars from the deep, river-gorged valleys. We make our way along narrow paths etched from the steep hillsides in a mystical world of mountains. This is the heart of the most beautiful and inspiring mountain range in the world, the Himalayas ‘home of the snows’. They stretch in a great arch across Asia, 150 miles wide and 1700 miles long, from Indus in the west to the Brahmaputra in the east. All along the length of the Himalaya, its mountain tops are revered by the people of the valleys below as the place of their gods. You are in a place that for centuries has been the setting for epic feats of exploration and mountain climbing. The Rolwaling region is a valley which contain several small villages and Beding, the largest town in the area. Access to the valley and the mountains of the range is made on foot through an established trail system starting at Charikot (80 km east of Kathmandu). A western style trek from Charikot to Beding will normally take seven to ten days.The preferred approach to enter the region is to walk in from the bus terminus at Dolakha (near Charikot), about 7 hours from Kathmandu. The trail is very well defined and used by porters and shepherds going up to the summer kharkas or grazing pastures at Beding. There was a customs check at Jagat where the climbing permit was vaguely inspected. The last habitation is at Na (4180m). From here on in it can and will snow at any time so patience is required )which also will help with the essential acclimatisation). The Tsho Rolpa is an awesome ice lake held back by terminal moraine. The unmarked route goes along the Trakarding Glacier, then climbs steeply up onto the Drolambau Glacier. The scenery is tremendous every inch of the way! On the east side of the glacier is a range of mountains well over 6000m. The Teshi Lapcha La goes through these mountains by the footslopes of Patchamo. The descent on the other side is steep and very rough through boulder fields. Sometimes the trail is difficult to find until you reach Thyangbo Kharka, a very lonely dwelling on the route to Thame, and thence on to Namche Bazaar. From Kathmandu, over the Teshi Lapcha and down to Lukla airstrip took 18 days, before the interminable wait for a flight back to Kathmandu. It is possible to reverse the route but the climb up to the pass from the Solu Khumbu is very steep and long. The essential acclimatisation days in this wild terrain would be uncomfortable and frustrating and higher up, there is danger from falling rocks loosed off by the sun as it works its way around.

    Route

    Kathmandu - Barabise - Beding - Ramdung - Charikot See Itinerary for further details

    Grade

    Grade is: Trekking - Strenuous This trek is suitable to most experienced hillwalkers and can be achieved by a beginner with training. A high level of fitness and some experience on high mountain passes or ridges in snow is recommended prior to departure. You will enjoy your trip a lot more if prepared well. Moderate going on good tracks that most fit people should be able for. This trek is mostly strenuous due to its duration and alitude gain, experienced trekkers may find it moderate. There is 2 climb days in the itinerary for summiting Ramdung and at least 1 day of glacier travel which you will be briefed and basically trained on during the trek. Most days will require 4 to 7 hours walking excluding acclimatizing days and a climb day. We also run Fitness assessments and Hill-walking weekends that are ideally suited for those who need a little more preparation, please go to our Training Courses section. We recommend these options to ensure a good level of understanding of the requirements for the upcoming trek and remeber to contact us if you have any queries or need advice.Acclimatisation At Irish & Worldwide Adventures we have agreed to allow 2 extra days for acclimatisation or rest purposes. It is worth spending a bit extra to stay safe and achieve your goals. The pace is key to preventing *AMS. The group will be monitored by the guides at all times for symptoms of the effects of altitude. Only if these symptoms persist that a person should get advice or will be advised to decend. (*Acute Mountain Sickness)

    Prices

    Please contact us for prices. Groups are based on a minimum of 4. We can check availability on dated groups if you are interested as an individual. Land Only Inclusions * Airport transfers * Local transportation * Hotel Accommadation B&B 4 nights (min. 3 *) * Park fee’s (€10-€20) * Camping, Meals & boiled water on mountain * Guides, Porters & Cooks Land Only Exclusions * Fully escorted from/to Ireland * Flights from/to Ireland * Nepal Visa (€20-€30) * All transfers * Meals en route before and after trek * Bar Bills & laundry * Travel Insurance * Extra's for porterage taken on

    Guides

    Our highly experienced trekking guides have been working with us in Nepal for over 20 years. They will provide you with all information and help during the trek. On selected 'Guided from Ireland' trips (or on request for groups over 4) a guide will escort the group from Ireland. The guide will also arrange the porters role with your bags and any issues that may arise. Info on Porters We at Irish and Worldwide Adventures ensure that all our agents in every destination value and treat their employees including porters with respect and ensure their working rates and conditions are adhering to the local employment and Health and Safety guidelines. We have built up a good relationship’s with all of our operators to ensure the welfare of their guides and porters is priority. For more guidelines and information on porters please go to our 'Porter guidelines' (link) in the righthand menu. Bags acrried by porters are not to exceed 25kg in weight.

    Itinerary

    Here is a sample daily Itinerary, on booking you will be issued a more detailed version. We can also customise the itinerary to your needs if required. Rolwaling Trek: 1. Kathmandu to Barabise 2. Barabise to Kabre 3. Kabre to Dolangsa 4. Dolangsa to Tinsang La Pass 5. Tinsang La Pass to Bigu Gompa 6. Bigu Gompa to Chilankga 7. Chilangka to Bulung 8. Bulung to Gongar 9. Gongar to Simigaon 10. Simigaon to Gyalche 11. Gyalche - Rest Day 12. Gyalche to Kharka 13. Kharka to Beding 14. Beding to Na 15. Na - acclimatization day 16. Na to Yulung Base Camp 17. Yulung Base camp to Yulung La 18. Rumdung Peak 19. Yalung La - Sangma Kharka 20. Sangma Kharka to Tshobug 21. Tshobug to Tarkarding Glacier 22. Glacier Training 23. Na 24. Na to Donang 25. Donang to Simigaon 26. Simigaon to Suri Dovan 27. Suri Dovan to Ratmatey 28. Ratmatey to Dolakha or Charikot 29. Kathmandu.

    Preparation

    Preparation, Passports / Visa's Preparation - We have selected a walking weekend to help you adjust to the goal of the trek. The weekend has two walks with advice and techniques for clothing and gear given also. On the Saturday we will climb one of Irelands highest peaks during a day hike and on Sunday morning early we will go on a night hike simulating the requirements on the summit day of a trek which takes you out of your comfort zone prior to the real thing. This method allows your body and mind to adjust to the challenge ahead. For more info on this fitness assessment weekends and day walks, go to our Irish training section. If you are a total beginner to walking/hillwalking then a 12 month training program is recommended. We suggest a training program of at least 6 months to comfortably trek to 4000-6000m. Months 1-2, this should include fortnightly hillwalking for 3hrs+ with a small/medium pack of weight of 5-10kg approx. Months 3-4, this should be increased to include longer days (6hrs+) and pack weight of 10kg approx. Attend our Free meet day! Month 5, Two days walking back to back twice giving 4 days total. Example: Saturday 7hr & Sunday 6hr = 13hrs walking. Avoid injuries at all costs!! Month 6, Continue with some walking but reduce to lower peaks and durations of 4hrs, avoid injuries at all costs!! Passport / Visas You will need a valid full passport, please ensure it has at least have six months before expiring before we leave. Before applying for Visa please check dates on passport. Please bring 4-passport photos for visas at departure. We will need to get a visa and this can be got on entry.

    Gear

    For general wear on trek: cotton pants, t-shirts and if you have light thermals these will be ideal. One pair of trekking boots for trek. These boots can be used for good wear also. If you have a hillwalking pair of boots you can also bring them.  If you like comfort we recommend boots with extra insulation in sole around 150euro with vibram or similar sole. Four pair of warm trekking stockings. (Thorlo or similar) Adjustable ski poles: these take a lot of pressure off the body and makes walking less tiring. Some use two spring loaded ones as it takes 36 ton of pressure off you knees per day as well as allowing you to have a crutch to lean on when you are tired. Thermal under-wear heavy gauge: 2 Tops and 2 bottoms. Dryflo etc. 1 fleece or pile jacket. Windproof is good. Wind and water proofs (Gortex or similar): Top jacket and bottoms. Sleeping bag range to -10/-20C degrees make sure it packs small. Also for sleeping it is important to bring an insulating sleeping mat. I usually bring a Thermarest full-length non-slip. There is insulating mattresses provide on trek but for extra comfort bring a Thermarest. 1 Water bottles with wide neck and 1 with narrow neck (Nalgene or similar) or one Platypus container, the platypus is ideal for trekking as you can stay hydrated by drinking from a tube as you walk. Gloves: 1pair of thermal and 1 pair over gloves or mitts, no harm in bringing spare sets. Headtorch, Petzl with spare batteries and bulbs. I cannot stress the importance of this to have in good working order. (New LED versions are also lighter and smaller) Peak hat for the lower regions to protect your head from the sun. (bandana or neck gaiter also) Ruck sack 30 liters daypack for mountain to carry your camera food and day gear. For traveling, 70-100 liters rucksack or strong gear bag- this will also do to give to porters on trek to carry your general gear. Optional for night up high for cold, a light down top or extra fleece. Personal first aid and medicine kit. (All our guides will have these for emergencies only) UV sunglasses – Cat. 3 or Cat. 4 recommeded if there is a lot of time in or near snow. 2 x Earplugs pairs – If you have an inside pocket in sleeping bag, leave one there fulltime. Miscellaneous items: Sun-block (very important and use it!!) Backpacking towel and general toiletries. Insect repellent Extra Clothes for travelling and/or socialising. Climbing on Ramdung A climbing gear list will be supplied on enquiry. Tips on Gear- Make sure your boots are well broken in. For the mountain, a layering system works best to allow you to cool down or warm up with ease - Tshirt or thermals, shirt or warm top, a good fleece and good heavy-duty waterproofs if you intend doing more treks in future. Gloves and hats are vital. Bring waterproof gear that is made of breathable material. You can use a normal 3 season sleeping bag. If you tend to get cold very easily, you can add in a sleeping bag liner. Remember that sleeping bags work on trapping layers of air so wearing clothes in your bag doesn't help. If you wear contact lenses take plenty of saline and comfort drops as the paths are dusty. Also glasses are essential for summit night as temperature and altitude may effect eyes if contacts worn. Common first aid complaints are headaches, dehydration, stomach bugs, diarrhoea, sunburn and occasional mouth ulcers. Looking after yourself with plenty of fluids, rest and enjoying the gentle ascending pace will assist in avoiding these. Your personal first aid kit should contain treatments for these minor aliments. Please get advice from your GP before departure. Money can be left in the Hotel safe. All currency can be easily changed to local currency in the cities you will be staying in. The only money you will need to carry for your treks will be to cover porter and guide tips and bottled water if you choose to purchase. (Hotels offer Launderette facilities if you wish to wash clothes following trek otherwise there is no opportunity to wash clothing. Digital cameras will cope fine with the conditions if you keep them warm close to your body where possible especially on summit morning or when reaching you highest day, otherwise batteries can run down. Spare batteries are a must.
    Published in Asia
    Trip:
    Arctic Watch wilderness experience, Nunavut, Canadian High Arctic
    Altitude:
    Sea level with some small hilltops climbed max. 150m
    Route:
    Yellowknife - Somerset island - Arctic Watch Lodge
    Date:
    Early July to Mid August - Book for 2011 - Limited places
    Duration:
    7 Days from Yellowknife - 5.5 Days Activities
    Grade:
    Trekking & Tours – Easy to Moderate
    Price:
    From $7900 + GST 2.5% Land only from Yellowknife

    Arctic Watch wilderness lodge is a permanent facility, located 500 miles north of the Arctic Circle and 50 miles from the nearest town, that offers rustic hotel-like accommodations in a remote Arctic setting. Our guests experience the beauty and wonder of this fabulous place, whilst enjoying the comforts of home with fine cuisine. Somerset Island is of particular interest to naturalists and photographers because it is a world class beluga whale observation site. It is also home to many muskox and polar bears. The terrain offers easy passage to both hikers and sea kayakers. Please check further details in the overview.

    Overview

    Cunningham Inlet is one of the best spots in the world to observe beluga whales. Arctic Watch was initially built as a whale-watching lodge. Two thousand beluga whales congregate in Cunningham Inlet from approximately early July to August 10th. The majority of the whales group at the mouth of the Cunningham River to molt play and nurse their young. The premier whale watching locations are only a fifteen-minute walk from the lodge. Beluga whale watching can be done at any time.

    Hiking and Walking: With mountains to climb and numerous canyons to explore on Somerset Island, hiking and walking are one of the most popular activities. It is an excellent method to approach the local wildlife, view wild flowers and hunt for fossils. Historical Site Viewing: 
Dotted throughout Somerset Island and within the vicinity of Arctic Watch, numerous historical and archeological sites are easily accessible by foot, ATV or kayak. The majority of the sites, being Thule (AD 1000 – 1400) and paleo-eskimo, are well known for their simple stone construction.

    Fishing: Inuskshuk lake, located within a two hour ATV drive from Arctic Watch, is a well known place for Arctic Char. Char, “the best tasting fish”, is a member of the trout and salmon family. The fish at Inukshuk lake generally run from 3 to ten pounds. Several other locations are easily accessible from arctic watch where one can fish for char. Creswell Bay, located on the southern tip of Somerset Island, boasts world-class char fishing. On a four-hour time period, several hundred char have been cought and released-All ranging from 15 to 25 pounds.

    Birding: For the avid birder at Arctic Watch; special trips are made by foot, sea kayak and ATV. A summer home for many species of marine and land birds, Northern Somerset is home to nearly 50 different species:

    • Loons: Common, Arctic, Red-throated
    • Geese: Snow, Canadian, Brant
    • Ducks: Northern Pintail, Eider
    • Rough legged hawk
    • Peregrine Falcon
    • Plovers: Black-bellied, American Golden
    • Sand Pipers
    • Jaegers: Parasitic, Long-tailed, Pomarine
    • Gulls: Herring, Black-legged Kittiwake, Sabine’s, Ivory
    • Arctic Tern
    • Black Guillemot
    • Snow Owl
    • Snow Bunting

    Kayaking: A pleaseant and highly popular choice of excursion amongst guests at Arctic Watch, we offer two different kayak tours. Both are offered with the safest and most reliable equipement; Current Design fiberglass kayaks, Seavivor folding kayaks, paddles, life-jackets and dry suits.

    The first tour, starting on the banks of Cunningham Inlet, runs along the bay amongst the ice, seals and beluga whales. A guest can photograph belugas swimming underneath the boats, watch seals bob amongst the ice and view the various marine birds fly past.

    The second option, equally popular, is to paddle the lower section of the Cunningham River. The river, crystal clear, snakes through a large canyon. A pair of rough-legged hawks nest along the cliffs, enabling us to get a good view. The canyon, teaming with fossils, bends a magnificent 180 degrees and heads towards Arctic Watch. The river is deemed class 1 and 2, meaning swift water, with no rapids. The easy paddle takes roughly 3 hours.

    Rafting: Arctic Watch raft trips are run with two inflatable rafts. The first tour runs through the lower canyon of the Cunningham River. A remarkable canyon, carved through the hillside makes for stunning photos. Muskox are frequently seen grazing along the banks and cliff tops. Again, the tour runs along a swift flowing, safe and rapid free route. This voyage takes approximately three hours.

    All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs): At Arctic Watch, we are equipped with 9 ATVs, including several auto shifting vehicles. The Island is home to rolling terrain, and packed gravel-like surfaces. The condtions are ideal for traveling on ATVs. The vehicles are used to reach interesting places to hike, reach birding sites, visit archeological sites, find muskox and explore the vast island.

    Grade

    Grade is: Trekking – easy  to walk the Arctic plains.
    Easy trek at group pace, with many stops to observe arctic mammals and flora.  Day hiking only.

    Prices

    Land Only  $7900 + GST 2.5% Book Now for 2011 or 2012!!

    Please contact us to discuss flights, and additional accomadation required for getting to yellowknife. (Cork, Shannon or Dublin Departures)

    Inclusions

    • All transfers
    • Hotel accommodation in Calgary 1 night
    • Hotel accommodation in Yellowknife , 2 nights
    • Private charter from Yellowknife to Somerset Island, Nunavut
    • 7 days at Arctic Watch lodge
    • Chef, meals & all equipment  at Arctic Watch
    • Guides

    Exclusion:

    • Fully escorted from/to Ireland
    • Flights from/to Ireland
    • Meals en route
    • Bar Bills & laundry
    • Travel Insurance
    • Bar bills at Arctic Watch

      Optional Extra’s: 

Whale watching trip and hiking in Charlevoix, Quebec - 4 days - € PRICE - Please contact us.

      • - Return flight with a Transit to Quebec or Montreal airport
      • - Shuttle to Charlevoix
      • - Whale watching tour or sea kayaking guided tour with the St. Lawrence whales
      • - Guided trek to Les Hautes Gorges, park entrance fees included
      • - 3 nights Hotel Accommodation Full board

, we only use the best hotels with excellent rooms and food.

      Guides

      Richard Weber and Josée Auclair

      Richard and Josée started arctic tourism with the world’s first commercial North Pole trek in 1993, hiking and kayaking trips on Baffin Island. In 2000, they opened “Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge”, Canada’s most northerly lodge on Somerset Island in Nunavut. Arctic Watch Lodge is Nunavut’s largest and most unique tourism operation.

      Josée and Richard both started skiing at an early age. Richard was competing by age six and a member of Canada's National Cross Country Ski Team by age eighteen. He retired in 1985 with twenty national titles. Richard has a bachelor degree in mechanical engineer from the University of Vermont. Richard has co-authored two books about his adventures. Josée also spent some years competing for Canada on the National ski team. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Botany from the University of Vermont and a teaching certificate from the University of Quebec. Richard and Josée met while ski racing.


      Richard’s Expedition Highlights
:

      Richard made his first arctic expedition in 1985, his first North Pole journey in 1986. In 2007 he completed his sixth journey to the North Pole, starting from land. He has made more successful treks to the Pole than anyone in history.

      • •    First North Pole trek with no re-supplies; 1986 Steger International Polar expedition
      • •    First surface crossing of the Arctic Ocean from Russia to Canada; 
1988 Polar Bridge Expedition
      • •    First commercial North Pole Trek; 1993 North Pole Dash – last degree
      • •    First and only journey to the North Pole and back with no outside assistance; 
1995 Weber-Malakhov Expedition
      • •    First snowshoe trek to the North Pole; first guided unsupported North Pole trek; 
North Pole classic 2006
      • •    Richard has participated in more than 50 arctic and North Pole expeditions

      Josée’s Expedition Highlights

      Josée made her first arctic expedition in 1988, a first crossing of the Penny Ice Cap on Baffin Island. Her first North Pole experience was in 1999.

      • •    1999 – 2004 Annual treks covering the last degree to the North Pole
      • •    Woman Quest; an all woman trek to the North Pole in 2001
      • South Pole; 2007 an all woman trek covering the last degree to the South Pole

      Food & Water

      Nutritionally Balanced (Vegetarian Food Available)

      Water purified daily for trekkers

      Itinerary

      Here is a sample daily Itinerary, on booking you will be issued a more detailed version. We can also customise the itinerary to your needs if required.

      Day 1: Leave Ireland - Arrive in Calgary Airport in the afternoon- Hotel & rest

      Day 2: Flight to Yellowknife - Cultural tour, country specialty food - Hotel

      Day 3: Early morning private charter to Arctic Watch - 4 hours flight with a stop in Cambridge Bay Inuit airport for refueling, welcoming activities at the Arctic lodge, great meal, evening walk to the whales, and rest.

      Day 4 to Day 10: All different day trips depending of the weather conditions
      -    Sea kayaking with the belugas
      -    Hiking and bird watching in the canyons
      -    Scenic rafting in Cunnigham river and muskoxs observation
      -    ATV to Polar Bear point
      -    Fly fishing at Inukshuk lake
      -    Hiking the Cunningham Bay and

      Day 10: Half day activity of choice, and private charter back to Yellowknife.

      Day 11: Flight back to Ireland - option to transit by Montreal or Quebec for the whale watching option (4 additional days)

      Day 12: Arrive Ireland

      Preparation

      Preparation, Passports / Visa's

      Preparation - A person looking at this trip will already be able to walk/trek comfortably for at least 2 hours. The trip does not require previous experience for the activities involved and is quite relaxed. If you are a total beginner to walking then a 3-6 month training program is recommended and would require notifying us prior to booking this trip. Please discuss this progression with us if you are a total beginner prior to booking this trip. For more info on our Fitness Assessment and day walks, go to our Ireland section.

      Passport - You will need a valid full passport, please ensure it has at least have six months before expiring before we leave.

      Vaccinations and medical precautions: Please ask your doctor about travelling to Canada, they should be able to offer you the most sensible and up-to-date advice. A dental check-up before you go is also most important, as facilities on the trip are non-existent.

      Customs:
      Currency:
      Electricity:

      Gear

      • More details to follow....
      • A light down top or extra fleece.
      • Personal first aid and medicine kit. (All our guides will have these for emergencies only)
      • UV sunglasses – Cat. 2 or 3 recommended.
      • 2 x Earplugs pairs – If you have an inside pocket in sleeping bag, leave one there fulltime.


        Miscellaneous items:

        • Sun-block (very important and use it!!)
        • Backpacking towel and general toiletries.
        • Extra Clothes for traveling and/or socialising.
        • Camera with wide lense and telephoto of 200-600mm, extra memory and battery. Battery depletes faster in the cold.
        • Binoculars
        Published in Arctic
        Friday, 07 May 2010 15:07

        Peru - Inka Trail & MachuPicchu

        peru555with fade

        Check out our Inka Trail & Macchu Picchu Treks for 2012, 2012 in our travel section click here at PatFalvey.com

        Available All Year, or why not join our group in August.

        The Inka Trail is one of the shortest and most accessible treks you can take while in Cusco. It is a really exciting experience for getting to Machupicchu after a few days of hiking in the High Andean Mountains and the beginning of the Amazonian Jungle. You will be crossing ancient Inkan Towns and walk over the original cobbled path. This is also a great opportunity for appreciating the natural environment of the different ecological levels of the Inka Trail.

        Machupicchu is the highlight of any trip in South America. Located by the beginning of the Amazonian Jungle, it was one of the power nucleuses dependent from Cusco. That Inkan City was very effectively protected by its difficult topography and the elements built for that purpose. It was supposed to house the Inka King, his family and close friends. Its population was about 1000 people and 80% were women, so perhaps it had one of the most important houses for the Virgins of the Sun (something like a nunnery). It was rediscovered in 1911 by the American explorer Hiram Bingham who took all its artifacts to Yale University. Over here you will be able to admire many temples including that of the Sun, the Three Windows Temple, the Main Temple, the Temple of Condors, an imposing Intiwatana (sun fastener), etc. Staying overnight in any of the many hotels in Machupicchu is a great idea, that will give the opportunity to explore the environment and perhaps take walks to Wiñaywayna, the Draw Bridge or maybe climb to the very top of the Waynapicchu Mountain.

        • «
        •  Start 
        •  Prev 
        •  1 
        •  2 
        •  Next 
        •  End 
        • »
        Page 1 of 2
        Pat Falvey Expedition & Adventure news, travel, teambuilding & Corporate news items

        News Search