The following is an update from one of our sponsored athletes, Lydia Bradley, on what she’s been up to this year. Lydia is a mountaineer, mountain guide and motivational speaker! Read more…
This year so far I’ve been to three Rock Islands in the world: an ancient rock in the middle of the Wimmera Plains, Victoria, Australia; Kalymnos, Greece in the Agean Sea; and Mt Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Afrcia and the highest free standing mountain in the world.
Re-training, up-skilling, is the thing these days, and I wanted to re-begin to rock climb (again). So, whilst my partner Deano climbed Everest for the 7th time I slipped away to the ancient of Mt Arapiles. Over decades, this beautiful orange rock has become a world destination for traditional rock climbing, famous for overhanging multi-pitch routes at almost every grade.
The next Rock Island was exotic, and truly an island. Kalymnos is Greek island near the Turkish that has developed into a sport climbing destination non par. All over the island are cliffs ranging from 30m to 250m of climbing, and rock that varies from white quartz seacliffs, to pocketed limestone, hanging tufas (stalagtites), deep orange walls and fearsomely sharp gouttes d’eau (water pockets). The Kalymnians have committed to creating the safest rock climbing destination in the world, and every little studio apartment and every restaurant hang pictures of climbers. It is so incredibly welcoming. The island absolutely hums with climbers, half of them women, many people climbing well into their 60s and even 70s, and lots of couples with children (and they are climbing too). Climbers zip around on scooters to the further crags. In the afternoons when it is too hot to climb, the beaches and little beach cafes around the island sport the greatest number of six-packs ever to be seen on a European coastline – and certainly not all on the men!
One of the best rock climbing holidays ever, bikini tanning, muscle building, wine drinking…slipping into the Icebreaker Zephyr Hood only to protect from the wind on the local ferries island hopping.
I returned from Greece to New Zealand to speak at the Mountain Film Festival in Wanaka, and just five days later flew to Tanzania.
Both Dean and I guided on different expeditions with two families up Mt Kilimanjaro, 5895m, the highest mountain in Africa, and the fourth highest of the Seven Summits. We climbed the peak over 7 days travelling through rocky moonscapes and camping under the Dr Seuss–like Senecia trees. My team, Ashley and his son Findlay Heppenstall, were fully into the local singing passion, and on summit day, starting in the dark, we sang all the way to the summit! The sun rose as we stood there on the summit, taking in the beauty of that ancient mountain.
- Lydia Bradey – Mountaineer, Mountain Guide and Motivational Speaker