Book your adventure in October

By Kenny Stocker

As I sit here in my shorts and t-shirt with a glass of lemonade balanced perilously on my desk October seems a long way off, but, and I had to double check, it is just 8 weeks until this years Big Shakeout and just over 4 weeks before the cut off point for School of Adventure tickets.

It might be tough to convince yourself that you are going to have to dig out your down jacket or buy some new batteries for your headtorch.. but you will! Some people might think it is crazy to put on an outdoor adventure festival in the Autumn, but as last year proved it is a magical time of year to do just such a thing. So here is why you need to get your tickets booked..

Perfect conditions to transfer your indoor climbing skills onto gritstone boulders. Inside Out bouldering courses provided by Thornbridge Outdoors as part of the School of Adventure.

In 2011 we were blessed with 2 days of clear skies and sunshine. The gritstone was at its very best, high friction and no midges! The trails were riding clean and fast, early morning mist was quickly burnt off from the Derwent, the light was clear and the views across the Peak District park were stunning. Throw in a couple of hundred people all there because they love it and want to experience the best of outdoor activity in the Peak District, learn something new from others and hang out in a sociable environment the Big Shakeout sure has a lot of positives going for it.

Enjoy live music around the camp fire. Many people will remember Rik Warren singing the blues in 2011, if you missed him you really missed out!

So here we are back for another year. The School of Adventure taster courses will be running again through the weekend offering adventure for beginners and experts alike. There will be onsite workshops running through the day and in the evening the site will be transformed into an intimate and atmospheric venue for live music, toasting marshmallows, watching films, telling tall stories about the days activities, making big plans and new friends.

The River Legacy team take a break. These guys provide the marquee and run the bar so they are important! River Legacy also organises and contributes to events for paddlers. When profit is made at these events (such as the Big Shakeout), River Legacy aims to put this straight back into paddlesports in England and Wales.

The skyropes structure at Thornbridge. The Skyropes course is a test of balance and tolerance of heights for kids and adults.

Most of our courses are run by Big Shakeout partner Thornbridge Outdoors, a leading provider of outdoor and educational courses in the Peak District. With purpose built high ropes courses, scramble nets, underground tunnels and climbing walls in the grounds of Thornbridge Hall they really do have some great facilities and friendly instructors.

Our smooth rider Mr Ed Oxley was helping mountain bikers develop their skillsas one of many inspirational instructors running courses.

We like to pull together people who can inspire which is why Ed Oxley, Campbell Coaching and Benji Haworth will be joining us again providing specialist courses in the field of mountain biking and adventure photography. New for 2012 they will be joined by the Pyranha team with a programme of kayaking courses and photographers Alex Ekins and Dom Bush who will be running an exclusive workshop on adventure film and photography.

Safe and friendly camping in the atmospheric Thornbridge grounds.

If you are self sufficient and keen to do your own thing over the weeeknd the Big Shakeout provides a convenient campsite for your weekend of adventure. Most of the Peak District can be reached in 30 minutes and that is a whole lot of climbing, walking and mountain biking. If you are staying on site we will aim to keep you entertained with a range of workshops and activities such as circus skills. With some good local pubs, cafes and direct access to the Monsal Trail this years Big Shakeout will make sure adventure is celebrated in October.

There is something for families, circus skills workshop during the day.

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