August has been another busy month across all disciplines of the Alpkit team, both in the UK and worldwide.
So where to start? Well Scott Swalling has been putting the hours in on his bike and regaining some of that form he was looking for by finishing a strong 8th in the 24 hour solo category of the Twentyfour12.He's now heading out for some climbing action in the Dolomites.
Paul Errington has just competed out in Norway at the worlds largest mountain bike race, theBirkebeinerrittet!Itwas the 21st edition of the race and reckoned on attracting 17,000 participants. The 92 km long route, starts at Rena and finishes in Lillehammer. With so many fast sections his decision to ride singlespeed proved a little frustrating, and with every 50 places he made on the climbs he lost 100 on the flat! Unsure where he finished, he reckons top 5,000 at least!
Out in Finland Toni Lund revisited Rovaniemi, but this time in summer with a nice overnighter and followed this up with some good summer racing on his Fatty for his 11th year at the MTB Finlandia race.
Helen Lloyd continues on her journeys and finally moves on from Mongolia and back into Russia amongst the Altai mountains where she's been cycling through some pretty amazing terrain and you can catch up on what she's been doing and check out some great photos as she traveled through the Chulyshman Gorge and Lake Teletskoe.
Claire O’Hara has been in training for the defense of her World Championship title taking place (now!) 2-8th September. No better way than scooping the Squirt World Champion title with a world record score last weekend! We of course wish her well for that and hope she can retain that title.
Climbing wise Ramon continues to psyche. He was over at Berry Head early in the month to take in his first proper taster of DWS, which then unleashed a passion for it that soon saw him up in Anglesey and included a scoot up Electric Blue. Alpkits Ashleigh has been trying to ramp up her own climbing, but still finding there's no easy way to avoid the challenges of juggling climbing and parental duties. Last month Dave Garry decided that Kalymnos was the best place to help his ankle injury. It seemed to do the trick as he headed out for some bigger climbs in the Alps, not without making it hard for himself first before enjoying some great climbing on duMidi
Anna Wells quest for some Alpine 4000 metre peaks drew to an end at the start of the month. The start of their trip had started in harder conditions than predicted, but they were pleased to reach their revised target. So heading home after ticking the 10 highestand a total of 38 4000 metre peaks, they have been fully inspired for many more adventures ahead.
It’s also been a month of supported expeditions this month. First up the British University Kayak Expeditionhave been out in Ethiopia after they were made to make a quick change from their initial destination of Pakistan. This is the third BUKE we’ve supported and it’s great to see these talented young kayakers enjoying their plan B and getting stuck into some proper kayak exploration. Taking with them a selection of Swamps, big waterfalls and dislocated shoulders, sounds like they are getting everything! We’ll be trying to update as we get news, but you can also follow the remainder here.
Staying with the kayaking theme, we are really pleased to be supporting the rolling Kayak Borneo expedition, which will see teams swap through the 4 month duration out in Borneo. The expedition consists of a very strong set of paddlers and the first group headed out at the start of the month to kick things off and are finding that for rainforest, there is infact a slight lack of water! We certainly look forward to following their progress over the next couple of months.
Over in the climbing expeditions George Cave and team have been out in Kyrgyzstan exploring the eastern end of the Djangart region, where there were a number of unclimbed peaks over 5000m that they had their sites on. Contact has been limited, but I’m sure we’ll be hearing how they got on once they have settled back home.
August also saw us support a group of stand up paddleboaders as they undertook a journey up the Sermilik Fjord in eastern Greenland. Along the way our Airlok XTra's made perfect grab bags for the boards and our Zhota tents were used for their media tents.The Polar Bears and Paddleboards team dodged icebergs en route, but as far as we’ve heard no Polar Bears came a sniffing!
Finally, also out in Greenland, Alex Hibbert is doing some prep work for his Dark Ice expedition later in the year and giving our Zhotatent a run out while there. More news on this to come.