Ilkley Adventure Festival - Ultimate Long Distance Hiking Talk


Talk on long distance hiking trails by a local Ilkley family

Join us at Alpkit Ilkley on October 6th at 7pm for a talk on long distance hiking by local Ilkley family 'The Belows'. Part of our month-long 'Ilkley Adventure Festival' event series.

In the first half of the evening, Paul Below will transport us to the Alpine delights of the famous Walkers' Haute Route from the foothills of Mont Blanc in Chamonix, France to those of the iconic Matterhorn in Zermatt, Switzerland.

Graded as the most difficult hiking trail standard in Switzerland, the walk is a classic and packs in 14,000 metres of ascent in just 200 km. He will endeavour to enlighten and motivate as well as give some useful tips.

In the second half of the evening, Helena Below and her partner Kris Dowling will give us a rare insight into living in the wilderness for 5+ months and achieving their long-held ambition of thru-hiking the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail) in America.

The PCT is a 2,650-mile journey from the Mexican border to the Canadian border. Hikers experience everything from heat, rattlesnakes and drought in the Mojave desert, to high altitude passes, river crossings, and sub-zero temperatures in the High Sierra Nevada. This was compounded in 2021 by an extreme heatwave and widespread wildfires across the West Coast.

The PCT, made famous by Reese Witherspoon in Wild (whose character actually only hiked 1,100 miles) is still largely unknown to Brits. As well as being less well known on this side of the pond, the PCT was especially difficult to access during pandemic restrictions and Helena was one of the mere 0.9% of hikers hailing from the UK in 2021.

Refreshments will be provided on the night!

Tickets are available through eventbrite below