Inspiring Adventure Podcast
- Tuesday 21st April 2020
If you’ve got any feedback on the podcast, or suggestions for topics to cover or people you’d like to hear from please drop me an email at email@example.com In the meantime, join the conversation by searching for Vertebrate Publishing on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube or sign up for our newsletter at v-publishing.co.uk
16 Apr 2020: Ep 17 - An extract from Wild Country - The man who made friends
The wonderful John D. Burns reads an extract from Wild Country - The man who made Friends.
In early 1978, an extraordinary new invention for rock climbers was featured on the BBC television science show Tomorrow's World. It was called the 'Friend', and it not only made the sport safer, it helped push the limits of the possible. The company that made them was called Wild Country, the brainchild of Mark Vallance. Within six months, Vallance was selling Friends in sixteen countries. Wild Country would go on to develop much of the gear that transformed climbing in the 1980s.
Mark Vallance's influence on the outdoor world extends far beyond the company he founded. He owned and opened the influential retailer Outside in the Peak District and was part of the team that built The Foundry, Sheffield's premier climbing wall - the first modern climbing gym in Britain. He worked for the Peak District National Park and served on its board. He even found time to climb eight-thousand-metre peaks and the Nose on El Capitan. Diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in his mid fifties and robbed of his plans for retirement, Vallance found a new sense of purpose as a reforming president of the British Mountaineering Council.
In Wild Country, Vallance traces his story, from childhood influences like Robin Hodgkin and Sir Jack Longland, to two years in Antarctica, where he was base commander of the UK's largest and most southerly scientific station at Halley Bay, before his fateful meeting with Ray Jardine, the man who invented Friends, in Yosemite.
Trenchant, provocative and challenging, Wild Country is a remarkable personal story and a fresh perspective on the role of the outdoors in British life and the development of climbing in its most revolutionary phase.
Mark Vallance (1945–2018), the man who made Friends.
John D. Burns is a bestselling and award-winning mountain writer who has spent over forty years exploring Britain’s mountains. Originally from Merseyside, he moved to Inverness over thirty years ago to follow his passion for the hills. He is a past member of the Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team and has walked and climbed in the American and Canadian Rockies, Kenya, the Alps and the Pyrenees. John began writing more than fifteen years ago, and at first found an outlet for his creativity as a performance poet. He has taken one-man plays to the Edinburgh Fringe and toured them widely around theatres and mountain festivals in the UK. It is the combination of John’s love of the outdoors with his passion for writing and performance that makes him a uniquely powerful storyteller. His first two books, The Last Hillwalker and Bothy Tales, were both shortlisted for TGO Magazine’s Outdoor Book of the Year. His third book, Sky Dance, is published in 2019. He continues to develop his career as a writer, blogger and outdoor storyteller while exploring the wild places he loves.
9 Apr 2020: Ep 16 - Helen Mort on why you Never Leave the Dog Behind
Helen Mort is a writer, trail runner and climber who lives in Sheffield. She teaches creative writing at Manchester Metropolitan University, and her published work includes poetry, fiction and non-fiction, with a particular interest in women and mountaineering. Her first poetry collection, Division Street (Chatto & Windus, 2013), was shortlisted for the Costa Prize and the T.S. Eliot Prize, and won the Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize. In 2015, Helen was chosen as one of the Next Generation poets. Her first novel, Black Car Burning (Chatto & Windus, 2019), was longlisted for the Portico Prize and the Dylan Thomas Prize. Helen is the author of Lake District Trail Running (Vertebrate, 2016) and editor of Waymaking (Vertebrate, 2018); and she has written for Alpinist, Climb, the Guardian, the Independent and Radio 3. In 2017, she was a judge for the Man Booker International Prize and chair of judges for the Boardman Tasker Award for Mountain Literature. She was a judge for the 2019 Banff Mountain Book Prize. She has lived with a variety of dogs, but thinks a house is not a home without a whippet, which leads us to Helen's latest title Never Leave the Dog Behind which explores the relationship between people, dogs and the great outdoors. The book comprises interviews with dog owners and experiences with a variety of dogs as well as the author’s own observations as a runner, (initially nervous) dog owner and poet.
2 Apr 2020: Ep 15 - Hard Rock with Martin Boysen and Ian Parnell
Martin Boysen reads a short extract from one of his contributions to climbing classic, Hard Rock, followed by compiler of the new edition, Ian Parnell, reading his favourite essay from the book, Great Wall by Ed Drummond.
26 Mar 2020: Ep 14 - Bothy Tales Chapter Two read by John D. Burns
This week we're breaking from the normal structure in light of the changed working environment we're faced with due to the current global Coronavirus pandemic. So instead of an interview based episode here we have John D. Burns reading an extract from his book Bothy Tales.
Bothy Tales is John's follow-up to The Last Hillwalker and contains tales from remote glens deep in the Scottish Highlands – some dramatic, some moving, some hilarious – from the isolated mountain shelters called bothies.
12 Mar 2020: Ep 13 - Open Water Swimming with Suzanna Cruickshank
Suzanna’s book Swimming Wild in the Lake District is published on Thursday 2 April and provides a definitive guide to open-water swimming in the Lakes. Suzanna is a qualified guide and has her own business leading swimming sessions in her beloved Lake District and beyond! If you have a wild swimming story you’d like to share drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I might just feature you on a future episode or blog. All featured submissions will get a voucher code for the VP website.
Swimming Wild in the Lake District will be the second title in our range of slow tourism guides, following the hugely successful Scottish Island Bagging, and in the summer we’ll be adding The Beaches of Wales. These guides invite you to experience these places in an in-depth, immersive manner. If we’ve tempted you to try a bit of open-water swimming yourself, get on to the website to pre-order with a 20% discount; and don’t forget that Suzanna has group-swim events up on her website, so head over to suzannaswims.co.uk to book your place!
28 Feb 2020: Ep 12 - Nick Cotton on all things Mountain Biking
Vertebrate’s Mountain Biking Guides are one of our most popular series, with over a dozen titles and more on the horizon. Nick Cotton has contributed four titles to the series, with a further title in our collection of Cycling books, Traffic-Free Cycle Trails. Nick is a seasoned guidebook author, and the five titles he’s produced with Vertebrate only represent a small portion of his forty-plus guides from the last twenty years. He has ridden over 30,000 miles in research, trekked extensively, climbed over 5,000 metres on three continents, and cycled all over the world. If this is your thing too why not send me a quick email about your latest or favourite adventure on two wheels and I’ll give you a shout-out on an upcoming episode or feature you on our blog.
Nick’s passion for the outdoors and exploring on two wheels is quite infectious. So do share your bike adventures with us by using the hashtag #inspiringadventure on Instagram and Twitter. I’ll share our favourites on our blog or upcoming show notes. Meanwhile, if you need more bikes on your podcast have a listen to Episode 8, which features endurance cyclist Emily Chappell with some advice about getting into cycling.
All of Nick’s titles with Vertebrate are available on our website, including the pre-order of Traffic-Free Cycle Trails which will be publishing in April, and the newly released Yorkshire Dales Mountain Biking.
- The Worst Journey in the World by Apsley Cherry-Garrard
- Travels in Alaska by John Muir
- Touching the Void by Joe Simpson
- Wilding by Isabella Tree
- Fridtjof Nansen
- Mike Stroud
- Ranulph Fiennes
- Jesse Owens
- Joss Naylor (features in There Is No Map In Hell)
- Ernest Shackleton
13 Feb 2020: Ep 11 - Deirdre Huston and Paul Webster talk Day Walks
Paul Webster co-founded the UK’s busiest walking website; Walkhighlands, with his wife Helen in 2006. This year they will publish Day Walks in the Cairngorms and Day Walks in Fort William & Glen Coe. Paul is an award winning photographer and responsible for most of the stunning photographs found in these books.
Deirdre Huston is an award winning writer, film maker and photographer. She’s authored five titles with Vertebrate Publishing. The second edition of Day Walks on the South Downs is published in March and, as with all Day Walks books, has been updated and revised to keep it as current and accurate as possible.
Tell me all about your Day Walks adventures by dropping me an email at email@example.com and I’ll respond with a discount code and you might even get a shout out in a future episode! And sign up to our newsletter at v-publishing.co.uk
- Day Walks in the Cairngorms by Helen and Paul Webster
- Day Walks on the South Downs by Deirdre Huston
- Scottish Island Bagging by Helen and Paul Webster
- Day Walks on the High Weald by Deirdre Huston
- Sussex Walks by Deidre Huston
- Cycling Days Out - South East England by Deirdre Huston
- Cycling in Sussex by Deirdre Huston and Marina Bullivant
- Walkhighlands Website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
- Deirdre Huston’s website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
- Podcast Ep 1 - Scottish Island Bagging - Buzzsprout and YouTube
- Ramblers Association
- Mountaineering Scotland
- The Boardman Tasker Award for Mountain Literature
- Waterstones Events
- Saddlescombe Farm
Paul’s book recommendations:
- Clear Waters Rising: A Mountain Walk Across Europe by Nicholas Crane
- Sacred Summits by Peter Boardman
- Sky Dance by John D. Burns
Deirdre’s book recommendations:
- In the Shadow of Man by Jane Goodall
- Wild About Cornwall by David Chapman
- The Island Child by Molly Aitken
- My Name is Why by Lemn Sissay
30 Jan 2020: Ep 10 - Here be Sarah Mussi to tell us about Dragons, Witches and Wizards
Sarah grew up in the Cotswolds and spent fifteen years in West Africa, so she’s no stranger to adventure and exploration. She writes thrillers and fantasy for both children and young adults, and she and her books have received much acclaim: second place in the BBC Worldwide Children’s Talent Fiction Award, the Glen Dimplex Children’s Book of the Year, and shortlisted for both the Branford Boase Award and the Lewisham Book Award. We’re eagerly awaiting the publication of Sarah’s next book, Here Be Wizards, which will complete the Snowdonia Chronicles. This trilogy follows Ellie Morgan’s adventures in the remote and mythical Snowdonian landscape; the search for true love, battles of good and evil, spells and potions, dragons, legends and the Fae lands.
Sarah gave us some amazing reading recommendations and if you fancy checking any of them out browse the links below.
- Out of Africa by Karen Blixen
- The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
- The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
- His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
- Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
- The Messenger Bird by Ruth Eastham
- The Everest Files by Matt Dickinson (first of trilogy, succeeded by North Face and Killer Storm)
- The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper
- The Bond by Simon McCartney
- One Day As A Tiger by John Porter
16 Jan 2020: Ep 9 - Tough Girl Sarah Williams discusses challenges and fantastic females
Sarah set up Tough Girl Challenges as a way of inspiring and motivating women and girls. She hosts the award-winning Tough Girl Podcast, and has interviewed hundreds of inspirational female explorers, adventurers and athletes.
Sarah is no stranger to challenges of her own. In 2016 she took on the Marathon des Sables, which comprises six marathons across the Sahara desert. The following year she tackled the incredible Appalachian Trial. In 2018 she cycled from Vancouver in Canada down the Pacific Coast Highway to Cabo San Lucas in Mexico. Last year she walked the Camino Portugues and the Lycian Way. So just ready yourself for a major serving of inspiration!
To read more about Sarah’s other challenges and watch her videos you can delve into her adventures over on her website, toughgirlchallenges.com, or tune into her podcast to hear about other incredible women doing incredible things, The Tough Girl Podcast. Sarah is a firm believer is sharing the word when it comes to the achievements of women who are taking on incredible challenges, and has featured a number of the Fantastic Female Adventurers from Lily Dyu’s children’s book on her podcast.
In terms of my 100 day challenge, keep tuning in to find out more. Over the coming weeks I’ll be sharing my plans as they form, and ultimately I will be sharing the progress of the challenge via instagram!
2 Jan 2020: Ep 8 - New Year's Inspiration! Walk, Run, Cycle or Climb into 2020
This is a compilation of four interviews with pros from the worlds of walking, running, cycling and climbing to help fuel your inspiration for some potential New Year's resolutions.
Sim Benson - Walking
Sim Benson and his wife Jen are passionate about exploring wild places, whether they're running through the mountains, walking the National Trails or climbing on their local Dartmoor granite. In 2015 they spent a year living under canvas in Britain with their two young children.
- Adventure Places
- Day Walks Guidebooks
- The Ramblers Association
- The Long Distance Walkers Association
- The Ordinance Survey Locate App
- Scottish Island Bagging
Emily Chappell - Cycling
We met Emily through the Buxton Adventure Festival. She's a London cycle courier turned endurance and adventure cyclist and has written books about her cycling experiences.
Charles Sherwood - Climbing
Charles has a combined thirty-year career in the risk capital industry with a love of adventure sports. He has climbed all over the world and is writing Seven Climbs (due for release in May 2020) about his best climbs on each continent.
- Inspiring Adventure YouTube Playlist
- Climbing Guidebooks
- The Alpine Club
- The British Mountaineering Council
Steve Franklin - Running
A relative latecomer to the sport, Steve started running after a rock climbing injury left him unable to climb. Steve lives in Sheffield and regularly heads back to North Wales for extended trips to run and climb. In 2014 he completed the Paddy Buckley Round (104 kilometres and 8,500 metres of ascent and descent in under twenty-four hours).
26 Dec 2019: Ep 7 - So here it is, a Waymaking Christmas
Episode 7 featuring extracts from Waymaking read by your regular host, Rae, and guest author, Jen Benson.
Waymaking is an anthology of prose, poetry and artwork by women who are inspired by wild places, adventure and landscape. This year is won the Jon Whyte Award for Non Fiction Mountain Literature in the Banff Mountain Book Competition.
The artists who contributed to the Waymaking anthology are continuing the legacy of Gwen Moffat and Nan Shepherd, redressing the balance of gender in outdoor adventure literature. Readers are urged to stop and engage their senses in this inspiring and pivotal work.
Through the Snow (Winter 2010) by Judith Brown
Judith Brown has lived in the Lake District for thirty years, nurturing her passions: mountaineering, the natural world, history, t’ai chi and writing. Landscape and history are her key creative inspirations. She believes they form an important part of who we are. She finds how people interact with them physically, emotionally and spiritually endlessly fascinating. A founder member of Women Mountains Words, she has a handful of published articles and stories, including a collection shortlisted for the 2007 Boardman Tasker Award for Mountain Literature.
Snow by Bernadette McDonald
Bernadette McDonald is the author of ten mountaineering books, including the multi-award-winning Art of Freedom. Among its international awards, Art of Freedom won the Mountain Literature Award at the Banff Mountain Book Festival, the Boardman Tasker Award for Mountain Literature and the National Outdoor Book Award for Biography. Her other mountaineering titles include Tomaž Humar, Brotherhood of the Rope: The Biography of Charles Houston, Freedom Climbers, Keeper of the Mountains: The Elizabeth Hawley Story, and Alpine Warriors. She has also received the Alberta Order of Excellence, the Summit of Excellence Award and the King Albert Award for international leadership in mountain culture and environment. She was the founding vice-president of Mountain culture at the Banff Centre and served as director of the Banff mountain festivals from 1988–2006.
Couterflow by Jen Benson
Jen Benson is a full-time writer, full-time athlete and full-time mum. She usually co-authors with husband, Sim, and their books include two of the Day Walks series from Vertebrate (Devon and Cornwall); The Adventurer's Guide to Britain; Amazing Family Adventures; and Wild Running. Jen and Sim write about nature, families, sport and adventures and also take all their own photos, usually with their two young children just out of shot. In 2015 they spent a year living under canvas, exploring Britain's national parks and wild places.
12 Dec 2019: Ep 6 - Suzanna Swims ... wild in the Lake District
This week Rae is joined by open water and wild swimmer, Suzanna Cruickshank. Suzanna moved to Cumbria in 2008 and soon caught the bug for swimming outdoors. In 2016 she set up Suzanna Swims to help others access wild places by immersing themselves in open water. Whether you want to dip your toe in a tarn, float down a river or swim across a lake – Suzanna is your woman!
Suzanna is currently putting the finishing touches to her book, Swimming Wild in the Lake District, in which she vividly describes her wild swimming experiences and brings the characteristics of each Lake - due out in April with pre-orders opening in the New Year.
Swimming Wild in the Lake District will follow the style of Scottish Island Bagging (featured in our very first episode) with stunning photography, practical information and overview maps to give you all you need for a cool dip (apart from the cossie!). It has plenty to offer anyone dipping their toe in this sport, but it isn't just for novices, it has plenty to offer for more experienced swimmers, including pointers towards tranquil hidden gems and the best pubs and cafes for the the much needed post-swim refreshment.
To join Suzanna on one of her group swims or book a 1:1 session visit suzannaswims.co.uk
28 Nov 2019: Ep 5 - Pete Whittaker is quizzed by Instagram
Pete is one half of the Wide Boyz duo, crack climber extraordinaire and now, author. He’s taken a brief break in signing pre-ordered copies of his first book, Crack Climbing, to answer some quick-fire questions from his Instagram followers. Our plan for Jerry Moffatt to put Pete under the spotlight was foiled by the challenge of co-ordinating the diaries of two of the best climbers in the world today, so you’ll have to settle for me as the voice of Instagram instead.
Pete has just returned from a stint out in Yosemite where he completed seven walls in seven days with fellow climber Sean Warren. Each wall needed to be completed in under 10 hours to allow them enough rest between climbs. You’ll be glad to know they achieved their goals, scaling El Cap’s Lurking Fear in 9 hours, Leaning Tower’s West Face in 5 hours, Mount Watkins’ South Face in 7.5 hours, Washington Column’s 10 Days After in 8.5 hours, Half Dome’s Regular North-West Face in 6.5 hours, Liberty Cap’s South-West Face in 6 hours and finally Lost Arrow Spire in 7 hours 50 mins.
Somehow in between his big week in Yosemite and heading up to Kendal Mountain Festival Pete managed to sign over 700 pre-ordered copies of his first book, Crack Climbing, and squeeze in this fun Q&A filled with questions from his followers on Instagram.
14 Nov 2019: Ep 4 - John D. Burns talks bothies in a bookshop
John D. Burns is a mountaineer, storyteller and author. His first two books, The Last Hillwalker and Bothy Tales, were self-published bestsellers and were both shortlisted for TGO Magazine’s Outdoor Book of the Year. Earlier this year John joined Vertebrate Publishing with a three book deal to produce new paperback editions of The Last Hillwalker and Bothy Tales alongside his latest title, the novel Sky Dance, all published in September. John is currently working on his next title, Wild Winter, that is due to be published in Autumn 2020.
John is a gifted storyteller and his performance poetry and one-man plays have taken him across the country from the Edinburgh Fringe to mountain festivals, bookshops to theatres and back again. His passion for the hills, mountaineering, bothies and keeping ’The Great Outdoors’ great and accessible to all is clear and infectious.
I met John at the incredible independent Nottingham bookshop, Five Leaves, just before one of his events to chat about his life in wild and wonderful places, the lure of snow and how both of these influence his writing.
Sky Dance is John’s first novel. It’s is a gripping read and view into the beauty of rural and wild Scotland, but also delves into the politics of land ownership, raptor persecution and conservation, challenging readers to face issues that surround the protection and access to some of the UK’s last wild places.
We’ll be back again in a fortnight, with an interview between two climbing legends; Jerry Moffatt and Pete Whittaker - be sure to join us for that.
Buy Sky Dance
Visit John's website
Find Five Leaves Bookshop
Read the Walkhighlands interview with John D. Burns
Read or listen to Sky Dance by getting the ebook or audiobook
31 October 2019: Ep 3 - Leon McCarron interviews Tony Howard
Tony Howard rose to fame in 1965 as one of a group of young climbers who made the first British ascent of Norway’s Troll Wall; a climb described by Joe Brown as, ‘One of the greatest ever achievements by British rock climbers’. Tony, and his wife, Di Taylor, have explored all over North Africa and the Middle East, surviving in many of these countries by living with the enigmatic Bedouin tribes.
In this interview Tony talks about developing climbing and adventure tourism in Jordan and climbing and exploring in Iran, Sudan, Artic Canada, Morocco and Algeria. He also discusses the development of modern climbing equipment with which he was greatly involved a well as exploring the Sinai Trail and the relationship between climbing and travel.
Quest into the Unknown is the jaw-dropping account of Tony Howard’s life of adventure, that is the very definition of true exploration. His life has been dedicated to travelling the world in search of unclimbed rock faces and remote trekking adventure; the scale of this being truly vast.
It’s easy to place Quest into the Unknown as ‘the last word in adventure travel’ which will take you from Tony’s youth in the Peak District to Troll Wall, the Canadian Arctic, Jordan and Thailand, and this year the book was awarded Highly Commended in the Outdoor Book category at the Outdoor Writers and Photographer Guild Awards for Excellence.
17 Oct 2019: Ep 2 - Pete Whittaker talks about Crack Climbing
Pete Whittaker is widely regarded as one of the best crack climbers in the world. He seeks out pioneering first ascents and revels in pushing his personal limits. Having grown up in the Peak District surrounded by the area’s world-famous gritstone crags, he has been climbing since the age of six and has gone on to rack up an impressive mix of climbing achievements on a variety of rock types and styles across the globe. As one half of the Wide Boyz duo with Tom Randall, Pete has become synonymous with hard crack climbing. He has taken techniques learnt on his local crags and has applied them to with great effect all over the world, most notably on the huge roof cracks in the desert areas of Utah, and on the big walls of Yosemite.
Buy Crack Climbing UK and International
US and Canada Orders
Join in the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
And keep an eye on our YouTube channel for some special videos from Pete!
3 Oct 2019: Ep 1 - Scottish Island Bagging
In this episode Rae interviews Helen and Paul Webster, co-authors of Scottish Island Bagging.
Find out all about there incredible experiences travelling from island to island, their favourite moments and why this is the ultimate eco travel trend for immersive get aways.