And so this is Christmas....and what have we done.....

24th Dec 2017

Image 03-02-2016 at 15.30

It is hard to believe another year is drawing to a close and yet, as we reflect back, it has in many ways been a great year for us personally and we hope the same for you.  It has certainly involved some significant personal sadness and we all face the continuing uncertainty of a world that resembles some crazy pantomime, but ultimately this time of year is a time to celebrate all that is positive and that’s very much the focus of this Christmas post. 

We are a company of passionate outdoor enthusiasts and love everything connected with mountain sports.  We also love sharing that passion by developing the skills in others so they may enjoy similar life enhancing adventures to those we have relished for so long.  We are therefore  delighted to say Peak Mountaineering has thrived in 2017.  Here’s a brief look back…and forward.

A look back…….

We started the year with a very lean, but ultimately very productive, Scottish winter season.  We say lean in terms of winter conditions rather than our courses - Scotland threw up many hurdles and yet we still managed to run our busiest ever season and shared some great adventures with a host of clients.  

We love returning from Scotland to enjoy Spring in the Peak District and this year we enjoyed a spell of stunning early Spring weather.  We climbed ourselves and climbed with clients.  We navigated ourselves and introduced others to these skills.  We trained and assessed mountain leaders and mountain biked with all types of groups whilst also getting out on two wheels ourselves.  As always, we also held our popular Pick & Play litter collection event in May and even got nominated for several awards as a result.

We’ve spent a lot of time in Snowdonia this year and our multi-pitch climbing and scrambling courses have been very popular.  This is great for us because the joy of operating in this amazing place never diminishes.  We cut our own teeth on the walls and mountains of Snowdonia and welcoming others to this special place is a true privilege.  What a fantastic mountain playground we have so near to our home turf. 

Summer always largely focuses around our own stomping ground and the Peak District National Park has been a great place to play again this year.  Our navigation courses continue to be as busy as ever and climbing in the UK’s first national park is, as always, our lifeblood.  This summer we welcomed everyone from some of our transatlantic cousins to plenty of fellow Europeans and even some Polish rock enthusiasts - we are never prouder than when we can show off our beloved Peak to overseas visitors.  We also always love welcoming family groups to the Peak District and over the year we’ve had a ball with all age groups.

Our first aid business, Tor Lea Training, has grown apace and we are delighted to remain an extremely popular and professional ITC centre delivering top quality courses that always receive great feedback.  Our base at the Peak District’s Hollowford Centre is second to none and there really is no better setting than a cosy base in the shadow of Mam Tor to hone your first aid skills. 

We've also fitted in a batch of overseas adventures in Morocco, Russia, Spain, France and, most recently, Myanmar.  We are as passionate as ever about overseas travel and its life enhancing development opportunities.  

2017 has also been a year often spent out on 2 wheels.  The area around our home is a mountain bike paradise and we’ve certainly smashed out the miles.  This has included participation in biking events and personal riding along with many guided days with clients.  The Peak District is all natural trails and all world class.  We love this special two wheeled playground.

Lastly, we’ve developed our product review service, loved growing our presence on social media, mentored new instructors, worked on biking sportives and helped various charities in whatever way we can.  

When Paul recently asked a client what their dream job was they immediately turned and, without hesitation, said “yours”.  We love our work and know how privileged we are.

A look ahead………

If 2017 was busy then please brace yourselves - 2018 is going to be epic!  

We have a new website in development and hope to get that live in early Spring.  

Winter looks set to again be extremely busy and we have our usual full programme of courses and  adventures.  We have everything crossed that Scotland will deliver big this time around and the early signs are very promising.  Our first Scottish programme of the winter has already run in December and a packed winter season kicks in from mid January. 

Our overseas programme continues to grow and for next year we are in Nepal 5 times, over to Russia, twice each to Morocco and Norway and we have a couple of trips to Spain on the cards too.  We’ll kick all this off with a first visit to Norway in early January and then things run pretty steadily as we chase the optimum seasons around the globe.   

For next year we have doubled the number of open outdoor first aid courses on offer and will continue to work with our good friends at the Hollowford Centre in offering courses at the Peak District’s best venue.  We are also still delivering closed courses for a broad range of organisations and our portfolio continues to grow.

Our new website will greatly broaden our online functionality and we look forward to keep working with some of the UK’s most prestigious brands who appreciate both the importance of proper real world testing and the knowledge that comes from reviewers who use the equipment day in and day out.  

And so……

Everything is ticking along very well at Peak Mountaineering and Tor Lea Training and we hope the same is the case for you.  Whether you have been on one of our courses or simply like to dip into our blog or social media posts.  Whether you are a seasoned outdoor campaigner or taking your first tentative steps into the worlds of mountaineering, travel, mountain biking or climbing - our little family business is nothing without you and we really wish you an amazing and fun filled Christmas and a very happy, prosperous and adventurous 2018.  

If we see you for an adventure together next year nothing would make us happier but if you are flying your own flag then of course we love that too.  Either way, on Christmas Day we’ll be raising our glass to friends old and new and you’ll be on the list.  

Our very best wishes from Paul, Cal, Ben and Tom Lewis - plus we know our team of instructors and support staff will also want to share their good tidings.

Posted by Paul

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