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Go Ape's 2022 Adventures Wrapped

Published on: 05/01/23


What a year it’s been! If you know your stuff about Go Ape, you might have heard about our Naturally Powered Adventures (NPA) or our Adventure Fund but, just in case, NPAs are subsidised adventure trips led by Go Ape. They can take you anywhere around the world doing anything from paddleboarding to hiking a 4,000+m mountain. The Adventure Fund is a pot of money that all co-owners can apply to, to fund their own adventures. Sound pretty great, right?  

Well, this year we’ve astounded ourselves with what we’ve done. We’ve taken more than 100 people on NPAs and given £3k to 21 co-owners through the Adventure Fund. 

Here’s a wrap of some of things we’ve got up to this year. You’ll find a snippet from the blogs below, but you can’t find the full stories on our blog. 

Go ape co-owners on camels in Morocco

A Once-in-a-Lifetime Trip to Morocco

A 3-part trip, including an expedition up Mount Toubkal (4137m), camel trekking in the desert of Essaouira and an exploration of Marrakesh.

An early 5:30 start meant we rose with the sun as we set off for the Toubkal summit. Every breath became a little deeper as we traversed icy patches and boulder fields. Four hours later, the entire team stood on the summit of Toubkal, 4167m!

After some celebrations and MANY pictures, we started the descent. The journey down was a lot less slidey in our crampons - a new and exciting experience for many – and we arrived back at base camp around 4pm for a late lunch.

Those of us, keen for more adventure, went for a paddle in the river next to the camp. Wow, it felt fresh from the snow melt! This was followed by some more yoga and stretching in the evening (to the amusement of some of the other trekkers) and we celebrated our success with a large, tasty Tagine.

Read the full blog post


A 2 day Stand-up Paddle boarded (SUP) trip along the Northumberland Coast, which included cold water dipping, wild camping and even creating a makeshift Finnish sauna tent.

We were all very excited and a little nervous about what lay ahead. After a short brief about the potential dangers of cold water shock, we geared up to enter the water for first of many rotations back and forth between the icy North Sea and inviting warm sauna tent. We were told things would get easier with every round to the point where would not feel any temperature difference between the two extremes, however I’m not sure all of us ever got to that point.

While a few of us were relaxing and trying to warm up in a tent, Jack spotted the first of a pod of dolphins to great excitement of everyone, especially Neil who had promised dolphins.

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The Welsh 3000's

A 3 day expedition across 14 notoriously difficult Welsh peaks, which are all over 3000ft.

The weather in Wales lived up to its stereotype and day 1 gave us biblical rain and near gale force winds. However, we donned our waterproofs and set off undeterred up the Pyg Track to the summit of Mt. Snowdon - Wales’s highest peak – then on to Garnedd Ugain before a swift, wind blown descent to Llanberis for pub pit stop then back to our bunkhouse to dry out. Despite the weather we’d had a great day out in the hills and spirits were high in the bunkhouse that night!

The following day was going to be a much tougher walk, but we were hopeful for some slightly better conditions heading in to the Glyders and the peaks of Elidir Fawr, Y Garn, Glyder Fawr, Glyder Fach and Tryfan. This day did not disappoint. The Glyders have a real moonscape quality to them with jagged rocky outcrops appearing out of nowhere in the mist that hung over them.

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fun in France

Go Ape Leeds Castle Instructors, Megan and Sophie, made great use of the Adventure Fund when they set off for an adventure in France in their trusty van, Kelvin.

Kelvin is literally our baby and has allowed us to experience some pretty amazing adventures out on the road. This year we decided to take him on a massive road trip to France. Risky business considering he’s an 04 plate with pitted disk brakes and covered in endless amounts of rust. Regardless we love him, and we knew he wouldn’t let us down!

We spent a whole 10 days in France road-tripping, starting from Calais and reaching as far as Chamonix with a whole lot of exploring In between. This adventure was filled with everything Soph, and I LOVE to do. We ran, hiked, sunbathed, climbed many Via Ferratas, swam, parasailed, ate lots of pizza and drank A-LOT of beer!

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Lake District Mountain Biking

Go Ape tribe members from all across the UK headed up to the Lake District for three days of mountain biking and a trip to the Go Ape Zip Trekking Adventure.

Clair was a brilliant guide and straight away we were on some fairly challenging trail. I had lots of self-doubt and there may have been a few tears, but I took great confidence in Clair’s support and advice and had a brilliant couple of days. We completed trails I would never have dreamed of trying (with the best views to reward us) and had brilliant fun getting to know the others in the group. I was so impressed with how supportive and encouraging everyone was for everybody in the group and felt proud to be a part of it.

Since coming home, I couldn’t believe how much this trip has done for my confidence on the trails and am looking forward to going again next year if the trip were to run again!

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Spanish Rock-Climbing Trip

Go Ape tribe members from all across the UK set off for Costa Blanca for a week of Spanish sun, rocks and adventure. 

We were greeted with fantastic 28-degree sunshine on reaching Alicante and after some of us had an interesting hire car arrival experience made our way to the town of Finestrat and the Orange House which was to be our base for the week. After some quick discussion we decided to head out to the nearest crag for an hour or 2 of climbing before a quick dip in the swimming pool. 

The routine was broken by the “rest day”. I had in mind lounging on the beach, maybe a nice relaxed Spanish style lunch with beer/wine/cocktails and a siesta on the beach. It seemed like everyone else had the idea of hiking a 1400m peak! After an incredibly steep and sweaty ascent we made it to summit (it was worth it) and after 5 hours we made it back to the cars. Definitely not a rest day but we all had a great time. 

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The Pennine Way

Go Ape Construction team member and co-owner, Gary Lowe, made great use of the Adventure Fund when he set off on a ambitious 431km (268 miles) adventure along the Pennine Way.   

We set off on the afternoon of Friday, 26th August, from the Nag's Head pub in Edale (obviously having a pint of the local ale first), and worked our way steadily along the trail. 

Some of the many highlights included: spotting an unexpected sandwich van from 2.5km away; the spectacular scenery up Cauldron's Snout and High Cup Nick; and eating a Chinese takeaway huddled in the tent while it was persisting it down with rain. We saw Malham Cove at dawn with nobody else around, wild camped at Clennel Street on our last night, saw a cloud inversion on Hadrian's wall, and Moss enjoyed a dip in the Black Moss Reservoir. We also met a great couple who were on similar schedules; our favourite was Steven, who was doing Land's End to John O'Groats. I could go on! 

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london marathon

Go Ape Black Park Site Manager, Rob Bell, uses the Adventure Fund to help on his mission to complete the 2022 London Marathon. 

After 2 previous attempts were thwarted by COVID I was determined to run the 2022 London Marathon. I ran 26.2 miles, on my own, in the cold and dark with no one to cheer me to complete the 2020 Virtual London Marathon and, after my household was struck with COVID in October 2021, I took the very difficult decision to defer my place in the 2021 event. I decided that 2022 was my year. 

Now I am one of those people everyone hates. Someone who can just kit up and go for a long run without any training and feel great the next day. At least I thought I was! I am notoriously bad at training for long distance events (previous 100-mile bike rides, Marathon 2020, Ride London 2018) and London 2022 proved to be no different. Even with a friend sponsoring me £1 for every training mile I did (I ended up squeezing £150 out of him!) it was tough. With a young family, potty training, prepping for first year at school and everything else that comes with it, training became even harder. 

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Looking for more adventure stories or inspiration? There are still loads more stories to read on our Blog!

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