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Next Stop (in 18 hours…)- Patagonia!!

Next Stop (in 18 hours…)- Patagonia!!

After a great farewell presentation yesterday, wishing their parents and loved ones Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and a Happy Birthday somewhere thrown in the mix, the Patagonia team made their way to the airport today, to set off on their 4 week expedition. Everyone in HSX wishes you a safe flight, we hoped you manage to stay occupied for the whole 18 hours, and we look forward to hearing all about your experiences when you get back. Stay safe, take lots of photos, make lots of memories and enjoy every moment. See you at Ferny Crofts on your return!

Training Round Up: HSXPat2017 Part 2

Training Round Up: HSXPat2017 Part 2

With a new year came a chance for another year of adventures- this is 2017 so far….

January- Dartmoor

The weekend started with a drive down to a scout hut in Dartmoor. We were very excited to receive our first Patagonia team kit. We were each given a light blue t-shirt which had our Patagonia 2017 logo on it, which the team had designed previously. After a few hours of patchy sleep, we headed out into the moors. As soon as we started walking we saw that all the water on the ground was frozen. This meant that Tilda managed to take out Nathan on the ice, nearly jeopardising the whole trek. After hours of trekking through frozen bogs we ended at the chosen wild camping spot for the night. We made dinner and played cards in the freezing tent until we dragged our bodies out into the cold and dark for some night navigation. Finally, we went to bed for some well-earned sleep.

The next morning, we were up, ate breakfast and were out by 08:30. We started by spending half an hour attempting to cross a river. We then trekked back to the vans through more bogs and practicing more navigation. Overall the Dartmoor weekend was…an experience.







February- Scotland
The Scotland trip gave us, as a team, a good feel for how life will be, when hiking in Patagonia. With crampon skills, ice axe arrests, navigating through the valleys and the peaks, and long treacherous hikes we are feeling very prepared.

The week started with a very long arduous journey up to Scotland via mini bus. We had a top of night at a scout hut in Carlisle, where we learnt some judo skills with Rob as the instructor. Once we had reached the lodge in the Cairngorms, we sorted out what rooms we were staying in and then set off for our introductory walk. It was a gentle walk around a scenic loch. After taking lots of photos, we returned for a well needed uninterrupted sleep.
The first day of proper hiking (the Sunday) was spent hiking up the ridge towards 1141. We stopped half way up and learnt our first load of snow skills. We learnt ice axe arrests and had some spectacular fails but mostly just good practice and success. The most spectacular display of what not to do, was Tilda trying to do an ice axe arrest head first on her back and just panicking, dropping the axe and coming to a messy halt because of her heels digging into the snow. After sufficient practise and some lunch, we continued traversing up to 1141, then along the plateau and over Cairngorm. It was a tiring first day but we learnt lots and felt very skilled for tackling mountains!

On one of our rest days we still woke up for breakfast at 07:45 still but then instead of heading out to the mountains we had a talk about packing an expedition pack. It was very useful and we all learnt a fair amount. We then went out for a short hike to a bothy. A bothy is a small hut, sometimes with a fire place, to get out of the elements and sometimes to sleep. We went to see what one is like as we will hopefully be staying in one on Thursday night on our overnight expedition. We headed back for lunch and then went for a distillery tour about an hour away from our lodge. However, sadly, we couldn’t drink. It was a great day and lovely to have a break from such tiring daily activities, usually.


April- Lake District

Over the Easter weekend, we drove up to the Lake District for a weekend of hiking, climbing and scrambling.

We kicked off our adventurous Easter weekend with a hike, sharing navigation (Friday). After reaching the base of Pavey Ark we manoeuvred around Stickle Tarn to the bottom of a scrambling route called Jack’s Rake which is a grade 1, 3 star scramble. We kitted up with helmets (and snacks) before beginning the ascent. Most Jack’s Rake was enclosed however some parts were exposed to the elements which worried. Nevertheless, after a slow scramble, we emerged at the top of Pavey Ark where we had lunch. We then did some micro-navigation across the ridge lines to High Raise before heading back to Great Tower for the evening.

On Saturday we drove out to Bowderstone where two climbs were set up for us. We rotated around between climbing, belaying and tailing. After that a long, much harder line was set up with a top belay. Everyone tried their hardest to complete it however some people didn’t manage it. Later on, we moved to a long abseil before driving to Keswick where we had an ice-cream and a cup of tea then headed back to the activity centre for some well-earned rest.

After Saturday night’s dinner, the team were driven out by Alan to the base of a valley. We hiked up it in the dark and although it was hard going and steep, it was enjoyable as it was something different. We skirted around Grizedale Tarn and set up camp next to the shore. After a satisfactory night’s sleep, only interrupted by Dan’s snoring, we were walking out by 09:00. We took turns navigating and our navigating skills had definitely improved since Scotland. We slowly trudged up the ridge to Fairfield’s peak and as we got higher the visibility got worse because it had started snowing. At the top, we got out the cold wind and snow in a small wind shelter. We struggled to navigate off Fairfield as the visibility was so poor but once we got on our way we made good time. After a tough and very damp day we made it down to Ambleside where we were picked up and driven back to Great Tower. We had a great group singalong on the way back and then got straight in the lovely hot showers. After showering, we met as a team and had a debrief and then got on with organising our July fundraiser. All in all it was a fun weekend with lots learnt and experience gained.



We are still not done yet for this year!

We have fundraising days planned for our expedition, as well as a trip to the Peak District in June,

-The Patagonia Team

As always…

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2016 Training Round Up : HSXPat17

2016 Training Round Up : HSXPat17

Below is a little debrief of all the 2016 training we have done so for Patagonia 2017- Our 4 week expedition to Chilean Patagonia over Christmas and New Year 2017. We hope you Enjoy!

June- Ferny Crofts

This training weekend was to introduce ourselves and do some team building. We started the weekend by developing our group skills via frisbee golf, crate stacking, and a pioneering activity where we had to make a bridge across a “river” (a path). That evening we relaxed by the fire with our dinner.

On the second day, we did personal training in the morning which involved a lot of running! Once we had cleaned ourselves off, we prepared and ate a lovely cooked breakfast. We then got ready for going on a local hike around the New Forest. During this we all took it in turns to try out some map reading navigation which also gave us the time to bond as a team. We finished the day by showing of our (non-existent) volley ball skills and had a BBQ lunch.

September- FC (HSX’s 30th birthday)

The weekend began by meeting some other members of HSX including the Cambodia team 2016. We then went for a hike where we navigated on our own and did challenges and activities at each destination point. Once we got back we did some research on Patagonia and Torres del Paine and brainstormed fundraising ideas. We also did some rock climbing and abseiling on the mega tower at Ferny Crofts and then celebrated the 30th birthday of HSX with volley ball and cake.

October- North Wales

We arrived late and the lads had to sleep in tents and the lass slept in a lovely warm bed. The first day consisted of hiking up Try-Fan via Heather Terrace. This gave u some great views and at the top, we all watched Rob and Steven jump from Adam to Eve on the summit. The evening was spent relaxing and eating with both the team and the rest of HSX. The next day we went rock climbing, scrambling and abseiling which was quite challenging but nevertheless fun!

December- FC

A HSX tradition is to complete an adventure race on the Christmas weekend. We had to travel from point to point in the quickest time possible in teams. The points were distributed randomly across the New Forest area surrounding Ferny Crofts. Our team completed this, it was very muddy and the time limit was three hours. We then did an obstacle course in which Rob and Nathan jumped in a pond for extra points. Because we were the newest expedition team, we also had to cook Christmas dinner for everyone which was pretty “decent”.

To catch up on our training for 2017 – keep your eyes peeled for a post coming this week!

-The Patagonia Team

Don’t forget to take a look at our website!

Follow us on Twitter! @HSXOfficial

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It’s A Good Day To Have Great Adventures

It’s A Good Day To Have Great Adventures

This Easter 47 Explorers, Network and Scout Active Support members returned to Great Tower for an amazing weekend walking, climbing and ghyll scrambling in the Lake District.

Arriving on Thursday, some at a respectable time, others at 1:30 am after getting lost near (not in) a ford, everyone’s beds were calling for a good night’s sleep.

Friday started with a fabulous hearty breakfast and everyone getting split into groups for the day.The Patagonia team lead by Chris, Rich and Ellis went for a day’s scrambling at Jakes Rake on Pavey Arch providing some quality team bonding as they prepare to head off on their expedition this Christmas.

Dave, Matt, Dan and The FC All Stars took to Multi pitching at Guillecombe Butress and walking group one started from Dungeon Ghyll car park and headed over Angle Tarn.







After dropping groups off, Nick and Tilly headed to Shepards Crag. With a first attempt at Kransic Crack Direct (HVS 5a) which didn’t go to plan, they then moved to Brown Slabs area for an attempt at something ‘a little less scary’. This took longer than expected so after a 8 hour day at the crag Tilly only managed to get one climb completed, and an abseil in a rescue attempt to collect Nick’s gear from the rock. However, she did get to play with a husky puppy for about 4 hours so all was not lost.

The walking group lead by Alan spent the day conquering Stickle Tarn ending up in Ambleside where Ed bought a lovely red coat and Ross was forgotten.

On Saturday the Patagonia Team plus some new HSX members, I think they were from Andover? Climbed at the Bowder Stone Maximum effort was had all around with newcomer Emma completing a climb she was convinced that she couldn’t do. Well Done!

Everest Dave and everyone else headed back to Shepard’s crag to learn about gear placement, and have a go at lead climbing. Florence and Bradley successfully completed their first Trad lead climbs and Dave found out what ‘being a snake’ meant from the youngun’s. Every day is a learning day after all.

Matt and Lucy trekked further down the crag over everyone’s favourite scree field of doom to Brown Slabs to make easy work of the one climb Nick and Tilly completed the day before. Dan and Tilly also headed out to Brown slabs completing Brown Slabs Crack (VS 4c) and also smashing their way up Kransic Crack Direct, much to Dan’s delight.

The walking team, getting in much needed quality mountain days for ML assessments went to Keswick, completing the Dollywagon and Neathermost Pike routes. Not only did they find an epic bothy full of cakes, they also stopped momentarily to pose like a 90’s boyband,  overall the team had a pretty chill day out.

Easter Sunday came around too soon, and the Easter bunny was nowhere to be seen. Probably held up in some traffic in Ambleside. After a wild night camping on Helvellyn on the Saturday and no sightings of the Easter Bunny either, the Patagonia team’s Sunday started with a walk out with the day ending up in Keswick for some shopping and a mooch round the market.

Dave, Lucy and Dan multi pitched Troutdale Pinnacle, a respectable 6 pitch Severe 4a, however due to the rain turned into an E 50 equivalent.

On Sunday, the last two surviving members of the Cambodia Leader Team and ten other brave souls confronted the cold minus temperatures of the water to go Ghyll Scrambling at Church Beck. Ghyll Scrambling if you don’t know it, is working your way up a scramble, that scramble however has a river running through it, which sounds lovely if it was 30 degrees and not -3. After 2 hours in the water jumping into plunge pools only resulting in instant brain freeze, some rather spectacular dance moves and slowly loosing sensation in every part of our bodies we completed the scramble and returned back to base for warm showers and copious amounts of tea.


With the weekend drawing to an end, there was time for one last bit of fun. One of our resident chef’s Karina had spent the day making some lovely vegan friendly Easter nests for us to nibble on while Ian briefed us on the rules of quizzmania. After a purchase of a quiz book during the day Ian decided it was time to unleash some facts. Many have said that this could be a new tradition for the Lake District… We shall now wait in anticipation for quiz night next year… with prizes…

An early start on Monday leaving before 7 meant for early nights all around. The Easter Bunny came over night, meaning treats for the bus journeys back.

Thank you to everyone who helped organise this trip in any way, especially Steve and Karina on doing a marvellous job with the food and keeping us from going hungry.

Our next trip is to the Peak District in June for a weekend of climbing. Keep your eyes peeled on our website for details soon.

We hope to see you there!

Don’t forget to take a look at our website!

Follow us on Twitter! @HSXOfficial

Find us on Instagram! @official_hsx AND

Find us on Facebook!



Am I fit enough for an expedition?

Am I fit enough for an expedition?

If any member of HSX were given £1 for every time somebody asked the question, “Am I fit enough to join one of your expeditions?”  or questioned whether they are the right person for “that kind of adventure” I think we would all be in a position to quit our jobs, buy a round the world plane ticket and travel the world forever.

But we don’t get £1, we just reply to each person the only way we know how. It’s simple.

We don’t have any fitness requirements, as long as you have a sense of adventure and willingness to participate, then you’re more than welcome.

Just so you know where I am coming from with this advice, I am a normal person. That is to say, I am not super fit nor super human, I don’t run marathons, I can just about crawl 5k, I don’t lift weights, I think push ups and burpees are quite frankly torturous, (I only do them so I can eat more food) and I don’t find carrying a backpack easy or fun, but periodically I set myself a bit of a challenge, something to look forward to, and I get fit and prepared for it.

My next challenge is Patagonia 2017, in this expedition, there will be a trekking aspect, I want to be able to enjoy this without worrying that I’m slowing people down, I want to take in and explore this most beautiful landscape, the fitter I am, the better my body can adapt to the environment.


As much as we don’t have any fitness requirements, we do promote it around expeditions, as the fitter you are, the more likely you are able to enjoy and get the most out of the expedition. That is why the leadership team have taken it upon themselves to get fit.

Recently we had a fitness session run by JK Lifestyle and Fitness who put us through our paces, although from the photos it just looks like we are lying on the floor, we did a multitude of circuits, it was hot, tough and challenging, but most importantly we completed it as a team, and had a laugh along the way.

Enjoy these photos of the leadership team turning delightful shades of beetroot…

Now, where’s that cupcake?

If our expedition sounds like something that you  would be interested in… Why not join us ?

Please contact us and get involved!

In order to sign up, we have created a Google form to be completed by Saturday 27th August.


Email: ( or stay tuned to the blog for more details.


Twitter: @HSXofficial #Pat2017