‘Mind Over Mountains’ Impact Hill Walks Featuring
Adversity Adventurer Alex Staniforth
The Lake District, Cumbria | 5-7 May 2018



Event Summary

Fancy taking a step back and escaping to the mountains for a long weekend? In need of a recharge and some outdoor inspiration?

Put mind over matter and join an inclusive group of like-minded adventurers with our brand-new impact adventure: ‘Mind Over Mountains’, May 5-7, 2018, in partnership with Adversity Adventurer, Alex Staniforth.

With places limited to 20, Mind Over Mountains is a laid-back weekend of walking and talking this Spring, with plans to summit two of the Lake District National Park’s best-loved mountains (Skiddaw and Blencathra) and explore the local environment with a few surprises along the way. Curated by us and led by Alex Staniforth, this weekend is a unique, one-off opportunity not to be missed!

‘Mind Over Mountains’ aims to promote the benefits of UK mountains for mental and physical health, when 1 in 4 people in the UK now experience a mental health problem. By climbing mountains, we can put our minds over mountains – no pressure, no expectations, no worries!

The inclusive group will also get the opportunity look inward, to explore and discover themselves through an evening NLP workshop, enjoy wild cooking in good company, and learn about the Lakes (a UNESCO world heritage site) from passionate local experts. With accommodation at one of the most remote UK youth hostels (Skiddaw Bunkhouse), you will enjoy a fascinating weekend of truly getting away from it all and re-discovering direction, when our modern lives make little time for our mental and physical wellbeing.

Suitable for all abilities and ages (18+), the weekend’s highlights are themed around mental health and include:

  • Two guided hikes into the Lake District National Park in Spring
  • Wild cooking in good company
  • Unheard talks from passionate and inspiring adventurers overcoming mental health
  • Learning about the outdoors and conservation in the Lakes, from passionate local experts
  • Optional outdoor swims (or dips!)
  • Workshops and skills to help you find new direction and options in life
  • Two night’s accommodation in one of the UK’s most beautiful and remote youth hostels
  • Other secret surprises throughout the weekend.. ssshh!

Book now below for a weekend in nature that you will never forget!




Walk Details

Weekend Summary: The walks will explore one of the most scenic landscapes in the UK with superb intermediate walking.

Location: Northern Fells, Lake District, Cumbria, England
Type: Mountain
Difficulty: Intermediate/Hard

Day 1 – Saturday, 5th May
We will meet at Blencathra Field Centre for tea and coffee, with a chance to meet the Adventure Uncovered team, ask any questions and check kit if required. After a welcome talk, we will begin a gradual walk into the Glenderaterra Valley for approximately 3 miles, following a track beneath Blease Fell, with the shoulder of Skiddaw across to our left. We will be joined by a ranger from the centre who will show us some of their conservation projects
and talk about the local environment as we walk into it.

At the head of the valley, we reveal our remote base-camp of YHA Skiddaw Bunkhouse. We will stash our kit for later, and continue a gradual stroll along the Cumbria Way and stop for a brew at the impressive Whitewater Dash Falls in this secluded area known as the Back o’ Skidda’. For those feeling up to it, we’ll climb the broad ridge of Birkett Edge towards Bakestall, reaching our first summit of the day. We follow a fence most of the way to the plateau of Skiddaw. The summit at 931m high is the sixth-highest in England, yet more forgiving and less-rugged than many of its Lakeland counterparts. We’ll sit back and enjoy unrestricted panoramic views as far as the Mourne Mountains of Northern Ireland (at least on a clear day!) before descending towards Sale How and a quick descent to the bunkhouse.

At 470m this is the highest hostel in Britain, with no mains electricity or phone signal. This former shooting lodge and shepherd’s bothy, complete with coal and log fires, offers simple but comfortable and cosy accommodation whilst feeling like you’re truly living in the mountains.

Day 2 – Sunday, 6th May
Our biggest day begins by crossing Salehow Beck and climbing the grassy west flank of Mungrisdale Common to the Cloven Stone feature. This is a rarely-trodden side of the mountain with intermittent paths that levels slightly onto the featureless expanse of Mungrisdale Common, our 
first summit of the day. We’ll approach the back of Atkinsons Pike and onto Blencathra (also known as Saddleback for its a saddle-like appearance) . The true summit, marked by a small trig station at 868m, is smaller than Skiddaw, but its sheer scale and rugged high ridge line certainly make amends. From here we should enjoy far-reaching views over Keswick and most of the fells in the area.

We have a couple of descent options dependent on weather and how the group is feeling. We will descend to the bunkhouse via a Mungrisdale Common loop or over Bowscale Fell, visiting a tarn and enjoying Afternoon Tea with a difference en-route. Either way, we’ll be shadowed by the fells with Blencathra looming proudly behind us, giving us a chance to reflect on the day.

Day 3 – Monday, 7th May
We’ll enjoy the mountain views over a leisurely breakfast, pack up camp and continue for a gentle stroll back down the valley with a surprise or two on the way. Our legs might be glad that it’s almost all downhill from here! We’ll celebrate with cake and snacks at Blencathra Field Centre before departing for home.

*Please note this itinerary is subject to change up to and including the event weekend. The organiser reserves the right to adjust the schedule if necessary for safety reasons/factors beyond our reasonable control.


Blencathra Mountain, Lake District



We’re delighted to be collaborating with Adversity Adventurer Alex Staniforth on the event, as well as announcing other inspirational speakers and experts below:

  • Oli Broadhead (Young Adventurer, Photographer, and Writer)
  • Mike Henshall (Outdoor Team Exercise Specialist)
  • Emma Holland (Mountain Leader)
  • Chris Spray (NLP Expert).


Provisional route maps and descriptions to follow.

*Please note this itinerary is subject to change up to and including the event weekend. The organiser reserves the right to adjust the schedule if necessary for safety reasons/factors beyond our reasonable control.

Day 1 – Saturday, 5th May

08:30        Meet & greet and kit check (including coffee/tea) at Blencathra FSC      

08:50        Welcome talk and quick introduction to the weekend (Alex and AU)

09:00        Walk to YHA Skiddaw Bunkhouse (approx. 3 miles)

                  Joined by BFSC ranger to introduce local environment, wildlife, and fauna.

                  Visit hydroelectric projects and ponds en-route

10:45         Arrive at YHA Skiddaw House (Base Camp). Leave personal gear and belongings not required for the walk. Drinks stop.

11:00         Begin WALK #1 to Skiddaw (approx. 3.25 miles to summit)                

                  *Walkers can choose to stay at the hostel or return from the waterfalls if they wish

16:00         Return to Skiddaw House for tea and biscuits.                                                        

                   Settle into Base Camp

18:00         Regroup for NLP session #1 with Chris Spray (title TBC)

19:00         Evening Dinner (prepared by AU and Alex)

20:00         TALK #1 by Oli Broadhead

20:30         Relax and unwind                                                                                                                                                    

Maximum distance: 8.5 miles, 2,650ft ascent

Day 2 – Sunday, 6th May

07:00           Breakfast, coffee, and tea

08:00           Mindfulness exercise “Busy lives”, Mike Henshall

08:30           Final toilet stops and kit checks

08:45           Depart for HILL WALK #2 – Blencathra

10:30           Mid-morning tea/coffee break

                    Summit Blencathra and drop down for lunch

14:00           Afternoon Tea by the tarn, with an optional dip if the weather’s hot!

16:00           Latest arrival back at Base Camp. Relax and unwind.

17:30           NLP Session #2 with Chris Spray – “Resourcefulness”

18:30           Evening Dinner by the campfire

20:00           TALK #2 by Alex Staniforth, “Mountains of the Mind”

21:00           Relax and unwind, or bedtime!

Maximum distance: 11.5 miles, 2,660ft ascent

Day 3 – Monday, 7th May

08:30           Breakfast, coffee, and tea

09:30           Pack up Base Camp

10:00           ‘Check out’ exercise

10:30           Begin walking back to Blencathra FSC (with a couple of surprises!)

12:30           Arrive back at Blencathra FSC. Cake and farewells (Lunch not provided)

13:00           End of Day 3 / Depart Home

Maximum distance: 3 miles, 400ft ascent



To find out more about Alex and his inspirational outdoor experiences at the age of only 22, visit www.alexstaniforth.com

You can also read ‘Call of the Mountaintop’ featuring Alex, who was once at the foot of an insurmountable climb here.