Featured News Posts

A selection of articles, corporate copy, blogs and musings...

Discover Jordan

It’s been two hundred years since a young Swiss explorer, Johann Ludwig Burckhardt, discovered for the western world one of the greatest treasures of antiquity – Petra. The capital of the Nabataean kingdom between 400BC and AD106, the ancient city carved into pink sandstone cliffs lay hidden at the end of a twisting, river-cut canyon […]

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Dawn drive to a captive lake in the mountains…

Up at 05:15. Woke to a cool breeze and an oozing treacle light. Deliberated about more sleep but realised it was probably the best time to drive. Yesterday I nearly cooked the engine. Steep hills, a hot day and driver nonchalance-negligence meant the water temperature was in the danger zone for far too long.  With […]

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A night at a Turkish truckstop

Sat outside eating an excellent kebab and sipping tea at a trucker’s overnight rest stop with about 60 Turkish truck drivers, striking up basic conversations using google translate. Collecting facebook friends from smiling men who speak no English. The soundtrack is diesel and drilling: engines running to keep refrigeration trailers cold, and gearing down rigs […]

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Ishallah, naltaqi mura tani

Leaving a place I love, sad but rich with memories of people who have honoured me with their friendship     Tomorrow is my last day of a year spent in the Arabic world. If I had doubts before this time about the depth of human generosity, they have been wiped clean by the unquestioning, […]

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Cairo to the Sahara: A Road Trip from Chaos to Serenity

Being a sucker for Land Rovers and off-road Adventure, Huw Williams didn’t take much convincing to join a new self-drive option in Egypt’s Western Desert. Driving off-road for 500km through the immense Saharan wilderness was child’s play compared to the first fifty getting clear of Cairo. Twenty million people live in Africa’s biggest city and the roads […]

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the nature of the beast

One day good. One day bad. The best truck in the world that dances over sand dunes and makes old men smile in the street as it passes with its V8 purring like a Siberian tiger slurping Cornish cream. The worst pile of malfunctioning anachronistic mechanical engineering since the invention of the internal combustion engine. […]

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getting a visa for libya

It was complex. It was taxing. It took a while. And in the end it has become a clear lesson in “be careful what you wish for….” Got the stamp, which of course takes up a whole egotistical page. It’s a transit visa, which we wanted, because it was only £30 for both, hundreds cheaper […]

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sea life?

I was nine years old and I stood on the rocks at the edge of the sea a little way out of Bugibba. It was a fishing village then, now I understand, like most of Malta, it’s a tourist town. I had a new mask and snorkel on my face and flippers on my feet. […]

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Helmet cams

GoPro HD Helmet Hero Don’t let the quirky, retro looks deceive you, the Go Pro HD Helmet Hero is top notch technology: full HD 1080p at 30 frames per second and also 960p and 720p at 30 fps. If you want your action replayed in slo-mo, there’s a 60fps option in 720p and also one […]

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Dan, Gee and Rachel Atherton

Meet the Athertons Having one world champion in the family is great, but having three is amazing. Talented British mountain bike stars the Athertons are that family. In a picturesque stone cottage deep in the Welsh countryside, a small room is stacked floor-to-ceiling with muddy coats, shoes, body armour, knee pads, elbow pads, goggles and […]

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Scott Crusade Skis

  A rare pair: all mountain skis that perform peerlessly on piste and in deep powder.  A Reluctance To Compromise When something is said to be a “jack of all” that usually translates to “compromise”; it means it does everything well, but doesn’t excel. That’s not the case with Scott’s Crusade skis. This is a […]

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Avalung Outlaw

Emergency breathing for surviving an avalanche tucked into a well designed backpack. Dead Cert If you get buried in an avalanche and the impact hasn’t already killed you, your chances of survival are slim. Even if you are wearing a transceiver and there’s someone close by with all the kit necessary to find you and […]

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Giro Shiv Helmet

A clean, simple does-what-it needs-to freestyle helmet developed and styled by some of the world’s best riders. When you’re pulling massive inverted air out the top of the pipe or just taking your first tentative jumps in the beginner terrain park, protect your grey matter, fool. Wear a lid, this lid. The Pros in the […]

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Hennessy Expedition A-sym Hammock

Why take a tent? Just string up the easy-sleep hammock with built in mosquito net and waterproof cover sheet. Traditional hammocks only support  the upper spine, so a night in one can be a pain in the back. Not in the Hennessy; it’s asymmetrical: sleep diagonally across the centre line and lie virtually flat out. […]

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Leatherman Charge AL Multi Tool

The Rolls Royce of multi-tools: function and form in perfect harmony. Go camping without a Leatherman and you’ll curse yourself.   There are a garden shed load of multi-tools on the market. Not all of them are up to the job, but the Leatherman AL certainly is. It’s the best camping tool since cavemen invented […]

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Spot Satellite Messenger

Spot – Backcountry Satellite Messenger and emergency distress beacon – works where your phone gives up trying. Even when you are miles out of mobile phone range, a Spot Satellite Messenger keeps you linked directly to the global matrix of GPS satellites, SMS and the web. It has three levels of communication, OK, Help and […]

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SteriPen Traveler

No need to run the risk of a bad case of the trots from bad water supplies – zap the bugs with UV light and safely sip away. Drinking water from a gushing mountain stream might seem tempting but finding a dead sheep further up the trail will signal the onrush of liquid bowel movements. […]

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MSR Hubba Hubba HP Tent

Lightweight but surprisingly spacious tent… Dome tents have been around so long that you’d have thought the manufacturers would have perfected them by now, with this one MSR have.   Exceeds the brief It’s not much to ask for really; a tent just needs to be simple to put up, not weigh a tonne when […]

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Lippi Selk Bag

A cross between a baby-grow and a sleeping bag for roasty-toasty free-range camping. Hug me baby Pull on a Selk Bag and there’s a danger that you might get mistaken for one of those dodgy geezers that get their sexual kicks from dressing up as a baby. Baby Grow Chic Yes, it is a baby-grow […]

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Dakine Heli Pro 20l Pack

The latest generation of a great backcountry pack. Whether you are just ferrying a packed lunch and a few extra thermals or a hardcore kit load of crampons, ropes, shove and probe, the Dakine Heli Pro is the place to pack it. Board Portage Board can be carried vertically or horizontally. The two compression straps […]

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Oakley Crowbar Signature Series

  Great performing goggles the pros are happy to put their name to. Celebrity Pulling Power It’s a tired, old marketing trick: pay some cutting edge professional to put their name to your product and impressionable wannabe’s will part with their cash just so they can associate themselves with the eilte they will never be […]

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Ortovox S1 Avalanche Transceiver

£299  The best avalanche transceiver on the market: when lives depend on it, why use anything else? If you get buried in an avalanche, pray one of your mates is carrying an Ortovox S1. Oh, and do your mates the same favour and carry an S1 too. There are several avalanche transceivers on the market […]

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Forcefield Action Shorts Sport Body Armour

£74 Will you bum look big in these? Yes, but that’s better than a broken coccyx Landing Gear You might be an expert, you might be a beginner, but no matter how good you are, you can’t beat gravity forever. At some point, you will fall. When you do, you had better hope there you […]

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Release the pressure

New research shows that feelings of injustice are enough to cause stress and heart attacks. Huw J Williams reveals the tell-tale signs and recommends ways to keep your cool.  You are on your way to work but you really don’t want to go. Exhausted, you’d give anything to be able to crawl back into bed. […]

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Take me higher

Huw J. Williams enrols on a course that shows him how to play safe in the backcountry This season’s late and light snowfall in the Alps had crowds of skiers and boarders scrambling over any white stuff they could find, no matter how poor and tracked out. Even without this added pressure, the reality of […]

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Bob Geldof

Geldof, musician and political activist, dons his business suit A day in the life: The ex-Boomtown Rat and founder of Ten Alps has no fixed job – and no e-mail. 7.30am Today hasn’t started well for Bob Geldof. He’s up early; well before 9am, when he usually peels himself out of bed. The boiler has […]

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Pre-schoolers fund a rising Bear market

Rupert is back on our screens but he has his eye on more than TV revenue, says Huw J. Williams. Rupert the Bear is 86 years old on 8 November. The anniversary of his first appearance as a Daily Express cartoon will see a remodelled Rupert in a new television show as part of Five’s […]

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Sleeping Giant

Kafue, Zambia’s oldest national park, is so vast it could swallow both the Serengeti and Ngorongoro whole. Yet the number of visitors it receives is tiny. For decades it’s suffered from under-investment and neglect but now, little by little, things seem to be changing for the better. With the opening of an impressive array of […]

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Fancy prospecting for oil and gas?

The industry is facing a skills shortage, explains Huw J. Williams. A wind- and rain-swept platform perched high above a raging North Sea is not many people’s idea of an ideal working environment, but Britain’s oil and gas industry urgently needs recruits. There is a shortage of skilled workers, and with exploration under way for […]

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Less is more as legendary Lara goes back into action

The videogame icon once thought past her sell-by date is proving profitable for her new owners, writes Huw J. Williams. She is beautiful, highly intelligent, athletic and of independent means – a countess who has graced the covers of hundreds of magazines, appeared on stage with U2 and starred in two Hollywood movies. Yet despite […]

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What to do when a playground in white turns into a killer zone

This year’s avalanche toll is set to be a record, but still most skiers ignore the risk. Huw J. Williams signs up for the course every off-pister should take Massive snowfalls across the Alps last weekend have helped make this one of the best ski seasons for years. It’s also been the most deadly. Avalanches […]

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Making your work into a play station

Young people today, eh? Spending all their time on computer games. When will they get a job? Huw J. Williams on games fanatics who do both. Playing the latest computer games months before anyone else gets their hands on them, and getting paid for the pleasure, is a dream job for many avid gamers. But […]

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Walk this way

If quality of guiding were the deciding factor, then Zambia’s Luangwa Valley would probably be voted Africa’s leading safari destination, by a comfortable margin. South Luangwa National Park has game in abundance and no shortage of unexplored, unspoilt wilderness. So far, so wonderful. But how long is it going to stay that way?   Never […]

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Highway to powder paradise

A new charter flight starting next month puts the big snows of Colorado within easy reach. Huw J. Williams reports Colorado snow is among the world’s best: deep, luxuriant and effervescent stuff that has been dried as it travelled across North America in the jet stream before falling on this mountainous arena. Last week resorts […]

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Real-life applications: The business of making learning fun

The US Army’s recruitment efforts have come a long way from the iconic Uncle Sam “I Want You” posters of the first world war. America’s Army, an online video game that gives potential recruits a taste of military training, missions and a dose of American military philosophy, is one of the top five PC online […]

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In-game advertising

Medium is new home for message England are playing Brazil in the World Cup. It’s one-all, and then in the dying minutes England surge forward and score a spectacular goal. As the players celebrate an advertising banner comes into view and the victory is suddenly synonymous with that lucky company’s product; the type of opportunity […]

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Cashing in on appetite for adventure

Sun, sand and sea are losing their allure for British holidaymakers. A traditional beach holiday is still the favourite, but a rapidly growing number of Britons are choosing activity holidays. These range from sports holidays such as skiing, sailing or diving to yoga retreats, cookery courses, needlepoint lessons, painting in Provence, trekking in the Himalayas […]

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When a job is kid’s play

Working on computer games is not just a job for nerds. Britain’s computer games industry is the third largest in the world. In the UK it’s bigger than the music industry and brings in more money than both cinema box office takings and DVD rental incomes combined. It’s a new industry that’s been growing fast […]

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Aston Martin roars back to Le Mans

A town in northern France will be one of the noisiest places on earth on Saturday as the fastest and sturdiest sports cars that modern technology has to offer compete in the Le Mans 24 Heures. The race remains one of motorsport’s great events, ranking alongside such names as Indianapolis and Monte Carlo, elite challenges […]

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Precious metal

They might look menacing, but when lads with low-paid jobs spend thousands of pounds modifying their cars, the last thing they want is trouble with the law, as Huw J. Williams reports. Loud, thumping bass notes boom over a screaming riff of red-line-revving engines and the castrato screech of rubber on tarmac: the Saturday-night melody […]

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Shaun Palmer

Uneasy rider All the other bad-assed, antisocial-but-too-cynical-to-really-rebel snowboard punks have been mere facsimiles of Shaun Palmer. Palmer not only crossed social boundaries he ritually torched them on the way past. Sometimes he seemed to deliberately set out to do it; sometimes it just came naturally.  Others may have been more intolerable, depraved or despicable, but […]

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Last rides

Ruemkatanyu is a Bhuddist charity that is often the only source of medical attention for Bangkok’s poor. Huw J. Williams joined its nocturnal ambulance patrol, which cares for the victims of the city’s horrendous traffic. In Bangkok, in the absence of an official ambulance service, charities patrol the streets. Carrying the accident victims they find […]

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Deserted slopes on the cheap

Huw J. Williams checks out the budget options People go to resorts because they have lift facilities, but there’s plenty more winter wonderland than the best-serviced ski hills offer. Helicopters can provide a Pegasus ride to deserted powder fields but £300-plus is a lot to pay for a day’s play. Now, instead of getting the […]

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Two can play that game

Hollywood and the games industry are getting closer than ever. Soon you may not be able to tell the difference. Audiences are flocking to watch Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers this Christmas, but computer gamers have been immersing themselves in the latest Middle Earth saga, The Fellowship of the Ring, since late October. […]

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Riding high in Kicking Horse

Huw J. Williams puts Canada’s newest resort to the test Hard-packed snow, coffee-coloured slush, rocks that hide millimetres below the surface – just some of the reasons helicopters are becoming the preferred means of transport for those whose winter holiday budgets are big enough. But carving through fresh snow on a two-hour descent needn’t involve […]

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Aroma therapy

Huw J. Williams finds out how to blend exotic fragrances and flavours in Thailand Mom Tri’s Boathouse sits at the end of a large moon-shaped beach on the island of Phuket. It is a small, comfortable hotel of subtle Thai style emerging between trees that were growing before it was built. All of its 36 […]

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Pikes Peak: The Road to Petrol-Head Heaven

Very few American sporting events escape the salacious glare of corporate attention. The NFL, the NBA, NASCAR, even the Masters have been splattered with logos and slogans as marketing departments seek to bask in the reflective glory of heroes on a field of dreams. But in the land where sport is a slave to business, […]

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Ed Danby, Shore Manager for GBR Challenge

Ed Danby calls himself the oil that makes the cogs run smoothly.  Ed is the GBR Challenge Shore Manager, it’s his job is to ensure that two of the World’s most technologically advanced racing yachts are in the water every day and are sailing to peak performance. All the needs of the thirty-five crew members, […]

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Extreme Business

Tony Hawk’s mother says he was a “challenging” kid. He was scrawny, a nerd, and a social outcast. He wasn’t particularly good at team sports, he didn’t like being told what to do by the coach, didn’t mix with the jocks. He preferred to play on his own. Tony spent hours and hours, days, alone […]

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Junior Johnson

White Lightning, Burnt Rubber Junior Johnson is a legend, a living Beowulf and a Robin Hood of the Southern States. The Police chased him for years but couldn’t catch him. He switched to the racetrack and was still out in front. Hard working, hard driving, hard charging GGGGGGGRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRVVVVVVVVMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMmmmmmmmmmm……… There goes Junior. Two things have dominated […]

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Mat Hoffman

Mat Hoffman is at the Playstation Skate Park in West London for a photo shoot. It’s mid week but there’s a few young kids in amongst the hard core skaters using the park. “That’s Hoffman”, “Matt Hoffman, look!” The whispers start, half an hour later the ranks have swollen and he’s surrounded. Shouldn’t these kids […]

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