Wednesday, 30 March 2016

The Year of Living Dangerously - 2016

Dear friends,

My project 'The Year of Living Dangerously - 2016' will be launched today with reports in the Northwich & Knutsford Guardian local newspapers.  Just doing this entry before going to the newsagents to pick up my copies.  Rather exciting.  Hope they have been kind to me and done a good job.

The fundraising webpage for this project is:

The project is in aid of the mental health charity MIND.  A cause close to my heart.

Looking forward to the times ahead.  It could be tough, lonely, difficult, uncomfortable, exciting, life-changing and thrilling.  Hope you can come on this journey with me.

Best wishes,

Andrew Wright FRGS

Wednesday, 30 July 2014



Still at the Matterhorn Hostel in Zermatt tonight.  Tomorrow morning, Thursday 31st August, I will go to the Monte Rosa hut to check out the snow conditions.  It is about 1,200 mts of ascent to the hut.  Wish me luck!

The Matterhorn in these conditions is out of the question.  It is freezing at 3,000mts and the Hornli ridge would be too wet and icy.  It would be brave to go even in dry condition.  At this time it is not worth going to the Hornli hut.



The Oxford Roof Climbers Rebellion, a play by Stephen Massicotte.  The Play is reaching its climatic stage, the T E Lawrence Society symposium at St Johns College in Oxford on the evening of Friday 26th of September 2014.  There is still some work to do.  I will be working with my friends at the St Peters Players of Wolvercote.  The Play at St Johns College in Oxford is a significant logistical challenge.  St Johns stage is much bigger that Wolvercote Village Hall *scene of the British premier of the Play in April*.  All the sets and props must be transported to St Johns and adapted to suit.  Hats off to the St Peters Players for taking on this bold challenge.

I saw the Play two times in April and I cant wait to see it once more.  Though I will be working as Front of House co-ordinator on the performance at St Johns.

Tickets costing 14 pounds for adults and 10 pounds for U16 and students can be reserved by phoning 01865 556128.  It will be a great night.


Tuesday, 29 July 2014


I am staying at the Matterhorn Hostel in the town of Zermatt this day 29th July 2014.  It seems just as I remember it from my visit of 1999.  Another place where I am familiar and can rest my head.  I am staying at this hostel for these two nights at a cost of about 70 Swiss Francs for bed and breakfast for two nights.  It is spartan but has everything needed.

In 1999 I was on the Matterhorn attempting to climb the Hornli Ridge to the summit.  I went about two hours above the Hornli Refuge before retreating due to stone fall and bad visibility.

Here I am again.  The weather forecast is not great for solo mountain travelling.  There is a lot of fresh snow in the high mountains and intermittent rain fall also.  Will see what happens.

I took a flight from Manchester to Geneva.  I arrived in Switzerland late in the evening and found a secluded spot in the Arrivals Hall and settled down to what was a good nights sleep for an airport.  Up at 7 am and boarded a train on route to Brig with me getting off at the junction of Visp.  I think I may have spent unwisely by getting a Swiss Transfer ticket in the UK.  It cost 96 pounds.  Maybe it would have been cheaper to buy tickets locally.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

MT TRIGLAV Summiteer


The other day I reached the summit of Mt Triglav.  Highest mountain in the Julian Alps of Slovenia.  It was a bit special for since it has been in my mind and on a tick list for 20 odd years.  I was in the area on Inter-rail in 1993 but it was too late in the season to go for such a demanding summit lacking in experience.  Mt Triglav 2850 mts above sea level.

I came here to Ljubljana via Easyjet from Stansted.  Met Jane and Al sitting across the aisle from me on the plane.  A notable coincidence.  I booked my first night at the International YH Tabor near to the main train station.  Before I arrived I didnt know where to go to get on the mountain trail and I asked at the info desk at the train station.

 I cant for the heck of me remember the name of the village where I alighted from the train.  There was a tourist office in the village and I got the Triglav Park map, 1:25,000.  Good map.

I walked the first few km to a low lying mountain hut / chalet.  Lodging in a dorm was 20 Euro.

Next day I walked 4 hours to the next hut, where I contemplated staying but after eating watery beef soup with noodles and have a can of beer for 4 Euros, I decided to push to the Planika refuge.  I expected it would be good to save a day.  It turned out not to be  necessary.  The hut was crowded and full and as expected I would be sleeping on the floor with a good number of others.  I bourght pasta and pancakes and a beer.  It is easier spending money on expensive food when you know the accomodation is free.  Some exuberant person played a boorish accordion most of the evening with confederates whooping noisily.  Sleep was at 9:45pm.  Good lessons for future expeds to mountain huts.  I expect, when the bed cost is 27 Euros, I will be sleeping on the floor in the future now.

Next morning, the 17th, I think, I carried my heavy pack on the summit trail.  Summit ridge is tricky.  Fixed wires and iron bars aide the way.  It felt dangerous to me because I was a little unstable due to the load on my back.  Reached summit at approx 8;30 am.  Stayed for 5 mins and asked some one to take my photo again the summit feature which is a silo shape with a conicle top.

My idea was to try and cross the mountains and reach Kranska Gora on foot.  I took a route which was designated on the map as having ´very difficult´ sections.  These sections were very exposed.  Lesson was that I would never take clients on such a route.  Well, maybe no more than five.  At time the fixed wires and steps lead to exposed drops of 50 ft and more. 

I was low on water.  The Julian alps are quite dry.  Punishing walk down a stoney path to Trenta where the road leads to Kranska Gora.  Hitched a lift to the crest of the pass.  Had a breakfast at a lodge, 5.5 Euro.  Then walked and hitched another lift to Gora from where I soon caught a bus back to Ljubljana and the Tabor Hostel.


Monday, 24 June 2013



Just a brief note to say I am going to South of France today to begin a bicycle tour.  I dont expect to much it terms of cycling great distances because I am not particularly fit.  I will fly Easyjet to Nice then the idea is to cycle back to the UK, taking the odd train ride along the way.  I have approx 3 weeks to accomplish this trip.  I hope to get to one or two of the big Tour de France climbs, particularly Mont Ventoux, Alp D-Huez and Col Galibiere.  Will see.


Monday, 10 June 2013



Just got off the train from Zakopane and received and managed to catch a thunderous cloud burst and get a soaking as I walked from the station to my hostel in the market square in the Old Town. 

My excursion to the Tatra mountains lasted 4 nights, including stays at three different mountain huts.  One of the days in the Tatra will qualify as a IML quality mountain day.  That involved climbing up a steep snow gully to cross a col at over 2,000 mts a trip of over 5 hours in duration.

I am now in Krakow for the next few days.  Fly home on Friday.

Best Regards


Monday, 3 June 2013



I am lucky.  I am off to Krakow in Poland in a couple of days time.  It is an Easyjet flight from Liverpool.  6:30 am departure.  So a long night at the airport for me.  Ive been to Krakow two times before.  In 1993 I was on inter-rail and was in the area for 3 or 4 days.  Then I went for a more detailed excursion about 6 years ago.  Ive already done most of the attractions.  Wielicka salt mines, Aushwitz, Shindler's factory and John Paul 11 birth town. 

Will be staying the first night at the Crakow Hostel in the main Market Square.  Then next day I will go by train to Zakopani and the Tatras.  In Zakopani I will stay at the Stara Polana hostel.  I will then head into the mountains and stay in the huts.


Wednesday, 27 March 2013


Dear Friends,

I have enrolled on the International Mountain Leader award programme with the Mountain Training Association.  Becoming IML is far from easy or quick to achieve.  It will take a good few years and quite a few trips overseas to gain log book experience days and do the training courses and assessments.  On this road I will go to the Polish Tatra mountains in June to trek and get some days in.  I like Poland and its people generally.  I was last in Poland in 1997.  Will see if things have changed, maybe it is now more pricey.  In late October I am booked to do the IML summer training course at Plas y Brenin  in Snowdonia, north Wales.

Best Regards


Sunday, 17 February 2013


Dear Friends,

I got back safely from South Africa and a trip in which I was tested almost to the limit.  It was a tough trip and I think probably the toughest Ive done.  I believe I was lucky to escape, I could so easily have been trapped if my passport and all my money had been stolen in Kokstad.  The robbers left me with enough resources which they did not find to enable me to make my way to Cape Town, 1000 miles away. 

There were one or two good points:

1.  Reaching Befole primary school after a persistent hunt.
2.  Crossing of Lesotho
3.  Visit to Rorke's Drift battle site
4.  Visiting the spot where WS Churchill was captured in the Boer War
5.  Hitching hiking with the help various farmers and such.
6.  Improved understanding of geography and culture in South Africa

Stolen items in robbery:

Travel cheques
Credit and Debit card
Drivers Licence
European Health Insurance card
BMC Membership card
Short wave radio
Machete and Masai scabbard
Spare clothes

Important items left to me:

Bus ticket Kokstad to Port Elizabeth - Thanks to the bus conductor I was able to travel thro to Cape Town with only this ticket.
Small stash of sterling and euros - I found one bank in Kokstad which did currency exchange on a Saturday.
Lonely Planet
Key to bicycle lock - If the key had gone my bike would have been useless.

Since getting home I have been trying to reinstate the stolen items back into my kit.  Also reassessing and evaluating objectives.  Hopefully I can take away some lessons for the future.

Best Wishes


Monday, 4 February 2013


Dear Friends,

I was attacked and robbed by two men on the outskirts of Kokstad in Natal Province on the night of the first of Feb at 10 pm.  I made the mistake of camping out too close to town.  The attack lasted 30 mins.  One of the robbers pinned me to the ground while the other rifled through my belongings and took many thinks.  Fortunatly they left my passport and a little money and the bike and some basic gear.  They had knives.  I tried to fight back but my efforts were useless.

I took the long distance bus to the shelter of Cape Town where I am staying at the Blue Mountain Backpackers on Long St.  I have rescheduled my flight to 6th Feb with Emirates.

Sorry to impart this bad news.  I will muddle through and get home in one piece or half in that is not possible.

Best Wishes


Friday, 1 February 2013


Dear Friends,

Just had my best days cycling.  70 kms accomplished.  Maybe I will break this fitness business yet.  I have just rolled into the town of Kokstad.  My idea now is to get a bus ticket to Port Elizabeth.

Sorry not so many words.

Love to my friend Inna in Belarus and her beautiful little daughter Zhenia :).

Best Wishes


Thursday, 31 January 2013


Dear Friends,

I crossed Lesotho as best I could by hitch hiking or travelling in the mini bus taxis.  Mini bus taxis expensive and you are crammed tight in with boxes and luggage and dismantled bicycle.   Lesotho is remote in the extreme and could have been the middle of Gobi or Patagonia.

I was able to visit Befole school to object of the charity African Support and Assistance Project.  But for the time being my report is for the Chairman's eyes only.

The bike is not running great.  I was given a significant problem when I received the bike from the airport.  The baggage people had broken my front break lever completely off so I only have a rear break.  I dont trust the rear wheel, there is play in it.  Also chain problem.  Hopefully I can nurse the heap  to Cape Town.  I mean the bike not me.

I have freshened up today in my first 'Backpackers'.  They have every thing.

Best Wishes


Wednesday, 30 January 2013


Dear friends,

Sorry for the lack of posts.  I just got back into South Africa after 5 days getting body....Internet room now closed.   Sorry.


Internet is rare & brief here.

Saturday, 26 January 2013


Hello friends,

Thankyou for looking at the blog now.  I am in the Lesotho town of Buthebutha.  This cycle is rather tough going due to the hot weather and the fact I have too luggage on the bike.  I have picked up the habit of hitch hiking with the bike and it has been effective.  I have met a good number of kind souls through this.  I mension in despatches Basil and Trisha and certainly the great Lieb of Dundee town.  I visited Rorkes Drift battle site on the rough back roads.  I am pushing on today possibly to reach Hlotse or Maseru.  No promises.

Please excuse the brief entry, this happens when I am slogging my way through.

I expect that provided I can get some lifts I will be in Lesotho for about 6 days.  So I hope I take your luck.

Best Wishes


Tuesday, 15 January 2013



A lot of hopes for The Oxford Roof Climber's Rebellion rest with the Oxford Playhouse Theatre.  The Playhouse has had the play for the best part of 3 months.  This I take to be a good sign.  A sign that they are giving it serious and substantial consideration.  If the Playhouse dont take the play we will have to think again and look at other options, probably along the lines of a staged reading of the play.  More news at a later date.

Best Regards