What we're about

We are BACKABUSH XPLORERS, much copied but still the original and best hiking and outdoor activity Meetup group!!!

Who are we and how did it all begin?

Backabush Xplorers is Britain's longest established hiking and outdoor adventure Meetup group. Our group was originally created back in 2002 (actually before we were on Meetup) by a multinational group of friends who loved hiking and wanted to get more out of our weekends and holidays. We wanted to share our heartfelt passion for the great outdoors and enthusiasm with others. For some years Backabush was an informal, unincorporated association managed by the founders for the benefit of its members.

Our group grew rapidly in those early years and in 2008, following legal advice we decided it would be wise and prudent to become a registered company to protect our organisers and our members. Following this review and the formation of the limited company, our members can now pursue their legitimate activities and aims with complete peace of mind.

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Why do we do it?

We love the outdoors! The primary motivation is fun (not profit) which means that our trips offer exceptional value for money. We continue as a group with the same ethos of organising events and trips for the benefit of our members. This is what we love and we are passionate about what we do. We will always endeavour to be budget conscious and price our activities only to cover necessary expenses.

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What do we do?

Over the years we have hiked and explored the National Parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty in Britain and abroad. It may all have started years ago with a few hiking friends gathering for a weekend in a scruffy camping barn somewhere rural and pretty but it has developed a lot from there.

Backabush has been hiking and enjoying outdoor adventure for well over a decade now and over this time we have organised literally hundreds of hiking trips throughout Great Britain. We have enjoyed visits to the Lake District, Snowdonia, Scotland, the Brecon Beacons, the Pembrokeshire Coast, Cornwall, the Peak District, the Yorkshire Dales, Dartmoor, Exmoor, the Lincolnshire Wolds, the Cambrian mountains, the Wye Valley, the Forest of Dean, the North York Moors, the New Forest, the South Downs, the Malvern Hills, the Shropshire Hills, the South Downs, the Cotswolds, the Chiltern Hills, the Jurassic Coast, the Gower Peninsula, the Pennines, the Isle of Skye, Loch Ness, Ben Nevis, Glen Coe, the Isle of Arran, Glen Shiel, Torridon etc, etc, etc.

National trails and long distance paths in Britain are another favourite of ours and to date we have completed the full length of Hadrian's Wall Path, the West Highland Way, the Cumbria Way, the Herriot Way and Wainwright's Coast to Coast. Although we have yet to complete the full length of many we have also enjoyed hiking sections of the Cotswold Way, Pennine Way, Offa's Dyke Path, Limestone Way, Allerdale Ramble, South West Coast Path, Great Glen Way, Monsal Trail, South Downs Way, Ridgeway, Thames Path and many, many others.

We were also trailblazers when it came to offering exciting outdoor adventures overseas. Back in 2009 we organised our very first foreign trip when we headed down into Africa to climb Mt Toubkal, the highest summit in Morocco. Next we trekked in Nepal, climbing over a 5000+ metre pass linking the Langtang and Helambu valleys. Since these early treks we went on to organise things like via ferrata holidays in the Italian Dolomites, or hiking trips to the French Alps and Jura mountains. We also love 'hut to hut' trekking and have so far completed every step of the Tour du Mt Blanc, summited Monte Perdido in the Ordessa National Park and trekked for days in the French Pyrenees to reach the awe inspiring Cirque de Gavarnie. More recently we even organised trips to Slovakia to seek out winter snowshoeing in the High Tatras and gorge scrambling in the Paradise National Park.

There are many other adventures we could mention. No other Meetup group offers adventure like this!

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How do the logistics work?

We know our members are busy people so we do our best to provide a complete package for you. Backabush will research the locations, the hikes, book the accommodation and make a plan for all the meals. If you do not own a car we will help you to find transport or a lift share. You just need to communicate with the organiser who will help to co-ordinate things with you.

With a little co-operation from our members it all works very well and allows us to keep offering new locations and new hikes, year after year. Although we might return to some amazing National Parks quite regularly we always endeavour to find new venues and plan entirely new hikes. If you check out our past events you will see that we offer unrivalled variety in the locations we visit.

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What are the hikes like?

On every Backabush trip we try to provide a choice of hikes each day. Obviously we will choose the from most beautiful and best loved hikes in any given area. These hikes tend to be of various length, duration and difficulty. The idea is that each person can choose the hike that best suits their fitness, experience and interests.

It is true that Backabush has a reputation within the Meetup community for offering longer and more challenging hikes but we always also offer more moderate options for those seeking a more relaxed day outdoors. Generally speaking we would say that anyone who can hike for 10 miles in hilly terrain should be fine on our trips. If you have any concerns please don't hesitate to contact us to ask questions.

What about safety?

Safety is always our number one priority. Although we can never make the outdoor environment entirely safe there are many steps that can be taken to minimise risk. Our team of outdoor activity leaders have many, many years of leadership experience and have received extensive outdoor training. Between all of our leaders we have years of military experience, ambulance work or mountain guiding.

Our principal leadership team are Mountain Leader trained at Plas-y-Brenin (the National Mountain Sports Centre) in North Wales and Winter Skills trained at Glenmore Lodge in Scotland. We regularly update our first aid qualifications and carry the required emergency aid equipment for wilderness situations. Some of us have taught or assisted on micro-navigation training courses and all have excellent route finding skills regardless of visibility or weather.

Additional our experience extends to high altitude mountaineering in several continents, be it summiting 6000+ metre peaks in the Andes, conquering the highest mountains in Africa or completing month long high altitude treks in the Himalayas.

We take our 'duty of care' of very seriously and are trained to deal with outdoor emergencies. Sometimes we hire in specific skills as necessary in the form of fully qualified instructors for things like rock climbing, caving, coasteering, kayaking, horse riding, ghyll scrambling or technical mountaineering. For some foreign trips we will either provide logistical support for safe self guided mountain trekking or hire International Mountain Leaders as deemed necessary.

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Who joins our trips?

Although most people in the group are in their 20s, 30s and 40s age is not an issue to us - a fun loving and adventurous nature is more important. It is not uncommon to have over a dozen different nationalities represented in a single gathering.

Our groups of hikers and outdoor adventurers vary in size but on every trip some people will be regulars and some first timers. Its a great way to make new hiking friends and you need not worry about coming alone as you will always be made to feel welcome.

What we all have in common is a love of all kinds of outdoor activity including hiking, trekking, hill walking, mountaineering, scrambling, camping, canoeing, canyoning, kayaking, rock climbing, scuba diving, caving, coasteering, mountain biking and just about anything else that offers some outdoor adventure.

We hope YOU will join us sometime soon.

Positive vibes! :D

The Backabush Crew & Hiking Team

Contact Geoff & Etiennette

backabushxplorers@yahoo.com

etiennette123@yahoo.com

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Upcoming events (5+)

AUGUST 23 - 26 (AUGUST BANK HOLIDAY) - LAKE DISTRICT NATIONAL PARK

Exact address and directions will be sent later.

£234.00

AUGUST 23 - 26 (AUGUST BANK HOLIDAY) - LAKE DISTRICT NATIONAL PARK Best Western Shap Wells Hotel. Quality accommodation in a secluded valley. Number of nights - 3. Cost - £234 per person in double occupancy room. With the most breathtaking natural landscapes and the highest mountains in England, there really is no other national park in the country to compare to the Lake District. Nowhere else can offer quite so much opportunity for outdoor adventure with the finest hiking options. It is hard to imagine a more lovely place to spend the late May Day bank holiday. Delightful villages, craggy mountains, babbling streams, mossy woodland and beautiful wildflowers all add to the magic of this region at this time of year. Our hotel is located high in the Cumbrian Fells, while the countryside setting ensures peace and quiet. It is the perfect place from which to hike and explore in the Lake District. The rooms offer all the necessary comforts in a warm, relaxing, family run environment. This is a charming country hotel with a mile-long drive along a private road with breathtaking, rugged scenery in every direction. A pretty waterfall and trickling stream running by the front door will leave you with no doubts in your mind that this is a wonderful place in which to get away from it all. There are even red squirrels in the grounds and you are virtually guaranteed to see them in the morning! We will have a team of trained and experienced hike leaders offering fabulous hikes of different length and difficulty each day so you can choose exactly the kind of walk you like. Don't miss this fabulous weekend away! :D Optional activities: ROCK CLIMBING Professional rock climbing instruction is available to take you out for fun on the rocks. The Lake District is one of the best places to climb in England so you won't be disappointed. GHYLL SCRAMBLING This is generally the most popular activity and everyone seems to love it. Get your wetsuits on and descend the fast flowing mountain streams over boulders and through deep pools! The activities take place on the same day and it is possible to take part in both activities as they run in sessions. The cost is only £35 per person for each session. If you sign up for two activities the discounted rate is £65 for the day, which is exceptional value for money. PRICE INCLUDES: 3 nights hotel accommodation in double occupancy rooms. Private rooms are also available (single occupancy supplement charge applies). 3 breakfasts. 3 delicious three-course evening meals. A choice of guided hikes. Our leaders are Mountain Leader ( http://www.mountain-training.org/walking/skills-and-awards/mountain-leader ) (MLTE) trained and qualified first aiders. Financial protection in accordance with the Package Travel Law 1992. Amazing value!!! PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE: Transport expenses. Optional activities - one session £35, two sessions £65. Lunches. To confirm your place on this trip please use internet banking. The account details are: Account Name: BACKABUSH XPLORERS Sort Code:[masked] Account Number:[masked] Only payment secures your place. Your RSVP is not sufficient to hold a bed. IMPORTANT NOTE: We consider safety to be our number one priority and while we never take unnecessary risks, we do recognise that any outdoor activity involves a danger of personal injury or death. Remember that you should be aware of and accept these risks as you are responsible for your own safety and you should not undertake anything beyond your abilities. It is also your responsibility to be correctly equipped for the weather and activity you have chosen to participate in. We recommend that everyone participating in outdoor activities obtain appropriate insurance. The BMC offer excellent policies for all outdoor enthusiasts at very competitive rates: https://www.thebmc.co.uk/modules/insurance/Landing.aspx

Spanish Pyrenees: Monte Perdido and the Ordesa National Park

Stanstead Airport

£549.00

Backabush is going mountaineering in the Pyrenees! The Pyrenees are a vast and spectacular range of soaring peaks stretching from the shores of the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in the east. They form a natural buffer between Spain and France offering the hiker some of the finest mountain scenery in Europe! We will be based in the mountain village of Torla, about a 2-hour drive from Zaragoza. This small village, situated in a glacial valley of the River Ara is typical of many Aragonese villages and is a perfect base to hike and explore one of the oldest natural reserves in Spain : National Park of Ordesa. Standing at 3355 metres right in the centre of the park is the limestone summit of Monte Perdido - the third highest peak in the Pyrenees. An ascent of this mighty mountain will be a highlight of our visit! The Ordesa Valley is the most famous part of the Pyrenees range, with cliffs rising over eight hundred metres on each side and Monte Perdido perched majestically at the valleys end. This is a region of dramatic landscapes, spectacular views and beautiful wild flower meadows. Hikers may even spot some of the abundant wildlife - marmots, Pyrenean chamois, birds, deer, wild boar, etc. Our plan is to take a small group on an adventurous mountaineering expedition with an ascent of Monte Perdido being a worthy goal. The best way to achieve this is to structure our trip by starting with 2 nights in a fabulous 4-star hotel followed by 2 nights high in the mountains in a mountain refuge. We will then return to the comforts of our 4-star hotel for a further 2 nights after the rigours of attaining our high summit. This trip involves trekking in high mountain terrain with a significant summit ascent . For this reason the trip is best suited to fit hikers and the group size will be kept small. Our intended plan is as follows: Sunday 8 September: Arrive at Zaragoza airport in Spain and transfer to Hotel Silken Ordesa in Torla. Monday 9 September: Day hike - Tozal de Mallo or Faja de las Flores. Tuesday 10 September: Trek from Torla to Refugio de Goriz high on the slopes of Monte Perdido. Wednesday 11 September: Ascend to the 3355m summit of Monte Perdido and return to Refugio de Goriz. Thursday 12 September: Trek back to Torla via a different route (Faja de Pelay) and the comfort of our 4-star accommodation at Hotel Silken Ordesa. Friday 13 September: Day hike - Faja Racon. Saturday 14 September: Transfer back to Zaragoza airport. WHAT IS INCLUDED: Accommodation - Four nights at 4-star Hotel Silken Ordesa (https://www.hoteles-silken.com/en/hotel-torla-ordesa/) (twin share rooms) and two nights dormitory accommodation at the Refugio de Goriz. Breakfasts at Hotel Ordesa. Meals at Refugio de Goriz (2 breakfasts and 2 dinners). Financial protection in accordance with the Package Travel Law 1992. WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED: Flights - currently under £100. Airport transfers. Packed lunches. There are local shops to get supplies. Meals in Torla. We can eat at the hotel or in any of the many village restaurants offering delicious local specialities. Flight details: • OUTBOUND - Sunday 8 September Ryanair flight FR2634 Departs - 13:25 London (Stansted) Arrives - 16:40 Zaragoza • INBOUND - Saturday 14 September Ryanair flight FR2635 Departs - 10:35 Zaragoza Arrives - 11:50 London (Stansted) To confirm your place on this trip please send payment. The account details are: Account Name: BACKABUSH XPLORERS Sort Code:[masked] Account Number:[masked]

French Pyrenees: Parc National des Pyrénées & Cirque de Gavarnie

Needs a location

£399.00

Backabush is returning to the French Pyrenees! The Pyrenees is a vast and spectacular range of peaks stretching from the shores of the Atlantic Ocean all the way to the Mediterranean Sea. The mountains form a natural frontier between Spain and France and offer us some of the finest mountain scenery in Europe! Our plan is to follow part of the famous GR10, a route which in full traverses the entire length of the Pyrenees range. The section which we will be hiking includes some of the trail's most impressive landscapes and magnificent views. Our route will take us from the town of Cauterets up to spend the night in a mountain refuge at the foot of Vignemale, the highest peak in the French Pyrenees (3298m). We will walk alongside glaciers and over a mountain pass where we will have the option to summit Petit Vignemale which stands at a not so petit 3032m high. From there our trail takes a winding descent into the village of Gavarnie where we will stay for two nights and have the chance to explore the gigantic amphitheater that is the Cirque de Gavarnie. Described as the 'Colosseum of nature' this is a horseshoe of cliffs that towers over a kilometre above the valley floor. After our first night in Gavarnie we will hike up to the rim of the Cirque to see another highlight of the Pyrenees, La Breche de Roland, a natural cleft in the rock walls of the French-Spanish border that provides a window into the Ordesa National Park on the other side of the range. Our final hiking day continues from Gavarnie along the GR10 on less demanding terrain with views behind us stretching miles up the valley. We will finish the trip where we started, in the comforts of our hotel in Lourdes. This itinerary involves 4 full days of trekking in a high mountain environment along challenging routes. There will be steep ascents and descents, on rough terrain. For this reason the trip is best suited to fit, well equipped hikers. ITINERARY: Wed 18th- Arrive in Lourdes and check into Hotel Lutetia Thurs 19th- Transfer to Cauterets by bus, hike up to Refuge Oulettes des Gaube Fri 20th- Continue along the GR10 with optional 3000m peak, then into Gite Oxygene, Gavarnie Sat 21st- Circular day hike into the Cirque de Gavarnie and up to La Breche de Roland, finishing back at the gite Sun 22nd- Hike from Gavarnie down the valley on the GR10, catching a bus back to Lourdes at the end of the day to celebrate Mon 23rd- Explore the town of Lourdes and fly home WHAT IS INCLUDED: 2 nights at Hotel Lutetia (twin/triple rooms) 1 night in Refuge Outlettes de Gaube at 2151m (dorm rooms) 2 nights in Gîte Oxygene (dorm rooms) 5 Breakfasts 3 Evening Meals Financial protection in accordance with the Package Travel Law 1992. WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED: Flights - Currently under £100 Airport transfers - Short local bus journey Local buses to/from our hike Lunches - We can pick up supplies in Lourdes and Gavarnie Alpine Guides - see Important Note below To confirm your place on this trip please send payment. The account details are: Account Name: BACKABUSH XPLORERS Sort Code:[masked] Account Number:[masked] IMPORTANT NOTE: We consider safety to be our number one priority and while we never take unnecessary risks, we do recognise that any outdoor activity involves a danger of personal injury or death. It is important that you are aware of and accept these risks, you should not undertake anything beyond your own abilities. It is also your responsibility to be correctly equipped for the weather and activity you have chosen to participate in. On this trip you will be a part of self guided walking group accepting responsibility for your own safety in the mountains. Our organisers will be joining the hikes and have lots of experience walking in the mountains but will not be acting as guides. All members, including our organisers, have a duty of care to look after each, just as we would on a walk with friends in the UK.

OCTOBER 4 - 7 - THE NORTH PENNINES

The Teesdale Hotel

£275.00

OCTOBER 4 - 7 - THE NORTH PENNINES Delightful hotel accommodation in the quaint and pretty Dales village of Middleton-in-Teesdale in the heart of the Durham Dales. Number of beds - 18. Number of nights - 3. Cost - £275 per person in double occupancy room. Private rooms are available and a single supplement applies. It is an extra £50 for a classic double room (single occupancy) or an extra £60 for a superior double (single occupancy). This is a 3-night trip, you will need to take Monday 8 October off work to make the most of this weekend away. Join us for 3 nights exploring the wild moorland, beautiful waterfalls and green valleys of the North Pennines! We have obtained exclusive hire of a delightful and historic 18th century coaching inn located in beautiful Teesdale, one of the prettiest villages in the North Pennines. It is a great base for a hiking break in this wonderful area of outstanding natural beauty. Our location is perfect, being on the Pennine Way, and giving easy access to superb countryside and some of the finest weaterfalls in England. Often described as the "backbone of England" the Pennine Hills form a more or less continuous range stretching northwards from the Peak District to nearly the border with Scotland. On this weekend away we will embrace some of the wildest scenery to be found anywhere in England. The region is widely considered to be one of the most scenic areas of the United Kingdom due to its wide open spaces, beautiful moorland and fascinating geological formations. Do not miss the chance to visit this very special part of wild England! :D Price includes: 3 nights hotel accommodation in a historic 18th century coaching inn. 3 cooked breakfasts . 2 three course dinners. Guided hikes. Our leaders are Mountain Leader (http://www.mountain-training.org/walking/skills-and-awards/mountain-leader) (MLTE) trained and qualified first aiders. Financial protection in accordance with the Package Travel Law 1992. Price does NOT include: Transport expenses Picnic lunches To confirm your place on this trip please use internet banking. The account details are: Account Name: BACKABUSH XPLORERS Sort Code:[masked] Account Number:[masked] Only payment secures your place. Your RSVP is not sufficient for us to hold a bed for you. Please email [masked] as soon as you send payment so that we can confirm everything with you. :) IMPORTANT NOTE: We consider safety to be our number one priority and while we never take unnecessary risks, we do recognise that any outdoor activity involves a danger of personal injury or death. Remember that you should be aware of and accept these risks as you are responsible for your own safety and you should not undertake anything beyond your abilities. It is also your responsibility to be correctly equipped for the weather and activity you have chosen to participate in. We recommend that everyone participating in outdoor activities obtain appropriate insurance. The BMC offer excellent policies for all outdoor enthusiasts at very competitive rates: https://www.thebmc.co.uk/modules/insurance/Landing.aspx .

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