Next Winter Talks Series 2019
Four evenings of inspiring talks to get you fired up through the winter, free to attend* and all welcome.
Welcome to the Carnethy Winter Talks series. The aim is to gather some great speakers, listen to their experiences and get motivated for the year ahead. The theme is anything ‘outdoors’ but the actual topic varies depending on the speaker. Everyone is welcome, you don’t need to be a member of Carnethy to attend. All talks are un-ticketed so come along. Please feel free to pass this invite on.
*Donations to cover some costs may be requested and speakers who are raising money for causes may request charity donations on the night.
Talks take place 7-10pm in The Common Room (Food Court) on the first floor (turn right as you enter the building and up the stairs), Students Union, King’s Buildings, Edinburgh EH9 3JF. KB is here (also shows adjacent 41 bus stop). First time visitors may want to allow a few extra minutes to find the venue, a number of people, including previous speakers, have got lost. There is a bar on the ground floor (drinks can be taken into the talk), toilets, plus ample car and bike parking nearby.
Olly Stephenson, Mark Hartree
Show 2017 winter talks series
What drives an ordinary Scottish hillwalker with a family and career in forestry to embark upon a twenty year odyssey to climb the seven summits? Starting in 1997 with an unlikely Kilimanjaro encounter, James describes his serendipitous mountain adventures across the globe, including Denali, Everest and – in 2015 – Antarctica’s Mt Vinson. Experience the lows and highs of a reluctant adventurer and hear about his connection with the charity Tree Aid. James will be describing his infectious passion for mountains and quoting from his book ‘Getting High – a world at my feet (published by Twinlaw in 2015).
+ Jason Hubert – “La Petite Trotte à Léon: the UTMB’s longer, wilder cousin”
An attempt to condense the experience of 135 hours spent covering 299km with 25,010m of ascent in the Alps into 30 minutes. What is it like to be baked, frozen, awed, scared and plain weird for 5½ days whilst chasing 3 Finns who never sleep? Come and find out.
Thursday 02.02.17 – Willie Gibson and Alan Rankin – “Kidnapped”
2016 was the 130th anniversary of the publication in 1886 of the literary classic Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson. The book tells the tale of David Balfour, his kidnapping and adventure as he is smuggled around the coast of Scotland, surviving ship-wreck off Mull then making his way back overland with Alan Breck-Stewart to South Queensferry and on to Edinburgh to claim his rightful fortune. Wikipedia
In the summer of 2016 Alan Rank and Willie Gibson sailed from South Queensferry, around Orkney down the Minch to the island of Erraid, off Mull and from there on foot the 270 miles back to South Queensferry and on to Edinburgh.
The overland leg crossed some of the wildest and most stunning landscapes in Scotland following the route as described in the book and mapped on the long distance route the Stevenson Way.
+ Es Tresidder – “Patagonia ice cap”
Heart-stopping moments from one of Es’ many adventures
+ Jonny Muir – “Heights of Madness: 92 counties – 92 summits – 92 days”
From the giddy heights of Inverness-shire’s Ben Nevis to Huntingdonshire’s Boring Field, Jonny Muir visited the highest point in each of the UK’s 92 counties in a three-month, 5000-mile journey by bicycle and on foot. The story of his journey would be published in his first book, Heights of Madness, described as ‘quietly inspirational’ by the Sunday Telegraph. Not only is Heights of Madness a celebration of mountains, hills and high places, it is proof that there are wondrous adventures to be had on our doorstep.
Tuesday 07.03.17 – Martin Stone – “Life and times, part 2”
Last year Martin recounted tales and anecdotes of long distance solo mountain running exploits dating back to the late 70s, when dinosaurs were still roaming the planet. How did we cope before GPS, Mobile Phones, online tracking, the Internet, Facebook, Twitter and email? In his talk, he got as far as mid-Winter 1986 – completing the first and as yet only solo unsupported Mid Winter Bob Graham in under 24 hours. And then it was time to lock up the Kings Building! He hopes that those who didn’t fall asleep will let him indulge in some more stories of his very big Ramsay Round year in 1987 and onwards towards the “present day” – it’s only 30 years ago for heaven sakes! The talk will include running adventures in the Scottish Highlands as well as trips to Nepal, Africa, Tasmania and the Alps. Since retiring from competitive running in 1994 Martin has organised 20 editions of the LAMM, 2 editions of the Western Isles Challenge and in 2001 he and his partner Debbie climbed Aconcagua in a day (in trainers). Now in his late 50s, he is Mr SPORTident and SiEntries – but never too old to enjoy an adventure.
+ Tracy Ballinger – “Pacific Crest Trail”
I’m going to talk about my PCT thru-hike in 2007, in the era after Cheryl Strayed walked part of the trail, but before she published a book about it that was made into a movie staring Reese Witherspoon. The PCT is a 2,650 mile long trail that goes from the Mexican border to Canada through the Sierra Nevada mountains in California and the Cascades in Oregon and Washington. In the talk, I’ll go over some important concepts needed for any long thru-hike such as how to acquire a trail name, what are trail angels, and how to recognize trail magic.
Monday 17.04.17 – Jasmin Paris – “Running the Rounds”
Jasmin will talk about running the Bob Graham, Paddy Buckley and Ramsay Round in one year, breaking the women’s record for all three, the overall record for the Ramsay, and the fastest cumulative time for them all.
+ Bob Johnson – “More Marathon Madness”
With sub-three marathons a part of the dim and distant past, Bob Johnson, has turned his hand to making crazy costumes to thrill (show-off to) the crowds in the Virgin Money London Marathon. April 23rd 2017 will see him complete his seventeenth London on the trot – times have varied between a PB of 2:55:19 in 2003 all the way out to 7:28:35 in 2006 dressed as a 7 foot DALEK. For 2017 Bob has his sights on the current Guinness World Record of the “fastest marathon as Mr Potato Head Man” and this “official attempt” is registered with Guinness Book of Records. The current Mr Potato Head Man record stands at 3:38;20 (14th October 2012) and this was set by Andrew McKenzie. This then is the time to beat in April 2017 then – a tough task while running inside a potato!
+ Jane Bryant – “Adventures in Tibet”
In 2007 Jane Bryant and her husband Chris embarked on a self-supported cycling adventure through Pakistan and Western Tibet. Her adventure takes you from Kashgar to the ‘holy city’ of Lhasa. Hear about the challenges and rewards of the journey, the remarkable people they encountered and the magical allure of the roof of the world.
Show 2016 winter talks series
Thurs 25.02.16 – Jon Morgan – Multisport mountain missions
I am going to talk about 3 journeys. All 3 were great adventures and hence all 3 uncertain outcomes. Each was a different sport, all close to my heart.
The first will describe my ascent of the North Face of the Eiger in 2008.
The second a Bob Graham in snowy and icy conditions on New Year’s Day 2011.
The final talk will be a non- stop traverse from Chamonix church to Zermatt church in a long day on skis, using no ski lifts or roads in April 2013.
The most esoteric of these 3 is perhaps the ski traverse on uber-light race equipment. This may be unfamiliar to many, so I will bring in the equipment I used on the traverse, which bears only a passing resemblance to standard ski mountaineering equipment.
+ Olly Stephenson – Fastpacking the John Muir Trail
The John Muir Trail in California is renowned as one of the finest long-distance hikes in the world, typically taking 3 weeks for experienced backpackers. In August 2015 Olly ‘fastpacked’ the JMT in 5.5 days, solo and entirely self-supported from start-to-finish. Olly covers the preparation and lessons learnt from a long distance multi-day run as well as the experiences gained in one of the most beautiful regions on earth, starting in Yosemite Valley and finishing on Mount Whitney, the highest peak in the ‘lower 48’.
+ Cliff Smith – Paragliding in Scotland
An introduction to the sport of paragliding and a journey around some of the most popular venues around Scotland. From the local hills around Edinburgh to some of the wild and remote mountains in the Scottish Highlands
Tues 15.03.16 – Martin Stone – The Loneliness of the Long Distance (Solo Unsupported) Mountain Runner
Martin will tell us about his personal journey with long distance mountain running exploits and anecdotes dating back to the late seventies (pre-history). How did we cope before GPS, Mobile Phones, online tracking, the Internet and email?
The talk will include plenty of running adventures in the Scottish Highlands as well as trips to Africa, Tasmania and the Alps. Since retiring from competitive running in 1994 Martin has organised 20 editions of the LAMM, 2 editions of the Western Isles Challenge and climbed Aconcagua in a day (in trainers).
+ Graham Nash – Going Cuckoo on the Scottish National Trail
In May 2015 I set off to run the 470 mile (864km) Scottish National Trail in one continuous journey, with support from family and friends. I dreamt of running in the spring sunshine with stunning views of the Scottish Mountains, and completing the trail in less than 2 weeks. So I put together a meticulous plan following a winter of hard training. The reality was somewhat different; May 2015 was the coldest, wettest on record, and an injury on day 5 destroyed the original plan, impossible river crossings, the wrong clothing, a dodgy stomach, lack of food supplies and closed hotels all added to the challenge. With 100 miles to go I was on my knees, and a broken man. However the Carnethy Cavalry came to the rescue and kicked by @rse to the finish.
I’ll recount some tales from the Trail and of the (few) people I met, and then give you my opinion (whether you want it, or not) of what I think of Scotland’s National Trail.
+ Iain Whiteside – Running in pictures and graphs
In this warm-up talk, I will explain running and maybe running faster using tenuous, scientific-looking graphs and pictures. This talk will aim to be fairly light-hearted, but that’s no excuse for not paying attention: there is a small chance that I will inadvertently say something useful.
Mon 11.04.16 – Finlay Wild – Cuillin Calling
I am going to talk about my Cuillin Ridge Traverse record on Skye which I set in October 2013. I want to share my passion for the Cuillin and the journey towards breaking the record. Many of you will have your own stories about the Cuillin which is of course a unique and special place. I hope to share some of the details of my planning and preparation, as well as giving an insight into how the sub three-hour traverse was possible.
Along the way I have had some great days out either racing or on varied other mountain adventures at home and abroad – including a baptism of fire in the European ‘Skimo’ scene – and I will hopefully share some of the trials and tribulations of these adventures.
+ Ian Nimmo – Snippets of sports science
I’d like to talk about some of experiments in which I was involved (some years ago now) that we hoped would answer questions such as:
How long does it take my exercise performance to recover after I’ve donated blood?
Does arnica really help prevent the stiffness caused by running down hill?
What makes a good sports drink?
(Not relevant to hill runners!) Does ingesting bicarbonate improve rowing performance?
Show 2015 winter talks series
Thursday 15th January 2015
Warm Up – James Jarvis – How To Run a Sub 2:30 marathon
‘From personal ambition to a reflection on what my training had been and how it could help others, e.g. setting and achieving goals, training tips, training durations and getting the most out of your body for a marathon. These techniques are transferable to other goals that may seem too big to approach and may help you realise performance that is close to your potential.’
Warm Up 2 – Petite Trotte à Léon – Olly Stephenson
Tales from the 2014 edition of this amazing 300km long/27,000m ascent trail running race in the Alps
Headline – The lid is off the cage – James (and Jane) Hall
Epic 2013/14 cycle ride along the length of South America by an ‘ordinary’ couple capable of doing extraordinary things when they both step out of full time work for a few months to play. Inspired by Alastair Humphries, and you will be inspired next.
Realising the gamble of good health lasting until retirement was too risky we asked our employers a question most would not even dare dream of… With our jobs open for 11 months we headed out to S America with the plan of cycling South… 9 months later, having cycled the length of the continent we returned home having had a truly wonderful and fulfilling time that we will share with you.
Tuesday 10th Feb 2015
Warmup – Jon Ascroft and Jasmin Paris – Bob, Philip & Paddy too…
Come and hear from two of the most talented and modest runners in the club. Very, very few people have run this far in the British mountains in one summer and their achievements speak for themselves…
Some recollections of three big days (and nights) out from this summer on the Bob Graham, Philip Tranter and Paddy Buckley Rounds
Warmup 2 – Osteopathy and Outdoor Sports – Laura Faithfull
With a wealth of clinical experience treating runners, climbers and cyclists of all persuasions, Laura will demonstrate how her osteopathic approach to injury prevention and general health will help you to enjoy the forthcoming season and beyond.
Nick is a phenomenal speaker, arguably one of the best we’ve ever had, and it’s an honour to welcome him back again. Come along and hear a truly gifted presenter introduce you to a side of the Scottish outdoors you never even knew existed. Wetsuit optional. Motivation guaranteed.
After three decades of climbing, including a rescue off the Eiger, storms on the Ogre, disasters in the Soviet ranges and a series of books on the Scottish mountains, Nick Williams felt he needed a break from going uphill.
He’s now rucksack-free, wetsuit clad and travelling with the current, downriver. A new passion – wild swimming – is giving Nick an altered perspective on life and the need to learn different skills, while still requiring the same approach and determination he developed as a mountaineer.
Thursday 5th March 2015
Warm Up – Robin (‘YP’) Thomas – The Triple 100 and the on-going noose…
The Triple One Hundred – 100 miles of running in 100 consecutive hours whilst consuming 100 pints of beer – is that even possible?! Come and hear directly from the man himself. Arguably the most outrageous running achievement of all time. This promises to be a legendary talk
Abstract: “On-going noose? – the legacy. Most recent example? – Solicitors last week!
Background + introduction.
Breadth of support for the attempt
Chronological analysis of the campaign itself
Q & A”
Warm Up 2 – Bob Johnson – Sugar and Spice and all things Nice
This talk will cover a wide range of subjects from the sugar hidden in our diet to the salt flats of Bonneville. Bob will include details and advice from the Andalucia 6-day mountain bike stage race (completed 2012, 2013 and 2014) plus La Rioja 3-day stage race (completed 2014). The talk will include lots of hints and tips for getting your pain fix through hurt instead of injury. Free copies of the book “Fat Chance” by Dr Robert Lustig will be handed out (30 copies).
Headline – Japanese Motor Cycle Gangs, Italian Prostitutes and Hill Runners – Keith Burns
We’re delighted to welcome one of the biggest characters and arguably the finest raconteur in the club for tonight’s Headline slot, Carnethy’s very own Keith Burns
Keith reviews a thread running through all our lives (not necessarily including all of the above). This will be a wide ranging review of what makes us tick, with related examples and pictures. This is intended to be a discussion, not a monologue.
Previous talks 2012 & 2013 series