Exploring the Japanese mountains

Exploring the Japanese mountains

Japan is best known for its futuristic cities and its traditional temples, slightly less for its snow monkeys taking hot baths in natural sources in the middle of a mountainous region... This was the goal of a one-day trip I undertook in January.

After a hard wake-up call at 5am following a week of intense technical briefings, I headed to the station for the 3-hour journey involving a bullet train to Nagano, a bus to Kanbayashi and a walk to Jigokudani where I would finally find the snow monkeys.

2 hours on site, and it was already time to take the journey back to Tokyo to enjoy the 12-hour flight back to Dubai.

Employee, Romain Loubeyre

RAK ON!

RAK ON!

Climbing in the UAE

5th March 2016

It’s easy for people to say that apart from the highlife of Dubai’s social party scene and hanging out on the beach at the weekends there is not much else to do in the UAE.

This could not be further from the truth. A little drive outside of Dubai and you are in some of the most exciting adventure terrain in the world.

In the winter months there are some really fantastic places to explore and relatively unspoilt because very few people actually make the journey out to investigate.

This weekend I joined a few friends on a trek up in the mountains of Ras Al Khaimah (RAK). About two hours’ drive away from Dubai in a remote community lies a series of very rugged peaks. This mountainous area is controlled by local tribes and you see their dotted settlements along the valley.

We took a guide from “Challenging Adventure”, a British company whom have sole licence to operate activities in the area and climbed about 1,200 meters up. The terrain is tough going, no paths, every step there are lose boulders and large open face rocks to climb. It’s extremely exciting and feels uncharted because there are simply no other people on the mountains. The views are spectacular.

You are occasionally greeted by curious goats whom seem quite happy to share their habitat with you – although I could not help think they were rather amused at watching us humans trying to climb perilously over the craggy rocks when they run so freely with incredible balance.

Employee, Lucy Gilchrist

Hello Goat!