About Steve

Steve has a background in recreational and competitive outdoor activities, combined with 30+ years of academic and professional training. This positions him uniquely within the ranks of UK outdoor activity providers. His extensive practical experience in all the major outdoor activities is underpinned by a specialist understanding of the theory behind the practice – it’s a rare combination. This guarantees an expert and personalised approach as well as a commitment to supporting everyone to realise their adventure sports ambitions.

Winter in May

Winter in May

As the world continues to heat up with new mean global temperatures nearly every year, local weather anomalies seem even more notable – especially when they’re cold!  As the image shows of our trip up Blencathra yesterday, winter has temporarily returned to the Lake District.  Whilst the unseasonable conditions may have caught a few people out, they certainly did get others excited as winter boots had a last hurrah.  Even the Lake District Ski club had an excellent day out on Raise – none of the members could remember such excellent powder conditions in May.

If you’re interested in support for your days out in the Lakes or further afield, whatever season presents itself, Steve will be pleased to help you.  Just call to discuss your needs.

By |May 6th, 2021|Mountain walking, Winter mountain walking|Comments Off on Winter in May

Scafell Pike

Scafell Pike

Three days before the further easing of lockdown and the expected influx of visitors to the Lake District, fine weather provided an opportunity to venture into the central fells whilst it was still relatively quiet.  A walk from Langdale was planned taking in Rossett Pike, Esk Hause, Esk Pike, Bowfell and Crinkle Crags.  On arriving at Esk Hause however, a change of plan was requested…

With time in hand, good weather and few other walkers about, the opportunity to extend the day to take in Scafell Pike and Great End was too good to miss.  A two hour round trip detour permitted a visit to England’s highest point with the summit to ourselves (image with Steve), a fantastic panorama, taking lots of photographs and a bonus summit of Great End to boot.  We returned via Esk Pike and Bowfell as planned but abandoned Crinkle Crags to a future walk.  In total we walked 26km, were out for 9 hours and climbed over 5000ft – a relaxed but big day out which will live long in the memory.

By |April 12th, 2021|Mountain walking|Comments Off on Scafell Pike

A very good Friday

Pillar, Gable & Scafells

Friday saw our first mountain venture since the easing of lockdown permitted organised outdoor activity.  With fabulous weather we decided to head to Wasdale on the basis it would be beyond the reach of most day trips.  On arrival however, we found hundreds of cars and many motorhomes and tents thronging the valley.  Our spirits quickly rose though, as we headed up towards Black Sail Pass, when it became apparent that the vast majority of people were intent on climbing England’s highest mountain.

We enjoyed an excellent (and crowd free) round of Pillar, Scoat Fell, Steeple, Red Pike and Yewbarrow having only to share the summit of Steeple with one other friendly walker – every other peak we had entirely to ourselves.  We did also, of course, have a great view over to Great Gable and the Scafells (image) – we thought Scafell Pike appeared slightly higher than usual!

If you would like to escape the madding crowd in these strange times, Steve will be pleased to help you.  Call to discuss your needs.

By |April 6th, 2021|Mountain walking|Comments Off on A very good Friday

Keswick Tourist Association advertise Steve’s personalised mountain activities

KTA

The Keswick Tourism Association are now advertising Steve’s bespoke mountain activities.  Hopefully, anyone looking for personalised adventures will have an even better chance of finding us.  With the opening up of outdoor activities we’re keen to help anyone who’d enjoy some support, to head out to the hills and valleys of the Lakes .  Please get in touch by email or phone.

By |March 29th, 2021|Mountain walking, Website|Comments Off on Keswick Tourist Association advertise Steve’s personalised mountain activities

We may be able to recommence guided activities soon.

Keswick Guided Walks

The government has indicated that we will be able to offer professional, organised outdoor sport and activity from March 29th.  If this happens as scheduled Steve will be pleased to assist with any mountain or other outdoor activities with which you would like some support. Please get in touch to discuss your interests and needs – we’ll be delighted to hear from you and will do our best to help.

To reassure you, we are, and will continue to be, very keen to work within all government regulations and guidelines in regard to Covid-19 so as to best protect ourselves and our clients from infection.  We are taking this disease very seriously and have no intention of taking any unnecessary risks.

By |March 10th, 2021|Environment & nature, Mountain walking, Winter mountain walking|Comments Off on We may be able to recommence guided activities soon.

Blencathra in winter

Blencathra in winter

Due to the coronavirus restrictions we’ve been unable to take clients out or to travel from home.  We have though, managed to walk from our front door, including a good family trip in the snow up Hallsfell Ridge on Blencathra returning via Blease Fell.   Some short roping was required to protect our young son from being blown away in the frequent and strong mini-blizzards (image) but an exciting adventure was had.

Steve is looking forward to being able to take clients out again once we’re allowed to do so.  If you have any mountain adventures of your own you’d like some support for please do get in touch and we can discuss how best to assist you.  We’ll be pleased to hear from you and happy to help.

By |February 18th, 2021|Mountain walking, Winter mountain walking|Comments Off on Blencathra in winter

A winter walk from Grasmere

Lake District Winter Walks

A fabulous end of year winter day allowed us to walk up to Easedale Tarn from Grasmere with a round of Blea Rigg, Codale Tarn (image) and Tarn Crag.  Steve managed to find a quiet area even though the Lake District was extremely busy with car parks overflowing and verges crammed with vehicles.

Whilst the mountains look very inviting in the sunshine and when covered in snow, the National Park and mountain rescue teams have been expressing their concern over ill-equipped and inexperienced folk venturing into the winter mountains. We’re pleased at the increased interest in the hills and outdoors in general, though also observed several parties who didn’t appear to have the requisite knowledge or gear to stay safe in the winter hills.  If you are keen to venture up the mountains in winter but have little or no prior experience, you are strongly advised to seek professional support: the appropriate qualifications are Winter Mountain Leader, Mountain Instructor Certificate and British Mountain Guide.  All of these award holders will be able to help you enjoy your winter experience safely as well as advise you on the selection and use of appropriate equipment.  They’ll also likely save you money and mistakes in the long run and will help you become competent and independent.

By |January 1st, 2021|Mountain walking|Comments Off on A winter walk from Grasmere

Guided winter walks in the Lake District

Harter Fell

Winter conditions have arrived in the Lakes and we had a good walk from Mardale up by Small Water and Nan Bield over Harter Fell, Branstree and Selside Pike returning from Gatesgarth Pass.  The plan was to find a less trodden route – and this one certainly is, partly because of its relative remoteness and partly due to the boggy ground up to Selside Pike.  We were hoping this would be frozen, though the thawing conditions beat us there and it was a bit squashy in places.  A great day out was still had – dinner was well earned!

If you’d like support for your winter walking or scrambling Steve will be pleased to help.  Please get in touch by email or call 07796 213817.

By |December 10th, 2020|Mountain walking|Comments Off on Guided winter walks in the Lake District

Great days out in the Lake District mountains

Langdale Pikes

We’ve had several good days out in the Lakes mountains recently, including a round from Hartsop including Caudale Moor, Thornthwaite Crag and Grey Crag.  We also had a couple of excellent days in Langdale with one taking in all seven of the Langdale Pikes.

If you would like to take advantage of our mountain and environmental expertise we’ll be pleased to hear from you.  Call Steve on 07796 213817 or email us at steve@stevebanksoutdoors.co.uk .

By |October 12th, 2020|Mountain walking|Comments Off on Great days out in the Lake District mountains

Thirlmere nature walk

Guided nature walks

We had an interesting nature walk along the west shore of Thirlmere spotting a good range of birds, some interesting bugs, butterflies and flowers and these Shaggy Ink Caps (Coprinus comatus).  Also known as Lawyer’s Wig, these large fungi are usually found in late summer and Autumn, they can be up to 40cm high – these ones were certainly big!  They are edible when young i.e. before the gills blacken, though, as with all fungi, very great care should be taken when picking mushrooms for food as misidentification can lead to severe poisoning and even death.

If you’re interested in a guided nature walk either as a standalone experience or as part of a mountain day then please get in touch with Steve who’ll be very pleased to help you.

By |September 28th, 2020|Environment & nature|Comments Off on Thirlmere nature walk
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