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About Us

Maximum Adventure has come a long way since it was started on 16th May 2002 in a spare room!

It was started as a 'hobby business' to provide for Mike's interest in mountaineering. For the first few years that is what it did. It was an experience and adventure in running a business and in visiting the world's great places. However, interest grew in the 'products' and the company developed into the business we are today. We now employ nine people in the office, have 100+ contracted guides and leaders, who have climbed every single mountain in the world and cycled every mountain pass (or so it feels like) and take thousands of people on adventurous activities every year.

We take great satisfaction from doing the right thing by you, our client. We are proud to count many of the UKs biggest businesses and organisations as our clients and continue to value every single booking. No matter what it is you would like to do.

The fundamental reason why we started remains the same: far too many people in the world want to do something adventurous but don't. For whatever reason (and they all seem plausible when you need a reason): not enough time, something good on the television, oh - look, it's raining. There are always plenty of excuses. Our mission remains to tell you that you should do it. It remains our mission to ourselves, to remind ourselves that life is for living, that you can do it too when maybe you don't think you can.

We’ve now expanded into skiing, sailing and in the future many other activities - all with a common theme - they are adventurous and we hope you will be able to enjoy them all. We would be delighted to see you on one of our trips.

Maximum Adventure Ltd., registered in the UK No. 4440338

What We Do

Our trips are based around walking, cycling, climbing, trekking and mountaineering adventures. The reason for this - it's where our experience lies! We specialise in offering adventurous trips throughout the UK, Europe and the World. Our trips are aimed at people who want an adventure and something a bit different. We offer a personal service to ensure your chosen adventure suits you.

Our ethos is to provide you with the full package – amazing instruction and a whole ‘holiday experience’. Hopefully you will feel this from the first time you contact us right through until you finish your trip. We have already made a great many friends through our adventure experiences with people just like yourself and we wish to continue doing just that. Many people return to us year after year for new adventures - once you get the bug it just won't go away!

There are some trips we offer which require a certain standard but we will tell you all about this when we speak to you individually. On virtually all of them though, it is of benefit to have a certain level of fitness. Think of it this way: the fitter you are the more you will enjoy your trip.

If you have a trip in mind and can't see it on our website - it doesn't mean we don't do it. We are always looking for new adventures and enjoy new challenges. Just get in touch and tell us your idea.

Responsible Tourism

What is responsible tourism? At Maximum Adventure we believe it is being aware of the impact that we as travellers have on the local environments and cultures that we come into contact with during our adventure trips. We recognise that protecting the environment is one of the guiding principles for a successful sustainable and responsible business, and have a corporate social responsibility to manage the impact of our activities.

With this in mind we adhere to the following statements:

  • We ensure people who work directly for us are treated fairly and paid a fair wage for the job they do.
  • All of our guides are aware of the cultures and customs in the countries within which they work and they will happily pass this knowledge onto you. This is especially useful when travelling outside of Europe to enable you to not accidentally cause offence to local people.
  • We use local people and companies wherever possible to ensure that the income generated from our trips benefits the local economy.
  • We offer small group travel to ensure our impact on the local environment is kept to a minimum, which also ensures our clients have a genuine experience. Our environmental policy can be accessed here.

Supporting the John Muir Trust

We are proud to support the John Muir Trust, a leading conservation charity in the UK dedicated to protecting wild places.

Through our association with the charity we support projects such as footpath maintenance, litter picks and other key tasks aimed at conserving the amazing spaces we are lucky enough to have in the UK. When booking any of our UK walking or climbing trips please opt to make a voluntary contribution to the John Muir Trust to support the incredible work they do.

The John Muir Trust owns and cares for some of Europe’s finest wild landscapes including Ben Nevis, part of the Cuillin on the Isle of Skye and much of the remote Knoydart peninsula.

Founded in 1983, the Trust takes its inspiration from John Muir (1838-1914), the Scots-born founder of the modern conservation movement and father of the American National Park system. Like Muir, the Trust believes in protecting wild land for its own sake – and because they believe wild places are essential for people and wildlife. 

The John Muir Trust works hard on the properties they own to restore and protect habitats, bring back lost species and help nature flourish. They undertake litter picks, beach cleans, footpath maintenance and other key tasks that help our wild places. The Trust also gives wild land a voice. Following Muir’s example, they defend wild land when it comes under threat and campaign for its long-term legal protection. They help to educate people, especially youngsters, through their John Muir Award, an educational initiative that encourages everyone to connect with, enjoy and care for wild places.

Supporting Sustrans

We are also proud to support Sustrans, the UK’s leading cycle charity.  Sustrans relies on donations to maintain and enhance the UK’s National Cycle Network. Vital parts of the National Cycle Network were damaged during the storms and severe flooding which occurred in the Winter of 2015/16. Through our relationship with Sustrans, we hope to clear ditches, replace fences and restore pathways and bridges which were affected by the floods.

When booking any of our cycle trips please opt to make a voluntary contribution to Sustrans to support the excellent work they do.

Please support Sustrans’ appeal and help us safeguard the paths and routes we all love.

Feedback

We value your feedback and want to hear about all aspects of your trip from your initial contact with us to the trip itself. Following your trip, you’ll receive a feedback questionnaire which we’d love you to complete – good and bad. We want your open and honest reviews so that we can act accordingly and continue to improve our service. We’re proud of the feedback we receive. The post-trip feedback questionnaire can be found here.

Our office team is based in Kirkby Stephen in Cumbria and work away behind the scenes to make sure every adventure goes smoothly! We’re lucky enough to the have the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales on our doorstep, not to mention Wainwright’s Coast to Coast and some awesome cycling – plenty of opportunities to get up to our own adventures!

Mike

I started Maximum Adventure in 2002. Since then it has grown from a hobby business to a professional set up encompassing a wide range of talents, cultures, abilities and nationalities. Before MaxAd, I completed a Physics degree at Durham University, subsequently embarking on a business graduate management training programme. I soon realised that my love of the outdoors was interfering with my development of a business career - it was at this stage I decided to embark on a business in the outdoors. I am a qualified mountain leader and have been fortunate enough to travel and climb all over the world; the UK, The Alps, North America, South America, Africa, The Himalayas - the list is long but not exhaustive. I feel people should be more willing to go travelling, climbing and visiting places that they haven't been to. That's why I set up this company - to encourage people to enjoy the outdoors and to say 'you can do it' when maybe you don't think you can. Have a great holiday. We sincerely want you to!

Max

I work in the Finance department at MaxAd, making sure our lovely suppliers get paid!  I too went to Durham University (English degree) and have travelled a fair bit, though my mountain tally is low so far...  Three children keep us busy at home and we moved to Cumbria over 10 years ago for all of us to enjoy life in the most beautiful part of England.

Dave

I’m part of the sales team here at Maximum Adventure. If you call or email to find out about one of our trips, the chances are it will be me you speak to. I’ve been with Maximum Adventure for a couple of years, before which I spent many years travelling and teaching skiing and snowboarding around the world, doing a handful of customer service, and more latterly, sales jobs. Being based in the Lake District and working for Maximum Adventure is the perfect marriage of work and play in the outdoors. When I’m not in the office you can usually find me Mountain Biking, Cycling, Walking in the Lakeland fells or sampling local Cumbrian Ales. The furry little guy in the photo with me is Ralph, my dog who has a second home at the Max Ad offices. I’d like to give all of our challenges and trips a crack at some point. How many have you bagged!?

Lynda

I’m part of the finance team here at Maximum Adventure so I am responsible for all payments, invoicing, outstanding balances etc. I have been with Maximum Adventure for two and a half years now, before which I worked for a paragliding company, I know this sounds exciting but I kept my feet firmly on the ground in the office, I also worked for a brewery but again only in the offices so I didn’t get to sample the merchandise!!! I live in a beautiful part of the country and like to take advantage of this by spending a lot of my free time walking my two dogs Eric the Jack Russell and Barney the Beagle, I also enjoy live music, reading and crosswords.

Magdalena

I originally come from a marketing background. Having worked in the telecoms and software industries for a number of years I relocated from St Albans to live on a mountain in Cumbria in 2005. For 3 years I worked for a company that organises mountain biking and started work for Maximum Adventure in January 2009. I am passionate about the countryside and mountains and enjoy getting out and about whenever I can with my family.

Erin

I’m an Operations Executive at Maximum Adventure. I make sure information from clients, guides and suppliers is recorded and updated so that each adventure runs smoothly. I really enjoy helping people, especially when they can enjoy a great challenge and I have my NVQ diploma in customer service. I have enjoyed lots of camping at rock and roll and psytrance festivals with my family, which inspired me (along with my Dad) to take up Dj-ing which is a hobby I thoroughly enjoy. I live in Kirkby Stephen with my partner, which means I can appreciate wonderful walks in the Lakes with the occasional sunshine and rainbows - even if it’s raining it doesn’t take away the beauty of the scenery or the fresh air.

Tim

I’ve recently joined the operations team here at Maximum Adventure; currently working on expanding our self-guided, bespoke and corporate portfolio of adventures.  Before starting I spent 14 years as a senior instructor for an outdoor education charity in ‘The Lakes’ but now find myself in the lucky position of having a bit of a hybrid role here.  Using my outdoor knowledge, I could be in the office planning trips, liaising with suppliers and clients or be out leading groups on various challenges and adventures.  Alongside my outdoor instructing qualifications, I also have a degree in Adventure Tourism Management and a bit of an engineering background but above all, firmly believe that the outdoor world has lots to offer everybody…just get out there and give it a go!  That’s how I started…

Chris

I have over 30 years’ business development experience in the UK and International Markets for several consumer brands, and therefore fully understand the needs of the clients we work with today at Maximum Adventure. I am married with 2 daughters and live very close to the Lake District National Park in the North West of England. In my spare time, I am an active Volunteer Ranger in the Lake District National Park where I help maintain the footpaths and footbridges for the tourists who visit and walk in the mountains. My hobbies include mountain walking, sailing and skiing.

Sandra

I work in the Operations Department here at Maximum Adventure and it’s my responsibility to ensure that all our UK trips run as smoothly as possible, liaising with hotels, coach companies and leaders. I live in the a very beautiful place in the Eden Valley with my husband and our cat Thomas and when I am not in the office I can be found working in my garden or cycling around the quiet country roads near by.

Gareth

I’m the Digital Marketing Manager at Maximum Adventure, which means I look after our website, and all online marketing activity. I’ve worked in a similar capacity for a number of tourism orientated businesses across Cumbria. Before digital marketing, I studied a music degree at LIPA (Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts), and spent a number of years after graduating, working as a pro musician touring throughout Europe – I still play in a successful local band and am out performing at weddings/parties most weekends! When i’m not working I love getting outdoors with my young family. 

Our guides have been hand-picked based on their knowledge of the area, their ability to make you feel safe in the environment you are in and also the rapport they can build with you. They hold current and appropriate qualifications and have an amazing array of skills from bike maintenance to speaking local languages. The majority of our guides have worked with Maximum Adventure for a number of years and come from a variety of different areas, have a variety of different nationalities, but all share a love of adventure.

Our network of guides, leader and local outfitters provide you with the best experience we can. Within Europe we use European instructors and leaders and for our expeditions in the rest of the world we work with hand-picked local companies who provide the local services. We also provide training on how to use the relevant equipment where necessary and courses to help you prepare for your real adventure. In many cases the guide leading you will have completed that particular route many times before. Either way, whoever is leading you will help you to make the most of your personal adventure.

Don’t take our word for it. Here are a few comments from our clients about our leaders:

"Hannah our guide for the weekend was amazing! Being the only female booked on the trip, I was really happy when I saw Hannah. She was informative, supportive and put you at ease from the moment you met her, making the whole experience one I will never forget!"  - Eleanor, Ben Nevis Winter, Feb 15

"The guides were fantastic, the team spirit was amazing and Sam was absolutely amazing making the day run without a hitch" - Sue, London 2 Brighton Cycle, July 15

"Hamish was the most amazing, caring experienced guide. Extremely wise, patient, attentive, caring are some of his great characteristics. He literally saved people's lives on Scafell Pike when we encountered hypothermic hikers. And he personally attended to me when he found I was struggling on top of Snowdon giving me much needed jackets and gloves! Hamish made this trip special, memorable and safe and I would recommend without any remarks!" -  Ahmad, 3 Peaks Challenge, Aug 15

How can I find out more information about a specific trip?

If you look at the trips section of our website and click onto the trip you are interested in you will see there is a lot of information provided so you can make an informed judgement. You can also click on the download course dossier link and this will provide you with a pdf file which you can look at your leisure. If you have any specific questions about a trip that are not answered in the trip information please do not hesitate to contact us.

How fit do I need to be?

This again depends on the trip that you are interested in. In the trip information we advise you of what level of fitness you need and any previous experience required. We rate our walking, cycling and trekking trips on the following scale: Moderate – Fit – Challenging – Extreme. To see our grading system for the Major Mountain Project click here. We will also send you a fitness plan, devised by a fitness professional, to advise you on the preparation you need to do before your trip. After all - the fitter you are the more you will enjoy yourself!

What trip arrangements do I need to make myself?

This depends on the trip you are going on. Most European and Rest of World trips include airport transfers but you will need to book your own flights. On our UK trips if airport transfers are not included we will tell you, however this can often be booked as an optional extra. 

What kind of people travel on your trips?

We have a wide variety of people of all ages travelling on our trips - which gives you a great opportunity to meet new people and make lifelong friends.

Do you have any age limits on your trips?

No we do not. To go on any of our trips it is more about your fitness, capability and previous experience which we will be happy to advise you on an individual basis. If any clients are under 18 they must be accompanied by a parent/guardian and a disclaimer signed to show you have given parental/guardian consent for them to take part.

Are these trips a good choice for solo travellers?

A lot of our clients travel on their own or in small groups of 2-4 people. We can pair you up in accommodation with a similar traveller to reduce your costs, or you can pay a little extra to have your own room in the hotels we offer. If you are staying in mountain huts this is not possible as they do not offer single rooms for travellers.

What type of accommodation will I be staying in during my trip?

We always use accommodation that passes our high standards to ensure that all of our clients have a comfortable place to stay where they can relax during their trip - we have a motto! If we wouldn't stay there we certainly wouldn't put our clients there, in fact quite often our guides stay with you during your trip in the same accommodation!

When staying in towns and villages we will always book comfortable hotel accommodation. For accommodation on the mountains these will range from mountain huts to tents depending on the trip that you are doing. For more information about the type of accommodation please see the individual trip listing and download the course dossier.

Can extra luggage be stored?

This again depends on the trip that you are doing. On a 3 Peaks Challenge, additional luggage can be left in the minibus whilst you complete each of your peaks. On the majority of European and Rest of World trips luggage can be stored in your base hotel as long as you are returning back to that hotel at the end of your trip. We will be able to advise you on this when you book.

Do your trips include meals?

All of our hotel accommodation is provided on a bed and breakfast basis. If you are staying in mountain huts you will receive half board, meaning that you will only need a packed lunch with you. We do not book evening meals when staying in hotel accommodation as this gives you the freedom to choose where and what you would like to eat in the evening and an opportunity to explore the area you are staying in.

Can special diets be accommodated?

We can accommodate most diets, all that we ask is that you notify us of what kind of diet you require at the time of booking so we can make special arrangements before your departure.

What are the qualifications of your guides?

All of our trips are led by appropriately qualified guides, instructors and leaders.

In many cases the guide leading you will have completed that particular route many times before and have qualifications exceeding those required for the route, terrain and conditions (many of our leaders hold the UIAGM (the highest international guiding certificate available). Either way, whoever is leading you will have a long and extensive history of guiding. Your enjoyment on your trip is largely dependent on the guide's knowledge of the area, their ability to make you feel safe in the environment you are in and also the rapport they can build with you. We choose all of our guides according to this criteria. The majority of our guides have worked with Maximum Adventure for a number of years now and come from a variety of different areas, have a variety of different nationalities but all have a love of the outdoors.

How many guides will be with me on my trip?

This depends on the trip that you are taking. Our guided cycle trips usually have one cycle leader for every 10 clients, plus the support driver. UK walking trips such as Ben Nevis will have one mountain leader for every 8 clients. The ratio changes for more challenging trips such as Mont Blanc where the summit attempt is guided at a 1:2 ratio and more rigorous peaks such as the Matterhorn and Eiger are always guided on a 1:1 basis.

How will I know where and when to meet my guide?

You will receive an email at approximately 2 weeks before the departure date of your trip giving you all the details you need to ensure a successful trip. These include where and when to meet your guide, your accommodation details and any other information we feel is necessary to ensure you know what is happening and feel comfortable with the arrangements. Should you have any other questions though, we are always here to help.

Is there the possibility to do laundry during the trip?

Some hotels offer this facility and in some of the major towns you will find laundry services, however this is not something which can be relied upon so it would be best to have enough equipment with you to not have to do any - after all who wants to spend their time doing washing when on holiday!

Will I be able to use my mobile to contact people whilst I am away?

This depends where you are and the reception you receive with your Network. For most networks you can usually get a signal on the mountain summits, however this is intermittent on the way up and down. You will not have mobile phone coverage in Asia and South America.

Why do I need to have travel insurance?

Travel insurance is a vital element of booking a holiday, giving you protection against unforeseen circumstances that could otherwise spoil your holiday. It is important that you purchase travel insurance that properly covers cancellation, curtailment and your participation in whatever activities you may undertake at the time that you make your booking. We require proof of your insurance for trips undertaken outside the UK to ensure that all medical emergencies are covered should we ever need to utilise them, for example, a helicopter from Mont Blanc will be in the region of £5,000.

We have arranged an extensive policy through Travel & General Insurance Services (TAGIS). Please note that you will need to add extensions appropriate for the activities on your trip. The TAGIS site gives information on extensions, and you should contact TAGIS directly with specific enquiries. It is your responsibility to ensure you have adequate cover for your trip.

When do I need to pay for my trip and how?

When you book your trip you will need to pay a deposit to secure your place. The deposit and balance payments can be found on the trip page. You can pay your deposit and balance payment by credit/debit card, bank transfer or cheque. There is a charge of 3% for all payments made by credit card, however there is no charge for any other payment methods. Balance payments are due 10 weeks before the trip departs. If you book your trip with less than 10 weeks before the trip departs you will be required to pay the full amount on booking.

How do I cancel or make changes to my booking?

If you need to cancel or amend your trip, please put any changes you would like to make in writing to changes@maximumadventure.com.

On the 3 Peaks, which routes will we take up the mountains?

For Ben Nevis you will start at either the Visitor Centre (GR126730) or Youth Hostel and ascend via the Mountain Track and Half way Lochan to summit and descend same route.

For Scafell Pike you will start at Wasdale Head (GR183075), ascend via Hollow Stones and Lingmell Col to summit and return the same way.

For Snowdon you will start at Pen Y Pass (GR648555) and ascend via the Pyg or Miners tracks (depending on conditions) to summit and return by either of the two.

What are the differences between ‘open’, ‘exclusive charity’ and ‘bespoke’ challenges?

An open date is where the participants on the trip may be raising funds for various charities or just taking part for fun. Anyone can join the challenge regardless of the size of their group. An open event gives you the freedom to pick your own dates and your own charity.

An exclusive charity challenge means that everyone on the challenge will be taking part for the same charity for similar reasons. This is a lovely way to take part in a challenge with like-minded people. Check out our charity trips to see which charities we work with.

For groups, schools and corporate clients we can offer one of our existing trips or even create one for you, depending on what you would like to achieve. Just get in touch with us and discuss your requirements and goals and we will be able to advise you on the types of trips to look for.

What are the differences between guided and supported challenges?

We offer a variety of different types of challenge from self-guided, to supported and guided challenges to suit a variety of different people.

  • Our guided cycle challenges include the expertise of a guide and a support vehicle.
  • Our supported cycle challenges include a support vehicle and the expertise of the driver, who is knowledgeable of the route and cycle maintenance.
  • Our self-guided cycle trips do not include a guide or support vehicle. Please refer to the individual trip information to find out whether you need to transport your luggage on a pannier or if it is transfered by taxi between accommodations.

Can I bring my dog?

Unfortunately, our trips are unsuitable for dogs.

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