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My first adventure with JETA

No.1 - My first adventure and this was a big one!

Hi, I'm Arieanne, lead adventure blogger for JETA, writing from the side of the participant as I am relatively new to all the adventures. I'm trained in music not adventure sports so expect to see my tin whistle and possibly other instruments in some posts as I enchant the mountains with my songs.

Helvellyn, in the Lake District, is the highest point in the Helvellyn range which makes up a north to south line of mountains. To the north of Ambleside the mountain towers over the lakes of Thirlmere and Ullswater.

Tourists are able to see Ullswater from behind the clouds and then return to the sunshine as your scale back down.

And that's about as informative as I can be about the whole experience as I sang the 'Mission Impossible' theme in my head the whole time, scaling a cliff to avoid a queue and experienced pure ' What am I doing with my life?' questions as I clambered back down from the summit.

The day started early in the morning, we were talked to by a woman surveying the tourist experiences of the Lake District. Since. As this is only my 2nd time this year I've been to the lake district, I had barely anything to say. I mean, it's 8.30 in the morning, I want to throw a bag on my back and start walking before the sun actually sets.

James, the head of JETA, gave me a map and said, 'Go Wild', I'm paraphrasing but that's what I thought he said as I led us through some fields where I was more interested in the sheep than actually, this is where we are or this is where we are heading. Let's be honest, animals make the walks worthwhile.

Picturesque moments as we walk the fields and then we started seeing other humans. Of course, the worst part of any walk is not knowing where you're going or how much water you have or, come on, did you pack the suncream? (we have a kit list to help you with this in our resources section) No, the worst part is the tourists, the people who are here for the Instagram moment. They walk slow, making you work harder and honestly, you just want to avoid being in very picture because you're tomato red and exhausted because they took so long to scale the first hill. Like, please move!

Tip 1: Go in cloudy, less holiday weather to avoid the Instagrammers.

So, we eventually hit the scary rock face with the jagged edges that look like something out of the Everest movie (James called it Striding Edge). It is quite a long stretch of ups and down with continuous moments of looking down and feeling your heart in your throat. You have to remind yourself that inexperienced walkers do this all the time and James is a qualified mountain leader.

Tip 2: Don't questions your abilities. Follow the route and trust your shoes.

There was a queue to the final cliff decent and with his experience (and being fearless), James knew that the Instagrammers were just finding the perfect picture so we scaled the cliff face (Only do with an experienced leader) and bypassed the cameras to get to the final climb. Up, more up and I just kept pushing forward, watching the people in front of me. The mountain is now right in your face as you become clouds. Disappearing into the sky, you cease to exist for as long as you stay up there. Time doesn't exist in the clouds.

Tip 3: Be an Instagrammer and remember that it's OK to take as many pictures as you want.

Now, it's lunchtime and time to hype up the OEX Tacana stove set and the Adventure Food packets that make eating easy. Suitable for both carnivores and herbivores, with a large range of meal options these fill you up within seconds and the lovely little OEX stove is reliable and undervalued. Heating water under 3 minutes, life is good.

Tip 4: Bucket list idea - sit on mountain side and eat pasta.

Heading back down the mountain and now, you're being followed by more people but the best thing about people is their dogs. Followed down Swirral Edge by the most loveliest Border Collie who showed us the way down. Being back on solid ground in the sunlight, makes you think, did the past hour happen? Did I sit among the clouds? The answer is, yes you did, and it is one of the most surreal feelings. Now it's just smooth sailing from here. There was also a lovely pool that needs to added to the must swim in list.

But we're not finished yet. If you're mad like we are, carrying a bikini up Hellvelyn means you actually need to try it on. Down the hill, scaling a small cliff to get to a lovely waterfall for really good pictures. Why have merchandise if it hasn't been anywhere but a website page? It's one of my favourite bikini sets and its one of my go to sets with it being reversible as well.

Now back to the car park after a few thousand steps and the world is a better place. Ticked off my mountain from my list, experienced climbing, hiking, Instagrammers, clouds, Adventure food, dogs and fresh water swimming, what else can I say? For my first adventure with JETA I will definitely be signing up for another one!

Serious side note; If you have no or little experience in the mountains, as a minimum make sure you follow the Kit list provided in the resources area. Climbing mountains does have it's dangers so JETA always advises going with an experienced leader.

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