I’m on the left
I’m Ollie and welcome to Think Adventure. I create online guides for big challenges, such as the Yorkshire Three Peaks and National Three Peaks, and small challenges such as the York Walls and the Humber Bridge walk. I spend more time behind a laptop than in the mountains, but nobody photographs me when I’m slouched over a desk…
About Think Adventure
I completed the Yorkshire Three Peaks back in 2014 with a group of friends. The weather wasn’t great, especially at the top of each peak. None of us were hikers and we had a range of fitness levels in the group. I was the self-designated tour guide, since it was my idea, and I had the map and compass that I didn’t know how to use. I bought a guidebook before attempting the Yorkshire Three Peaks and I’d looked online for information, too. The only information I could find were charity events raising money, Mountain Leaders offering guided tours or small blog posts from people who had recently completed the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge.
I got lost during the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge and made my friends walk an extra 2 miles, the red section on the above picture, through random fields and the rain. All in all it was a great day, but I would have preferred to know exactly where I was going for the entire journey.
In September 2015 I set off alone to complete the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge again, armed with a camera and a notebook, to highlight every section of the route. I recorded the route with a GPX file, so anyone could download the route and follow it. I took pictures at every turn and made a note of which way to go. I tidied up the information, edited the pictures and posted it online. I wasn’t sure if people searched for detailed instructions or if navigating and getting lost was part and parcel of the hiking world, but by November 2015 the information was posted online.
I created the website during the quiet season for hikers and nothing really happened.
People stated visiting Think Adventure in Spring 2016. It started showing up in Google searches and it attracted a few visitors. I wanted to add more guides to the Think Adventure website, but I had just had my visa approved for Australia. I wasn’t going to be in the UK to add more challenges to the website.
I wanted Think Adventure to be a UK challenge site and not a mix match of my meanderings. I added a Blog section so I could write about ad hoc events or travels, but I wanted the main focus of the Think Adventure website to be about UK-based activities.
Highlights from the blog
- The time I attempted to cycle from Hull to Paris with two friends. We took a week off work and jumped on a ferry from Hull to Rotterdam. We never reached Paris by bike….
- Over 2 years I drove the entire circumference of Australia. The East Coast has been done to death on the internet, so I wrote about the West Coast.
- I completed the London Triathlon in 2019 and wrote about the experience.
I like updating the blog with tidbits of events. It’s easier, quicker and more entertaining than a comprehensive list of directions and information about the nearest car park.
I left Think Adventure alone for 2 years while I was in Australia. I responded to the occasional email query but I couldn’t add new content whilst I was down under.
I had a great time in Australia. I worked on a farm for 3 months picking fruit. I lived in Sydney for 6 months on Bondi Beach and learnt how to surf. I lived in Perth for 9 months and worked for a catering company, while saving up to fund the next road trip. I drove the entire circumference of Australia – a collective 25,000 miles over the two years.
While I was in Australia, I knew the next challenge to add to the Think Adventure website was the National Three Peaks. I had completed the National Three Peaks previously and the individual peaks a few times on their own. I estimated the cost of £500 for car hire, fuel, accommodation and expenses. To help offset the costs, I created the Yorkshire Three Peaks eBook, finisher T-shirt and mugs and promoted them on the Think Adventure website.
Returning to the UK
I returned to the UK in August 2018 and set off for the National Three Peaks.
The National Three Peaks didn’t go too well. Ben Nevis was in the clouds for half of the walk and it rained constantly up Scafell Pike. Those aren’t the photographs usually seen on websites or in guidebooks… I thought it was pointless making the online guide with terrible photos, but I only had one chance to complete the guide.
Now, I’m happy how the photos turned out. They may not be the most visually appealing, but they are the most realistic. You’re not going to be lucky every challenge you do – Ben Nevis is only clear at the top 14 days a year. The chances of a clear day falling on your challenge is slim. This is the UK, after all – it’s going to rain, even in the peak of summer.
In 2019 I added more content to the Think Adventure website. Here are a few examples
- Kinderscout via Jacobs Ladder. An 8-mile walk to the highest point in the Peak District.
- Edale Skyline Challenge. A 10-hour loop walk over Hope Valley.
- Roseberry Topping. An iconic peak in the North Yorkshire Moors.
- Helvellyn and Striding Edge. The famous scramble up England’s 3rd highest peak.
I apologise for the adverts…
In 2019 I made the decision to host adverts on the Think Adventure website.
The adverts fund the next challenge. They put petrol in the car and provide accommodation. They help with the website costs too. They are an unnecessary evil that I hope don’t impede your visit too much.
I will keep adding new content to the Think Adventure website. If there is anything you would like adding, feel free to let me know.