If you're looking for a trip with an element of danger and excitement, Adrian Dangar has some suggestions.
Go mountain climbing with Kenton Cool
This winter, join one of the world’s leading high-altitude climbers—Kenton Cool has conquered Everest 12 times—on a unique and personalised climbing expedition to the French or Swiss Alps. There is room for just four guests per adventure, which gets under way with a private helicopter flight from Geneva airport to your hotel and involves trekking through breathtaking Alpine scenery to climb pristine frozen waterfalls and challenging rock faces far from the beaten track.
Kenton, who has been described as one of the most sought-after guides in the world, will be with you every step of the way and will ensure that your four-day expedition is the trip of a lifetime. All necessary equipment is provided.
For more information, visit www.kentoncool.com
Tackle the Cresta Run in Switzerland
Gaining membership of the exclusive St Moritz Toboggang Club is marginally harder than successfully negotiating the three-quarters of a mile long band of narrow ice lying face down on a toboggan—or skeleton—while travelling downhill at speeds of up to 80mph.
Thankfully, the club welcomes non-members to its world-famous Cresta Run from December to early March, although you must report to the clubhouse at 6.30am, having registered online.
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Riders are provided with safety equipment and briefed by their guru, whose ambition is to get you round the notorious Shuttlecock Corner and safely home in less than 70 seconds. One in 20 rides ends in a fall, but, if you survive the morning intact, you can enjoy lunch and compare notes afterwards on the Kulm hotel’s sunny terrace.
For more information, visit www.cresta-run.com
Grouse shooting in North Yorkshire
Arrive in style for an exclusive day’s grouse shoot-ing with friends on the North York Moors by landing your helicopter on immaculate lawns surrounding the Georgian manor house at Egton Bridge. You will be welcomed with a glass of chilled Champagne and invited to stroll down to the end of the garden for a cast at salmon in the River Esk before dinner.
You’ll need to be on the form of your life the following day to deal effectively with successive coveys of red grouse that will be driven over your butts during two days of superlative sport. When it’s all over, you may understand why this wild, indigenous and iconic species is often referred to as the king of all game birds.
To book a day, call the Egton estate on 01947 895466 or visit www.egtonestate.co.uk
Racing at Deauville in France
The coastal Normandy town of ‘Beau’ Deauville has the ingredients of a playboy’s paradise—racing, polo, golf, glamorous restaurants, designer boutiques and a grand casino. We recommend a long weekend to include the Group 1 Prix Jacques Le Marois and the first evening of the Thoroughbred yearling sales.
Stay at the Hotel Normandy for ambience and location and enjoy a relaxing game at the elegant Golf Barrière de Deauville in the hills above town before returning to a seafood lunch at Les Vapeurs and heading off to the races. Having experienced the heady atmosphere of the yearling sales, complete your evening with a visit to the beachside casino, said to be the inspiration for Casino Royale.
Contact The Hotel Normandy on +33 173 600 111 or via www.hotelsbarriere.com
Cycle L’Étape du Tour in France
Ever wondered what it feels like to ride in the Tour de France? This is your opportunity to find out just how gruelling the experience really is by joining some 15,000 other game members of the public next summer on a 90-mile marathon that includes four punishing mountain passes from the Tour’s 20th stage, which will take place there 13 days later.
L’Étape du Tour has been offering amateur cyclists the chance to experience the same routes, conditions and utterly spectacular scenery as the professionals since 1993, but warns that this is not for the faint-hearted—or unfit. Best to be on the safe side and enrol on one of the several training camps run each year prior to taking part in the world’s largest cyclosportive event.
For more information, contact L’Étape du Tour at +33 969 36 88 21 or via their website at www.letapedutour.com
Tiger fishing in Zambia
For a unique safari adventure combining superlative game viewing with the most exciting fly fishing in Africa, take over the Wild Side of the striking Kasaka River Lodge—a short private-charter flight from Lusaka—for a week on an exclusive-use basis. Banda lodges overlook the mighty Zambezi and are surrounded by wild game, such as buffalo, elephant, lion and leopard, and the river teems with savage, silvery tiger fish.
This is a fly fisher’s paradise and demands fast and accurate casting as your boat drifts past pods of grunting hippo, slumbering crocs and colonies of carmine bee-eaters. Evenings offer the perfect opportunity to compare adventures beside a roaring log fire with a cold beer or something stronger to hand.
Book through Wild & Exotic on 01439 748401 or via www.wildandexotic.co.uk
Wild-boar shooting in the Czech Republic
The secret of shooting boar is to pursue the genuine beast of the forest and not his brethren within fenced reserves. Head to the Czech Republic early in the New Year to join local sportsmen on a three-day hunt in sprawling forests, where enormous wild boar are driven to waiting guns by beaters and their dogs. If successful, your slain boar will form part of a traditional and fascinating ceremony at the end of the day.
Choose between staying in a local hotel or grand castle and leave your night out in Prague until the end of the trip.
Contact Real Big 5 on 07977 150104 or at www.realbig5.com
Pamplona Bull Run in Spain
Join revellers from all over the world during the second week in July for the San Fermín festival at Pamplona in Spain. Party hard, but be ready to run for your life at 8am the following morning, when six fighting bulls, destined for the corrida, are released from their corral in Calle Santo Domingo. The bulls are accompanied by hundreds of human adrenaline junkies on a 2,700ft sprint that usually takes less than five action-packed minutes.
The launching of each morning’s fourth and final rocket signals that the bulls have been safely contained and that you have survived the world famous Encierro—until the next day.