A busy year for Boots N Paddles
We hope you've enjoyed 2011 as much as we have: we're sorry that we didn't manage to issue a summer edition of our newsletter but we had such a busy summer that it didn't quite get off the editor's desk. However, it appears that we are doing something right because we have quite a few new subscribers since the last issue in the Spring time, and we were shortlisted for a Highlands and Islands Tourism Award (Best Entrepreneurial Business in the Outdoors). Enjoy the newsletter.
Pam Harvey recently joined us to help out in the office. Pam's role will be similar to Calum's, acting in a business support role. There's a good chance you could end up speaking to Pam if you call the office, so make sure you say hello!
We recently said a sad farewell to one of our core instructors, Maurizio who has now left the Highlands to be nearer family down in Yorkshire. He'll be missed by clients and ourselves alike, and we wish him the very best of luck down south.
Boots N Paddles name a new local loch
Okay, perhaps not officially, however, due to a lot of rain a couple of months back and a blocked drainage channel, a new paddling venue appeared temporarily in just a matter of days, on our doorstep.
The main Inverness to Beauly road was blocked to traffic for days, but of course this doesn't discourage other modes of transport. As its first intrepid paddlers, 'Loch Moniack' was unofficially named by Mike, Mo and Ade on their maiden outing. They weren't alone though, as our guys returned to the office another paddler appeared on the horizon - we got to name the loch though!
Mike and Calum celebrate in style
Boots N Paddles' very own Mike and Calum celebrated their 40th birthdays this year, and in an effort to postpone the onset of old age, they recently took on a bit of a challenge.
Calum came up with the bright idea of climbing a big hill somwhere special to celebrate, and not one for doing things in half measures, suggested Mera Peak in the Himalayas.
With the thumbs up from two VERY understanding wives the boys got the green light and summited the 6476m peak in October. Another (even older) friend joined them in Nepal (Gordy from Australia) and all 3 were part of a Jagged Globe Expedition. It was an experience that we'll never forget and summit day was certainly a challenge to remember, with only 6 out of the 10 group members making it to the top.
Check out our photos on Facebook and Flickr.
What's been hot in 2011..... cabers and canoes
We mentioned in the last newsletter that we'd been taken a bit by surprise this year by the number of enquiries we were getting about Highland Games events. Well, we've had an unbelievable 20+ bookings this season. Let's hope there are plenty more to come in 2012!
In addition to this, our canoe hire and guiding business continues to grow with a large number of people opting for this great water sport. From German Scouts and American businessmen, to birthday celebrations and charity challenges, we've guided or hired out kit to a huge variety of people this year, many of whom are new to the paddling sports. Our biggest single booking this year was a massive 100 canoes for an adventure race in September. It's great to see and long may it continue.
Leave No Trace Trainer's Course
Earlier this year, 5 of us attended a 2-day Leave No Trace (LNT) course run by Neil McPherson and I'm glad to report we all passed and are now proud owners of official certificates and trainers' badges! With a bit of classroom work complementing a trek to and night out at a great bothy in Strathconon, we learned a huge amount about the LNT principles and how they can be adapted to different situations and activities.
What is so good about the LNT ethos is that it's a set of guidelines rather than a list of rules. As the saying goes 'Rules are there to be broken', but hopefully if we can spread the word, the LNT principles will gradually become second nature to more and more people and in doing so, help protect the environment in which we live, work and play.
We've got a few people interested in future courses and we're looking for more. If you know of any one that may be interested (perhaps a walking, paddling or other outdoor activity club) just let us know.
Since April our Blog has been ticking over nicely, with regular posts, hoping to inform, advise or make readers smile! Why not check it out and please feel free to contribute. If you'd like to see us post something up there, please let us know and we'll do our best to accommodate the request.
Staff profile - Mike Dunthorne (Director)
Favourite activities: gorge swimming and canoe touring
Likes: Dippers, Dolphins and West Highland Terriers
Dislikes: Litter and West Coast rain
Favourite places: Rothiemurchus, Assynt and the Great Glen
Other interests: Director in the Cairngorm Business Partnership, Trustee of Friends of Lagganlia charity
Looking for ideas for Christmas, or perhaps birthday presents? Why not treat someone to a Boots N Paddles' activity voucher? You choose the amount that you want to spend, and the lucky recipient can redeem it against any Boots N Paddles activity, holiday or day out. Give us a call on 0845 612 5567 to find out more.
The Boots N Paddles Blog
Have a look here.
Congratulations to Karen Valentine from West Lothian
In our last newsletter we promised a family pass for TreeZone to one lucky subscriber. Our congratulations go to Karen Valentine who won the tickets. Well done Karen. If you'd like the chance to win a family pass for yourself just keep on subscribing to our newsletter and you never know!.
TreeZone continues to go from strength to strength with around 10,000 customers taking up the challenge in 2011.
Interesting fact: In its first full year TreeZone was the most popular activity on the Rothiemurchus Estate.
Remember it's not just a summer activity though, it's open all year round ... Find out more
We're on flickr, Facebook and TripAdviser
We've now got over 300 fans following us on Facebook and would love you to join us too. We're looking for your ideas and suggestions, as well as stories about outdoor adventures, Highland nature sightings or comments about Boots N Paddles' experiences.
We've got loads of photos on our flickr site too if you are looking for a taster of what we do, and our TripAdviser reviews are now starting to add up - well worth a read!
Check the sites out using the following links:
Free prize draw
We're giving away another free TreeZone pass for a family of four to one extremely lucky subscriber. The winner will be chosen from a list of existing subscibers.
The boring stuff:
Please note that the TreeZone vouchers are not exchangeable for cash and are only redeemable at the TreeZone Aerial Adventure Course, Rothiemurchus Estate. Aviemore. The draw will be made on Friday 3rd February 2012 and the winner will be contacted shortly thereafter. Boots N Paddles reserve the right to publish the name of the winner in the subsequent newsletter, on our Facebook page and on the Boots N Paddles website.