• Unsung Heroes  

    Unsung Heroes  

    Sherpas, guides, and porters stand as the often-overlooked and unsung heroes behind our incredible adventures. Without their unwavering support, achieving our goals would be an almost insurmountable challenge. They bear the weight of crucial equipment and supplies, guaranteeing our sustenance, hydration, and shelter. Moreover, their expert guidance and vigilant presence play an indispensable role in safeguarding us throughout our voyages and adventures. It was a bittersweet, last night, on Mt Everest. We had achieved what we had set out to do – play rugby at altitude. On the Mountain we had seen friends sent home early. Twenty-seven of us arrived at Everest base camp, Tibet on 20th April and only 19 made it to Advanced Base Camp 3 (6500 m). We were short of team members, therefore the match could never have taken place, but thanks to Phurwa Wangchhu Sherpa :  Phu Rinjee Sherpa : Pemba Gelzen Sherpa who volunteered to play alongside us, we ’All’ achieved a Guinness World Record Certificates for Highest Seven-a-side Rugby Union Match (6331 m) on 30th April 2019 Regrettably Wooden Spoon Charity choose not to acknowledge and arrange for Guinness World Record Certificates for the three Sherpas who played in the match!!! I did give the CEO of Wooden Soon Charity the Sherpas names and contact details (Kari Kobler) – to no avail. So I reached out directly to the Guinness World Records, and their support was truly remarkable. Upon receiving the three Certificates, I coordinated with Andreas Neuschmid from Kobler & Partner GmbH, a colleague of Kari Kobler at Everest Base Camp in Tibet, to ensure the delivery of these certificates to all three Sherpas. Between Lesley and myself, we had already raised about £10,000 for the Wooden Spoon Children’s charity. Lesley talked to schools and raised money (averaging £200 to £300 per school). She spoke to 1800 pupils in five schools, spreading the word. Regrettably, Wooden Spoon Charity decided we had not raised sufficient funds and therefore did not award us “Guinness World Record Certificates” for our participation and playing in the Highest Seven-a-side Rugby Union Match on 30th April 2019 Guinness World Record took a totally different view – Lesley and I had participated and played in ‘both’ games therefore we deservedly achieved the Guinness World Records and sent us our Certificates. Ambassador I had conversations with our local Wooden Spoon Officials regarding my circumstances. Going forward they still asked me to act as an ambassador for them at local events; it was a great privilege to be asked and a pleasure to do. I do believe in charity work. My modest contribution towards various charities started with me running in the 1984 London Marathon. Over nearly 40 years I have competed in an excess of 100 running events, climbed mountains, rowed rivers and an ocean, taken active roles in many adventures. Given my past, I made a personal decision to give back something to society. I choose to raise funds for Charities and not get found out; if anyone knows of it, it will not count. Phurwa and his two fellow Sherpas were invaluable participants in the Highest Rugby game ever played. Without their exceptional support, our World Record achievement would have been impossible to attain. #livealifetodiefor  #MoreThanMyPast #itsrogerx

  • Kayaking the Great Glen Canoe Trail

    Kayaking the Great Glen Canoe Trail

    The Great Glen Way gives the adventurous a unique opportunity to paddle from the Atlantic to the North Sea; traverse across the Scottish Highlands from Fort William to Inverness. Myself and four friends took on the multi-day challenge……in single Kayaks.  I’m so proud of my team – we nailed it ! 12th June – 16th June 2023 Mark ‘Ackers’ Ackred  :  Clay Smith  :  Rob Callaway  : Roger Davies : Jon Ingarfield An early morning start on Loch Oich. In the late afternoon we had “Lightning”…. It’s recommended to get ashore and away from the water asap. I agreed, because water will transmit lightning strikes from further away, so the quicker you can get off the water the better; leave your paddles and kayaks or canoes safely on the shore – We set up camp and had a brew. #livealifetodiefor #greatglencanoetrail  #greatglenway #cancerresearchuk  #SussexCancerFund   #MoreThanMyPast #itsrogerx

  • Kayak The English Channel

    Kayak The English Channel

    BBC . South East Today – Evening News 25.6.2021 – I’m on the Telly!!! On the 3rd February 2021, I completed my chemotherapy treatment for Cancer and rang the Bell. Six months later 3rd August 2021 to celebrate this milestone I paddled a red kayak from Dungeness to Boulogne sporting my “Chemo Curls.” Being featured on the BBC in the South East is a great way to share an inspiring journey with a wider audience. I do my story can provide hope and inspiration to others going through similar challenges. Approaching Boulonge Harbour. Caught by Gendarmerie. After paddling 22.6 miles from Dungeness, a high-speed motorboat with its blue light flashing; crewed by armed  Maritime Gendarmerie intercepted us; we were a mere 200 metres from Boulonge’s Harbour entrance. Gendarmerie – You don’t look like migrants going the wrong way; so what are you doing? Our response – It seemed a shame to waste such good sea conditions so we decided to going for a paddle; also its fun way to raise money for Velindre Cancer Charity. Stern faced Gendarmerie his approach – Did you paddle across French shipping lane? In 2012 the French had made it illegal to cross their shipping lane in anything ‘human powered’.  – No, we loaded 3 kayaks onto the Rib/safety boat for a 10 minute blast over that short section.  Amid questioning; speaking for all of us, Rob asked ‘innocuously’, could we take a group photo with you?  – Anglo- French relations became confused… Gendarmes waffled among themselves, and after much debate over the radio with their HQ decided we best head back home to England! Its a total misunderstanding – They are not chasing me I am being escorted out to International Waters – I am not on the run! For more info on this 1970’s reference, check out my book “Live a Life to Die For” – Chapter 6. page 35. Next Leg of My Sea Kayaking the Channel Challenge 13th Oct 2021 Paddling from Boulogne to Dungeness celebrating eight months, since my last chemotherapy treatment.Myself and James crossed over the channel on a Rib (Rye based safety boat) skippered by Will Chetwood; we started kayaking from Boulonge Harbour at 9.30am 13th Oct 21. The sea was somewhat lumpy….. After 5 hours of paddling the Dungeness Power Station was a ‘beautiful sight’.  (2.30pm) In the company of friends I have paddled across the busiest shipping lane in the world, both ways. There are no short cuts ……….. and nowhere to hide #livealifetodiefor #cancerresearchuk  #SussexCancerFund   #LymphomaCancer  #Lymphoma #lymphoma_action #RNLI #MoreThanMyPast #itsrogerx

  • Rugby on Everest 2019

    Rugby on Everest 2019

      In April 2019 we trekked in the footsteps of Mallory and Irvine, up the Magic Highway’ to Mt Everest’s Advance Base Camp (ABC3) 6,500m/ 21,000 feet; which is just below the North Col to play two games of Rugby on a glacier. Myself and Lesley, trekked and played alongside, Rugby stars Lee Mears, Ollie Phillips, Shane Williams, Tamara Taylor plus 20 inspirational men and women to help raise more than £250,000 for children with disabilities and facing disadvantage across the UK and Ireland. The Rugby Challenge took place across 24 days; our group battled acclimatisation and altitude to play the World Record for highest ever game  of mixed seven-a-side ‘Touch Rugby’ at Everest Base Camp @ 12.15 pm on Thursday 25th April; our birthday Girl, Lesley, kicks off at 5,119 meters  (16795 ft) above sea level. On 30th April 2019, after a long and tough hike, wearing crampons from Mount Everest Advance Base Camp 3, Tibet, China  to a ‘field’ of ice and snow. Under the supervision of Rob “head grounds man” Callaway, and in accordance, with Guinness World Record specifications, we construct a full size Rugby pitch (100m x 70m min), with posts, lines, flags etc. on the East Ronbuk Glacier  (EABC) (28°06’4.32″ N 86°51’32.91″ E). The Highest full contact Seven-a-Side Rugby Union match, was played at altitude of 6,331m (20,770 ft), We made History:           Double World Record Holders.  #RugbyonEverest  #LiveaLifetoDieFor The Team posing on the pitch at Everest Base Camp, Tibet , China  (28°8′29″N 86°51′5″E). #livealifetodiefor #MoreThanMyPast #itsrogerx

  • Perils of Ocean Rowing

    Perils of Ocean Rowing

    The Toby Wallace Atlantic Row – January/February 2016 The Harrowing Realities of Ocean Rowing   It was approaching midnight on the 28th Jan 2016 – I was sitting in my rowing position on the “Toby Wallace”, a light-weight ocean rowing boat; ‘primed and ready for an attempt’ on a world record. Our challenge was to Row across the North Atlantic, setting off from Marina Puerto De Mogan Gran Canaria, 4815Km. / 2992 miles to Port St Charles Barbados faster than anyone before. I was musing !!!!    Rowing the Atlantic seemed a good idea at the time. On reflection !!!!    However the reality, as with much of life, it’s not all it seems. Ocean Rowers will row for 12 hour in every 24 hours; 2 hours on and off for two hour. However, Simon had worked a new system, every day for the next 34+ days on the Atlantic; each 24 hours we rowed 12 hours in 1 x 4hr : 1 x 3hr : 2 x 2hr :  1 x 1hr sessions /  or in nautical terms ‘watches’. However on the upside is we did each have a 3 minute break every hour to take a drink, eat sweets, pooing and peeing all done where we sat. Tragedy struck in the night of February 14th. Location close to 18 29′ N  039 06′ W. over a thousand miles from land. Simon gave a loud warning shout, “big wave”. I looked up to see a monster swell coming at us fast out of the dark; it was the size of a two storey building. This rogue wave was arriving from unexpected direction intent on broadsiding our row boat. Not to break over but pummelled through us like a water tornado. The immense power of unstoppable maelstrom of angry sea water lifted me and ripped my rowing seat from its fixings, luckily dumping me in a tangle, hard into the small corner of the low 300 mm gunnel and cabin bulkhead; luckily not over the side. Moments later I heard Simon shout those most dreaded words. “Man Over Board”. My hardwired primal instinct for survival kicked in.  I fought to get up to see the ‘Strokes’ seat was empty. Mike was gone. After 12 hr search by air and sea the rescue operation was called off. Location close to: 18 29’ N 039 06’ W. The sea had taken my friend and colleague Mike Johnson. At 68 years old, reflecting on my checkered past, I couldn’t help but remember Mike—a remarkable and gifted young man with a boundless future ahead of him. The question lingers: Why him? 12th September 2023 **UK Ocean Rower Sentenced After Crew Member Lost At Sea… Simon Chalk appeared in court in Bristol, western England, on Tuesday and pleaded guilty to failing to take all reasonable measures to ensure the safe operation of his vessel, the Toby Wallace. The charge, under the Merchant Shipping Act 1995, was brought after 21-year-old Michael Johnson was swept from the craft on February 15, 2016. Chalk, who skippered and owned the vessel, was sentenced to 12 months in jail, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to complete 150 hours of unpaid work. #livealifetodiefor #MoreThanMyPast #itsrogerx #RNLI As I have grown older, well-travelled and somewhat more informed I truly appreciate ‘Time’ is my most precious resource. ‘A day at a time’, I accept I am passing through Life just this once!   I choose not to waste the Adventure! Crew Profiles for the “TOBY WALLACE” January 2016 Toby Wallace Atlantic Row 2016 Atlantic Row 2016 Photos

  • The ‘Polar Race’ 2009

    The ‘Polar Race’ 2009

    On April 9th, 2009, I faced an extraordinary challenge—the Polar Race. At the age of 61, with 28 years of sobriety shaping my resolve, I stood alongside my teammate, 34-year-old James Trotman. Embarking on the Race to the North Pole was more than a mere contest; it was a daring expedition that served as the ultimate trial of survival in one of Earth’s most breathtaking yet merciless terrains. Our epic odyssey commenced at Resolute Bay, Nunavut, situated precisely at coordinates 74°43’N and 94°53’W. Our ambitious quest? To conquer the formidable 648 kilometers (403 miles) that stretched ahead, aiming to reach the elusive North Magnetic Pole. Furthermore to accomplish this extraordinary feat, we had to summon every ounce of physical and mental strength we possessed. Pulling all our supplies and equipment on sleds (pulks), we walked and skied across the unforgiving terrain. Pushing Limits in the Arctic As I gazed out at the vast expanse of this desolate wilderness; getting lost in the Arctic’s polar area of 14.5 million sq. km/5.5 million sq. miles is not a clever option! What’s more, I couldn’t help but wonder what challenges lay ahead. The Polar Race was a true test of our mettle, pushing us to the limits of human endurance, both physically and mentally. It’s in the crucible of tough moments, our true essence emerges. Yet, within this inhospitable realm, there was a unique beauty that few would ever witness. It was a race not just against other teams but against nature itself, and we were determined to emerge victorious. When you connect your efforts to something bigger than yourself, the strength and perseverance you exhibit become a testament to the human spirit, Environmental hazards in the Cold A harsh reminder came to me during a particularly vicious storm, with wind speeds of 60 mph and a temperature drop to -49 ˚C or -56.2 ˚F with the wind chill factor causing the temperature to drop to -80 ˚C or -117 ˚F. My ambition was achieved at 8.47 pm. on 29th April 2009 on reaching the Magnetic North Pole at 78° 35’ N and 104° 11’ W.      Roger Davies Polar Race Interview with ITV News Extreme Environment Race The Arctic is never boring; quietly it emits a raw power. It’s still hard for me to grasp that I trekked across the Arctic Ocean to the North Pole, on constantly shifting pieces of sea ice, covered with ice rubble of fanciful shapes in a range of impossible sizes. The frozen seascape stretches like a canvas of giant, rough-cut diamonds, scattered in a breathtaking mosaic by an unseen hand. Its desolate vastness boasts a savage beauty that surpasses the imagination of all who lay eyes upon it. Amidst this expanse, I was reduced to a mere speck in a landscape that stands as one of the most desolate terrains on Earth. Dedication to inspiring others amid the challenges of the ice is undeniably admirable. Holding oneself accountable to a greater cause stands as a formidable driving force. The concept of evolving into a guiding light for those encountering their own trials isn’t solely motivational but profoundly influential. When efforts intertwine with a larger purpose, the displayed resilience and unwavering determination stand as a testament to the human spirit, motivating others to confront their hurdles. This commitment to a greater cause ignites an enduring resilience, rendering the journey not only individual but universally meaningful. Roger D. I want to tell you more about this extraordinary journey, ‘Adventure Racing in Polar Regions’ and the challenges that lie ahead. https://www.livealifetodiefor.co.uk/the-book-live-a-life-to-die-for/ My Personal Equipment List Sled or better known on the ice as a Pulk (in which we each hauled up to 100Kilos) Harness, Trace and 2 x Karabiners Cross Country Skis (Fisher crowns) Bindings , spare heel bindings Ski Poles (also used as tent pegs) Garmin, GPS (Global Positioning System); plus spare batteries Gypsi PLB – Personal Locator Beacon (EPIRB) Pee Bottle Goose Down Sleeping Bag (comfort rate of -40c; it uses your own body heat very efficiently) Fleece Liner (vapour barrier) Baffin Boots Liner socks  4 pairs, heavy Thermal socks 2 pairs . Tent boots Thermal u/w top & pants (Merino wool) Power Stretch top & pants Fleece Jacket V/R Trail pants Down Jacket Windsuit Liner gloves x 2, Baltoro Ice gauntlet x 2, Down Mitts Neck gaiter, Face mask, Thermal Ice Cap A good Balaclava or a nose shield (solar) is essential. Snow Goggles and Sun Glasses; they provide protection from glare of the sun and refection of the snow that can cause snow blindness; also a safeguard from the intense cold winds. for/#livealifetodiefor #MoreThanMyPast  #itsrogerx As I grow older, I have no intention of slowing down and being a typical retiree! Polar Race 2009 Photos

  • The ‘Heaving Line’ Knot

    The ‘Heaving Line’ Knot

    The Heaving Line knot is designed to add weight to the end of a rope, making it easier to throw accurately over long distances, such as between ships or to shore. It is particularly useful for situations where a lightweight line alone would not have enough momentum to reach its intended target. One of the primary benefits its ability to add weight to the end of a rope, allowing for more accurate and controlled line throwing. This is essential for tasks such as passing lines between ships or to shore, where precision and distance are crucial. By adding weight to the end of the line, it increases the momentum and throwing distance, enabling sailors to reach targets that may be further away or difficult to access. The Heaving Line Knot enhances safety during docking procedures and other maritime operations by facilitating the transfer of lines between vessels or between ship and shore. Accurate line throwing reduces the risk of accidents and injuries associated with manual handling of heavy lines. In emergency situations, such as search and rescue missions, it enables rescuers to throw lines to individuals in the water or in hazardous locations, providing a lifeline for assistance. The knot’s weight and accuracy can be critical in reaching and rescuing those in need quickly and effectively. While primarily used in maritime settings, the Heaving Line Knot can also find application in other contexts where accurate line throwing is required, such as in outdoor activities like camping, climbing, caving or in emergency response situations on land. Tying Guide… Despite its effectiveness, the Heaving Line Knot is relatively simple to tie, making it accessible to sailors and other individuals who may need to use it in various situations such as and tree surgeons / arborists. Overall, the Heaving Line Knot offers practical benefits that contribute to the safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of maritime operations and other activities where accurate line throwing is essential. #livealifetodiefor #marlowropes  #MoreThanMyPast #itsrogerx

  • Overhand Loop Knot

    Overhand Loop Knot

    The Overhand Loop is a versatile and straightforward knot used to create a secure fixed loop anywhere along a length of rope. Here are some common uses and benefits:  Fishing: The overhand loop is frequently used in fishing to create a loop at the end of the fishing line. This loop allows for easy attachment of hooks, lures, or other terminal tackle. Climbing and Mountaineering: In climbing, the overhand loop can be used to create a secure attachment point for carabiners or other climbing gear. It’s often used in conjunction with other knots in anchor building or to attach slings to harnesses. Camping and Outdoor Activities: For setting up tarps, tents, or hammocks, the overhand loop is useful for creating adjustable guy lines or attaching lines to stakes or trees. Boating and Sailing: In maritime activities, the overhand loop can be used to create a temporary attachment point for ropes or to create a loop in a line for various purposes like securing sails or attaching fenders. DIY Projects: The overhand loop is handy for projects that require a secure loop, such as making lanyards. Emergency Situations: Its simplicity makes it a valuable knot in emergency situations where quick, reliable attachment points are needed, such as in first aid scenarios or improvised rescue operations. Benefits of the overhand loop include: **Often it is used as a stopper knot or as the first step in creating other more complex knots. While the overhand loop is a versatile knot, it’s essential to understand its limitations and ensure it’s appropriate for the intended use, as it may not be suitable for very heavy loads or critical applications where more specialized knots are required. Tying Guide Hold the working end (the end you are actively working with) of the rope in one hand. Pass the working end over the standing part (the rest of the rope). Continue by wrapping the working end behind the standing part, forming a loop. Insert the working end through the loop created in the previous step. Pull both ends of the rope gently to tighten the knot. Ensure that the loop is properly formed, and the knot is snug. If needed, you can adjust the size of the loop by pulling on the standing part and the working end accordingly. The Overhand Knot can also be securely tied in the middle of a line, as long as the line is not under load at the time of tying. This versatility allows for its application as a reliable mid-line stopper knot or as a component within more intricate knot formations. Ensuring the line is slack when tying helps achieve a properly formed and secure Overhand Knot mid-line. Remember that safety is crucial when working with knots. Always ensure that your knots are secure and appropriate for the intended use. Remember that safety is crucial when working with knots. Always ensure that your knots are secure and appropriate for the intended use. #livealifetodiefor #marlowropes  #MoreThanMyPast #itsrogerx

  • The Butterfly Knot

    The Butterfly Knot

    Climbers often rely on the butterfly knot in diverse scenarios due to its versatility and reliability. Whether equalizing a belay setup or isolating damaged rope; it is a secure loop knot that is proven to be indispensable. In the realm of glacier climbing, the butterfly knot assumes a pivotal role. It allows climbers to securely attach a third person safely to their rope and fostering team spirit. This becomes particularly crucial when navigating the challenging and unpredictable terrain of glaciers. Tying Guide Start with a bight (a U-shaped bend) in the middle of the rope where you want the loop to be. Take one of the free ends of the bight and pass it behind the standing part of the rope. Bring the free end back over the top, crossing over the standing part, creating a simple overhand knot around the standing part. Take the same free end and pass it behind the standing part again. This time, bring the free end underneath the standing part and up through the loop created in the previous step. Pull both ends of the rope to tighten the two overhand knots securely against each other. Proper Sizing >  Depending on your application, you may need a larger or smaller loop. Practice tying the knot with different amounts of rope to get a feel for adjusting the loop size. Ensure Security ! Remember, practice makes perfect. It’s a good idea to practice tying knots until you become comfortable and proficient with the process. If you’re using this knot for critical activities like climbing, always ensure that you follow safety guidelines and standards. If you’re using the Butterfly Loop Knot for climbing or other safety-critical applications, ensure you follow industry safety standards and guidelines. Double-check your knot and perform safety checks before relying on it. #livealifetodiefor #marlowropes  #MoreThanMyPast #itsrogerx