This is a my blog archive from 2012-2014. Reading back on this will give you an idea of what made K2A possible, however, it was full of failure, lost partners, lost friends, excitement, sad times and then jumping on a boat and sailing off into the unknown. Enjoy:
It all began with….
The Nightjar Adventurer 2013.
The Adventurer: Kai Fitchen
The Adventure: Kape 2 Kenya carbon neutral climbing expedition
Kai Fitchen set out to discover the beauty of Africa through sustainable travel, and share the importance of environmental awareness. To do so, he travelled 14,000km from Cape Town to the summit of Mt. Kenya and back, taking time to engage with over 600 learners along the way to share his message. This already sounds like an adventure, but Kai went one step further by keeping it Carbon Neutral. To do so, he travelled on foot and by public transport (and yes, this includes his gear)! 14,000km is a long way to go by these means, and we are more than impressed that Kai kept up the educational impact of his journey all the way.
VOTING STARTS in April! So stay tuned!
————-AUTHOR: Kai FitchenTITLE: New K2A Team member!!STATUS: PublishALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CATEGORY: Team member DATE: 02/28/2013 04:32:34 PM—–BODY:
Chris Cameron | Why he’s the nicest guy you’ll ever meet…
Traveller|Marathon & White Water Kayaker|Humanitarian|Student|Nicest bloke!
Hello! My name is Chris and I am a 23 year old Canadian
I have a keen sense of adventure, and thoroughly enjoy new and stimulating experiences. I grew up spending the majority of my time outdoors — hiking, swimming, paddling, and climbing pretty much anything I could. I was also quite involved in a variety of competitive sports, and was lucky enough to represent my country at the Jr. Marathon World’s for flat-water kayaking.
Thanks in large to my family, I’ve had the opportunity to travel a fair amount, which has definitely opened my eyes to the world and its vast potentials. Travelling also revealed some unsettling global disparities, which inspired me to pursue a degree in international development, as well as to immerse myself in the discipline outside of the classroom. Given my passion for social justice, my love of nature — which has made me intensely interested in the health of the environment and its sustainability — and my excitement for adventure and climbing, when Kai, a close friend of mine, told me about the MY KAPE initiative, my enthusiasm to get involved was overwhelming. After spending some time (mainly in the mountains surrounding Cape Town) discussing my potential involvement in KAPE 2 ATACAMA, Kai and I have worked out a plan for the expedition which I couldn’t be more excited about!
Thank you for your interest in the MY KAPE project!
Lets MAKE MOUNTAINS METAPHORS!
————-AUTHOR: Kai FitchenTITLE: KAPE 2 KENYA in SA MOUNTAIN-Looks sleek!STATUS: PublishALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CATEGORY: PressDATE: 03/05/2013 02:11:43 PM—–BODY:
————-AUTHOR: Kai Fitchen TITLE: My first: TRYING my best to highline!!STATUS: PublishALLOW COMMENTS: 1DATE: 03/18/2013 11:11:38 AM—–BODY:
Yesterday, Cape Town really showed us why shes the most beautiful city on planet earth.
So to celebrate her beauty I decided that it was time to go highlining(try) for my first time! So Sylvian and Andy where the guys to get hold of. we hiked up Table Mountain and then off the beaten track and after about an hour of avoiding blister bushes and scrabbling up loose rocks we found the cliff that we were going to be walking off.
Rigging took bout 3 hours (tons of safty goes into the set up) and then S and A decided that the rookie would go first!?!
So i harnessed up and slid across on the line across the void. Highlining goes counter-intuitive and it makes fun of reason. I fell, got beat up and bruised, and it ended up being one of the most mentally taxing things I’ve ever done… CA’T WAIT TO DO IT AGAIN!!! Big thanks to Sylvian and Andy, what champions!
————-AUTHOR: Kai FitchenTITLE: OCEAN START SAILING ACADEMY- Our latest partnerSTATUS: PublishALLOW COMMENTS: 1DATE: 03/19/2013 08:15:06 PM—–BODY:
MY KAPE| KAPE 2 ATACAMA has a NEW partner!
Ocean Star Sailing Academy will be the ones making sure the K2A team is trained and has a boat for the Iconic Cape to Rio Yacht race which sets sail on 4th January 2014!
So happy to have a partner with such experience and passion on board.
————-AUTHOR: Kai FitchenTITLE: Getting my land-loving legs ready for KAPE 2 RIO!STATUS: PublishALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CATEGORY: Training DATE: 03/30/2013 03:36:55 PM—–BODY:
Just got off Savannah after 5 days of bobbing around the icy Atlantic with Ocean Star Sailing Academy! We got hit by big swells and big winds, rain kept us damp and then after that we were met by calm and sunny conditions. It was just an adrenaline rush from the get go! When we saw a Southern Right and her calf it just got me so excited for the Cape to Rio on January 4th! Big thanks to Ian, our trustworthy skipper, and Ocean Star Sailing Academy for making this possible and far too much fun!
Want to become a sailor? www.oceanssa.co.za they’re just too cool
————-AUTHOR: Kai FitchenTITLE: TODAY! We’re gonna be on TV!! STATUS: PublishALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CATEGORY: Press DATE: 04/07/2013 09:43:42 AM—–BODY:
SABC 2 will be doing a sports profile on Kai and his expeditions. If you are in S.A and you have a square box called a TV tune in @ 12.00 this afternoon. DSTV (Channel 193)
Big thanks to Pedigree Media for making this possible!
————-AUTHOR: Kai Fitchen TITLE: What’s Carbon Neutral Travel all about??STATUS: PublishALLOW COMMENTS: 1DATE: 04/14/2013 09:29:33 AM—–BODY:
This why the MYKAPE Expeditions are taking buses around the countryside!
The best way to travel green is to catch a bus or take a train. If you use these to methods of transportation, you’ll reduce the energy and fuel needed per person to reach your destination.
But… flying may be your only option for many destinations. Unfortunately, air travel is not the most carbon-friendly mode of transportation. Although a cross-country road trip might require the same amount of fuel as a flight, air travel does more damage because it releases gases into the atmosphere at a much higher altitude. One possible solution to this problem is carbon-neutral travel.
(Ref. Sarah Winkler _ How Stuff Works)
————-AUTHOR: Kai FitchenTITLE: FRIENDS OF MY KAPESTATUS: PublishALLOW COMMENTS: 1CATEGORY: Friends of MY KAPE DATE: 04/19/2013 07:58:57 AM—–BODY:
Friends of MY KAPE
Amazing people Making Mountains Metaphors
We’re in tHe process of developing a way to show off people who have promoted the MY KAPE Ethos on thir own awesome adventures.
The page will be dedicated to people who are having their own adventures which are Socially and/or Environmentally Responsible.
From the odd taty backpacker doing good to the always smiling and bearded cross-country cyclist!
If YOU have had an awesome adventure which promotes the MYKAPE Ethos let us know and we’d love to show the world that incredible, life changing adventures cn still be made by staying green.
Simple as that! GET HOLD OF US
Cape Town to Durban on my bicyle~ Warren Gans
Easter 2013, Warren set off, without that much of a fuss, on a 1889km cycling odyssey to get to a friends wedding! 16 days of unaided cycling on a clunky commuter bike, no cleats, no gloves and no glasses. Well done Warren for keeping it Green!
————-AUTHOR: Kai Fitchen TITLE: I can officially read a chart 🙂 STATUS: PublishALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CATEGORY: Training DATE: 05/06/2013 12:03:46 PM—–BODY:
I’m OFFICIALLY allowed to say that I can use a chart and one of those compass things at the same time (Watch out world 😉 )!
For the past week its been all systems go for getting my Skippers Theory certification at Ocean Star Sailing Academy. It was super interesting and I know quite a lot more things than I did a week ago.
Psyched to get onto the ocean for the practical on the 13th 🙂
————-AUTHOR: Kai FitchenTITLE: KAPE 2 KENYA, NightJar Adventure 2013 Readers Choice! WE WON?!?STATUS: PublishALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CATEGORY: Awards DATE: 05/09/2013 07:52:32 PM—–BODY:
Last Night KAPE 2 KENYA Won the NightJar Adventurer 2013 Readers Choice Award! The K2K presentation was recieved amazingly and this is just such an amazing achievement for MY KAPE and its definitely going to play as a huge booste for gettig our message out there!
Thanks to NghtJar Travel for this wonderful award and to everyones input who made it so amazing. Got an awesome prezi from Cape Union Mart and GOPRO!
And..Thank you to everyone for making this possible and trusting K2K with your vote 🙂
————-AUTHOR: Kai FitchenTITLE: If you missed it…Here it isSTATUS: PublishALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CATEGORY: Press DATE: 05/12/2013 01:42:23 PM—–BODY:
KAI AND HIS CLIMBS
A few weeks back this was broadcsted in S.A and now here it is….
Big thanks to Pedigree Media for maing this possible!
SHARE SHARE SHARE
————-AUTHOR: Kai FitchenTITLE: “The Intrepid Explorer”…Our most recent friend!!!STATUS: PublishALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CATEGORY: PartnersDATE: 05/22/2013 06:29:21 PM—–BODY:
The MYKAPE| KAPE 2 ATACAMA team are so EXcited to announce our latest partnership with “The Intrepid Explorer”!
A simulating magazine which brings together all the wonderful and exciting facets of adventure and exploration.
Big UPs to The Intrepid Explorer for help us Make Mountains Metaphors!
If you want to taste some awesome reading download their FREE IPAD Version
————-AUTHOR: Kai FitchenTITLE: NIGHTJAR, helping us make our mark!STATUS: PublishALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CATEGORY: Press DATE: 06/03/2013 08:44:29 AM—–BODY:
We have an awesome new media partner.
Check them out if you’re an avid lover of travel and adventure!
————-AUTHOR: Kai FitchenTITLE: TV TIME 🙂 STATUS: PublishALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CATEGORY: PressDATE: 06/17/2013 08:12:31 PM—–BODY:
Today, Kai was interviewed on SABC3’S DOCTORS ORDERS!
The subject was Epilepsy Awareness and how Kai’s been Using the Mountain as a Metaphor for EPILEPSY S.A. Thanks Riaad and the production team for the support!
Will keep you updated on when it airs.
————-AUTHOR: Kai FitchenTITLE: Spitzkoppe 2013…payback time!STATUS: PublishALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CATEGORY: AdventureDATE: 06/17/2013 08:38:42 PM—-BODY:
|| Summit of Spitzkoppe ||
Over a year ago I was denied the joy of standing on the summit of the Great Spitzkoppe during K2K…
This time around, that was changed…We made the summit of Spitzkoppe and an innocent comment of getting nude on the summit was fulfilled ;P
The reason I start with these crazy naked friends on top of a weather beaten summit is due to the fact that this one playful picture repesents how relax, free spirited and spontaneous everyone was during this wonderful excursion in the desert.
On the 7th of June 2013, the four of us piled into a little Corsa lite with lots of psych and even more gear (and rice cakes!) to tackle the huge 20 hour journey from Cape Town to the sharp granite walls of Spitzkoppe.
We weren’t all too interested in the sights or smells of anything “non-spitzkoppe” so we drove non stop all the way up the chilly and foggy West Coast and once we’d gotten rid of some slimy Namibian boarder offices, who were nudging us for bribes, we were in another country!
The drive dragged on but once we hit Windhoek and we’d filled up with water we could just taste the grit of that climbers paradise.
The turn off to Spitzkoppe finally arrived and with some rather tiring yet nostalgic memories of trekking this hazy road during K2K. We carried on into the misty heat following the pointy blurred silhouette of the great Spitzkoppe!
We met up with a number of friends from Cape Town and made a couple more from the States. The camp lay in the shadows of white washed SW Wall and seeming that we were in the boulder fields we could wake up and literally roll to a friction loving crag! There were 35000 year old bushman paintings not 3 meters away from our oat encrusted stoves and the fact that I am a tentless human being I had the option of falling asleep while studying the brown faded figures on the orange granite or I could try my best to fall asleep underneath the starry bright infested night sky! How awful 😉
Our days were simple and once we’d taken a swig of coffee and had a rice cake or two we’d be off climbing the steep featureless faces on and around Spitzkoppe…Theres was a life time of climbing withn walking distance of the camp.
We got used to the funky form of friction “non-juggy” climbing and then on day 3 (10th of June) we woke at 5am to tackle Spitzkoppe. I was nervous, like nobodies business, for the climb. Not because of the physical demand, no! rather because over a year ago we looked up at this same peak and after scrambling into some dodgy spots while looking for the start of the route I was almost snuffed out by a hurtling refrigerator sized boulder which barely missed me.
We started scrambling and with little gear we went pretty damn fast. The approach consists of jumping from one boulder to the next, the trick is not to find yourself on one of the many rotten and unstable chunks of rock Spitzkoppe is so infamous for.
We found or way to a familiar looking plateau and thats when we walked up a precarious looking gully and we were at the start of the chimneys! Say What?!? This was the exact same place we first arrived at the year before and we blew it off for the gully looking too dangerous.
I face palm myself every single time I think about it 🙂
We had some water and I vented with a psych filled series of appricive “Whooooohhooooossss”!
The scramble is crazy technical. We squeezed our chunky bodies through dark cracks and if you are at all claustrophobic…this may not be the best spot for you.
We finally arrived at the base of the rock climb. I was too excited to even think about stopping and resting. I racked up and taped up and then Darrel and I started the climb. We climbed with another party of two (Shane and Tarryn) and with a nice breeze we move delicately up. Just hoping that our shoe rubber had caught onto just enough crystals to keep us from shredding ourselves as we fell.
The climb was amazing and even though the grade of the climb wasn’t all too difficult it was still extremely exciting. Its exposed and due to the rock quality I would have been lucky to have even gotten more than 6 bits of bomber gear in during that entire climb!
We eventually made it to the top and while my grin pulled my face apart , we made our entry into the little black book at the summit beacon.
We waiting a couple of hours at the summit for Shane and Tarryn and once they arrived we got our nude summit pictures and started the almighty abseils off the mountain.
We arrived that evening to a warm camp fire and the inviting smells or soya chunks and canned beans. YUM YUM!
Over the next couple of day we kept the momentum alive and exciting. We climbed some spectacular routes on the Sugar Loaf and on the icon free standing spire of Rhinos Horn.
If theres one thing I love about Spitzkoppe is the “I-need-to-sack-up” mentality because with a 30m run outs being the norm, which would spell out one hell of a hurendous fall, you’ve just got to trust yourself and breath…
One step at a time
As I spend yet another Canada Day away from home (this marks the 4th in a row) and am missing friends and family, I couldn’t be more excited about where I am or my reasons for being here! Last week I reunited with Kai in Cape Town and we’ve been busy scrambling up rock walls and getting into trouble ever since. Our training faces are on and we’re both amped for the next six months leading into the departure of KAPE 2 ATACAMA 2014. I start sailing courses in a few short hours and will be on the water for the better part of the next three weeks. I’m looking forward to developing the skills I’ll need to make our cross-Atlantic journey in January and am enormously grateful to Ocean Star Sailing Academy for all their support on that front! Fingers crossed I pick everything up quickly and will have my Skipper’s certification by the end of the July! #KapeTown #OceanStarSailingAcademy #K2A
————-AUTHOR: Kai FitchenTITLE: For the Love of AdventureSTATUS: PublishALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CATEGORY: Training DATE: 07/06/2013 07:38:44 AM—–BODY:
As anyone who has “adventured” before will tell you, the start of a journey is accompanied by a type of exhilaration, a certain sense of being alive, that very few other things in life can compare to. It is the allure of the unknown, the excitement of exploration. Ultimately, it is simply a feeling like no other.
Although you may not realize it, the truth of the matter is that we are all adventurers. Over the course of a lifetime, each and every one of us will challenge our frontiers; will go beyond our comfort zones into new and unknown territories. At times this may mean trying a new type of cuisine (popcorn cockroaches, for example), other times it may be working up the courage to ask a particular person on a date. The pursuit itself is not so much what’s important, but rather the emotions it elicits. Adventure, therefore, is purely a state of being.
This past week, while taking my Comp Crew course with Ocean Star Sailing Academy, I found myself in this particular state of being. As I learned the ins and outs of a ship, the basics of tacking and jibing, and a long list of other things (including just how quickly everything can go awry when the wind suddenly shifts direction) everything was new, interesting, and enormously exciting.
While the sailing itself was incredible, what truly made the experience was the people I sailed with. Our crew was certainly an eclectic one – ranging from a quiet oke still in matric to a middle-aged Bulgarian full of colourful stories – but we were quickly united by our shared sense of adventure, a communal feeling of being fully alive. And as we had to trust and rely on each other for almost everything we did, in just five short days our bond cemented.
With KAPE 2 ATACAMA now less than 6 months away, the courses with Ocean Star and the friendships I’ve developed through them have provided a strong reminder as to one of the main reasons why I became involved in MYKAPE in the first place: for the love of adventure.
————-AUTHOR: Kai FitchenTITLE: Cape Times…Yep, that’s us (Read it here) !STATUS: PublishALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CATEGORY: Press DATE: 07/07/2013 08:44:08 PM—–BODY:
On Friday, 5th July MYKAPE|KAPE2KENYA had a wonderful feature in one of South Africa’s most popular newspapers, The Cape Times!
Read it (CLICK HERE)
————-AUTHOR: Kai FitchenTITLE: Just a Pint of RumSTATUS: PublishALLOW COMMENTS: 1DATE: 07/08/2013 08:48:13 PM—–BODY:
As a child I grew up listening to tales of the sea – of pirates and buried treasure, of Long John Silver and Peg-Leg Jack, of Davey Jones’ Locker. Most of these stories came from my grandfather, who had a particular gift for the art of story-telling. I was entirely captured by the prospect of sailing the seven seas. I yearned to be a pirate, to live a life of peril and adventure, to have complete freedom. Of course all my imagined adventures ended with me narrowly escaping death to get away with all the treasure. Now that I’m learning about the complexities of accounting for tides, winds, and magnetic variation in order to navigate, about the core elements of meteorology and how to predict Ocean storms, and about the seemingly endless list of marine signs, symbols and customs – in short, now that I’m actually learning how to sail – it’s interesting looking back on my childhood imaginations of what life at sea consisted of. There certainly are strong elements of freedom and adventure that accompany being at sea, but for the most part my youthful daydreams were enormously romanticized. I think that much is to be expected. Fantasy, after all, is within the nature of youth. What I find particularly amusing though is not so much my misconceptions, but instead I got right as a child: the drinking!
Every pirate I ever heard tell of drank limitless amounts of rum. I didn’t even understand what rum was at the time, but I would happily go about my business of pretending to be a pirate while chanting “yo ho ho and a bottle of rum”. If there’s one thing that’s been I’ve learned since getting a view into the life of a mariner in Cape Town, it’s that sailors love to drink. In fact, within a crew member’s daily rations for many vessels is included an entire pint of rum.
While I’m admittedly mildly disappointed that all the tales of buried treasure haven’t turned out to be true (as of yet at least), it is nice to know that at least part of my childhood dreams weren’t a lie, even if it is just a bottle of rum.
** Cheers Everyone!
————-AUTHOR: Kai FitchenTITLE: WILD ON WOLFBERG!STATUS: PublishALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CATEGORY: AdventureDATE: 07/16/2013 10:01:07 AM—–BODY:
This past weekend, the MYKAPE Team took on the almighty walls of Wolfberg, Cederberg. The rich orange rock has some of the most classic lines in South Africa and yes, we felt nice a insignificant while we were hundreds of metres up in the air!
————-AUTHOR: Kai FitchenTITLE: Urban farming in Cape Town- A groovy new Friend of MYKAPE!STATUS: PublishALLOW COMMENTS: 1CATEGORY: Friends of MY KAPE DATE: 07/17/2013 12:51:42 PM—–BODY:
Oranjezicht City Farm
We had cyclists who have represented MYKAPE’s ethos of sustainable adventures…..NOW…
We’ve got some awesome Urban Farmers who need some HELP!!
Yep, Urban farming in Cape Town!!
So what are they all about?
The Oranjezicht City Farm (OZCF) is a neighbourhood non-profit Cape Town farm project celebrating local food, culture and community through urban agriculture.
The Oranjezicht City Farm is a community of adults and younger folk working together to engage in small-scale food production in the City Bowl of Cape Town.
To improve under-utilised public green spaces by creating demonstration gardens for hands-on community-wide food gardening education, thereby increasing access to fresh vegetables.
So they need your help…They have 6 more days to raise R30,000(thats just $3,000) … they’re over half way there so turning back ain’t gonna happen!
We think what they’re doing is super Kool! Show you’re support for a initiative which will only grow and prosper for many many moons to come.
If you want to Donate- GO TO https://www.thundafund.com/ProjectDetails.aspx?projectId=167
If you don’t have any spare change for them- Volenteer!
————-AUTHOR: Kai FitchenTITLE: Gear Review | CAPESTORM Merino Base LayerSTATUS: PublishALLOW COMMENTS: 1 DATE: 07/23/2013 07:37:28 PM—–BODY:
Via CAPESTORM’S Blog
Capestorm adventurer, Kai Fitchen, recently went out to the Cederberg for a climbing adventure and he took his brand new Merino base layers with him. These are his thoughts about how the new Merino base layers held up:
“The glory of being out and about in our great natural world is being able to justify that “rugged-dirty- look”- it just makes life fun!
However, when you haven’t had a shower in over two weeks; you’ve got a bunch of bloody sores which haven’t fully healed and you’re wiping your dripping nose constantly on your sleeve while enduring a sweaty yet chilling slog- it can be a bit overwhelming. Having that smelly combination of events within your clothing (which is rather common) is always a great test of friendship in a snug tent!
I’ve always struggled to find something which feels good, keeps me warm and dry and after I’ve worn it for days at a time. Over the past couple of days, some friends and I went to have some fun, Trad climbing in the icy-old Cederberg. Wolfberg is a magical place of rich orange rock faces with some of the most classic lines in South Africa. Climbing it in Winter also makes life a bit more trying. It gets barely any sun which always makes for some excitement while precariously moving up the rock with numb toes!
The Merinos were fantastic. The snug fit allowed me to move freely without it snagging on neither gear nor pointy rocks, while we desperately dragged ourselves through some interesting gullies. The warmth from that little bit of performance Merino fabric was just remarkable, it kept me smiling during those long belays even though we were being hit by some nasty winds from high above.
I’m so psyched to have these in my pack for my 8 month expedition next year!
Plus, for the first time on a climbing mission, I smelt minty fresh (Well, as minty fresh as I smelt when I put the Merinos on!)”
For more info and to buy online, visithttp://www.capestorm.co.za/product/mens-merino-base-layer-top
————-AUTHOR: Kai FitchenTITLE: Sweat, Tears, or the Sea…STATUS: PublishALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CATEGORY: Training DATE: 08/01/2013 07:07:04 PM—–BODY:
Karen Blixen (better known under her pseudonym Isak Dinesen) once said the cure for anything is salt water – sweat, tears, or the sea. While I can fully accept the healing powers of sweat and tears, Ms. Blixen clearly never spent any time at sea in the frigid rains of a Cape Town winter.
Up until this past week, the weather had been incredibly friendly for this time of year – something I think I’ve only been able to appreciate in hindsight. Since then, however, it seems the rains have been trying to make up for lost time. It’s never a good sign when, despite the protection of a Goretex shell and several layers of fleece, you’re soaked to your underwear before even leaving the harbour.
While the week was certainly a wet one and less than ideal for our immune systems, the jokes with fellow crew members (and the occasional shot of brandy) kept our spirits up. The practical component of the Day Skipper’s was definitely an eye-opening experience. Completing chart navigations in pumping swells is a whole new animal. Concentrating over the nav table was enough to force even those of us with the strongest stomachs to take some air on deck.
Still, I’ve come away from the week feeling far more competent as a sailor (hopefully Mark, our instructor, agrees!) and the challenges have only heightened my anticipation and excitement for (K)ape to Rio! Couldn’t be more thrilled about life :). Big thanks to Ocean Star Sailing Academy for all the fantastic courses!!!
@OceanStar @Endignorance @MyKape
————-AUTHOR: Kai FitchenTITLE: TUNE IN TONIGHT!STATUS: PublishALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CATEGORY: Press DATE: 08/07/2013 11:41:37 AM—–BODY:
TUNE INTO 567 CapeTalk & Talk Radio 702TONIGHT(7TH AUG) @22.30!
Kai will be chatting about MYKAPE.com & what#KAPE2ATACAMA 2014 is all about…
————-AUTHOR: Kai FitchenTITLE: Another successful interview!STATUS: PublishALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CATEGORY: Press DATE: 08/08/2013 09:30:32 AM—–BODY:
————-AUTHOR: Kai FitchenTITLE: PECHA KUCHA TIME!STATUS: PublishALLOW COMMENTS: 1CATEGORY: Press DATE: 08/16/2013 05:50:50 PM—–BODY:
Kai will be talking at Pecha Kucha Cape Town on the 27th of Aug ’13 at 1900
-Cape Town City Hall
Super kool speakers and each one of them only gets 6 minutes and 40 seconds !!
B there Or bSquare
GET INVOLVED AND SEE THE MAGICAL LANDS OF PATAGONIA!!
Are you a filmmaker/photographer/journalist? Do you want to discover our planets’s extraordinary wilderness by travelling sustainably (carbon neutral) across #Patagonia and South America to raise awareness about climate change? Join the#endignorance / MYKAPE.com Team in Patagonia in March 2014 to climb the highest mountains in South America, cross the glaciers and lakes, and raise awareness about climate change with an incredible team! Send mailto:email@example.com Tell us who you are and what you can do!
¿Es usted un director de cine / fotógrafo / periodista? ¿Quieres descubrir nuestro
extraordinario desierto de planetas viajando sostenible (carbononeutral) a través # Patagonia y América del Sur para crear conciencia sobre el cambio climático? Únete al equipo endignorance #MYKAPE.com en Patagonia en Marzo 2014 para subir las montañas más altas de América del Sur, cruce los glaciares y lagos, y crear conciencia sobre el cambio climático con un equipo increíble! Enviar un correo electrónico a mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org Cuéntanos quien eres y lo que puedes hacer!
————-AUTHOR: Kai FitchenTITLE: Latest article in PublicityUpdate…MYKAPE~ A new Approach to expeditions? STATUS: PublishALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CATEGORY: Press DATE: 09/03/2013 09:55:16 AM—–BODY:
(Read article HERE)
————-AUTHOR: Kai FitchenTITLE: :: We’re in search of a KOOL intern :: STATUS: PublishALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CATEGORY: Get involved DATE: 09/08/2013 09:16:11 PM—–BODY:
-work with us on different locations, from the production studio to the boat!
– fundraising and PR events
-Research and communication with contacts in South America
– Project management
So basically, if you’re passionate about marketing, design and promoting environmentally/socially aware ideals.
This is where the magic is happening!
We have a wonderful and open office in Observatory with endless amounts of coffee and Rooibos
So if you’re keen and you’re ready, drop us a mail: email@example.com
#Endignorance #Greenpop #EpilepsySA #KAPE2ATACAMA #CAPETORIO
————-AUTHOR: Kai FitchenTITLE: MY FEET HAVE SOME KICKING GEAR!STATUS: PublishALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CATEGORY: Partners DATE: 09/30/2013 05:42:59 AM—–BODY:
:: Footwear Partner ::
#HiTec is inspired by adventure and being in the great outdoors and thats where this partnership will be strong and sustainable!
My toes will be nicely protected for 8 months of lugging heavy packs up big mountains!
Go try on a pair, wherever you are in the world!
:: Footwear Partner ::
I am humble and happy to say that Hi-Tec SA has become MYKAPE.com | #KAPE2ATACAMA‘s Official Footwear Sponsor!!!
#HiTec is inspired by adventure and being in the great outdoors and thats where this partnership will be strong and sustainable!
My toes will be nicely protected for 8 months of lugging heavy packs up big mountains!
Go try on a pair, wherever you are in the world!
————-AUTHOR: Kai FitchenTITLE: WALKING THE TALK…2013STATUS: PublishALLOW COMMENTS: 1CATEGORY: Press DATE: 10/01/2013 07:29:59 PM—–BODY:
So happy to be joining the Walking the Daisies crowd!
Instead of driving we’ll have a ZERO CARBON FOOTPRINT….walking all the way to darling to get our socks rocked off at Rocking the Daisies.
Beach clean-ups, tree planting and plodding through the beauty that the Western-Cape is so famous for!
…What a way to have a jolly good time and still have as little impact on our planet as possible
Follow the adventure: @kais_kape & @WalkingtheDaisy
Thanks to Pick n Pay, Hemporium SA, @FRY’S VEGETARIAN, GreenPop and everyone for making this an ever growing event!
I’m talking at the Hemp Stage at 1030am on Saturday (6th October)….SEE YOU THERE!!
#Kape #KAPE2ATACAMA #MYKAPE #TalkingThe Daisy #DaisyWalk2013 #Kai #MakingMountainsMetaphors
————-AUTHOR: Kai FitchenTITLE: Just being Kool and stuff on the FM 😉 STATUS: PublishALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CATEGORY: Press DATE: 10/14/2013 08:37:19 PM—–BODY:
If you missed Kai on the Radio on October, 12th…Give it a listen!
So stoked to being getting KAPE 2 ATACAMA out there!
————-AUTHOR: Kai FitchenTITLE: The Patagonian Applicant Has Been Chosen!STATUS: PublishALLOW COMMENTS: 1CATEGORY: Team member DATE: 10/21/2013 08:38:42 AM—–BODY:
Remember the application we sent out about #kool people joining for the Patagonian leg?!?
Well, the decision was made and I’m very happy to announce that Michael Owen will be part of #K2A14!
One of the criteria of the expedition was for the applicant to join the expedition in a sustainable manner… so…
A Big Thanks to Ocean Star Sailing Academy for sponsoring Michael a bunch of exciting sailing courses and helping him get a boat to South America! So awesome to have such generous partners onboard!
I grew up in the flat interior of South Africa and moved to Stellenbosch 10 years ago to study engineering. I had ideas of climbing the corporate ladder, making lots of money and owning a bunch of houses here, there and everywhere. During my time in the Cape I fell more and more in love with the mountains and the ocean. Over my time here I have probably spent as much time running/scrambling/climbing/surfing/diving/paddling/exploring as I have working – well almost. I have increasingly begun to realize that my old ambitions and goals were not really for me, that success for me could not be defined by the accumulation of possessions and that experiences are worth far far more. I have just handed in my PhD and am ready to start the next chapter of my life. I feel strongly that we, as a species, need to reevaluate our way of life. We need to redefine our values. I heard about MyKape and the K2A expedition, the message that Kai is trying to spread, and I immediately identified with the cause. I really wanted to be involved in someway both to enrich my own experience as well as play a small part in getting the message of a sustainable approach to life out there. Good clean fun is what it’s all about and I can think of no better way to spend my time. Hopefully my involvement in K2A will be the first chapter in a life of purpose and adventure.
Michael will be leaving before the Cape to Rio and he’s going to be having a rad adventure even before we team up in Argentina, so give him a follow and see how amazing and rewarding it is to travel in the spirit of MY KAPE!
————-AUTHOR: Kai FitchenTITLE: Michael chatting on the Radio! Give a listen 🙂 STATUS: PublishALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CATEGORY: Press DATE: 11/05/2013 10:00:20 AM—–BODY:
————-AUTHOR: Kai FitchenTITLE: Planning an Adventure…Its not a glamorous as you may thinkSTATUS: PublishALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CATEGORY: Adventure DATE: 11/21/2013 08:39:46 AM—–BODY:
Even after the Himalaya, Elbrus and a bunch of other so-called “adventures” into the yonder, I, quite honestly, didn’t really understand what an adventure was.
Only, until I was shivering out a very chilly bivy night at 5000m on Mt. Kenya did I start to understand what this word, I so eagerly threw around, meant. This feeling of not-knowing if we were going to get off, of uncertainty, of having curve-balls thrown at us since our departure from Cape Town and the feeling of being utterly overwhelmed by our current sitution. That, in my opinion, is what an adventure is all about.
KAPE 2 ATACAMA is ambicious to say the least…and without even knowing it, the “adventure” began 4 months ago.
Taking on K2A was by far the riskiest thing I’ve ever done. I committed an entire year to planning this trip. From finding a boat to cross the Atlantic, learning a new language, training for 3 big ascents, contacting organisations and then still trying to find enough cash to stay fed for months on the road…Logisticlly it’s a nightmare.
Everything was going smoothly untill…
I was walking down the stairs and I felt a deep, sharp pain flood through my right knee. My first thought was, “I’d broken something and the trip is over”… We went through to the nearest physio and the diagnosis was. surprisingly, quite positive. “It looks like a pinched-nerve and some inflamation, you’ll be OK in 2 weeks”.
2 weeks went by, then a month and after a number of expensive consultations, an MRI and a lot of time of not knowing if my knee would ever be 100% again, I finally found out that I had a little thing called “Jumper’s Knee”…which consists of a stress fracture and some tendonitis. Lovely.
I need to climb, run, and be active. It keeps my mind clear and knowing that I wasn’t allowed to tie-in for over 3 months made everything else extremely difficult.
Some silly issues and politics were going down with the Cape 2 Rio, money wasn’t coming through for K2A and with my knee, and January just over a month away…the decision was made to postpone the the expedition until March 2014.
It would have been irresponsible to have left on the 4th of January in this state.
I’ve had to scatch months worth of proposals and planning. I’ve basically had to start all over again.
Its been tough to say the least but, what I’ve learnt is “acceptance”.
Ultimatatly, it comes down to embracing failure and uncertainty… because then it wouldn’t be an adventure.
Whats in store for KAPE 2 ATACAMA 2.0:
Atlantic crossing, Amazon, Bolvia, Peru Ascents, AND of coarse the Atacama- Doesn’t sound half bad, eh 😉 (More to come)
————-AUTHOR: Kai FitchenTITLE: TV TIME, Tomorrow!STATUS: PublishALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CATEGORY: Press DATE: 11/24/2013 09:22:44 PM—–BODY:
————-AUTHOR: Kai FitchenTITLE: OUR TALENTED ENGINEERS HAVE MADE A TRAWLER!STATUS: PublishALLOW COMMENTS: 1DATE: 12/24/2013 12:58:18 PM—–BODY:
Just the other day, our trawler was built. It will be the collecting pollution during our voyage across the Atlantic. This survey will be aiding the Percy Fitzpatrick institute in gathering a better understanding about the Atlantic Ocean’s plastic pollution problems.
A great big thanks to Mike and Robyn’s mad engineering skills and to some family elbow grease!
#K2A14 #KAPE2ATACAMA #sailing
————-AUTHOR: Kai FitchenTITLE: HAPPY 2014 PEEPS!STATUS: PublishALLOW COMMENTS: 1DATE: 12/28/2013 12:57:37 PM—–BODY:
Happy Christmas everyone and we hope you all have a fantastic 2014!
Not surprisingly, we are uuuuuba psyched for 2014 but we’d just like to thank everyone, from our sponsors to our wonderful friends around the world, who have been showing us such incredible support!
It’s been a krazy intense year … We’ve had immense downs and joyful highs. However, we’ve found our groove and the expedition looks far too in(k)redible!
Have a kicking time this festive season and make it one funky adventure!
Kai and the #K2A14 team!
“It always seems impossible until it’s done” – Tata Madiba
Making Mountains Metaphors
————-AUTHOR: Kai FitchenTITLE: BACK IN THE GAME!STATUS: PublishALLOW COMMENTS: 1CATEGORY: Ideas DATE: 01/16/2014 08:31:09 PM—–BODY:
The word “exciting” in relation to a chunk of meat missing from my hand may be quite odd to most.
The knuckle-whitening sting of pain which occurred moments after I took this silly picture, while I sanitised and tried to clean out excess climbing chalk and bits of hair from the wound, made me clench my toes with watering eyes.
You may think that I’m a bit of a self-masochist but, having been off from any lung-busting training from the past 6 months and 3 weeks … which is 201 day or 4824 hours or 289440 minutes … well, its been quite tough!
I’ve been counting down the hours, since I first sustained this injury, to run up mountains, go hiking with friends, dangle off cliffs and do all of those things which brings a grin to my face.
Even though I’ve hated each crag day I’ve missed out on, I’VE HAD TIME TO THINK AND I’M VERY GLAD I’VE HAD THAT TIME TO THINK.
Last year was a bit manic and, quite honestly, the hype of certain aspects of K2A had me blinded to some certain and crucial ideals of the expedition. I’m stubborn and I guess my gung-ho attitude has been a great aid in making past trips work the way they have. However, its also kept me from just slowing down and analysing the moment (or my own body).
The expedition still needs a lot of work and so does my own fitness but … with our objectives set, the team pumped up and, on my part, with my philosophy and attitude humbled by the past 7 months, I believe K2A 2.0 will be worth it!
My ears are tingling with excitement for 2014 🙂
————-AUTHOR: Kai FitchenTITLE: SHE’LL BE COMING AROUND THE MOUNTAIN WHEN SHE COMESSTATUS: PublishALLOW COMMENTS: 1CATEGORY: Mikes blogDATE: 01/27/2014 07:58:25 AM—–BODY:
From Mike’s blog: http://mikeshorizons.wordpress.com/
January 27, 2014 · · Bookmark the permalink. ·
I met her on the banks of the Berg River in the middle of a rainy Cape winter’s day. She was covered in mud, her hair and clothes full of spiky burrs. She’d had a rough day. She looked at me as she walked past and smiled this warm hearty smile, I’d never felt as awesome. We spent the next three nights camped close to one another and I told tall stories around the evening fires in an ill-fated attempt at impressing her. She called my bluff every time.When we parted ways at the end of the week I knew I needed to see her again but doubted she would felt the same way. In desperation I did what any reasonable man would do, I turned to crime. I pinched her paddle from her boat and sent her an e-mail saying I taken it because I was worried it would get stolen (a valid argument, it did get stolen…just by me) and that she should let me know where to meet her so I could return it. It was almost 5 years ago that I returned that paddle. Her name is Robyn and we have been inseparable ever since.
They say that behind every man is a good, strong woman. Robyn is seldom, if ever, behind me in a literal sense. I’m always just barely clinging on as she whisks me off on another adventure. Figuratively speaking though Robyn is really my biggest supporter, my rock. She is always encouraging me and spurring me on, no matter feather-brained the next “Ideas Man Mike” endeavour seems to be. Case-in-point: Kape 2 Atacama. When I casually mentioned that I had volunteered our services on an expedition that involved sailing across the Atlantic Ocean and then travelling through South America for several months climbing big, snowy peaks, she smiled and said “Awesome!” When we later found out that the planned departure dates meant she couldn’t join the expedition from the beginning, and I subsequently decided that I wanted to go anyway, she just smiled (Robyn smiles a lot, it’s awesome), told me that was a good decision even though I felt horribly uneasy, and promised to meet up with me somewhere as soon as she could. And now, with the expedition delayed due to Kai’s injury, Robyn can join from the outset. I bet you can guess her reaction to that news?I know Kai’s injury was horrid for him to endure but somehow I feel it was a blessing in disguise, that it happened for a reason. With Robyn coming along I feel much happier and excited for all the challenges we are bound to face on our journey. With her by my side I know I can handle anything, everything will be that much sweeter. STOKED!By Mike
————-AUTHOR: Kai Fitchen
The start of K2A…
TITLE: THE END OF A CHAPTER
Do you know that strange feeling when you don’t really know how you’re going to pull
Kape 2 Atacama, as a friend put it, has “been doomed from the get go”. In the past year I’ve attempted to race in the Cape to Rio with a full-on TV mini-series, which failed in the last few days before finalisation. Then, my knee blew out and with crutches and a limp I tried my damndest to get sponsors on board (a little sad I must admit). Then, with my spirits in a rather rocky position, I managed to get bailed on by all my team partners. Like I said, doomed!
The trip was also almost cancelled about four weeks ago when the boat which I thought was a solid bet decided not go to South America!
However, that’s all in the past. Today, it’s about looking to the future.
————-AUTHOR: Kai FitchenTITLE: A Drip Of A Day & A New Way of Life … Boat Blog STATUS: PublishALLOW COMMENTS: 1DATE: 03/23/2014 09:53:45 PM—–BODY:
In all my years of being alive on this planet, I have always been able to feel earth beneath my feet, or at least see it.
8 hours after saying ‘Adios’ to South African soil, my entire world became confined to just a couple of metres of fibre glass which never stopped moving. While my sailing course’s with Ocean Star taught me how not to be a useless piece of flesh onboard, it became clear after a couple of days of bobbing around the Atlantic that trial and error teaches you a ton.
I’m the kind of loaf who waits until the last minute to fix anything, and usually I just mask the problem in duct tape. The lesson, as I’ve quickly learnt, is to try and make life as comfy as possible and if something looks like it needs a repair … fix it, immediately!
I felt the first drop hit my nose just 2 hours into the 578hour voyage. Little did I know that that was the start of some very long nights. The swell and winds slowly became more and more erratic. With swells rolling into us from every direction, the deck became a war zone of spray, and the fact that my cabin is right near the bow, this rocking and rolling didn’t help my on coming buzz of sea sickness.
After dinner I wobbled back to my cabin to get some sleep to find that a salty puddle had engulfed my skinny little bed! The hatch was shut but a steady stream had made its way through. I quickly grabbed towels and tried to duct tape up the seams of the hatch. For the first time ever, duct tape failed me.
It was getting late and I had to wake up in 3 hours. So, feeling woozy and flushed, I clambered onto my bed and covered myself in a variety of towels, wedged myself as far away from the drip as I possibly could, and turned off the lights.
This was going to be a long 3 weeks …
If you want proof, check it out on my vlog.
————-AUTHOR: Kai FitchenTITLE: A Sprinkling of Irony … Boat BlogSTATUS: PublishALLOW COMMENTS: 1DATE: 03/24/2014 11:17:07 PM—–BODY:
Written: Wednesday, 12 March 2014, Day 6 on the Atlantic Ocean.
Location: 14 57.3429S 010 46.4250 W
Irony struck the boat the other day when the vegetarian, me, reeled in a rather large Yellow Fin tuna and a sleek looking Mai-mai … yes, it was quite the killing spree and I feel quite guilty. However, that being said … the boat will stay fed for more than a week on the most organic and free-range produce and its definitely better than those damn plastic wrapped fish-fingers!
OVER HALF WAY!
————-AUTHOR: Kai FitchenTITLE: The Tale of the Moldy Spinnaker – Boat BlogSTATUS: PublishALLOW COMMENTS: 1DATE: 03/26/2014 03:20:56 PM—–BODY:
Written: Friday, 14 March 2014, Day 8 on the Atlantic Ocean.
Location: 11 02.7831S 014 10.8458 W
My body is bruised, my knees chafed and the salty breeze bites into my rope burnt palms… I should probably admit that crossing the Atlantic isnt a complete walk in the park.
This epiphany came when we first started getting the spinnaker ready to launch. A spinnaker is one hell of a proud sail. It balloons far out in front of the bow and flies higher than all the others. Unlike the main-sail, which has a temper tantrum in light winds as the boom crashes around, the spinnaker is quiet.
The crew haven’t needed to use it for the past 2 years, because the wind is always pumping through the Indian and the Pacific. When we unpacked it from the sock, which the sail is hidden in, the sock looked moldy and it tore without much effort. The lines which lauch it from the sock were tangled and the sail lay twisted and knotted – basically, it was a mess!
We sorted it out for about 30 minutes and then in our ignorant state we thought it would be ready to lauch. The haliard was clipped into the sail head, the clew and the sheat were tired in and I started to winch it up.
Immediately, we saw another knot. It was lowered and then hoisted up, again. The minute the sail caught the wind it began to thrash around violately. Andy grabbed the lines to whip the sock off … no go.
The line didn’t budge. I jumped in to help and with us both tugging away, it slowly inched up. Meanwhile, the wind picked up and Andy and I preceded to get dragged around by the bugger for 20 or so minutes. The sail was almost completely deployed and then we noticed another knot in the sock and we had to bring it back down!
Getting it down was far more back-breaking then getting it up, but eventually we had the sail ready to be hoisted up. Again, under the baking sun, the skinny lines dug into our palms as we hauled it up, but we managed to lauch it perfectly.
The spinnaker is a gift and curse. Without it we would probably only get to Salvador by Christmas. However each time we change tack or the wind gets too strong, it’s never an easy afternoon!
————-AUTHOR: Kai FitchenTITLE: Some Thoughts While We Drift Along – Boat BlogSTATUS: PublishALLOW COMMENTS: 1DATE: 03/27/2014 05:25:08 PM—–BODY:
Written: Wednesday, 19 March 2014, Day 13 on the Atlantic Ocean.
Location: 12 52.9922 S 028 34.9704 W
With just a couple of days before stepping back onto land, I’m having mixed emotions about leaving this floating chunk of teak and fibre glass.
Firstly, its quite lovely to have a bed with sheets! Im not looking over my shoulder every 10 seconds to make sure my passport and cash are still in my pocket. When I want a sip of water I don’t have to boil it and then douse it in iodine, and I’ve got a little routine going … which is nice and civil.
Funnily enough, even though I’m sailing across the Atlantic, I’ve found myself in another comfort bubble!
Once I say “Adios” to the crew in Salvador, I’m my own captain. I have to find those snowy peaks, get out of tight situations which I know I’ll find myself in, and make sure everything is done in a way which keeps my conscious clean … the MY KAPE way.
I have things to do.
The one thing which is making me itch with excitement is the unknown. Not only are the physical aspects of the trip overwhelming, but in many ways the cultural and language differences are going to be leaving me dumb struck.
So … I think I just answered my own question. If I wanted to keep all my creature comforts, I should have stayed at home!
I’m off to give the deck a soapy scrub …
————-AUTHOR: Kai FitchenTITLE: Salvador is waiting to be explored …STATUS: PublishALLOW COMMENTS: 1DATE: 03/30/2014 04:21:35 PM—–BODY:
My first glimpse of Salvador made my toes tingle and got my heart racing. From seeing nothing but ocean for a month, to seeing the dark horizon exploded with tropical beaches, lush flora, and, of course, those bright colorful buildings …
I was already hooked on the place once we drifted into Baia de Todos Os Santos, a massive tourqoise bay surrounded by Salvador. It wasn’t just the grubby looking coloninal buildings, the dark beautiful people, or the fact that I was delirious after such a long without climbing…
What really made me fall in love with this place is everyone’s utter love and excitement about just being Brazilian!
Even when we were a good couple of miles from the shore, we had samba pulsing through the haul and I could always see no less than two Brazilian flags being flown from any locals boat we passed. Little things like that fizzed away any of the doubts I had about the expedition and leaving the boat.
Our home in Salvador became a marina called Pier Salvador. Its characterful faded plaster and concrete walls are held up by a set of precarious looking stilts, which are held together with duct tape and gum. The neighborhood is humble with vibrant tiled houses, ruined boats lying scattered around the marina, and a relaxed atmosphere circulates the streets. It’s just so brilliantly Brazilian!
I’m helping on the boat right now while Captain Rogers sorts out his visa in Argentina … that’s another story for another blog.
My cardio has suffered from not being able to walk more than 60ft for the last couple of weeks so I’m getting backt into training slowly. But while I do that … Salvador is waiting to be explored …
————-AUTHOR: Kai FitchenTITLE: VLOG´S…so far 😉 STATUS: Publish ALLOW COMMENTS: 1DATE: 04/02/2014 08:04:31 PM—–BODY:
————-AUTHOR: Kai FitchenTITLE: Bussing Brazil :-)STATUS: PublishALLOW COMMENTS: 1DATE: 04/03/2014 12:17:30 AM—–BODY:
Bussing it through Brazil trumps flying By FAR … I’ve never seen such a lush, hilly and tropical paradise from a national road!
I could have gone without 78 hours on the trot and some long stop-overs, but now I know why Brazilians are so damn proud of just being themselves 🙂
I’m really glad to have made it to Campo Grande because it means I’ve broken the back of crossing Brazil.
Next up … the mash lands of jaguar’s, anacondas and colourful birds … Platanal 🙂
————-AUTHOR: Kai FitchenTITLE: ¡ B O L I V I A ! STATUS: PublishALLOW COMMENTS: 1DATE: 04/07/2014 05:50:05 PM—–BODY:
Unfortunately, getting here wasn’t the easiest thing because it seems pretty obvious that Bolivia isn’t a great fan of me nor my groggy South African passport …
I say this because I was held up at the boarder for about 7 hours because they didn’t like the look of me nor could they understand that I hadn’t flown into South America. Because of that unnecessary hold up, I missed my train, spent many hours in a smelly bus station and I think I must have broken a federal law to top it all off (details coming soon) …
I’m rather fed up at this point in my life but luckily I’m in the right place to lift my spirits and get my lungs into some thinner air 😉
————-AUTHOR: Kai FitchenTITLE: The UN quite likes K2A14!! STATUS: PublishALLOW COMMENTS: 1DATE: 04/08/2014 02:26:32 PM—–BODY:
It looks like the UN has taken some notice of Kape 2 Atacama … It, just recently, got into their newsletter. You can read the article, here
This comes with a great big thanks to GOODWALL.org! Go join the social network, here to do good.
————-AUTHOR: Kai FitchenTITLE: The beauty that is Pantanal – Part 1STATUS: PublishALLOW COMMENTS: 1DATE: 04/09/2014 04:28:40 AM—–BODY:
It was never my plan to go to the jungle, let alone Pantanal. My whole focus for this trip has been climbing and doing it in the right fashion. My gear comprises of down jackets, cozy merino thermals and my thick Capestorm balaclava – not exactly the most useful gear for 98% humidity.
However, things change. I heard about this wonderland when I arrived Campo Grande. A bunch of folks were heading through the next morning, so I thought, why not. It didn’t take too long to see why forums all over the net exploded with excitement when it came to bushwhacking through Pantanal. Proud mountain plateaus lay scattered as far as the eye could see. Bright pink flowers dotted saturated the area and the trees grew bigger and more alien-like the closer we got to the marshlands.
The road turned to a gravel track, so we jumped off the bus and onto a beat up pickup. It wasn’t the most comfortable ride with just a plank to sit on in a cloud of dust and flumes, but I shoved on my BUFF (what a life-saver) and got my camera ready. We bounced around on the back and then just 6 minutes in, we’d spotted our first alligator. After that point I had no choice but to look at odd and exotic wildlife! Dancing monkeys, shy iguanas and some rather cheeky toucans. WOW!
We drove deeper into Pantanal and then to my delight we saw the worlds largest cuddle buddy … the capybara! These sleepy looking guys are the worlds largest rodents, weighing up to 150kgs. This confident pair were floating in a stagnant looking patch of water just 3 metres from four very large alligators. They were far to relaxed, but apparently capybaras don’t understand that they are technically a chubby hamster!
After an hour we had made it to our next means of transport. The slender haul strapped with a 2-horse powered engine strained under the weight of us and our bags. But eventually as night fell, we had made it to a concrete house on the edge of the Paraguay River.
Beans and rice were served and after a little excursion into the marshlands where we must have seen about 60 alligators lurking in the dark muggy water, I collapsed onto my mattress to sleep properly after 5 days on the road.
————-AUTHOR: Kai FitchenTITLE: The First 6000’der of K2A14! STATUS: PublishALLOW COMMENTS: 1DATE: 04/16/2014 03:44:28 AM—–BODY:
After a year of planning, a month at sea, sleeping at bus terminals, backpacking through Latin America and trying to get by on under 8 dollars a day … Huayua Potosi, standing at 6088m, became the first bit of climbing thus far! It was just a training climb for a much bigger one … Illimani, which is the second highest in Bolivia.
But, at this point I can’t quite believe I actually managed to climb a peak at all, considering the injury and lack of cash. I guess just going for it can sometimes workout 🙂
————-AUTHOR: Kai FitchenTITLE: Huayua Potosi vlog: Part oneSTATUS: PublishALLOW COMMENTS: 1DATE: 04/21/2014 12:49:48 AM—–BODY:
It took my lazy arse long enough. Here’s part one of the two part Huayua Potosi climb
————-AUTHOR: Kai FitchenTITLE: Huayua Potosi vlog: The Summit Push STATUS: PublishALLOW COMMENTS: 1DATE: 04/21/2014 11:05:17 PM—–BODY:
————-AUTHOR: Kai FitchenTITLE: A nice blow to my ego 6000m up in the sky STATUS: PublishALLOW COMMENTS: 1DATE: 04/28/2014 01:44:16 PM—–BODY:
It was a blow to my ego, more than anything else. With just 200m short the summit of Illimani, we were forced to turn around. The snow reached our hips, the spindrift burnt our cheeks and with the steep wall of unstable snow, the risk of an avalanche was too great …
We had no choice but to make the call. From countless hours being delayed by bus, trying to even get there to a 2000m push to high camp the day before, I wasn’t the happiest camper with the decision.
However, if summits were guaranteed on big mountain’s, what fun would that be …
On the plus side, there were an amazing amount of llamas 🙂
————-AUTHOR: Kai FitchenTITLE: A Long Pitstop in Arequipa …STATUS: PublishALLOW COMMENTS: 1DATE: 05/08/2014 05:19:30 AM—–BODY:
Life is a rather big pain in the arse so much of the time. I spent pretty much the whole of last year trying to raise enough funds for this expedition. Half way through my planning, everything seemed to be going swimmingly. Proposals became meetings and commitments were made. The funds would soon be embracing my rather sorry excuse for an expedition fund. So with that other commitments and objectives started to become a possibility.
Yes, I was giddy with excitement and my expectations and naivety were sky high. But, as the date of departure approached, what was promised was not fulfilled. Unfortunately, in this world in which we live, no matter how good your intentions are, if you don’t have the cash, it becomes pretty impossible to get things done.
So, I was left with a bit of a predicament … give up on the trip or go for it and see what happens. Luckily I did because if I didn’t then I wouldn’t be writing this from a bustling little hostel in southern Peru. For the next couple of weeks I’m a slightly over exploited employee in Arequipa. My days begin late and last till the early hours of the morning. I wipe down tables, fetch food, serve drinks and in return, I get a bed, a meal. But, at least, I get to practice my Spanish.
For the first time, I’m not just visiting a foreign city but rather. I’m experiencing every aspect of this beautiful place. With its beautiful cobbled streets and vibrant people, it drips with history and character.
Plus, it lies in the shadow of two 6000m volcano’s, which will definitely be climbed as soon as I get some time off!
————-AUTHOR: Kai FitchenTITLE: Half Way, I thinkSTATUS: PublishALLOW COMMENTS: 1DATE: 05/24/2014 03:34:02 PM—–BODY:
I’m half way… I think, I’ve kind of lost track of time. All I know is that I’m in cusco after endless night watches, gruelling bus rides, working in a rather wild hostel, getting a 6000’der bagged and getting humbled by another… Can’t believe Im still running to be quite honest, but what a place #K2A14
————-AUTHOR: Kai FitchenTITLE: Im Half Way, I think…. :-)STATUS: PublishALLOW COMMENTS: 1DATE: 05/24/2014 03:37:06 PM—–BODY:
I’m half way… I think, I’ve kind of lost track of time. All I know is that I’m in cusco after endless night watches, gruelling bus rides, working in a rather wild hostel, getting a 6000’der bagged and getting humbled by another… Can’t believe Im still running to be quite honest, but what a place #K2A14
————-AUTHOR: Kai FitchenTITLE: Reigniting My Flame STATUS: PublishALLOW COMMENTS: 1DATE: 06/04/2014 02:51:01 AM—–BODY:
If you are one of the 11 people on this rather lovely planet (excluding my mother) who reads this blog then you may be aware that I’ve been neglectful.
To be quite honest I lost my groove. After 3 months on the go, and it hasn’t been the easiest 3 months, my body and emotional well being became quite fragile.
I’m hugely privileged to be doing what Im doing, however it’s not as glamorous as you may think. For the past 3 months I have budgeted every part of my life. From opting for the cheapest and in turn most scary bus rides, nourishing my bones with barely palatable canned food, staying in some rather unhappy hostels and when that wasn’t good enough I picked up a job in a hostel… which was the final straw.
For the first time I was completely disheartened from dealing with the day to day chores of travelling and hustling my way through Lantin America. I missed my dogs, my folks and those creature comforts of being back home. Like having access to the fridge with plenty of yogurt!
Not the best headspace to be in…
Therefore, I trust that you understand that I decided to keep my moaning to myself and my diary. I left the hostel i was working at in a Arequire and travelled slowly, taking time to breath, taking time to ponder, taking time to go hiking and every so often indulging in that 2 Soles ice-cream.
I eventually made it to the capital, Lima, after drifting through some remarkably beautiful tourist mecca’s like Cusco and I even found my way to the Inka wonderland, Muchu Picchu, which simply left me in awe of how incredible human beings can be. In Lima, I was adopted by a warm family who fed me profusely and made sure I spoke Spanish like a Peruvian…it was wonderful.
My flame was eventually reignighted 3 days ago when I arrived in a place which I never expected to see with my own two eyes. Huaraz, is a quirky little town which lies in the shadow of the Corillera Blanca. It’s packed with climbers, base jumpers, slack liners, mountain lovers and all round dirtbags…I felt at home.
I even found some climbing partners and my to-do list list just got a he’ll of a lot more bulky!
A last little note, K2A14 may not be going the way I planned, however the ethos of MY KAPE is still very much alive 🙂
—–COMMENT:AUTHOR: JoviEMAIL: IP: 188.8.131.52URL: http://www.yerbamatesouthafrica.comDATE: 06/09/2014 10:05:17 PM
You have got a sound objective which you are passionate about so you will always come out of a trough when it hits. Well done on pushing through. Looks like it was worth it.
—–COMMENT:AUTHOR: Kai FitchenDATE: 06/09/2014 10:12:35 PM
Thanks for the continuous support, Jovi! The Mate has fuelled the climbs 🙂
————-AUTHOR: Kai FitchenTITLE: The ascent Tocllaraju: an unlikely summit STATUS: PublishALLOW COMMENTS: 1DATE: 06/09/2014 07:36:06 PM—–BODY:
A very unlikely summit of Tocllaraju (6035m). I lost a partner the day before, found 2 amazing mates a few hours before we left for the summit and then I was dealing with the joys of food poisoning (again)… All I know is that it was a lung busting climb with some chilly technical walls to get up. What a team! the most cleansing ascent. #K2A14
a proper blog to come
————-AUTHOR: Kai FitchenTITLE: Yanapaccha (5450m)…it was a chilly one STATUS: PublishALLOW COMMENTS: 1DATE: 06/18/2014 10:15:39 PM—–BODY:
I never expected to actually make it up to huaraz…then I was able to climb Tocllaraju which reignited my love for high technical climbs. But, then I an Isreali and a bloke from the Swiss hills invited me to climb a very steep and technical route on Yanapaccha.
They turned out to be the two grooviest blokes to shiver up a steep mountain with and even though I lost feeling in my toes for about 10 hours, it was definitely one of the most exciting and beautiful climbs I’ve ever done.
We made the summit at around 730am on the 16th of June.
I have no more money to climb anymore, sadly, however I’ve never had such a thirst climb before.
Huaraz has sparked something new in me 🙂
————-AUTHOR: Kai FitchenTITLE: The Tocllaraju Saga…An unlikely Summit (Part 1)STATUS: PublishALLOW COMMENTS: 1DATE: 06/21/2014 03:11:26 AM—–BODY:
It was time to shmooze when I arrived in Huaraz. That’s the real catch when you’re a solo climber, you’ve got to make friends fast, however, these friends are slightly different due to that fact that in just a couple of days they’ll have your life in their mitten protected hands.
I posted up my “status of arrival” on various climbing forums and waited on inbox to light up. Barely an hour had gone by and I had a possible climbing partner to go and play in the mountains with. We met for some caffeine the next day and after I heard Cissar’s mountain stories I was salivating for some peak bagging myself!
She was keen to give an ice giant, Tocllaraju (6035m), an attempt and she want to know if I’d tie in with her. Its quite a tall order to take on a 6000’der as your acclimatising peak so we made a deal to meet at advanced base camp. I’d leave a few days earlier to acclimatised and she’d, in turn, be able to trek in at her own pace without my altitude weakened lungs slowing her down.
The plan was to leave for Ishinca Valley on Wednesday to be ready for the summit push on Saturday. That would give me just enough time to be sort of acclimatised for the summit attempt…sort of.
The joy of this expedition is the fact that even the simplest plans seem to find an extraordinary way to unravel.
The evening before departure I woke up spritely, crawled out of my tent and emptied my stomach contents onto the camp ground floor. Not the nicest mental image I must admit. I barely slept and when my 630am alarm rang, I was pale and not the greatest fan with life. I don’t know the cause of my new found illness, It could have been the Civiche…or 101 other contaminated food stuffs which Peru has in such abundance. All I knew, this wasn’t good news.
I missed my ride to the valley, but I really didn’t care. I just lay in my tent sipping on flat coca-cola and tried to think of a good way to bail on the climb. However, that would mean letting down the only person who was willing to climb with me. I slept through most of that day and when I woke I made the decision to push on anyway.
The next morning I woke feeling slightly less rotten than the day before and sluggishly packed up my tent and went to find a ride to the valley. The 2 hour drive to the start of the trek was quite a mental game. Every molecule in my sickly body was against doing the climb. I hadn’t eaten in 2 days and I was a day short on acclimitisation…
We arrived, I hauled my large pack onto my back, put my ear-phones in to drown out the nausea and started the 1300m ascent to base camp.
The more I walked, the less my own discomforts bothered me. The thing was, it was just difficult to be such a pitiful lump in such an exquisite display of nature. The trek follows a roaring turquoise river through muddy forests, onto horse and donkey occupied plains and up rocky paths surrounded by dark featureless cliffs. And when, Tocllaraju came into view goose bumps and tingles flooded my body.
It was HUGE! I’m suppose to get myself up that?! Am I insane?! For about an hour those 3 thoughts tore at my psyche but, this actually happens regularly when I start any big climb. However, after I snap out of my mini-nervous-break-down I become super excited to just get going.
After about 5 hours I strolled into the bustling meadow of Ishinca Camp (4350m). I set up my tent and forced down some instant noodles with great difficulty.
Tomorrow was going to be tough one.
————-AUTHOR: Kai FitchenTITLE: Tocllaraju… The saga continues (part 2)STATUS: PublishALLOW COMMENTS: 1DATE: 07/01/2014 03:25:09 PM—–BODY:
Like I had for the past 3 days, I woke numerous times that night to nausea but I kept my dinner down. WIN!
I met up with Danni, a Spanish climber I’d met in Huaraz who was also attempting Tocllaraju. We walked and chatted up the steep moraine slope to advanced base camp (ABC) which sits at a breathless 5200 meters above sea level. I took it slowly and just concentrated on breathing and not getting a leg stuck between one of the many unstable refrigerator sized boulders strewn between me and camp.
I eventually made it to ABC, caught up with Danni who was waiting for his guide who would be coming up with Cissar, my partner.
The light started to fade and the mercury started to plummet. I was looking forward to Cissar rocking up at this point because she was also bringing her 4-season tent and some extra fuel for melting snow. Danni’s guide arrived, but…wait…where’s Cissar?
I seem to have bad luck with partners but, this was a whole new level of messed up…
She didn’t rock up, she had totally bailed on me! I couldn’t believe it.
Now, I was partnerless and tentless… and it was dark!
Danni and a bunch of other climbers heard what had happened. I think they were as shocked as I was. However, remember when I said that you’ve got to shmooze and make friends. Well, this is where it paid off.
Danni, Victor (another guide) and a bloke from the Swiss hills, Oliver, became my saving grace. Oliver let me crash in his tent and tie in with him and Victor. What an incredible bunch of human beings.
As much as mountaineering is about having a good team and good climbing conditions, its about having the right mindset and even though I had felt pretty crappy before, it was only until Cissar bailed on the climb did I start to have second thoughts about making the attempt.
The evening went by painfully slowly.
My alarm went off at 1230am and as I heard other teams get ready, my psyche returned. Ice strews and axes chinked and jingled through the chilled moraine camp and i made the decision. Damn straight I’m giving this peak a go! I got awkwardly dressed inside my sleeping bag and got going.
At 130am, the 3 of us took off and my nausea faded away. For the next couple of hours no one spoke. The crunch of our crampons and our heavy breathing were the only noises disrupting the calm moonless night.
The sun eventually lit up the sky and the rest of the Cordillera Blanca revealed itself in shades of pinks and blues.
6 hours later and with the strong blisteringly cold wind keeping my feet and fingers numb we got to the final 70 degree snow wall. Just 2 pitches and then the summit ridge…i couldn’t believe it.
Then, high up above the 6000m point we looked across the Ishinca Valley and looked over the many pointy peaks below us. It was a perfect summit…Not a cloud, the wind had died and after so much time of doubt…after so much distance traveled…Mountain’s became Metaphors!
Side Note: Once I arrived in Huaraz after the numerous days of descent I went to the clinic so see what was up with my deteriorating health. Turns out I was walking around with (and… climbing with) an intestinal bacteria infection.
————-AUTHOR: Kai FitchenTITLE: A photo I Rather Like Which I Just Came Across STATUS: PublishALLOW COMMENTS: 1DATE: 07/03/2014 08:38:10 PM—–BODY:
Thanks to my buddy, Shahar Hegyi, for this one 🙂
————-AUTHOR: Kai FitchenTITLE: Sadness in paradise STATUS: PublishALLOW COMMENTS: 1DATE: 07/13/2014 04:15:51 PM—–BODY:
One of the more depressing things I’ve ever seen in my life. These may be small trawlers, but just from a single catch these fishermen must have discarded about 70 birds which were caught and strangled in their nets.
If this is happening on a tiny bit of peruvian coastline…there must be some kind of holocaust scenario happening on those huge commercial trawlers.
When last did you think how your fish fingers got into that box?
————-AUTHOR: Kai FitchenTITLE: The “Heading Home” Part of this story STATUS: PublishALLOW COMMENTS: 1DATE: 07/17/2014 10:27:19 AM—–BODY:
Oooooo…look what I found in the middle of no-where 🙂 it’s fitting cause I’m pretty much on my way home at this point. It’s almost 6 months that I’ve been trucking on for and I feel like I’ve packed quite a lot into that time. I’m not sad that it’s over, more than anything I’m so happy that after all the planning and prep it all worked out… I’m also missing my dogs a bit. Just 50 hours left of bumpy bus rides. #peru #Nextstopchile #K2A14
————-AUTHOR: Kai FitchenTITLE: Good-bye, Peru STATUS: PublishALLOW COMMENTS: 1DATE: 07/20/2014 02:06:30 PM—–BODY:
I don’t know if these status are ‘sweet’ or ‘creepy’…all I know is that I’ve said my final good byes to a country which has taught me so much.
The people, the close calls, the adventures and of course, the climbs. So, thank you to all the people (you know who you are) who I’ve shared incredible experiences with and to #Peru for hosting us.#K2A14 #huaraz #backpacking#makingmountainsmetaphors
————-AUTHOR: Kai FitchenTITLE: Home Time: Its A ProcessSTATUS: PublishALLOW COMMENTS: 1DATE: 07/21/2014 07:47:08 PM—–BODY:
As it is all too common on any big trip I’ve done, finishing it is always the hardest part. I have this knack of letting preparations and the adventure consume every part of my life. Which makes reflection and finding my feet when I get back to the real world rather intense.
From the minute i jumped onto that boat my life was unscripted and beautifully intense. Over the past 6 months I’ve experienced and learnt more than I could have ever hoped. However, there’s a catch…with all the new smells, sights and climbs comes a point where you are numbed by the constant stimulations.
So, i’ve extracted some entries from my personal journal. This is for me more than anyone else, however if you’ve been following the expedition from the start this is what was going through my head during all the ups and downs of K2A14.
Day 3: A drip of a day…
There has been a constant drip from my hatch, so with a sodden bed and a sinus headache I wasn’t in very great shape when I woke for my first shift. I’ve been sleeping under towels, but the fact that I’m even under this nasty drip which has found a way into my left ear while I’m asleep has, oddly enough, made me start to really love sailing.
DAY 4: I’m slowly getting the hang of it…
By no means do I feel happy about sailing right now, I’m uncomfortable, drowsy, nauseous, however I’m over happy to be on this adventure!
Nothing is really planned nor rushed. I’ll get to land when I do, Surf when I surf, and climb when I climb.
I’m reading Tim Butcher’s, “Blood River”. Its about him retracing of Sir Henry Morton Standley’s expedition down the Congo River.
He dealt with rebels, malaria stricken villages, Congo politics, civil war, people who have never seen white folk before nor areas with no public radio!
For me to worry about traveling through Brasil…its a bit of a laugh.
————-AUTHOR: Kai FitchenTITLE: The End: The Next Adventure AwaitsSTATUS: PublishALLOW COMMENTS: 1CATEGORY: AdventureDATE: 08/09/2014 04:42:23 PM—–BODY:
Nothing amazes me more than how quickly the time has gone.
I set off in February, at that point in my life I was pretty unconvinced that I’d even be able to see a snowy peak let alone climb one. This was all due to the fact that just finding a boat gave me more greys than any 20 year old should appreciate. Then I had an ocean crossing under my belt and the adventure was just beginning…
Over the next 5 months, I made my way through South America covering a distance equivalent to two return Cape to Cairo’s all by foot, bus, and hitching. In terms of the KAPE 2 ATACAMA mission it was all done as purely as I could have ever hoped. The many white knuckle transits could be blamed on my poor looking bank balance which also left me with barely palatable food and mite infested hostels. I was even left with no choice but to find a job in one very wild hostel which left my body battered and ill equipped for the steep climbs that unknowingly lay in front of me.
As I’m writing this I do feel that many of you may find this string of events rather undesirable. I won’t lie, a comfortable hotel room and a meal which didn’t include boiled eggs and synthetic mayonnaise did consume my psyche for a vast majority of my trip, however what worthy adventure doesn’t tear you away from your creature comforts.
Quite honestly, I wouldn’t change a single thing about the expedition (well, except for that damn mayo!).
The heart ache and sacrifices made me appreciate the good moments even more. From the incredible peaks we scaled to the hilarious, humble and kind friends who lifted my spirits when I missed home all too much. I think, if I didn’t have the Roi’s, the Andy’s, the Nico’s and the Cluadia’s of the world with me, it would not have been the colourful trip I experienced…
No matter if the summits were made or if the Atlantic was crossed, what I learnt more than anything was how important and valuable friends and family were for me. From playing cards and listening to muffled music while we waited out a blizzard on Yannapacha to sipping Yerba Mate and playing soccer on a beach in northern Peru with my newly adopted Argentinean family (who I rarely understood!). The moments spent with these likeminded and adventurous people are the memories I’ll cherish for the rest of my life.
Don’t get me wrong, the friends, family and supporting folk back home and around the world were equally responsible for helping through Latin America. So, as I’ve arrived back to the incredible oasis which is Cape Town I’d like to share my thanks to everyone who made this adventure possible. Firstly to my sponsors who gave me the goods which kept me warm and safe from sea spray to chilly summits. To my incredible load mouthed media partners who were sharing the message continuously. To the groovy ones who donated to the expedition, yep, every little bit helped. Most of all, to my family and close friends who kept me going when I was keen to throw in the towel.
This trip has shown me more than ever before how important it is to get outside and start exploring and I hope that maybe, just maybe, K2A has stirred up some excitement and desire in your life to get out and have an adventure of your own.