Alumnus launches daredevil cliff camping service

James Stewart & Sam Farnsworth Cliff Camping (photo John Houlihan)

Photo ©2015 john houlihan

A head for heights is not a pre-requisite for studying at Bangor University, however this specific trait has enabled a School of Environment, Natural Resources and Geography, Devonshire born alumnus to turn his passion into a successful, one of its kind business opportunity.

After graduating in 2011 with a degree in Sustainable Development, Sam Farnsworth, 26, realised that he wasn’t suited for an office setting and utilised his degree and professional mountaineering qualifications to set up his own adventure activity company, Llanberis based Gaia Adventures.

The company has recently added a new adventure to their range, cliff camping, where those brave enough can camp while suspended from ropes and a portable ledge on the cliffs at Rhoscolyn, Anglesey.

Sam explains: “The cliff camping adventures comes from spending a lot of time using portaledges as an essential piece of kit to climb big walls in Yosemite and Venezuela. It's an incredible place to spend time and very few people, even climbers, ever get to experience. We are making this unique adventure experience available to a wider audience. It also makes sense to offer something that nobody else in the country is offering, a real differentiator or USP for the business.

“Starting the company was a way for me to bridge my passion for the environment, sustainable development and climbing and mountaineering. Gaia Adventures has sustainability as our aim through the way we run the business and also through our course content. The way we interact with the natural world is totally disconnected from the impacts we have on the planet and each other. Outdoor experiences bring risk management and decision making to a place people can easily understand and see action and consequence. This is not the case with many parts of our lives so spending time outdoors is a powerful way of getting people thinking about their impact, and how to make it a positive one.

“We've got other big plans up our sleeves for the future, so keep an eye on Gaia Adventures!”

Related stories elsewhere on the web:
Wales Online
BBC
The Sunday Times (£)

Publication date: 20 April 2015