Adventure Alternative is an independent travel company which was started in 1991 by adventurer and mountaineer Gavin Bate, and developed during many years of organising and running expeditions around the world. It is now an established company with an emphasis on responsible travel and a high level of knowledge and experience. We have run trips to the summit of Mount Everest to the middle of the Sahara Desert!
Our office is on the north coast of Ireland and we have long looked after Irish walkers and adventurers going round the world, but we also have many happy clients from England, Scotland, Wales, Australia, Canada and America, with a smattering from other countries like Norway, Netherlands and elsewhere.
Over several decades Gavin invested money into setting up local companies in our most popular places like Kenya and Nepal, and they use our company name. Some of our staff have been with us for over fifteen years! We plough profits back into providing training for our local guides and cooks, drivers and porters so that they can have a long term career with us. We believe that this attitude and the loyalty it brings is a big part of what being responsible means, plus our groups have a more enjoyable holiday.
In fact the feedback we get always mentions the professionalism and friendliness of our staff, most people describe it more as a family than a company!
For UK staff we use International Mountain Leaders, Mountain Instructors and Mountain Guides for the climbs, and our ratios and mountaineering principles for safety come from the Mountain Leader Training Board and the UIAA.
With such a long track record, we are very proud of our exemplary safety record; we comply with the British Standard 8848 for overseas expeditions and have been independently assessed. Plus we run a separate client account and we are fully insured and bonded as a tour operator.
Moving Mountains was started by Gavin Bate in 1991 during his years of travelling and developmental aid work in the slums of Nairobi and the mountains of Nepal. He worked as an aid driver for a while and also as a teacher in Kibera on occasion, using the funds from guiding on Mount Kenya and Kilimanjaro to fund school fees and facilities in a place called Muthurwa Primary School and also in a clinic he helped to build with Medecins Sans Frontieres. Later, while staying in the villages of solu Khumbu he committed to raising the money for hydro-electric power plants, schools, monasteries and clinics by climbing Mount Everest.
Still now the charity has its administrative overheads paid by Adventure Alternative and all the Trustees work voluntarily. We all understand that the company is more than just a commercial concern, it has enabled Moving Mountains to allow people from really poor backgrounds to achieve a lot, and it has built many schools and facilities.
Moving Mountains provides all the charity programmes and projects in global health that Adventure Alternative supports, often through some of our trips like school trips and medical electives. This ensures that the charity decides what the school groups do, rather than the company. It's important that any visit like this is properly developmental and professional.