Welcome to the hub for up to date information about the Journey to Mount Elbrus!
Firstly, what does the journey consist of? Well, a 1800 mile cycle ride through Europe to the Western coast of the Black Sea. At the coast I will swap my bike for a boat and solo row the 750 miles across the Black Sea to the far reaches of the Eastern coast where I will again jump on my bicycle and cover the couple of hundred miles to the base of Mount Elbrus. Then, without further ado, climb the highest mountain in Europe. Simple!
Broken down into parts the journey doesn’t seem too bad – after all Mark Beaumont circumnavigated the globe on his bicycle. Many have rowed across the Atlantic ocean and Everest has been scaled by everyone and their gran it seems. But put them together and you have a unique and challenging adventure. Most importantly the row across the Black sea has never been done before, so should I be successful, it will be a world record!
So who am I to take on this challenge and, as many people ask, WHY?
Well, my name is Scott Butler, I’ll be 33 when I attempt all this. I live in North Devon with my awesome wife Louise and I am a serving firefighter with Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service. I’m a firm believer that you only get one chance at life here on Earth and I don’t want to look back on my life with regrets.
I’ve run marathons and adventure races, cycled from John O’Groats to Lands End, written a book about my attempt to do something new everyday for a year, tested my driving skills on the legendary Nurburgring and most scarily been a best man twice. Life is full of ups and downs and I aim to outweigh the downs with life defining ups and I believe my sense of adventure, no, my lust for adventure drives me on. This trip hasn’t been defined by anybody but me (except the Guinness Book Of World Records who have to determine my start and end points of the row to make it official) and in this age where explorers are having to stretch to find uncharted places, it's hard to find things that haven’t been done before. In short, Why? Why the hell not?!
There will be three charities that will of course benefit from my efforts and I will be putting heaps of energy into raising both money and the profile of these extremely good causes. The MS Society, the firefighters charity and Facing Africa. More can be found out about them elsewhere on the site.
This site will be constantly updated in the run up to the big day when I first push that bike pedal one rotation closer to my goal and also as I continue my journey.
LUCK. ENERGY. MONEY. SUPPORT. DETERMINATION.
Yours in adventure
Although the exact route has yet to be nailed down, I’m looking at 1800 miles on a bicycle with panniers carrying everything from a laptop to a tent. There will be no physical support out on the road so I’ll have to carry everything I need to look after myself. A full inventory of what I’ll be taking will be on here soon. As for the bike itself I’ve opted for a Dawes tourer bike. I used a Dawes for the John O’Groats/Lands End trip and I loved it. Dawes is also a British brand and I love that I can journey through Europe on a British piece of engineering. I shall cycle through five countries and I estimate that it will take me 20 days to reach the Black Sea. 100 miles a day with two emergency/rest days in the locker. As I approach the Black Sea my boat shall be delivered by the man, the legend Paul Keen. He will tow the boat to the start point of the row. I’ll take the boat, he’ll take my bike and he will drive all the way to the other side and leave the truck, trailer and bike at a pre determined location and fly home. Legend.
Once the Guinness book of world records confirm with me the exact start and finish points, I can boldly claim the distance I need to solo row. Until then we can say it’s approximately 750 miles. This will be done in a second (or third hand) ocean rowing boat. These boats have been specifically designed for this reason an have everything you need from De-salinator machines and solar panels to sea anchors and sealable cabins so that when and or if it rolls in a big swell, it self rights and doesn’t sink! I have no doubt that this will be tough and arduous; most of my training is focused on this part of the trip, but it is also the world record attempt so some say the significant part. I’ll aim to row for 2 hours on and then 2 hours rest. Everyday. All day and night. How long this takes me really is down to the weather. 20 days? 40 Days? Then it’s back on the bike to the base of mount Elbrus.
The highest mountain in Europe stands at 18442 ft (5,642 metres) and has a rather large death toll largely due to the amount of people that underestimate this beast. For this part I will have a guide but will be having to haul all my own equipment. The climb up the Western summit requires crampons but there are no sheer face climbs which is lucky as I don’t have any climbing experience! The route is challenging and will take around two weeks to reach the summit with altitude acclimatisation factored in. The worry will be about my physical state after covering all these miles on my bike and on the boat. Nutrition will be key. Even if the mind is willing, the body needs to be strong for any high altitude climb. I need to make sure I’m not exhausted by the time I get to the mountain! As and when I get equipment I’ll update you all with every fascinating fact and some geeky photos!
My father in law has lived with Multiple Sclerosis for many years and I have, over the last eight years witnessed the disease attack him and attempt to destroy his spirit. But David is a true inspiration for whenever I see him he has a grin plastered all over his face. He’s always the centre of attention (except after one of his wife Susan’s dinners, when he nods off) and is loved by all. We all have our down days, but nothing I go through on a bad day compares to David’s battle every day. But still he smiles on. The MS Society as a care organisation and more importantly as a research institution in need of more funding. I want to help.
Facing Africa is a charity I stumbled across when reading Ben Fogle’s book ‘The Accidental Adventurer’. Ben became involved with and made a documentary about the disease known as NOMA. This disease eats away at the bone, muscle and cartilage from the faces of the people of Africa. Twice a year surgeons from all over Europe go to Africa and treat as many affected sufferers (mainly children) as possible, using plastic surgery to rebuild their faces as best they can. This is no mean feat and produces some astounding and truly heart warming stories. These children shouldn’t have to suffer, but Facing Africa can at least give them a new life. A new face and new hope.
The Fire Fighters Charity
Charity starts at home some say – well guess that’s true in a way although I hope I nor my family ever need the support of the Fire Fighters Charity. They do brilliant work with fire fighters who have been injured both physically and mentally, aiding them any way they can. They are there for the fire fighters and their families – even if god forbid the very real dangers of our job claims a life. The people left behind are not forgotten by the brothers and sisters of the Fire Brigade. The charity comes into its own here, providing valuable support in some very dark and hard times. The Fire Brigade is a family. Non shall be forgotten.
At this point I would just like to thank a handful of people. But make sure to check back soon!
At this early stage, thanks go to Wesley Lyne and LINEbyLYNE for creating this splendid website and the groovy logo. He’s done an awesome job for me and I highly recommend you check out his website and employ his skills for your own needs!
Billy and Barry have stepped up to the plate and will be towing Pacific Pete across Europe to Bulgaria. Once I am set with my boat, they will continue their drive all the way round to Georgia with the trailer and my bike before catching a flight home. These two have rowed the Pacific Ocean dammit and have a wealth of experience and knowledge that it is invaluable. Legends.
Mike Golding, OBE, despite being a very busy man with his own yacht racing team, shared advice, support and a sympathetic ear when I first started to put all of this together. As an ex fire fighter with Berkshire, he is an inspiration when you consider his achievements. Top Man.
My wife Louise and all my family for supporting what sometimes must seem like crazy ideas. Your support is invaluable. Keep it coming! After using almost all my leave entitlement to go off and do this next year, Louise will deserve a good holiday!
Ian Rowe has become a huge part of what I am trying to achieve. His advice, knowledge and willingness to see people succeed is invaluable. With his own Atlantic Ocean record attempt under his belt and a boat rebuild to his name, he is a minefield of hints, tips and thoughtful words.. and if he doesn't know, then someone he does will!
Atlantic Experience delivers keynote speakers, workshops, courses and experiences for business and education which will help unlock more of each participant’s potential.
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Woody has been an absolute legend with knowledge, inspiration and most importantly the man who spent a large amount of his already busy time creating the sponsorship proposal that I send out to prospective sponsors. His experience and knowhow transformed my attempt at the package into something that is professional and eye catching. You can find out more about Mark and his own adventures HERE.
Geoff is a legend in the Ocean Rowing community as he, along with his cousin Don Allum, became the first pair to row across the Atlantic East to West in 1971. This was done in the era before GPS and De-Salinators! Geoff attempted to do the row once again 43 years later in Pacific Pete but sadly his trip was cut short by a back injury. Geoff has not only agreed to sell me his boat Pacific Pete but is a great source of information and will be visiting to help show me what the hell I’m doing! A humble legend.
Anthony Goddard of ZeroSixZero create bespoke maps for those who explore. With clients such as Sarah Outen, Alastair Humphreys and Sean Conway to name but a few. Basically I'm in good hands! Top bloke!
I am thrilled to be able to add another dimension to the physically and mentally demanding expedition to Mount Elbrus. Indigo V Expeditions have come up with a way that enables crazy individuals such as myself to contribute to important scientific work that will hopefully help to maintain our waters, some that I surf in and some such as The Black Sea that are unique and under researched. I hope that on my travels I can convince others to join the citizen scientists already doing fantastic work and together we can help maintain our wonderful oceans and seas for generations to come
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And as the supplier of firekit for my own brigade I can testify to the quality and performance of the gear they manufacture and the crucial part it plays in keeping me safe - and giving me the confidence to do what i have to do. - www.ballyclarelimited.com
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Ruth Lee Ltd design and manufacture a wide range of fire and rescue equipment including rescue training dummies / manikins and with over 30 years experience are now widely recognised as the market leader within the UK. The guys at Ruth Lee have become my first Silver sponsors for which I will forever be grateful! - www.ruthlee.co.uk
Le Maitre has been supplying equipment to the Military, MOD and Emergency Services for over 25 years, with Fire and Rescue Agencies and the Armed Forces across the world finding them invaluable in their training and many using them on an almost daily basis.
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I am honoured that Craghoppers have agreed to kit me out for my adventure. They supply some of the biggest names in the adventure industry and have a reputation that is second to none. Their sense of adventure fuels their ideas and creativity, so when then ideas are born, it's through experience out there in the world that makes the difference. - www.craghoppers.com
Founded in 1905 Gola has become a mainstay of the British sports brands and continues to create stylish and high quality goods for the sports and fashion worlds. They were kind enough to send a selection of merchandise for me to auction off. - www.gola.co.uk
Whole Earth were kind enough to mail me a substansive amount of their Peanut Butter. The un- sugared spread is packed full of protein, getting me off to a great start in the mornings, fuelling the training I have to put in. - www.wholeearth.com
The world’s largest manufacturer of high-pressure aluminum and composite cylinders for a wide––and growing––variety of applications including those worn by the fire brigade. Luxfer supplies customers in more than 50 countries from cylinder manufacturing facilities in England, France, the USA, China and India. - www.luxfercylinders.com
Pains Wessex has been a leading supplier of marine distress signals for over 100 years. When you specify life saving equipment for your vessel, you need to know beyond any doubt that it is the most reliable and cost effective available. With Pains Wessex advanced pyrotechnic marine distress signals, you can be sure you have made the right choice. - www.painswessex.com
Mustard is a market research agency and insights consultancy that is passionate about making a difference. This philosophy is built into the very fabric of everything we do.We exist to help our clients make better, more informed decisions. In many cases – to either help make money or save money. Or to deliver a social return on investment.
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Founded in 1851 by Cornishman Walter Hicks, today St Austell Brewery remains 100% independent and family owned. St Austell Brewery operates a growing and diverse business and is the South West’s leading wholesale supplier to the licensed hospitality sector, delivering beers, lagers, ciders, wines, spirits and soft drinks to nearly 5000 bars, restaurants, hotels, pubs and clubs in South West England. - www.staustellbrewery.co.uk
Rannoch offers everything from the design and construction of high quality and innovative boats to expert training, access to supplier networks and an introduction to the discipline.
'Charlie pitcher is a man with a wealth of knowledge and isn't afraid to share it because he is passionate about ocean rowing and wants to share the adventure' - www.rannochadventure.com
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A BRAUNTON firefighter who plans to take on a dangerous voyage across the Black Sea has finally found a boat he thinks is up to the job. Scott Butler is preparing to cycle to the Black Sea, row across it and climb Mount Elbrus, Europe’s highest mountain. After a long search, Scott has found a 23ft plywood vessel which has already crossed the Atlantic. He now has to travel to Inverness to pick it up.
Read the rest of the article here
A DAREDEVIL firefighter who lives in Braunton managed to try 340 completely new things in as many days. But 25 days away from completing his self-set challenge of doing something new everyday for an entire year, Scott Butler had an accident. Scott, 29, said the challenge was not even planned – he just realised while on holiday with his wife, Louise, in Florida last year that he had already done something new each day for the past four so thought he should carry on.
Mr Butler spent three of the days firing a gun, having his hair permed and holding a crocodile before coming unstuck on September 30. The firefighter ruptured an artery on day 341 after falling off his bike at a speedway circuit and was taken to hospital to ensure it did not burst. He only decided to set himself the year-long challenge after realising he had tried four new things in as many days on a trip to Florida.
A daredevil firefighter who vowed to do something different every day for a year will brave land and sea in the name of charity. The self-titled solo expedition ‘Journey to Mount Elbrus’ will see Scott Butler cycle 1,800 miles through Europe to the Black Sea, row more than 500 miles across it and then climb Mount Elbrus in Russia – Europe’s highest peak – in July. The 32-year-old is celebrating the recent publication of his book, First Times and Cupcakes, which details his year of adventure.
THE story of a daredevil firefighter from Braunton who crashed a motorbike during an attempt to tackle a new challenge every day for a year has been turned into a book. But far from being put off adrenaline-fuelled escapades for life, Scott Butler is preparing to swim and cycle his way to the top of a Russian mountain. Scott recently self-published First Times And Cup Cakes about his self-set challenge to complete daily tasks, including holding crocodiles, working as an air steward and being ordained as a reverend, for 365 days. On his 340th day he crashed on a speedway track, rupturing his femoral artery resulting in a rush to hospital, surgery and months off work.
UK Firefighter Scott Butler world record breaking attempt to row the length of the Black Sea, after cycling 1800 miles through Europe before climbing its highest moutain, Mount Elbrus. Fire Product Search meets the man...
If you are interested in what I am doing and would like to find out more.Feel free to get in contact.
Sponsorship can mean many things; not just cash! I am of course looking to raise money to help with the costs of this trip and am looking predominetly at business' to get involved for whom I have a great selection of 'reward packages' based on how much each company donates. The details for which can be found HERE. But there are many other ways to get involved such as maintenace of the truck that will tow the boat. Equipment that varies from cameras to self heating food packs to bicycles and ancillaries. If you feel you would like to help in any way, i'd welcome it with open arms! please get in touch - you may have thought of something that I haven't!
To get in touch about anything to do with the expedition, please use the links provided or alternatively through the number or email below. I look forward to hearing from you!. Phone: 07961907641Mail: email@example.com