My name is Christopher (Chris) Brown and I’ve been a hill walker for nearly 40 years. I started on Dartmoor at the age of 13 and Dartmoor has had a special place in my heart ever since. Although I have climbed mountains (well – walked up them would be a more accurate description) I have never enjoyed the experience as much as I enjoy the hills. I have nothing against the mountains – I love to look at them – but for me I’m never happier than when I’m stomping across the hills.
In my youth I completed Ten Tors 45 miles and Duke of Edinburgh Bronze, Silver and Gold Expeditions (although to be honest these were something of a holiday from the more serious walking). I even had a spell as a race walker before a back injury forced me to stop.
I am also a trained and qualified Hill and Moorland Leader. I am also trained to supervise DofE expeditions as well as being as Assessor.
I am a Methodist Minister and lead short Pilgrimage walks – see my personal site for more information. I am also the world’s only (as far as I and the DofE organisation know) DofE Chaplain. In this capacity I support some school groups who are doing the DofE Award by leading groups on the hills and teaching then to navigate (not always successfully). I’m never happier than when I’m puffing up a hill or trying to sleep in a tent – sorry about the snoring!
I’m happily married to Alison and have four wonderful children (Michael, Lucy, Thomas and Jonathan) who all enjoy the hills as well (mostly).
The intention of this site is to provide helpful information to those who want to get out on the hills; and encouragement to those who may be thinking of trying some hill walking. I also hope that some seasoned walkers might be able to make use of the information I provide and maybe leave some helpful comments on the blog that may be of use to others – I always accept that I don’t know everything!
The kind of walking that I’m talking about is not the gentle stroll with granny down the country lane but the more serious exploration of the distant hills. I will also not be talking about mountains or climbing but will leave that to others who can do a much better job than myself. This walking is demanding physically and mentally as well as being extremely good for the soul (believe me its my business).
If there is information you would welcome but I’ve forgotten to include it then please feel free to suggest (nicely) something to include.
At this point (June 2016) the site is just starting to be built so it will take a while to get everything on but please keep checking back, I hope you will find something useful.
My hill walking experience started at an important time in my personal life. At the time my mother was very ill and spent large amounts of time in hospital. I think that hill walking was what kept me together during that very difficult time. Having seen what something as simple as hill walking can do I have done what I can to encourage young people to get involved in it. At present that means I volunteer to support some schools that are participating in the DofE Award scheme and Ten Tors. I have also witnessed the changes in some of those young people as they have grown through the hill walking experience. My dream would be to expand that work and see many more young people benefit from trips out into the hills. If you share that dream maybe you could get in touch.
If I can generate some income then I can put more of my time over to helping young people have a go at hill walking. In an age of increasing detachment from the great outdoors I would love to do something to encourage more people to make use of it. Thank you for your understanding.
Thanks to all those who have contributed in some way to the site, especially to those who inspired a love of the hills in me and taught me the skills in the first place – too many to mention.