Pyrenees Adventure 2019

A life-changing retreat experience in the mountains in the South of France.

2020 Dates to follow

Please keep an eye on this page, and when 2020 dates are available, details will be posted here!

Thank you for your interest!

Experience the splendour of The Pyrenees

This week-long retreat is only available to MND family, for a very small group, just seven people, annually in September.

Dates for 2019 

The retreat will run twice in 2019.

2nd September - 9th September inclusive.

12th September - 19th September inclusive.

Surrounded by soaring mountain peaks, we will explore the mountain meadows, rocky valleys and lonely lakes of these majestic mountains. This trip will be far removed from any kind of commercial trekking experience...we will be in the wilds, off the beaten track and away from the crowds. Expect solitude and embrace nature.

Take time to retreat from modern life to the peace of the mountains

This trip isn’t all about how far or how high or how long, it’s not about bragging rights and tick lists. It’s about spending time in nature, it’s about getting off the tourist trail and exploring peace and solitude in one of the most unspoilt, wild and beautiful parts of Western Europe.

Improve your fitness

All that said, there are challenges involved, but I want you to understand the challenges are there to help you grow as a person, to show you that you can achieve anything you set yourself to do, for those times in life when it feels like you have a mountain to climb...after this trip, you will always remember that you have climbed mountains before and you can do it again. During our week-long trip, you will complete  four fairly demanding hikes deep into remote valleys among the high mountains, including our primary objective of the week, you will climb a 10,312 foot (3,143m) mountain. That is something few people do in a lifetime…far fewer people achieve that than run a marathon or jump out of an aeroplane. It is a great achievement and something you will always be proud of.

Personal growth

The two or three biggest days on our trip will be long, will be hard, will push your fitness and stamina like never before, and our group will bond in mutual support. We will see how one person needs help going up, another needs help coming down, another needs help at the top, another needs help at the bottom, either with nerves before we start or with aching feet after we finish! But as a team, as a group, we will accomplish our mission, and you will find that after this, life will never be quite the same again.

Where eagles dare

Our week in the mountains will be just that, a full week in the mountains. Don't expect too many hours of free time every day relaxing at our accommodation; instead our time will be spent out in nature, relaxing in the mountains, hiking every day bar one. Six days there, six days of adventures. 

One easy day, two moderate days, two hard days, and one 'rocky adventure', that's the rough plan...but of course, please remember these are 'Karl versions' of easy and moderate days, so you may come home saying all six days were demanding! That is to be expected, this trip is not suitable for a complete novice - a certain amount of fitness, stamina and mountain walking experience is required and essential.

While reaching the top of a 10,000 foot mountain is our big goal for the week, we will also (hopefully) enjoy taking a cheeky dip in a remote mountain lake, canyoning in the steep valleys, scrambling up a via ferrata route, hiking amid stunning scenery and beautiful waterfalls and keeping our eyes peeled for the amazing delights of Pyrenean wildlife.

Golden Eagles, Griffon Vultures and Iberian Imperial Eagles are common in the mountains, and you are almost certain to see some, likely up very close indeed. You are also likely to see Pyrenean chamois (known as an Izard, Isaard or Isard locally), you may see fire Salamanders, and possibly (if very lucky) a Lammergeier or (if not so lucky, I think) then brown bears are sometimes seen in quieter parts of the Pyrenees. Personally, after multiple visits, I have seen all but the bears (phew!).

The best things in life are free

 

This trip is about the stuff you can't pay for. It's about...

  • Team work, camaraderie and friendship
  • Taking your fitness and stamina to a whole new level
  • The challenges, and growing your comfort zones
  • The sheer magnificent beauty of these vast mountains

It's not about fancy restaurants, the latest fashion and big boozy nights out. You won't find any of that stuff. This trip isn't about the fancy things you pay for, the accommodation is clean and comfortable, classy but simple, the setting very rural, and the area is not a mainstream tourist trap. This trip is about taking time out in nature, disconnected from email and social media, and pushing yourself to all-new highs. 

"Another superb trip to the mountains with Karl, his attention to detail, safety and hard work shines through. He takes us to the best places, secluded valleys with wild horses, pristine mountain lakes to swim in, rocky scrambling fun and views, oh views to die for. There are countless opportunities to test your fitness and challenge your comfort zones with both the variety of hiking and additional activities. On these trips I feel properly ALIVE. What a blast - the memories will keep me smiling for a lifetime along with the friendships formed."

- Mrs S, Kent
September 2019

"Fantastic trip from beginning to end. Karl thought of everything to make this trip extra special. The memories will last a lifetime. The food was amazing, the views outstanding, the organisation spot on. You’re definitely in safe hands. If you love mountains, nature and adventure you will never regret a week in Karl’s company."

- Mrs H, South East
September 2019

"Wow, the MND mountain retreat was not only just hiking from dawn til dusk (well some of it was!) we still got time to chill by beautiful mountain lakes, watch flyovers from eagles, hike in the dark with head torches on (now that was fun) eat out and in (amazing homecooked, wholesome, nourishing food), soak our feet in a natural thermal spring, drink bowls of tea and coffee from mountain huts way up high, laugh, cry and have the best fun ever hanging out with like-minded peeps!"

Mrs W, Midland
September 2018

"The Pyrenees trip was fantastic from start to finish. Stunning mountain scenery, fantastic companions and amazing home-cooked food. Couldn’t have been better, Karl worked his socks off to organise everything before and during the trip and it paid off big time, thank you."

– Ms C, South West
September 2019

"...our unique Pyrenees adventure. Karl worked morning, noon and night (quite literally) looking after us and giving us the most amazing retreat!"

Mrs R, Wilts
September 2018

"Hiking in the Pyrenees... I truly had no idea what I was letting myself in for. My friend said it'll be fun!!!... I really hadn't given it much thought. I was apprehensive and had never done anything like this plus I'd never even met these people before. Via Ferrata, I'll give that a miss I thought, don't like heights. Canyoning, jumping into water, I'll have a look I thought. Boy oh boy, what an amazing 7 days, jammed packed from morning to night, what a thrill and I did it all! The views, peace and tranquillity was therapy I really needed and the more I had the more I wanted. Karl has made it all so easy for us with organising every part of the process. The flights, transfers, Gite, hut accommodation, via ferrata, canyoning, meals out, but most importantly his experience which made us all feel confident and safe. His infectious enthusiasm for the mountains made you want more. The banter, the laughs, the friends for life was unforgettable. A magical experience I'll never forget. I cannot thank you enough for putting this altogether to allow us to experience a true adventure. Thank you."

- Mrs M, South East
September 2019

"With views like these and more, who wouldn't want to do a Mountain Retreat. Thank you Karl for delivering a fantastic week of great hikes, beautiful views and great company. Would gladly do it all over again and will highly recommend it to all other MND'ers for future outings such as this. Its a one of a kind experience and brings one closer to Nature! A big thumbs up for all the organizing behind this amazing week in the Pyrenees! It was totally worth it, great bunch of folks, great hikes and fantastic views!"

Mr T, Hants
September 2018

"Shhhh don’t tell everyone how wonderful an experience it was and how fab Karl is at organising such a wonderful trip x Lovely, lovely time away in the beautiful Pyrenees with lovely, lovely MND folk."

Ms H, Norfolk
September 2018

"Wow, what an incredible experience, physically challenging and pushing comfort zones in the most beautiful, peaceful French valley's. Karl is always there guiding and offering a helping hand, worth every penny."

- Mrs W, Burton
September 2019

"Thoroughly enjoyed my week with Karl and the gang in the French Pyrenees. The location was stunning, the Gite was homely and beautiful and the home-cooked food was delicious. I certainly pushed some personal limits and very proud that I did. Karl made it a week to remember and I will be back for more."

- Mrs W, South Wales
September 2019

"2nd time on Karl's mountain retreat and even though I had done some of the routes before, a day on a mountain is never the same. Meeting such awesome people each time is a great feeling and adds to a growing list of amazing friends."

- Mr B, Herts
September 2019

This trip is a retreat, in the sense of taking time far away from the normal pace of life. Expect no Wi-Fi, poor mobile coverage, expect forced time offline, expect time instead to connect with the location, the rest of our group, the pace of life in remote mountain villages, and the beauty of nature in the mountains.

 

Learn more

For a full and complete trip itinerary, and for answers to all your questions, and information for guests, please click the buttons below.

'Questions and Info' includes details about accommodation, prices and payment, transport, flights, food, kit list, mountain safety, training, sleeping arrangements and more.

 

Full Trip Itinerary
Questions and Info

The MND 2019 Pyrenees Mountain Retreat

2nd - 9th September 2019 * 12th - 19th September 2019

Close

50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.