What's it all about?
What's it all about? That's easy! It's about having fun - but safely!
At GC Outdoors, I'm here to offer you an experienced, skilled, qualified and knowledgeable expert to help you, your family and your friends to have an absolutely FANTASTIC time in the great outdoors of the North of England.
So - what takes your fancy?
- Mountain walking?
- or Caving? (my personal favourite!)
I can be your very own personal expert, to guide you on all these activities. And because I'm lucky enough to live here, I know the best walks, routes and trips. I can take you to those places only the locals know about, with the most spectacular scenery, the best views, the most exciting routes - and even the best pubs for lunch!
Enjoying the outdoors can be more than the physical exercise and the beautiful views - it can also include knowing why the scenery looks like it does; and identifying the flowers at your feet and the birds in the air. It would be my pleasure to share with you a little of what I have learned over the years, and hopefully, increase my knowledge from what you know.
It would be my privilege to accompany you on your outdoor adventures. The happiest and most satisfying experiences of my life are always outdoors - it's my pleasure to help them to be yours too.
GC - that's me!
I'm Graham Coates, and I have been passionate about the outdoors since I could walk.
I've spent most of my free time having adventures on mountains, up rock faces, on (and in) rivers, lakes and seas and underground (my favourite) since my youth, but for the last fifteen years I've been lucky enough to make it my job too - working in the outdoor instructing industry.
The reassuring bit
You need to know that you're in safe hands when you go out into the hills and dales. Your safety is obviously my most important priority. We can't have fun together, unless you're relaxed and can trust me as your guide. Of course, the most important qualification is recent, relevant and quality experience - which is why you need to be with someone who spends most days outside - and which is where you'll usually find me! I'll be either challenging myself, improving my own skills in the UK and across the world, or working with groups (often youngsters) in the Dales and the Lake District, as an Outdoor Activities Instructor.
However, you also need to know I am qualified in all the activities we're enjoying, so see here for details of my qualifications.
My main passion and area of expertise is caving. Yes, I love climbing, mountain walking and getting wet in a canoe, but given a choice, I'd always go for the Yorkshire underground, or anywhere else underground, for that matter. For me, caving is the ideal pastime - it's for everyone: children and adults. It's a life sport - some of the best (world-class) cavers I know and respect have been drawing their pension for more than a few years - and they're still caving every week!
Caving FEELS like an adventure - you really do explore a new world that very few ever see. Where else - apart from deep space and deep oceans - can you experience this sense of the unknown?