Bookings go Skye high for adventure company
A Highland outdoor adventure company, whose mountain guides worked on trials cyclist Danny Macaskill’s film The Ridge, has seen bookings dramatically increase following its popularity.
Portree-based Skye Adventure gives people – including families – the freedom to explore a different side of Skye, whether that be Munro-bagging, winter mountaineering, climbing the stunning sea cliffs, traversing the Cuillin ridge or going gorge walking, canyoning or coasteering. Business partners Matt Barratt and John Smith became involved with The Ridge thanks to their extensive local knowledge and experience of mountain guiding in the Cuillins.
Earlier this year, Matt, Danny and a film crew from Cut Media made two recce visits to the ridge, mostly in bad weather, to scope out the safest ways for Danny to ride and climb, as well as ensuring the safety of accompanying camera operators. The resulting film showed Danny taking a death-defying ride along the notorious Cuillins ridgeline – scenes which have now been viewed over 18.6 million times on YouTube.
The film shows Skye-born Danny climbing – seemingly effortlessly – to the top of the Inaccessible Pinnacle with his mountain bike over his shoulder.
Matt, who has been climbing and mountaineering for more than 15 years, said:
“I guide on the Inaccessible Pinnacle a lot and know exactly what it’s like getting up there. On this occasion I sat on the top watching – I had the best seat in the house! Danny is from Skye and wants to promote and show off his spectacular homeland to everyone. We would hope the success of the film would lead to more people visiting Skye. We’ve had a pretty immediate response in terms of previous or existing clients getting in touch to say how much they enjoyed it and bookings have definitely picked up. We are already fairly busy next spring. We have also seen a huge increase in web visits and people visiting our Facebook site.
“There has been great interest in the Cuillins and the ridge as well as in the other adventure activities that we offer. This has really been one of the most exciting couple of weeks we’ve had and I still can’t believe how many people have viewed it on YouTube!”
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“Despite the weather being so poor, it was quite good for me to see how happy Danny was on the ridge in those conditions. That was his first time on the ridge and his first time climbing most of the peaks we did that day. I think that was a bit of an eye opener for him, realising that riding the ridge from end to end wasn’t going to happen in the way he’d thought.
“The producers managed to clear two weeks in July to come up and film. They were lucky with the weather – particularly when filming the Inaccessible Pinnacle. We set off walking up to that at 4.30am to get the best of the weather.
“I was really impressed with Danny, he did every single bit in the film several times so the camera operators could have a choice of the best shot. He made it look so easy on the ridge, but I know it must be very tough to carry out such a spectacular stunt and look so relaxed.”
Danny Macaskill said:
“Myself and Stu (from Cut Media) met up with our friends at Skye Adventure to go and scout the ridge and see what could be ridden. I’d never been up there so it was a bit of an unknown. We scouted some locations along the ridge to see what could be ridden and then Stu started to organise everything after that.
“I hadn’t ridden a mountain bike too much before filming either, as I had a lot of commitments on my trials bike, so I was a bit concerned I hadn’t got to ride my mountain bike enough!
“Skye is still very much my home. It’s somewhere I’ve always wanted to make a film and it has the perfect terrain for this one, so it was the ideal fit.”
Scott Armstrong, VisitScotland Regional Director, said:
“This breathtaking film really sells Skye globally, with its panoramic views, amazing mountains and rugged beauty. Skye Adventure should be rightly proud for having played their part in this phenomenally popular short film.
“In the year that Scotland has welcomed the world, with the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, The Ryder Cup and Homecoming Scotland 2014, this film gives potential visitors another great reason to book a visit to the stunning west Highlands and experience its beauty for themselves.”
For more information about Skye Adventure visit www.skyeadventure.co.uk