Welsh adventurer, extreme athlete, two times World First record holder, TEDx speaker, specialty master scuba diving instructor, Muay Thai fighter (and JBB client!), 26-year-old ASH DYKES will be publishing his first book in 2017 in a deal to be announced soon. FHM magazine called him ‘One of The World’s Most Fearless Outdoors Men’; he was 2015 UK Adventurer of the Year and 2016 Welsh Adventurer of the Year. His book will cover his latest Madagascar adventure, with messages of resilience and determination, as well as talking about how he has made it all happen at such a young age, coming as he did from an ordinary background with no special privileges.
Ash recently returned from China, where he gave a talk at the Nanshen International Mountain Film Festival in Shenzhen. The translated talk went down extremely well, and thanks to Ash's popularity at that event with many questions asked and photos taken, Mobi-Garden, the third biggest outdoor company in China, want him to model their clothing in a 5-day photo shoot in Bali and Bombok, trekking Rinjani volcano in November. He'll also give a talk in Shanghai. During his stay in Shenzhen he met government officials, sponsors and the biggest brands in China, TV companies and production teams. He's starting to learn Mandarin and plans to visit China frequently over the next year.
In 2016 - Ash became the first person ever to traverse Madagascar's length through its interior, taking on 8 of the highest mountains on the fourth largest island in the world, 1,600 miles in 155 days.
He contracted the deadliest strain of malaria, was held up by the military, had to avoid bandits, was bitten by a spider, built a raft to cross rivers, was almost washed away by a river infested with Nile crocodiles on a night time crossing and had to hack through almost impenetrable jungle among much more. He met up with conservationists along the way, in order to spread the word on the work being done to protect Madagascar’s unique biodiversity.
In 2014 - Ash became the first person ever to complete a solo & unsupported walk across Mongolia, over the Altai Mountains, Gobi Desert & Mongolian Steppe, covering 1,500 miles in 78 days knocking 22 days off the predicted time.
He pulled 120kg in a wheeled trailer carrying all provisions needed to survive, he faced sand storms, snow blizzards, grey wolves, snakes, severe heat exhaustion & loneliness; he became known to the locals as ‘The Lonely Snow Leopard’, due to the wolves keeping a respectful distance from him, as they do the snow leopard.
Ash filmed and blogged his expedition, and people followed his journey from all over the world as he hit major news, and articles were shared globally & translated into a number of different languages. He became the youngest member within Speakers from the Edge and he was soon out on his first UK theatre tour as well as his footage being featured on Discovery Channel and Channel 5.
Sir Ranulph Fiennes: – “This young man’s completion of a ‘first’ solo trek across Mongolia, from the Altai to the Steppe, will have proved both physically & mentally challenging & is an example of great determination.”
Ash's exploits from the age of 19 include:
• Cycling Cambodia & the length of Vietnam (1130 miles – 15 days)
• Trekking the Himalayas in North India
• Cycling 700 miles through Australia
• Learning to survive in the jungle with a Burmese Hill Tribe
• Working as a scuba diving instructor for 2.5 years in Thailand where he trained & competed against the locals in Muay Thai (Thai kickboxing)
He has been featured in The Times, Forbes, The Guardian, Mail Online, BBC World News, ITV, Arise TV, Discovery Channel, Channel 5, FHM etc. His Mongolia and Madagascar expeditions gained a global reach of more than 350,000,000.
He toured the UK, visiting 10 different theatres in Scotland, England and Wales, speaking of his world first expedition across Mongolia and will go on tour again in March 2017 with Speakers from the Edge and present to 13 venues.
A few press articles from his most recent expedition: -
BBC World News - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-north-west-wales-28703519
Forbes - http://www.forbes.com/sites/hilarybrueck/2015/08/30/this-explorer-wants-to-bring-madagascars-lemurs-into-your-living-room/#17dd59ad4ff8
The Guardian - http://www.theguardian.com/environment/radical-conservation/2015/sep/29/welsh-adventurer-madagascar-lemurs-ashdykes
Daily Mail - http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3448906/British-adventurer-person-complete-1-600-mile-walk-south-north-Madagascar-beating-malaria-dodging-crocodiles-155-day-journey.html
Wales Online (Cool List) - http://www.walesonline.co.uk/whats-on/whats-on-news/cool-list-50-coolest-men-10495495
Discovery Channel Champion - http://www.discoveryuk.com/make-your-world-bigger/champions/ash-dykes/
Bradt Travel Guides - http://www.bradtguides.com/articles/ash-dykes-madagascar/
The Allrounder - http://www.theallrounder.co.uk/ash-dykes-walking-across-madagascar/
National Adventure Awards - http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-3009420/Ash-Dykes-named-National-Adventurer-Year-walking-Mongolia.html
Daily post - http://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north-wales-news/old-colwyn-explorer-ash-dykes-10896009
ITV News - http://www.itv.com/news/wales/story/2014-08-19/welsh-adventurer-breaks-mongolia-world-record/