AEE: The Fan Dance and .50cal Coffee Company

For many years the British Military Special Forces have undertaken, what is widely known as being the hardest selection process in the world. This includes a physical stamina test which pushes the students beyond their limits. A single phase of this test is called the Fan dance.

The fan dance is a load bearing speed march across the welsh mountain, Pen y Fan, starting at the famous Storey Arms Outdoor Education centre red telephone box. This test is only one phase of a long selection process which if successful through out allows you to join the worlds finest Special Forces unit.

Trust me when I say this is a test which most people who attend fail.

AEE: Avalanche Endurance Events run a superb event which allows you to participate in a one day trial of this selection process and allow you to sample the same physical challenges that the Special Forces operatives go through. Have a look below

People of all ages come from far and wide to attempt the course and see if they have the mindset to complete such an event.

I met one such gentleman had travelled down from Aberdeen, Scotland. He travelled for nearly two days via many busses and slept in parks along the way just to attend the event. Sheer dedication to the cause.

I also met a gentleman who at the age of 58 completed the course in an admirable time, his reply when I asked how was it will forever make me smile - “when you’ve put up with my missus for 30 years anything is easy, but honestly its all in the mind”

So what was .50calcoffeecompany doing there I here you ask?

What we do best, coffee and moral.

We had very kindly been invited by no other Than Mr Ken Jones, former Special Forces operative and founder of AEE

I arrived at 0400hrs on the Saturday to get the brews on and there was already a flurry of people getting ready to undertake the extreme challenges that lay ahead and trust me they where happy to see that we would be supplying our fine blend of coffee.

The DS (Directing staff, military term for the people who run a course and provide safety) where also raring to go and what a field of knowledge that had assembled, from people who had completed the course prior – wink wink -  to mountain rescue team members, everyone was impeccably professional and new their role and the mountain very well.

At this point I want to add, please do not just go wandering up any old mountain at any old time. THIS IS A SERIOSULY DANGEROUS EVENT AND PEOPLE DIE ON MOUNTAINS. Make sure you go with people who know what they are doing and follow the safety codes. Or better still attend a well run event such as this one              

Luckily I was also joined by the owner and founder of Veteran Owned uk – If you don’t know who they are and what they are doing you should!  Please check them out – absolutely amazing what has been achieved there already and they will continue to grow and grow. The one stop directory for veteran businesses.

 The first group were about to set off and you could literally feel the tension in the air, like a dog that sees its lead, the athletes where raring to go and so many fuelled by .50cal Coffee              

And off they went……

Over the period of the day there where a couple more events which were equally as tough – clean fatigue (no weight carried) the woodhouse route ( a slight variation of the route itself) all with there presented difficulties and mental battles.

There where many people VW (voluntary withdrawing) from the challenge and through out the day that sore lots of people coming back injured because of the weather, fatigued because of the actual challenge itself all very lucky to be met by the awesome team that is Bullet proof bodies

Two unbelievably experienced former military Physio’s who can deal with anything thrown at them pretty much. In fact if you have an event and require physiotherapy to be part of it these are the guys you require….


All through out the day we supplied Coffee after Coffee and every single person was blown away by not only the standards but the sheer quality we were providing and the Moral boost it gave to them.

We even had athletes tell us that if it hadn’t been for our coffee they wouldn’t of made it through the course……

We also had other awesome Veteran companies travel specifically to the Storey Arms where we were just to try our coffee and see what all the hype was about. Was also great to meet the guys from BlueJacket_Firearms and we look forward to working with them in the future.

All in all we had an amazing day with the AEE team and can not thank them enough for allowing us to be part of the amazing Fan Dance event and we really look forward to supporting them in the future.

Thank you to all involved for your kind words and support it truly makes it all worth while for us and a HUGE well done to all who had a crack at the FAN DANCE – Who Dares Wins.

If you require a Solid Veteran company to come and cater, and I quote “possibly the finest coffee ever made” at your event then please do get in touch -

Or find us on social media and we will be happy to help out where and when we can

Till then stay caffeinated,