Sunday, 30 March 2014

Below the snow line

For the past 3 days I have been trying desperately not to break, snap or twist an knee/ankle.

Tomorrow, we say 'goodbye' to the Mountain Leader Training Walking Group Leader Award and 'hello' to the Hill and Moorland Leader Award.

I am not sure who actually decides on the name, but if it were up to me, I would be renaming the award the Bog and Heather Award.

Having spent 21 years working in the mountains, on Saturday night, I can safety say that it is the first time that I have ever been met off the hill by 2 Game Keepers and 2 Bobbies.

Apparently our poor weather navigation practice/night navigation was deemed 'suspicious', and despite informing the local farmer who's ground we were on that we would be trundling around the hills in the evening, apparently this wasn't good enough.  Really ....

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Monday, 24 March 2014

A proper mini adventure

Well that's it for another SkiMo season - time to get back to normality.

Photo © Morrocco Media

Do not let this photo fool you, today was pure survival tactics.

The first sign was George's helmet getting whipped away with the wind.

The second sign was George's crampon self destructing at the very top of the Fiacaill Couloir.

Even if I had the biggest and best crampon repair kit in my rucksack - speaking a bit more than some metal cable ties, screws etc - there was absolutely no way that it was getting fixed en route.

For Bob & George, I think today will be one to be remembered.

[Struggling to see computer screen tonight since even though I have very good googles, today they never cut the mustard].

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Where is my mojo?

I wouldn't say that I have lost my mojo - I think it has probably remained in Italy.

The hills are full the frogs, the spring bulbs are in full blaze and today I saw my first lamb of the season.

I still have another 6 weeks of winter and it would be really nice to get back on the hill without the fear of getting my head blown off.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Men in tights

Reasons to go to the Lagorai:

1. Only the Italians make hot chocolate so thick that your spoon will stay upright.

2. I am not a coffee drinker, but I am assured that the coffee is some of the best there is.

3. There are lots of men [and women] in tights.

4. They don't seem to have any clouds.

5. They have mighty fine mountains.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014


Graeme & Di were supposed to be on Tower Ridge today but the weather looked minging on the West.

So, we rescheduled.

So, Di decided to take Derek on another magical mountain tour.

Derek remains unconvinced about the 'magical'.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Win some, lose some

Yup, there was no ice in Setesdal and the dribbles of ice that remained were either detached, collapsing, collapsed or downright pathetic - you would literally find better ice in a G&T.

After 3 days we cut our losses and bailed to Rjukan where contrary to many negative reports about conditions, we managed to have 2 excellent days on the ice.

The good thing about climbing as a 2 is that you get lots of time on the ice, the bad thing about climbing as a 2 is that you don't get the opportunity to take any photos and you never quite recover from the arm burn.