Friday, 26 October 2012

A month of adventures

Considering how weird September was; (returning from Chamonix and the spending every day for 3 weeks either in work or hospital...) October has been much more exciting!

It started off with The North Face training trip at Glenmore Lodge. I must say being paid to wander round the Cairngorms in brand new kit was pretty cushty, somehow doing more of that in the future would be sweet! I was in a pretty mixed ability group so we just went up the Goat Track; it seems like I will never make it up Fiacaill Ridge! It was also strange to be heading up that way without either snow or a massive amount of kit to climb on Shelterstone.

Team Braehead Trek
Later we walked into a bothy to wild camp for the night. I think this is the first time I've ever been on a walk with a large group of active people and been near the front... obviously all my cycling and alpine climbing has done my fitness the world of good! Fire, whisky and stories made it pretty cosy in spite of my falling out with a Primus omnistove.

I must admit, I was really excited at the idea of the next days activity as it was drytooling! Especially as I had spent the car ride up to Glenmore Lodge trying to persuade Davey C to give me a belay at Newtyle on the way home to Glasgow. The towers at the Lodge are not quite as long or overhung but you could make them quite tricky with a bit of thought.

I did get plenty of practise with baggy torques and can openers, which actually proved to be quite useful as 3 days later I got to use them for real on one of the mixed routes on the Tacul Triangle.

The first 2 days of my trip to Chamonix were stunning! So we went and did one of the climbs paralel to the Chere. Typical Alpine start of course, we were on the route by! The lie in was definitely appreciated, as I had just completed 8 days straight in work, including the TNF training.

I was admittedly feeling pretty rusty and slow but managed to lead my way up a pitch of grade V, once I committed to leaving a couple of safe ledges! Somehow I also managed to successfully free a very thin pitch (VI or VII?) after Dave had aided it. But then I fell off the grovelling, bellyflop last move of the route; a reminder that it's not over until its over!

We had decided to stay up in the Perroux hut so that I could get a bit more aclimbatised and head down the next morning. All of my previous stays at the Col du Midi have involved camping on the glacier, can't believe I've never even bothered to check out the small wooden hut perched on the crag below Cosmiques. It's amazing! I definitely won't be taking a tent up to the Midi again.

The weather closed in for the rest of the week, but being Chamonix I got out bouldering, sport climbing, drytooling or running on all of the days of my trip.

Back in Britain and managed to catch some sunshine in the Peak District bouldering with Tom. I couldn't believe how busy Stanage was! I'm used to being there with only a handful of other people about so it was a little bit of a shock. We did meet a lot of friendly folk though, and there were enough mats about to make the boulders look a bit like an indoor climbing wall...

So on to the next adventure! I have very mixed emotions about the OMM, sort of nervous that we won't be fast enough and may get disqualified. I know that I've packed to much food and too many layers, but  I also know its going to be really cold and possibly snowy! I guess we just have to try our best. A group of my friends are heading up to the Norries today. Winter is definitely coming and this weekend of running/walking will kickstart my hill fitness for sure!

1 comment:

  1. Can you guess which group of Chamonix ex-pats use the Perroux from the stickers?
    Good luck in the OMM!