Another year has gone by, one that personally was exciting and full of amazing experiences (and I hope your year was as well). Some key highlights include: My first Gogarth trip (Britomartis, HVS 4c) and subsequent visits, my first limestone E2 (It, E2 5b), buying and tazzing around on my Transalp, my first slate E3 (Goose Creature, E3 6a), crapping myself (not literally) on Superdirect (E1 5b) with Gwen and doing Pull My Daisy (E2 5c). Also completing my first year at Uni and managing to survive my recent epic stand out (although my fall wasn't really a highlight!).
Some targets for the new year: Climbing: Comes the Dervish (E3 5c), Atlantis/True Moments/Freebird (E2 5b), Samurai (E2 5c), The Sloth (HVS 5a), A Dream of White Horses (HVS 4c). Walking: Summer version of the route we were doing when I fell, The Pennine Way, Scarfell Pike, Ben Nevis, Cadir Idris, Welsh 3000’s. Motorbiking: A Scotland trip, a Lakes trip and save up for kitting the Transalp up for off roading.
I’m still out of action, my hand is going to take some serious work to rebuild its strength (hopefully this will force my climbing footwork to improve and better, smoother gear changes on the motorbike). My knee is now able to bend completely, it has taken time and quite a bit of painful stretching to achieve it though. I still can’t step down stairs with it, I kind of mentally line my right foot up to catch me, then step down and move quickly as my left knee buckles. It can be quite hairy doing this so I wait till I’m almost at the bottom of the stairs before trying.
My best advice is don’t fall/slip, the recovery process is a real frustration. But if you must bash yourself up; stay focused, positive and just keep working at it. Recovery does and will happen.
Currently, as I can’t do anything useful/fun/scary I’m reading a lot. Nothing wrong with being well read, in fact I normally pack a book in my backpack when I’m out for a few days to pass the time after tea and before bed. Therefore the next few blogs will probably be reviews of adventure literature and films.
Here is one review to get you started.
In September I bought Unjustifiable Risk?: The Story of British Climbing by Simon Thompson. It is a quite fascinating read that I have recently finished. It brings together various aspects of history, social commentary, politics and biographies to present an overview (although it is possible the title should be changed to ‘an introduction to the story of British climbing’) of the history of climbing (in all its aspects). It not only covers the British Isles but has an international perspective of the role of British climbers in the development of our “games”. It covers a time period of circa 1800 to modern day. It is interesting how the change and development of gear and attitudes to it have played an important role to the climbing we are involved in. Thompson makes you wish to be involved with the tales he discusses (apart from, personally, the deadly accidents that have occurred pursuing those lofty peaks). Overall I highly recommend the book.
A few other titles I recommend reading or watching are:
- The Ascent of Everest by John Hunt.
- Climbing: Because it's There (Philosophy for Everyone) by Stephen E. Schmid (ed.).
- Long Way Round with Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman. T.V Series.
- First Ascent Series Boxed Set by Sender Films.
So, happy New Year to everyone. Get psyched, get out there. Enjoy the mountains.