Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Buckingham Palace to Kandersteg

Back in December I some how found myself in the very surreal situation of wearing a suit and drinking champagne with the Queen at Buckingham Palace.  I had been lucky enough to be invited down to a reception to celebrate the centenary of Captain Scotts South Pole expedition.  Along with many much more accomplished 'adventurers and explorers' we got the royal hand shake, met a lot of interesting people and a few true legends.  Definitely a once in the life time experience.

Leaving Buckingham Palace with Mr Yates to finish the evening off 
with a pint (or two) of Her Majesties finest (photo - Nick Bullock)

Since then my Scottish season doesn't seem to have properly started yet, I managed to miss the good December conditions and time a New Years trip up north with the arrival of the melt down.  Cat and I are off to Thailand for a few weeks so fingers crossed conditions and psyche will have returned by February, although after bolt clipping on the beach the thought of climbing in the lovely Scottish weather isn't the most appealing!

 A rather dry looking competition wall at the BD Kandersteg Ice Festival (Photo - Jack Geldard)

But at least it's not only Scotland that seems to be suffering from the mild temperatures, whilst Europe is having an epic snow year the warm temperatures have meant the ice is looking a bit thin.  I had a quick trip to Kandersteg last weekend for Black Diamonds yearly ice festival there.  Unfortunately there wasn't any ice about in the valley so all climbing plans had to be scrapped, even the competition wall was bare and the event had to be changed to a 'speed climbing dry tooling competition'!  Climbing or no climbing it was a really good weekend and great to catch up and party with friends so big thanks to Black Diamond and look forward to next year.

The flood lit finals (photo -Jack Geldard)