Thursday 4 April 2013

The Winter gone and plans for the Summer

Well it's been a long time since I wrote anything on here.  I don't really believe in putting stuff on here just for the sake of it which really is what this probably is but its been a while and lots of exciting plans coming up.

It's been a pretty quiet winter for me on the climbing front, in fact I've done more talking about it than actually doing it, and quite enjoyed it which surprised me - the talking about it that is not the not doing it bit!  Slide shows/lectures/talks what ever you want to call them are something I've always shied away from but the ones I've done this winter I've really enjoyed and hopefully managed to passed on some of the passion I feel for the mountains to others.

Christmas in Chamonix saw me properly rediscovered my love for skiing.  That and discovering that I could be in Chamonix just as quick and for the same cost as driving up to Fort William might be another reason I haven't headed north and done a single Scottish winter route this year (it does seem like my timing might have been out though and it probably wasn't the winter to miss, some amazing stuff been done!).  Well in fact it was simple - I just wanted to ski more than I wanted to climb this winter.  It was skiing that first opened my eyes to the mountains as a young lad and being based back in Yorkshire for the last few years its definitely been missed, even though it was only 6 days in 3 months it felt great to be putting some time in on the skis again.  Its just so much fun!

I lost my camera over Christmas so haven't got any pics form the ski days but heres a few thanks to Ross Hewitt from one of our days out on the NW shoulder of the Aiguille du Tacul.

Max, Tom and myself booting up the final colouir to the shoulder (photo - Ross Hewitt)
Remembering how much fun it is!
(photo - Ross Hewitt)
Max making the most of the amazing snow conditions
(photo - Ross Hewitt)

Anyway, things are a changing and there's a busy summer ahead that hopefully involves a lot of climbing.  My major trip for this year is a big expedition with a good friend Jon Griffith to the Charakusa Valley, Pakistan in mid July.  There is so much to do in this valley it just looks amazing, Chamonix on steroids, so looking forward to this and Jon's even promised me a warm sunny base camp, psyched!  

Our soon to be home for the summer in the Charakusa Valley, Pakistan - K6 massif dominating base camp (photo - Jon Griffith

Our main objectives will be K6 West and Link Sar both 7000+m peaks, I'll put more info up nearer the time but for now just a big thank you to both the Nick Estcourt Award and the BMC who are supporting our expedition and helping to make it happen.  For more info on the Charakusa Valley check out Jon's trip report and stunning photography from last year

Before that I'm heading back out to Chamonix in a weeks time for a couple of weeks of spring time skiing and climbing with an aim to start getting some big days in the legs and really kick off the training for Pakistan.  Spring time in the Alps is a special time of year, good friends, quiet, good weather, ski in the morning BBQ's in the afternoon, really looking forward to it.

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