The last year seems to have passed by in a flash. Perhaps it’s because I’m getting older, or because there was a great deal going on..? Whatever the reason, it’s been one heck of a ride.
I began 2023 on a safety team for the Montane Spine Race. A new event for me, it was a real eye opener in human spirit, human effort and human defiance. I also saw foot injuries which made even me cringe..! The weather was challenging, with rain, snow, wind, sun and combinations af all thrown in for good luck. Im returning for a longer stint in early 2024 and really looking forward to learning more about the race.
Early in March Helen and I set off for Morocco to ascent Toubkal. Full winter conditions graced the peak and I stood on the summit overlooking the Sahara desert. The Ice clad mountain is a world away from the baking sands below. Only a few months later, Morocco was ripped apart with a devastating earthquake and many of the villages and roads we travelled were severely damaged. Many lives were lost and my heart goes out to the people of Morocco.
I then headed to Norway for a spot of ski touring on the Hardangervidda Plateau. It certainly held some comedy moments, but the trip was a beautiful way to link up DNT Huts and see the backcountry of the area. On many days we hardly saw a soul…
By early April, I was joined by friends from work and we walked the Arran Coastal Way in under a week. Conditions began beautifully, but by the end, the clag had dropped. Welcome to Scotland..!
The Coronation of King Charles III was a defining moment for many. Due to the long reign of Elizabeth II, many of us had never witnessed a coronation. In my professional role as a Control Engineer for National Grid, the priority was to keeps the lights on and the TV’s bright. I hope we succeeded..!
My Years sea kayaking began with a wonderful trip around the Hebrides. The weather was kind and the scenery breathtaking. It’s a place id certainly like to return to.
The paddling continued with another trip to Greenland, with friends from the Kendal Mountain Festival. Lots of great paddling, Inflatable Llamas (dont ask), and more ice than you can shake an axe at.
My work as President with the Buxton Mountain Rescue Team also kept me busy and we broke several fundraising records at the Chatsworth Country Fair. Mountain Rescue teams are charities and receive no formal funding. We work very hard behind the scenes to maintain the team’s readiness, so that we can help and support 365 days year.
I returned to the Dolomites in September for a spot of walking and via Ferrata, also meeting up with the Aut Alpin Mountain Rescue Services in Ortisei.
My 13th year presenting at the Kendal Mountain Festival was a blast and before I knew it, Christmas had come.
After 38 years in the Electricity Industry, I took early retirement, late in November. It felt the right time to hang up my switching handles and move onto the next phase of my life. My thanks to everyone Ive worked with and I wish them all the very best for their future.
I hope you all enjoyed a wonderful 2023, and are looking forward to 2024. Its a big year for me personally, but that story is for another time…