During 2019 i’ll be leading two very different overseas adventures for 360 Expeditions. One will be to climb Stok Kangri in India, whilst the other is to cycle through Vietnam and Cambodia. Well they do say that variety is the spice of life..!Read More »Leading the Way with 360 Expeditions…
I’m a mountaineer. I climb mountains, love mountains and speak about mountains. People drive me as wild as I do them, because of my adventures, cock ups and rescues, but I travel to other places too. I’ve bashed through dense jungles, crossed open plains and sailed oceans across the globe. During late 2017 I decided that I needed a change. The year had been a tough one and I was tired. Tired physically, tired mentally and tired emotionally. I needed a break, but wasn’t sure what to do.
Ice Climbing is a sport which many thing crazy, wrong or downright dangerous. I disagree. It’s a pure athletic sport, with routes that change year on year, challenging even the most skilled climber. Variations in the weather can make or break a route, or a season. It can be made as safe as you wish, but also as challenging as you like. Physically it’s incredibly demanding, but the mental aspects come harder. Youre climbing up water, which for much of the year is heading downhill. Ive recently returned from a weeks climbing in Rjukan, Norway, where icefalls galore await…
Every winter in Scotland is a lottery when it come to the weather. I’ve experienced everything from snowdrifts to sunburn and blue sky to thick fog. Driving north to the Cairngorms, my friend Ian and I were buffeted and bashed even at lower levels. We drove to the Cairngorm Mountain Ski Centre for a quick look at the conditions before checking into our accommodation. We opened the car doors and almost took off. The next days foray into the hills saw us beat a hasty retreat when the wind speed picked up to hair-raising and visibility dropped to nil. For some, this would be scary to say the least. In my world – welcome to the mountains.
The end of 2017 is upon us, and it’s easy to look back and think that not much exciting happened. It was just another year, like the one before and like the one to come. Thankfully I write diaries and looking back, 2017 has certainly been packed with life experiences.
The quest to see what is ‘Over the Horizon’ has intrigued man for millennia. The desire to explore the world has led to much of it being extensively mapped, with people like Magellan, Carstensz and Cook being fine examples, but for centuries, the physical horizon was as far as we could see. For example, if you are 5’7” it would be just under 3 miles, whereas from the summit of Everest you can see over 200. This is why for centuries man has sought high ground. Defences always needed long distance views to see an enemy coming, and explorers want the best viewpoint into the unknown that they can get. This fact remained unchanged until the onset of the Telegraph and the Radio. Suddenly you didn’t need a semaphore or signal fires to communicate over distance. Within years, messages could be sent around the world, pushing the horizon far from view. But there is another horizon – limit of a person’s knowledge, experience or interest.
The weather trapped us in a six day snowstorm, but we still managed to climb on this wonderful remote Island. The mountains seem to go forever, and with so many still unclimbed, this is a climbers paradise!
Named after the British explorer William Baffin – Baffin Island is one of the largest islands in the world.Read More »Baffin Island 2003 – Sane Mountaineering Decisions