Thursday, 26 March 2015

Winter season has come to an end for me

Pink Panther
Despite climbing hard, Murdoch is such a baby!
I did my first every winter climb 10 years ago when I was 18.  10 years on I have just finished a decade of continuous winter seasons in Scotland.  Am I tired of it? chance!  Each year brings it's own dimensions and challenges and this year has been no exception.  I have so many highlights from this season, a list too long to name them all.  Both work and personal days have been very memorable as well as all the days spent with great people.  I have been very fortunate to climb with many regular clients who I have spent alot of time with which is great.  One of the best days at work was climbing the brilliant 'Nordwand' on NW face of Ben Nevis with my regular client John.  Everything about that day was brilliant.
Rose, Phil and I in Norway
Ade, Katya and I after Ledge Route
Rose, me and Phil in Norway

 Other work highlights have been spending two weeks in Norway climbing beautiful ice falls with clients, mostly climbing route's I haven't done before and in some cases new routes.  It's such a great place to work with motivated clients.

Winter skills weekend for the Austrian Alpine Club

Claire descending into Number 4 Gully
For me, what makes my winter season, is the personal climbing I do.  It is so important to me that I can get out with keen folk, not need to look after them and have a great laugh.  So a massive thanks has to go to Murdoch Jamieson who I have done quite alot of climbing with this season.  He has been patient when I have cancelled last minute and other times when I have been a wee bit tired after working for a big stink.  Thanks Murdoch, you keep me entertained on the hill.

John walking off the top of Nordwand
Coaching lead climbing with Dunc from the Torridon MRT in Norway
I have had loads of great days out with loads of other folk over the season so thank you to everyone I have had days on the hill with - Kenny and Rhona Grant, Laila Duncan, John Sutherland, Donald King, Blair Fyffe, Paul Swail, Iain Small, Uisdean Hawthawn, James McHaffie, Nadir Khan and many brilliant clients.  I think if I was to name one personal highlight of the winter season...I would have to say the 'Shield Direct'.  It came into condition, I had a day off, I climbed it with my flatmate, the climbing was really interesting and the weather was great.

A moment of contemplation on Liathach
Blair loving a wild day on Ben Nevis.  Great Chimney
Now I shall be going out to the Alps for a month of skiing and climbing.  The reason for the lengthy trip is because I am hoping to gain enough experience to apply to become an Alpine Guide.  It will be a great journey.  Also this winter I have been very fortunate that Millet have agreed to sponsor me as the brand relaunches into the UK.  It will be great working with this very successful brand and I'm really looking forward to using their equipment in the mountains.  Winter is still here in Scotland, make the most of it while it is still here!  Enjoy and safe climbing.
Murdoch showing me what can be achieved if you eat well and train wise.

Great day skiing with Rhona and Kenny.  Love these days!
 When I get back from the Alps I shall be straight up to Skye for a stint on the Cuillin Ridge.  Im almost fully booked in May and most of June so get in touch if you want some adventures in the mountains.

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