Friday, 23 September 2016

Stone Valley

I have climbed more this last fortnight than I have all summer and it's been great.  I love climbing in the Autumn - the crisp skies, the rock still holding onto any summer warmth and the breeze keeping the midgies at arms length.  Yesterday, we headed up to Stone Valley and never saw a soul all day.  The wind certainly kept any biting things away and when the sun disappeared we were grateful of down jackets and multiple layers.

I was sad to see that the Poca Buidhe Bothy is now closed to all visitors.  How many people actually know what the Bothy Code is?  Actually, thinking about it how many people know what the Countryside Code is?  Yes, we could probably take a pretty good educated guess but ....

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

The little adventures

Sometimes I think that there is too much emphasis on the big adventures.  Realistically if I can do one big adventure every year I am happy with that, so the question is what do you do the rest of the time?

Little adventures.   Lots of little adventures.  Preferably lots of little adventures with lots of variety.

As the summer starts to draw to a close (oh yes, it will nearly be that time of year to get uber excited again) it's all about cramming it in.

We done lots on our latest little adventure, but the one that will stick in the mind is the Breamish Behemoth.

For me, it was simply about getting to go riding over some amazing terrain without having to look at maps, decide where to go and tapping into local knowledge.  It was awesome.  What was more awesome was stopping half way around for the best cake that I have ever had - and from me that is a very big statement.

I haven't done much riding in Englandshire before but it comes highly rated and recommended :)

Friday, 2 September 2016

To the Alps and back

Oh my goodness, I have discovered that Alpine Mountaineering is now predominately a rich persons game.

We had lots of plans for our mini break but with the conversation rate as it is, we embraced Alpine Mountaineering as it should be.  Long walk ins, cold bivi's and good old student food. 

Now it's not that I'm adverse to spending money, but let's keep it real.  We managed to survive a week in Switzerland before finally bailing back to good old France where we didn't actually mind buying bread, cheese and wine.

As much as I love the Alps, it is very very good to be back home.  The garden has been completely neglected - actually this isn't entirely true since Derek has been very productive in the vegetable patch (more strawberry wine on the go, carrots coming along perfectly and courgettes the size of marrows) but the piece de resistance is without doubt the tree lilies whose aroma are filling the whole of the village. 

Monday, 8 August 2016

What to do after K2?

I am back in Scotland earlier than I thought I would be.  Now, there are lots of positives obviously associated with this but I am struggling to put into words how I feel about the entire K2 season being called off before it really got under way.

I feel as if I have a big wound that is still currently oozing and is refusing to heal.  I genuinely feel that time will be the best cure and perhaps now isn't the best time to try and force it closed.

I am certainly looking forward to reading Jakes Blog about the expedition (just on the off chance I don't know what happened) since everybody I have spoken to has mentioned how fantastic it is.

I will now focus on performing emergency first aid on all the house plants that Derek forgot we owned, that is in between the unpacking and (yes) repacking because in 48 hours we hit the road once again.

 After all, what's the point of having a life if you don't live it to the full?

Oh, as a footnote, can I just say a massive thank you to all the very very kind words of support that you guys gave :)

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Adventure Peaks K2 Expedition

The time has finally come to shut down Di Gilbert Mountaineering for the summer as I pull on my Adventure Peaks hat.

I get many reactions when I say that I am heading off to K2, and then even more funny looks when they discover that I am the Expedition Leader.  I haven't spent much time trawling the internet to learn out various facts and figures, that just doesn't float my boat. To me, I am heading off to a truly beautiful part of the world to have an amazing adventure.

My main point of contact to the rest of the world will now be through Neil at Adventure Peaks who will be doing his best to keep all family and friends updated about the teams progress.

To keep up to date, you need to follow the Adventure Peaks News Page.  

Monday, 6 June 2016

I love Scotland

Scotland never fails to disappoint me.  2 very special days in Glen Clova working with some awesome people for the Mountaineering Council of Scotland - an organisation who continues to do great work.

In 4 days time I will be departing the UK for a rather large adventure.  I really should be packing ( I have my spanky new Scarpa Phantom 8000ers out of their box now so at least it is a start?) but the lure of the hills is too strong.  For the next 2 days I will be topping up the Farmers tan before I do one more blog about the #badassmountain.

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Escaping to the West

In fear of becoming Di Gilbert (tries to) Mountainbike, there is now photographic evidence that I am still a climber :)

I could write about the awesome days climbing in Glencoe or the awesome days climbing in Glen Nevis but no, I will share the joy of the bike.

The same way that every rock face doesn't necessarily mean that a climb is worthwhile, every single track on a map doesn't mean that it makes a good mountain bike.

We embarked on the 40k Ciaran Path with 1100m ascent. This was planned for the morning, followed by a swim and an evening crag.  Oh little did we know.

7 hours later having pushed our bikes for what seemed like 39.9 km, not a route that I would recommend.  On a positive note, the cycling to Luibeilt is very good and there is some excellent single track to be had throughout the route, but does that enjoyment outweigh the unrideable bog/mash/trenches/ditches for the remainder of the route is anybody's guess.  This is coming from somebody who actually doesn't even mind a hike-a-bike route but really .....

Needless to say that the evening swim and the evening crag failed to materialise.