I drove West yesterday for my first winter work. Needless to say that as soon as I hit Spean Bridge, the window wipers were activated.
Despite the wind and the mizzle, I had such a cool day working with a group of trainee Ski Patrollers for BASP. To work with such a keen bunch of folk was an utter delight. I got so carried away I never took any photo's - most unusual.
I am still waiting to get my first route of the season done but since it's warm as a warm thing this morning, it won't be happening today :( Patience Di, patience ...
I honestly can't remember the last time I went on a proper ski holiday so it's a complete joy to be sitting in our little rabbit hutch apartment with extremely tired legs.
Last year was a bad ski season for me, having bust my (good) knee on practically day one and then having to ski like a very nervous granny to survive the season.
Why is it that we don't ski for nearly 8 months of the year and then just expect to jump on a set of planks and become the next Glen Plake? Well, as the years go by I am slowly learning that I need to build up my ski legs.
So, I am over joyed that I have survived 3 days of skiing now without blowing a knee.
The other good thing about skiing near the piste's is that there are hot chocolate stops. Really looking forward to tomorrow because I will be skinning in the most inappropriate clothing just to get that line.
For anybody who has led a big expedition, will know what they past 4 days have been like.
The house turned into a bomb site; I had to retrain myself in manners and acceptable behaviour in public (i.e the phleming and remembering that it is ok to put loo paper down the toiler); adjusting back to Western food; getting over the jet lag and remembering that you can actually put on clean socks and pants every day. Don't even get me started on the backlog of emails, enquiries and the onslaught of Skimo.
I met Heather last night - and if there is one person who will give an honest and frank synopsis on what conditions have been whilst away it's Heather. According to the oracle, I never missed much. Yeh, OK a few routes have been climbed and there's been a few folk out skinning, but generally not much. The winter season is long and hard so if I'm a few routes behind at this stage I'm not going to get overly stressed.
On a very positive note though, ever since I have been home there has been snow in the garden. I received a very cool box from Scarpa and Outdoor Research from the kids at the Mountain Boot Company. Probably the most eagerly waited is the new Scarpa F1 Evo boot - the latest edition to the stable. Excited, so excited that it's nearly worth a walk in the snow just for for the hell of it.
There's been loads happening in the world of dig - il - bert mountaineering but time is precious and no sooner is one bag unpacked, the next is packed.