About Me

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Way back in time before the onset of adulthood I enjoyed countless days heading into the hills of Yorkshire with nothing more than a squashed sandwich & youthful sense for adventure! Despite long past youthful and work commitments keeping me in the city, the sense of adventure and love for the outdoors never left me. After digging my boots out and returning to the hills I attended a number of courses to improve my hill knowledge and skill base, during one of these courses it was suggested I join the Mountain Leader Training scheme and was delighted go on to gain the MOUNTAIN LEADER Award in April 2012. As well as spending time on the hills and mountains of the UK I have also enjoyed trips to the Nepalese Himalaya, Swiss & French Alps, Mallorca’s Tramuntana, Andorran & French Pyrenees, Morocco’s High Atlas, Tanzania’s Mt Meru & Kilimanjaro, Argentinian & Chilean Patagonia and winter expeditions to Norway’s Hardangervidda. Since gaining the ML I have also gained the SINGLE PITCH AWARD, INTERNATIONAL MOUNTAIN LEADER AWARD and the WINTER MOUNTAIN LEADER AWARD. I am now enjoying working in a freelance role whilst trying to get out climbing as much as possible.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Lukla - The Worlds Most Dangerous Airport!

 During October/November of this year I was lucky enough to join Rob Johnson's expedition to Kala Pattar and Everest Base Camp in the Nepalese Himalaya.
 The trip involved an internal flight at either end to take us to/from Katmandu to the tiny airport at our trek starting point of Lukla. The airport is famed for its short narrow runway which is cut into the mountain side at a sloping angle of 12.5degrees, unfortunately there have been a number accidents in the past.
 I was fortunate enough to get seats on both legs of the journey directly behind the pilots on the twin prop 15 seater planes which gave a great view out of the front windows as we made our approach to Lukla, and as we left again.

 As our plane headed for Lukla we passed low over ridges and through valleys until we made our final approach the pilots looked to be working hard to make the descent on to the tiny runway which appears approx 1min 45secs from the end of the video.

 As we taxied away from the terminal to leave Lukla the pilots steered the plane to enable them to use every inch of tarmac for take off from the very short runway, which ends abruptly as the mountain side drops into the valley!

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Alpine Adventure II - Arolla to Zermatt (Part of the Haute Route)

 The second part of Augusts Alpine Adventure saw Rob, Josh & myself travel to Arolla to meet up with Simon, Penny, Martin & Joe to trek approximately half of the Haute Route to Zermatt.
 The route would take us French speaking Val D'Arolla through small villages, hamlets and alpine pasture, over high mountain col's and even around enormous earth moving glaciers, until we reached the German speaking Valais & Zermatt.

 We managed to get all seasons weather over the 5 days, starting off from Arolla in bright warm sunshine, getting a spot of rain as we made our way over 'Meidpass' at 2790m and ice as we crossed 'Augstbordpass' 2894m on final last day.

Bright Alpine sunshine as we make our way from Arolla to Lac Bleu.
View back from Lac Bleu
The icy cold glacier 'run off' water of Lac Bleu.
Rob & Josh take 5.

Glacier de Moiry
Alpine sunset.
You don't scenery like that everywhere ladies!
Josh, Rob, Joe & Martin survey the next valley

Martin, Joe, Simon & Josh reach the col.
Temperature may have dropped a touch!
St Niklaus below and further up the valley is Zermatt.
Group 'de-brief'!

August Alpine Adventure

 August saw me make a trip to the Swiss Alps with Rob Johnson of www.expeditionguide.com who is my 'mountain guru' as I seek to continue on from the Mountain Leader UK award on to the International Mountain Leader award and gain experience in various mountain environments and conditions.

 The first couple of days saw us head for lake of Stellisee which lays at 2537meters above sea level and provides stunning views over across the lake to the Matterhorn (sometimes!). With the Matterhorn shrouded in cloud we decided to take lunch at the 'Flue' mountain hut before heading up to height of 3250meters to gain views over the Findel Glacier and surrounded peaks.
 N.B Gaining height like this then dropping down to camp and spend the night at Stellisee some 750m lower would help us acclimatise and avoid altitude sickness.
View across Stellisee to the Matterhorn.
Rob surveys the surroundings with Josh far in the background.
Findel Glacier.

  After a nigh spent camping by the side of Stellisee we decided to test our fitness by taking in a summit, climbing to the very windy & chilly 3424m summit of Oberrothorn.
I walk all the way up here and all there is to see for miles around are mountains!

Desert like conditions underfoot in the Alps!