Well it's been a long time since I wrote anything on here, in fact May 2012 was the last time I took the time to write anything on my blog. Why the long absence? I suppose in part it was due to going into teaching, the long 60 hour weeks, endless marking, and copious amounts of planning left little time for a social life, or even anything resembling fun, I lost interest in climbing, mountains, gear and many other things I had previously loved. Recently however I have rekindled my love of the outdoors, due in no small part to meeting Emma, who is not only the most incredible person I have ever met, but also the source of my current outdoors revival. Me and Emma made an agreement; I would learn to ski, and she would learn to lead climb. So to that end we set out to Birchen Edge in the Peak District, in search of Emma's first lead climb. Despite the snow in the Peak District the conditions weren't too bad, if a little cold! After arriving, me and Emma did some last minute gear placement practice, before Emma decided on climbing "Stokers Wall" a VD located on Stokers Wall. Em geared up and
zipped up the initial part of the climb, placing a couple of pieces of gear as she did. Towards the top it appeared there were a couple of tricky moves, but despite this Emma climbed up the final part of the climb and finished. It was only later that we discovered the reason for the tricky crux moves towards the top was that she had in fact climbed onto "Stoked" an S 4a climb, oops! But I was incredibly proud to see Em almost effortlessly climb a Severe for her first ever lead, Emma was naturally very happy to have her first lead out of the way, and we can now work towards getting all the leads she requires for her SPA training in April, something which we will both look forward to. For those of you who are interested in reading more about Emma's adventures, she now has a website/blog which can be found at www.Mountaingirl.org.uk . We are heading out with a group of cadets on Sunday 8th Feb, so
Stoked S 4a
hopefully we will be able to squeeze a few leads in during that trip too! So Emma has been working hard on her leading what have I been doing on my side of the deal? Well I've had a few ski lessons, and aside from the fact I'm terrible I'm doing ok! I managed to zip across the entire slope, and the ski lift and wind up crashing on the tubing range however, but I will keep trying and we shall see how I go. Me and Emma have a number of trips this year, through the cadets and on our own, including both America and Morocco (Toubkal), so expect to see a fair bit more action on here than you have for the last 2 years. For those of you who have continued to visit, thank you very much. I haven't forgotten about the gear believe me! I will be reviewing the Black Diamond Magnetron, Grivel TwinGate karabiners, and SPOT GPS tracker system over the course of February so stay tuned!