Journeys in the hills and mountains
Looking back through my logbook, 2013 has been a sparse year when it comes to mountains. Overwhelmed by multiple jobs (balancing at least four at one point plus various pieces of consultancy), I found very little time to get away to the mountains. The year did not begin well with very poor conditions in Scotland, though I did get up one Munro (a second ascent) on New Year’s Day. Since then, however, I’ve managed a few rock climbing trips (here and here), some winter climbing (here), two fantastic weeks mountaineering in the Alps (here) and several Duke of Edinburgh’s Award trips to the Peak District and Lake District. My staple of weekend walking trips away with CUHWC and Old Duffers, however, evaporated. For the first time in a decade, I dropped off the Trip Leaderboard of attended trips over 12 months for CUHWC (this in itself does not bother me but what it is indicative of does!). I’ve had some great moments in 2013 (wild camping at Sty Head while supervising a Silver DofE expedition and traversing the Weissmies (2nd time), Ober Gabelhorn and Zinalrothorn stand out), but I find myself with very itchy feet.
So to 2014. It’s a fairly big year coming up: I plan to get married, submit a PhD thesis and turn thirty (in that order) and work will continue to be exciting with several trips to Kazakhstan planned across the year. I am determined, however, to get out into the mountains as much as possible. I’m starting well: our annual trip to the Highlands (Arisaig) should provide several good hill days and will be followed immediately by CUHWC’s five-day trip to Seathwaite in the Lakes. The club is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year and we’re aiming to put a club member on every Wainwright, so that provides some incentive for a few big hill days. I already have three weekends in the diary for January and February, and I’m hoping to escape to Scotland for a week of winter walking and climbing in February. I intend to start 2014 as I mean to go on.
I have also been quite poor at updating this blog (but look at my shiny new education one!) and taking photos: I intend to do more of both of these and hopefully this site will get a bit more attention as a consequence of this.