Thursday, April 30, 2009
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
One little story which I think says a lot about the man was when Kenton Cool and I after a 5 day battle making the second ascent of the Denali Diamond staggered down towards the 14,000ft camp. It was past midnight and we had little expectation other than having being able to collapse into our frozen crisp packet sleeping bags inside our broken miniature tent. Instead we were met on the edge of the camp by this big bear of a man with a beaming grin. Who shepherded us into the Rangers camp where we were plied with food and drink and then shown to a tent with great 5 season down sleeping bags waiting for us. John mentioned that he had been tracking us through his telescope. For me in the exhausted state I was in at the time it was like being welcomed through the pearly gates to my personal fluffy cloud. Looking back it seems typical from what Ive read of John's professionalism, his generosity and also his joy at sharing in our adventure.
My condolences go out to his family and friends. There is an obituary on the Ogwen Mountain Rescue website http://www.ogwen-rescue.org.uk/
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Friday, April 24, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
Here's a 3 minute look at the wonderful world of alpine climbing with Andy Houseman and Nick Bullock. The route is a link of Russian Roulette and the finish of the Gabarrou Silvy on the Aiguille Sans Nom, which while not particularly desperate gives a nice long commiting outing that might rate ED2. It's what you'd call a proper alpine route.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Sunday, April 12, 2009
I arrived yesterday in the Alps as ever full of anticipation but having to temper that by remembering that these mountains are usually a land of broken dreams. I guess I've been out 20 times and even though I've had a few successes, the aborted attempts, epic turn-arounds and just plain failures have outweighed summits reached by 5 to 1. Still I find as soon as you get close to these legendary peaks you can't help feel the heart beginning to race.
I'm here for the week but its looking like there might be a weather window on Monday and Tuesday. Not perfect conditions but a window of some kind. So the plan is to head up with Nick and Andy to try to find a way up the Aiguille Sans Nom, the superb 1000m mixed face just left of the Dru. To whet the appetite here's a clip from the DVD Cold Haul (a film I made with Karen Barber and Andy Kirkpatrick and on sale here http://www.snowandrock.com/SearchResult/Climbing/Accessories/Climbing+Movies/Cold+Haul+FRS0001.htm
Its of the last route I got properly involved with in that area, the Lafaille route on the Dru.
For those within travelling distance in the Lakes a date for the diary is June 3rd when I will be lecturing at the Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal. There are more details here http://www.breweryarts.co.uk/event-detail.cfm?id=268&type=10