Friday, July 2, 2010

The dreams ahead

Yeah! Even though I'm sitting typing this with a swollen knee that has kept me up most of the night, it's a big relief to have had my knee finally operated on. A further relief (as illustrated in the surgeons pics above) is that there was no arthritis and it was a simple meniscus cartilage tear. Obviously the recuperation required after operating is a big knock-down in terms of fitness but at least I can now get stuck into the process of building back up towards my climbing dreams.

Talking of which, like most climbers I always have dream/fantasy routes in the back of my mind, most of which of course I never end up going anywhere near. For the last few months I've found it too frustrating to think much about climbing but now with the imagination unleashed my latest obsession is a short little route on the other side of the globe.

Photo by Wiktor Skupinski/

Victoria's Secret Deviation was the shortest of the five new routes or variations Raphael Slawinski established on the Stanley Headwall in Canada in the winter of 07/08. He graded it M7++, although I think the story goes that the second ascensionist felt M9 closer to the mark. Or perhaps being entirely trad protected Scottish X might be more appropriate? Whatever, the photo above and write up at the time really burnt into the memory, and whether I get a chance to head out to Canada or not this route will be my motivation over the next few months of physio and rehab. (Here's a report on Raphael's adventures at that time )

The other big excitement at the moment is my new job as Associate Editor of Climb Magazine alongside Dave Pickford the new Chief Editor. This has been my first official week in the post but Dave and I have been grafting away over the past month or so putting in the background work. This shot of a "skyped" business meeting while Dave was in Spain (redpointing some amazing sounding 8b+s) is a nice little vignette I think, with Dave's mad hair summing up the creative side that makes him such an inspirational person to work with.

We've got massive plans for the magazine with many changes and a long term ideal where we hope to make each month's Climb as anticipated as much as each issue of Mountain was or Alpinist is today.