Friday, 26 October 2012

A month of adventures

Considering how weird September was; (returning from Chamonix and the spending every day for 3 weeks either in work or hospital...) October has been much more exciting!

It started off with The North Face training trip at Glenmore Lodge. I must say being paid to wander round the Cairngorms in brand new kit was pretty cushty, somehow doing more of that in the future would be sweet! I was in a pretty mixed ability group so we just went up the Goat Track; it seems like I will never make it up Fiacaill Ridge! It was also strange to be heading up that way without either snow or a massive amount of kit to climb on Shelterstone.

Team Braehead Trek
Later we walked into a bothy to wild camp for the night. I think this is the first time I've ever been on a walk with a large group of active people and been near the front... obviously all my cycling and alpine climbing has done my fitness the world of good! Fire, whisky and stories made it pretty cosy in spite of my falling out with a Primus omnistove.

I must admit, I was really excited at the idea of the next days activity as it was drytooling! Especially as I had spent the car ride up to Glenmore Lodge trying to persuade Davey C to give me a belay at Newtyle on the way home to Glasgow. The towers at the Lodge are not quite as long or overhung but you could make them quite tricky with a bit of thought.

I did get plenty of practise with baggy torques and can openers, which actually proved to be quite useful as 3 days later I got to use them for real on one of the mixed routes on the Tacul Triangle.

The first 2 days of my trip to Chamonix were stunning! So we went and did one of the climbs paralel to the Chere. Typical Alpine start of course, we were on the route by! The lie in was definitely appreciated, as I had just completed 8 days straight in work, including the TNF training.

I was admittedly feeling pretty rusty and slow but managed to lead my way up a pitch of grade V, once I committed to leaving a couple of safe ledges! Somehow I also managed to successfully free a very thin pitch (VI or VII?) after Dave had aided it. But then I fell off the grovelling, bellyflop last move of the route; a reminder that it's not over until its over!

We had decided to stay up in the Perroux hut so that I could get a bit more aclimbatised and head down the next morning. All of my previous stays at the Col du Midi have involved camping on the glacier, can't believe I've never even bothered to check out the small wooden hut perched on the crag below Cosmiques. It's amazing! I definitely won't be taking a tent up to the Midi again.

The weather closed in for the rest of the week, but being Chamonix I got out bouldering, sport climbing, drytooling or running on all of the days of my trip.

Back in Britain and managed to catch some sunshine in the Peak District bouldering with Tom. I couldn't believe how busy Stanage was! I'm used to being there with only a handful of other people about so it was a little bit of a shock. We did meet a lot of friendly folk though, and there were enough mats about to make the boulders look a bit like an indoor climbing wall...

So on to the next adventure! I have very mixed emotions about the OMM, sort of nervous that we won't be fast enough and may get disqualified. I know that I've packed to much food and too many layers, but  I also know its going to be really cold and possibly snowy! I guess we just have to try our best. A group of my friends are heading up to the Norries today. Winter is definitely coming and this weekend of running/walking will kickstart my hill fitness for sure!

Monday, 22 October 2012

Less than a week to go!

Pretty pleased that I am over half way to my target fund raising! Thanks to everyone who has donated so far, hopefully we can storm the target by the start of the race.

I happened to be back home in Chester for an afternoon this weekend so decided it was probably wise to try another run in the Peckforton hills. Unfortunately I got quite bad shin splints running in my fell running shoes, which has made me a lot more sceptical about the weekend. But then again I won't be running in the middle of a 35km cycle for the OMM... I also won't have spent a morning training at Rockover bouldering wall either! Judging from this last performance, I think I may well end up walking a lot of the OMM. Luckily I am very confident of my navigating abilities! (famous last words...) I know I need to have active rest for the next week so I think this will probably be my last attempt at running.

Somehow running about Cheshire doesn't make me as psyched as running around Chamonix! But a pleasant afternoon nonetheless.
Other than last minute training/resting and advertising to psyche myself up, I am having to gather a lot of kit that I wouldn't normally take on the hill. As I normally ruin kit I tend to go for bombproof over lightweight, which isn't going to be totally amazing for my knees! So out on a begging/borrowing mission to complete my kit list; the first item of which is Brians' bag. It also slipped my mind that we would have to find somewhere to stay on the Friday night so it's a good job that it looks like 2 of the 3 GUM club girls teams have a big tent to share, yay! If anyone has an uber lightweight sleeping bag I can borrow, please send me a message....
I was just invited on a run to test out the weight of our packs, but currently my kit selection is not looking entirely complete....

Sunday, 14 October 2012

A good way to double your daily cycle....

... is to get completely lost. If this happens to be in the rougher parts of Glasgow then you keep cycling fast! My Knightswood/Yoker detour wasn't too extreme fortunately. The route will definitely be a lot easier next time. Carrying a bike over a couple of central reservations in order to avoid ending up on the M898 is a mistake you only make once! Fairly typical Roo new routing I must admit; I once spent an entire morning zig zagging in and out of the south of Edinburgh as I kept missing Morningside.
Blue is where I should have gone, red is where I actually went. Ooops.
I realised that I've become accustomed to my 5 mile sprint to work each morning so decided that cycling over the Erskine Bridge is a good way of doubling the distance every once in a while. Hopefully this will help my last minute OMM training (2 weeks left EEEK!) maybe I can keep it up for some extra winter fitness too. I had hoped to get a quick boulder in at Dumby but looks like the dampness has set in for the autumn. Really hoping that the weather forecast isn't lying about tomorrow, a bouldering trip is definitely the best way to start a day in work!
Just before it all went wrong! The bridge is definitely
easier than the tunnel. The Romanian cyclist in
front of me was getting just as lost, but then he wasn't 'local'.
My Clic Sargent fund is now up and running! Which is pretty exciting, hoping to raise £500 by the end of the OMM so dig deep folks.

Friday, 12 October 2012

An Accidental Run

A bit more exciting than running in Britain
Somehow I accidentally ran up and down a hill in Chamonix on Tuesday... Even more surprisingly I really enjoyed it! Although only a couple of km in distant, I managed 500m of ascent in 35minutes! Running back down was a bit more exciting as running downhill across wet grass in skate shoes is not really recommended.

As ever I am all about the technical kit.....

So my first proper run in about 10 years was quite successful! I obviously had a lot of energy to burn, having gotten involved in Daves Himalayan get-fat-quick diet.