PHOTOS: Winter turns to summer, a final ski and a visit from James
It really feels like ‘new year’ right now, the seasons are changing, and new leaves are ready to be turned, which is quite strange for me, as it is May already! The winter of 2011/12 has been an amazing time. I have been lucky enough to ski with many inspiring people this winter and have had countless perfect days. Thank you to everyone who has made this season so great, you know who you are. I’d like to add a special thanks to Charlie Boscoe and Ben O’Connor Croft for the fun times, and their patience and knowledge. Also to H-Bomb Hazel Findlay for the laughs!
Anyway, I had a final jaunt up the mountain with Charlie and Tom the other week to tick off my ski ambition for the winter – the Couloir des Cosmiques off the Aiguille du Midi. I’m no extreme skier, in fact, in comparison to climbing, I am a beginner at skiing, so it was fantastic to ski this line. For the rock climbers out there – I guess it’s about equivalent to doing your first E5 (it’s a grade 5.1 ski line) and although I had the opportunity to ski it earlier in the season, I was really glad I waited, as by the end of the season I was confident and able enough to shred, and we enjoyed fantastic snow conditions, perfect weather and great company. A top day, as good as they get in the mountains.
To quote Charlie:
“Another shit day in my shit life.”
After that I was due to go to Switzerland with my climbing hero James McHaffie to try a nine pitch granite trad route. But illness and weather and a partially broken van meant that we stayed local to Chamonix and I got dragged round all the crags that I thought I had wired, and got reminded what it is like to climb with a world class athlete.
My arms have just recovered enough to write this blog post, but I’m too pumped to add any more words, so here are some photos:
All in all, a top winter, and a top week!