Monday, 7 June 2010

In the beginning...

By way of introduction, this is the first post on my blog. What follows, hopefully over a long time, is a journal of my travels, my observation of the world and the way it is changing and my enjoyment of its wild places. My partner and I are soon to have our first child, a life-affirming event if ever there was one. It has set me thinking about the way I perceive the world, my place in it and my desire to travel, experience, explore and learn, as well as what the world will be like in 3 decades when my child is my age.

As I travel, I enjoy the simple act of documenting and chronicling where I go and what I see, as well as what I have taken with me and whether it has succeeded in meeting my purpose.

Over the course of the next few years I have decided also to accomplish a long-standing yearning and secure the Mountain Leader qualification. I will, as I undertake Quality Mountain Days (at least 20 of them), the training courses and the eventual assessment, document every step within the pages of this chronicle.

A blog is, by its nature, a work in progress. So forgive me for adding not just posts, but features as well. Some parts may not interest you, others I am sure will. Man is a social animal and without interaction, a blog is just meaningless words so please feel free to comment and discourse - that's what it's for.


  1. Hi, I'm new to your blog and feel a little like I would like to wonder in your tracks for a bit, getting beyond the UK summer hill... I was just wondering if you could possibly give a brief outline of where you've gone since 2010 and just briefly how it fitted together.  I am doing my ML training soon, although would be interested into breaking into Scottish winter and perhaps alpine in the more distant future: you mention CHR and TMB but how did you 'skill up' etc?  Thanks, z

  2. In the UK, it would be impossible to quantify where I've been in terms of trip numbers, but I have, in the last two years, regularly been to Snowdonia, the Lake District, the Brecon Beacons and the Peak District. I also go running and MTBing in the Surrey Hills which is where I do a lot of kit testing as it is 20mins away from me. I also did the Hadrian's Wall Path in 2010. I have been, in that time, twice to Sweden and once to Norway for multi-day hiking trips as well as Croatia, Germany and France for shorter hikes. The TMB posts you can see on the blog as well as the CHR posts. To get ready for the TMB, normal hillwalking was all that was necessary as well as some reading and packing. I had some alpine walking experience already so knew what to expect. That said, I recently wrote an article for TGO setting out the prep required for the TMB and anyone can do it, even without any hillwalking experience, although I would not recommend it.To prepare for the CHR, we did a 5-day winter mountaineering course in the Cairngorms in Scotland as well as a few winter crampon/ice-axe trips. When we returned from the CHR we did a 2 day bespoke course with our BMG Nigel Shepherd on grade 2 and 3 scrambling (i.e. the sort of ropework which alpinism requires). My next alpine trips will be PD routes on the Saas Fe 4,000ers and the Monte Rosa 4,000ers. That will likely be next year.