Fighting Fit

About a week or so ago I went for my 6 week X-ray to check to see if the bone had knitted together properly.  The news was good and the doctor allowed me to start fully weight bearing as I felt comfortable.  I was off the crutches that afternoon and working hard on the physio.  Thing have continued to progress well and I have had three physio sessions in the past week (thank you NHS!!).   Lots of standing on one leg, squats and walking up and down stairs. I’ll progress onto the one-legged-swissball-squats in due time but for the moment I’m just happy to have my freedom back.  It’s been great to be able to take the dog for a walk on the beach again and carry hot food around safely.

I’m hoping to be back in Chamonix in the next week or so but skiing and climbing are still quite  a way of.  My physio has been very impressed with my progress even in the last week so she thought that if I worked hard I should be able to get back on the Ski’s again in late March or early April which is of course great news.  I however am  just looking forward to being back in the mountains again.

Won't be needing them anymore!!

Fighting Boredom.

My pace of life has slowed down quite a bit in the last month.  At this time of the year I would normally be working long days for the airport transfer company I drive for (Mountain Dropoffs) and on days off I would be enjoying some of the awesome tree skiing that Chamonix has to offer or having some sort of adventure in the mountains. Skiing deep, soft snow with friends has given me some amazing memories from past few years and It sounds like Chamonix is getting the Ski season it deserves this year.

For me though it was not meant to be.   Instead fun (and hard work) has given way to boredom and a state of lethargy that is difficult to shake.  Not being able to get out of the house easily by myself has forced me to concentrate on other things.  It would be easy to kick back and relax into some good old day time TV.  The problem is I gave up on the easy life a few years ago and I am not about to forget this because of a broken leg.

Getting about on the old crutches is hard…..but so was climbing when I started.  I try to go for a hobble every few days and each time I go as far as the palms of my hands will let me then suffer my way back home.  I have been on the pull-ups too which I hope will keep my climbing fitness going.  My main focus, however, has been developing a new website.

The idea was simple.  Bring information together for the most popular routes in the Mont Blanc Massif.  I have started to compile blog posts, videos and topos for some routes and I currently have information for about 60 now.  Some have just a link to a blog post or a video and some have both.

http://www.chamonixtopo.com/

I have also made three minitopo’s so far which you can look at on the site and download for free if you want.  I am looking to create more over the next few weeks and keep at it as time goes by.  Rome wasn’t build in a day as they say.  If you have any thoughts or feedback then let me know in the comments section below of if you want to contribute in anyway then send an email to; chamonixtopo@homtail.co.uk

Apart from this my leg is doing well.  I can bend my knee all the way now and I have been keeping my quads going with basic physio exercises which I do every few hours.  Not quite the same as climbing a 1000m face or Skiing 2700m of vertical but I do what I can.

I have an Xray scheduled in a few days which should tell me that I can start weight-bear and will hopefully mark the start of me learning to walk again.  I have a goal of skiing again before the end of this ski season in Chamonix which my physio thought should be achievable if I work hard.  Which I will…..

Redefining my Perceptions of Challenge and Adventure.

My ride back to the UK. A bit like a yellow Herse.

I’ve been back in England now for a week and leg is doing well. This experience has really changed my perceptions of challenge and adventure. Before my accident I would feel pride in myself if I managed to climb one of the 6 great north faces of the Alps or redpoint a sport climbing project now, however I feel the same pride from climbing the stairs or walking (hopping) to the pub. It is kind of good in a way as It feels like I have to start all over again and to be honest I am really enjoying the challenge. I had never really spent any real amount of time in hospital before this and it was difficult to say the least. I didn’t sleep well and all the drugs and medications really wiped me out. I’ve been off the stuff for the last few days now and I’m starting to feel a lot better. I’m pretty much pain free now and I have a much greater range of motion in my knee. With the exception of carrying hot food and drink whilst moving about I can pretty much do all the things I need to for getting about the house now. I’m still struggling with…

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Gear reviews.

6000er and G20 feeling the love of the mixed climbing on Pinocchio!!

Over the coming period I will be doing some gear reviews for Cold Thistle.
Its an internationally know blog run by a friend of mine, Dane Burns
Check out my rescent review of My Grivel G20’s and my Scarpa 6000’s.

Here my Grivel G20 review there:

http://coldthistle.blogspot.com/2011/11/grivels-g20-monopoint.html

Here is my Scarpa 6000 review there:

http://coldthistle.blogspot.com/2011/11/scarpa-6000-boot-review-by-dave-searle.html

New rainy day activity…. BLOGGIN.

Right, its wet as f**k here in Chamonix so I am relishing the opportunity to work on my drinking. Last night was fun but this morning as the hang over subsides I realize that in reality I am itching to get back in the hills soon, but the weather is really working against us all here. One thing for sure though, when I do get out hopefully later this week I will be updating this here blog with some pictures and maybe some wise words.

I am a Chamonix based climber enjoying all aspects of the sport, even sport climbing, but I really love getting out in the mountains for long days. In winter I have been skiing more and more and starting to tick off some big classic Chamonix lines such as Col des Courts, North face of the L’ Amone  and the Y couloir on the Aiguille Argentiere, but still regularly get out winter/ice/mixed climbing. In the last few years the highlights have probably been Pinocchio on the east face of Tacul and the Carrington/Rouse on the N face of the Aig. Pellarans.
As I mentioned this summer is not going to plan due to weather but started off really well with a early season one day ascent of the classic ’38 route on the N face of the Eiger with Ally Swinton. Buzzing off that and last season’s highlights such as Colton/McIntyre on the N face of the Jorrasses and the Ginat on the N face of the Droites I am planning on ticking off as many big routes as I can with sights set on all the big classic North Faces, as well as harder modern test pieces like ‘Beyond the Good and the Evil’ on the Pellarins and the Dru Couloir (rematch pending!) to name a couple….

Right enough of this, gonna’ leave you with a couple of pictures but please check back for some updates soon!

A pitch before we bailed on the Dru Coulior. Rematch soon.

Sometimes skiing off the Mid station of the midi you get bored of stuff hitting you in the face.... so you can take to the air.

Did I mention Gogarth is awesome? On Ardvark with Rhys.