Looking back on the last 10 years of climbing and skiing I realise how much I’ve learnt and how much I’ve grown in that time. Sometimes mentors are hard to come by and although I don’t claim to have all the answers I have made my fair share of mistakes for better or worse. Here are 10 things I would’ve told my younger self 10 years ago, which I hope might help some younger wannabe mountain dudes and dudettes on the their mountain quests. Hopefully to do even better than I have with their mountain careers!
First off… Happy New Year and thank you for following this blog or even reading it from time to time. It means a lot to me that anyone at all cares what I have to say and this gives me reason to keep going!
2015 was a bumpy year with a rough start. With the loss of friends from skiing accidents and also my dearly beloved Grandfather who was a great inspiration to me, motivation for skiing and general mountain activities was low. Ordinarily I’d expect to ski of a mountain or two and have at least a handful of long days in the mountains with friends. Looking back I realise that I hardly had any stand out days last winter due to work commitments, lack of snow and lack of psyche.
“Fear/Feeling Of Missing Out”. The fear that if you miss an event you will miss out on something great.
A phrase which has only, in the last few years it seems, come to fruition. Most likely because of the massive surge in popularity of social media sites over the past decade. If you ain’t bloggin, instagramin or updating your facebook status with all the rad stuff you’ve been up to how will people know you’ve had the best day ever skiing neck deep pow or climbing a perfect splitter in the sun? Without this huge and constant stream of media coming our way every minute of every day would we even have the sensation of FOMO? Would we live in the here and now more? Would we be happy with what we are doing and where we are?
I’ve had massive bouts of FOMO in the past when I’ve been stuck someplace I didn’t want to be, working a job that I didn’t want to do. I would live vicariously through my friends and those I follow on social media, wishing away my time to something better. I can’t complain though. This past year alone has been pretty damn good with lots of fun skiing and climbing memories behind me. I’ve had a pretty good innings this far!
FOMO is and will always be intrinsically linked to weather and conditions in the place you’d rather be. No snow = No FOMO. Since the end of my autumn of climbing I’ve been working, nearly every day, in somewhere that I wouldn’t necessarily choose to spend my time. I’m back in Cham now and yes there hasn’t been much snow…or ice but times are changing (its dumping). I’m still working for the next week and I suspect that what is typically my most FOMO intense period will in fact pass quite easily. Yeah there’s people getting after it and I would rather be skiing or climbing if I wasn’t working. The thing is, I have to work. I’ve spent too long avoiding it and its caught up with me. I’ve just left one of my worst financial periods behind (all be it self inflicted) and I’ve promised myself that I won’t be back in that position ever again.
The key thing that has changed in my mentality over the past year is trying to live more in the here and now. Wishing I was somewhere else doing something else seems like a complete waste of my time when I really think about it. Better to accept life for what it is and find happiness in the small adventures or moments spent with friends and family. Good times come and go and without the bad (or even not quite as good times) I’d never really appreciate the best days to the fullest. Soon it will all kick off for me and I’ll be out doing the things I love again and it’s the knowledge of that that keeps me happy and sane. Feeling like your missing out? Book a trip to go climbing or skiing or whatever you really want to do. Even if you don’t have the time or money just do it. It will happen if you really want it to. 🙂
In Chamonix I often see a lot of folk out and about with some pretty monstrous bags! I rarely take a bag bigger than 30l into the mountains and I often prefer to have a bag around the 25l mark for day tours. What’s goes into my bag? Here’s a basic list of what goes into my bag and some thoughts/ideas on what to take with you when ski touring/mountaineering.