Matterhorn North Face, Schmidt Route.

Arriving back from Kyrgyzstan on Thursday evening I was feeling weary from the traveling and slightly frustrated from the lack of climbing in the last month. Lots of snow made it difficult to access most of the objectives from our base camp and I cursed my choice of boots on numerous occasions finding the temperatures more akin to winter than summer alpine (full expedition report coming soon). I needed to do something and I wanted to do something big. My long time friend a climbing partner Gav Pike asked if I wanted to drive through to Zermatt on Friday to attempt the Schmidt route over the weekend.

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Looking Back, Looking Forward….

….to another great winter in the place I call home.  Chamonix has been my home for 5 years until this summer where I made the decision to take a break from mountain life and focus on making my bank manager happier and learning a new trade that would make it easier for me to earn better money. Back in may I packed my little van and headed back to the UK to pursue a carrier in Rope Access knowing all along that I would be heading back to Chamonix for the winter at the very latest.  I had originally wanted to spend a month in Cham in the autumn as I’ve really missed big routes in the last year and as we all know October is North Face season. Its possibly my most favourite month in the valley with the beautiful autumn colours fresh cold days and often perfect alpine conditions.  Unfortunately it didn’t happen and I’m still here, in London, living out the back of my van, working when the weather permits and pulling on plastic when it doesn’t. Its been an interesting summer learning the ropes.  Its had its ups and downs (sorry I had too) and I have had some good days out climbing in the UK but all I can think about now is mountains.

I find myself hanging from a rope completing a mundane task dreaming of pillows in the trees or steep powder faces or the thunk of an Ice Axe in perfect Neve.  Its normal at this time of the year for anyone addicted to the mountains, the excitement of winter bubbling inside but at the moment I still need to focus on the task in hand and stay in the moment at work.  I’ve been looking back at some of the past moments in my climbing and skiing career and getting very very psyched on what the future has in store.  I look forward to sharing some new experiences with you soon but here’s some photos for you of some of the things I dream about whilst hanging about in London (groan).