Paul’s Blog Posted 12th July 2016

Just where is the year going? Despite the legs not spinning much in the last two weeks or so due to the Hamstring (I’m told that’s what it is) behind the knee still playing up after the Reach Out for Nepal run time still seems to be passing very quickly. My Alpine trip is now only 2 days & an awful lot of packing a way!

Packing used to be so easy before I devoted most of my time to mountains, simply a matter of casual clothes & more casual clothes. Now it’s running gear bag, camping gear bag, mountaineering bag, chargers for that, this & more of that (aka, power monkey, running watch, headtorch, phone, camera…), food for camping, mountaineering & running, the list goes on so tomorrow is now no longer Wednesday but ‘Packing Day’. Before that today will need a quick pop into Cotswold Outdoor to buy a new whistle to replace the one a young chap borrowed for the Siabod race & failed to return (this failure included a compass but I’ve got spare ones of those aplenty), he couldn’t have been a ‘Fell’ runner, could he?

I’m trying to be light-hearted, in truth I am anything but, it is not the thought of will my left knee hold up (3 runs of increasing length in the last week are slowly re-buildng my confidence in it), it is that I am actually scared of what I’ve signed up for. Too much long running & not enough time traversing Crib Goch or dangling from a rope are part of the problem leaving me feeling under-prepared on the exposure front. However the main problem is Google & it’s visual access to the warm up climb (Rochefort arrete on Mont Blanc) & the possible climbs to follow, the Jungfrau, the Monch & more particularly the Eiger. For the non-climbers among you try googling the Eiger’s Mittilegi Ridge or even the ‘easier’ options of the South or West ridges & you’ll understand why I might be a tad jittery at the moment.

All that said I am going to be in Tim Blakemore’s excellent hands & if he or I feel that a lesser plan B is more suitable for my level rest assured we will take it even though it will mean me scrapping one of my goals for this year of being 50. Of course as with any Alpine plans the weather may force alternative plans upon us too, lightning & metal ice axes are not ideal bedfellows!

This Saturday evening sees John Rowell celebrating his 65th Birthday at the Cafe with a few friends, sorry I won’t be here John but rest assured I’ll be raising a glass of Apremont to you in the Chamonix Valley. Hopefully it will have the side effect of calming my nerves too, Happy Birthday John!

Don’t forget that in my absence we also have our next Open MIC Night on Saturday 23rd July.

Finally whilst I hope to be doing my ‘normal’ acclimatisation run up to the friendly Belachat hut & onto the Brevant this Saturday a large field will be heading off for the summit of Wales’ highest mountain in the International Snowdon Race. Good luck to all the runners, a great event & well worth turning up just to watch & enjoy the atmosphere.

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