Via Ferrata in Arco

The bad news - unfortunately I was ill on holiday with a flu bug which meant some serious rest and having to be wise with pushing too much exercise. But I am getting better at learning to just 'go with it'  - listening to the body and not fighting when it needs to rest. The good news - the sun shone, a lot. When I did feel a little better, I did a via ferrata.

This means 'iron road' and is a method of travel by the mountains. You travel up the rock by an iron cable. There are different types of via ferrata, from those that are fairly technical, requiring a great deal of climbing, to via ferrata that is more of a walk/scramble. My first via ferrata was basically a gentle walk, and my second via ferrata involved more climbing. For via ferrata you need sturdy trainers underfoot with good grip (recommended) to place your feet on the rock, or the iron rungs/ ladders. You wear a rock climbing harness with a via ferrata safety kit attached, and clip the two karabiners to the wire as you ascend.

When we reached the top, we were able to just walk our way down the beautiful trail on the other side.

Although it was disappointing to be unwell on holiday, I was glad to have the chance to try a new sport!

Travel: Arco Italy

I write this currently poorly - oh no! Since I am resting up I thought I would take the time to blog the first few days of my trip to Italy! I love to travel, and I am currently spending some time in Arco, which is a really stunning part of Italy set by the panoramic backdrop of the Italian lakes. I find the place a wonderful oxymoron - snow topped mountains accompanied by leafy palm trees - everything I love!  The views are really stunning (I shall put more photos on during the trip!) and there is SO much to do here. From coffee and gelato moments to rock climbing, trails  - hard to get bored. It is a nice time of year to travel here actually, as the weather is fairly crisp yet it is pretty warm in the sun.

I have had a chance to do some route climbing, which is a nice change from my usual bouldering preference - climbing with friends who are also really skilled climbers means I am picking up good ideas when it comes to climbing, as well as having a really good laugh!

Been a little under the weather with a cold/fluey symptoms, but never mind  - hardly a bad place to recuperate!

I hope everyone has had a Happy Easter! More updates of the trip to follow!

Skiing December 2014

Day 1 We arrive to beautiful green mountain terrain, stunning scenery…. wait, GREEN? Where’s the snow? Lifts look shut, place is very quiet. Uh oh….Would this be the closest we would get to skiing?

 No fear – by the end of the day the snow is fallin’. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, and day of skiing planned ahead. Not enough here for skiing – but tomorrow we aim for Verbier.

Day 2

Today we are up relatively early for Verbier. Bit of a drive to get there but good to be out on the snow! Conditions were not great though – visibility at an all time low + rain! Spent more time with goggles off than on while skiing! At least we are getting to ski though, which somehow didn't quite seem possible yesterday.

Day 3

Today we went to Cervinia, Italy. The relatively sudden high altitude provided a bit of a challenge, however the weather was fantastic, as were the views! Some good piste runs and some great banter with the guys skiing until the setting sun. A brilliant day! Pretty psyched to catch up with Nikki Barnard tomorrow for a winter trail run.

Day 4

The boys set off for Verbier again, but I stayed put. Caught up with running soul mate Nikki Barnard (barnardsadventures) and went for a potter. Quick bowl of pasta and headed out again on the trail for some ‘me time’. I can’t explain how these trails make me feel, but they give me a peace there I cannot replicate so far anywhere else. The light was perfect through the trees, weather calm. You just cannot find trails like this in many other places.

Day 5

Today was a big adventure, and a bit of a test for me. This was my first ski tour, onto the Argentiere Glacier. I am so grateful to the boys who took me, helping and guiding me the whole way. This was out of my comfort zone – I love the mountains, but feel most at ease in a pair of trainers on the mountain trail, never mind dealing with crevassed, glacial landscape. I have loved skiing since I was a child, but normally play it safe, enjoying the comfort of the pistes. I am now beginning to venture a bit off piste, to see the real beauty of the mountains, and today was the biggest off piste adventure. The nerves were not helped by the fact I had a binding problem with my skis, popping off at random on turns in a russian roulette fashion: not something you want to have to contend with in the heart of the mountains. The team were awesome though, and I felt in safe hands even in a cold and somewhat unnerving environment. This was real ‘type 2’ fun : scary, required strategy, felt difficult and overwhelming. But who could regret scenes like this?

Day 6

Today is the last day, and a chilled one. The snow isn’t amazing so we felt like having a reflective day in Chamonix. What a trip! Thoroughly enjoyable and a beautiful way to spend those days before Christmas. I will always feel most myself amongst the mountains.