About

Why the mountains?

The really important “why”. As so many people struggle to understand why I would choose to put myself through pain and expose myself to risk to be up in the mountains. To answer it with specific examples would be wrong, hopefully some of the routes/trips covered by the blog will help with that, but I guess it’s the challenge to push myself that much further to be part of something incredible.

A bit about me

I’m a mountaineer. Actually, for now let’s say I’m more of an aspiring mountaineer.

This all really started in early 2008. A friend asked if I’d fancy going on a trek to Everest Base Camp, just as I was starting to run seriously. Having always enjoyed walking in the mountains, without plans for the year and admittedly yes I was sat in a pub when he asked, I quickly replied with “Yes”.

During 2008 we walked throughout the United Kingdom (Peak District, Lake District, Highlands and Snowdonia), before travelling to Nepal in November 2008 where we completed the Everest Base Camp trek and reached the summit of Kala Patthar. I guess the trip does one of two things to people, “I’ve had my fill of mountains” or “I need to do more of this”. Sitting on top of Kala Patthar, after a 12hr walk (including a scramble over a glacier) that day, I was treated to one of the most incredible views I’d ever seen, the sun setting on Everest. I was the second type.

I decided to take the experience of walking/trekking onward and pick up the skills/know how to tackle more technical routes/peaks. So I was soon on a winter walking/mountaineering course in Snowdonia in February 2009. And then off to Morocco in March to summit Mount Toubkal.

I’m now gearing up to trips to the Alps to attempt several 4000m peaks including Mont Blanc, and beyond that an Aconcagua expedition in 2010. The aim is to continue pushing and learning at altitude. In the future sure I’d like to attempt further notable peaks but the dream will be to be part of expeditions to remote areas that attempt first ascents.

Why the site?

Because whenever I’m looking at what to climb, I liked to find out what people had done before, not just the technical information but a bit of the human element too, what went wrong and how they got through it etc. The same applies to kit, I’d much rather hear from people in the community than read through reams of technical information and marketing nonsense (I work in marketing). Quite often it was hard to find good information and when I did, it was scattered all over the place.

So this is part diary for me, but also put together in the hope that people will come across the site and find out information for a future trip, learn from my mistakes and be able to spend longer up in the clouds away from the Internet! It’s also an attempt to explain “Why the mountains?”.

Simon

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