Sunday, 27 November 2011

Smoking is Good for Endurance Sports

More evidence that smoking is actually good for athletes.

Told ya so. I especially like the bit when they explain the the benefits are probably most notable in those who are older and started smoking in childhood. :-)

Big thanks to Ben Goldacre for bringing this to my attention.

Flight to Inverness

I've booked my flights for the winter survival course at Glenmore Lodge. I'll be flying up to Inverness on January 6th via bloody Easyjet. And booked baggage as well so I can check my equipment. All for just £67 so that's not so bad.

I'm glad I've got all of that sorted and paid for. And the lodge will handle the transfers to and from Inverness airport.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Bear Grylls

Have been watching Bear Grylls videos. Wow. I love it when he has to do something like jump into a glacial stream because you know he's gonna have to get naked and do pushups to warm up as soon as he gets out.

He is much man. Pity about the god-bothering.

Thursday, 24 November 2011


My back is aching from adding the weighted backpack to my regime. But I guess it's better to have a little ache now than a big ache on the trail.

Tomorrow I add my first litre of water to the weight.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Training Update

So I'm regularly doing 60 flights of steps per day and have now stepped up my training by adding a weighted backpack. It's only my developer rig and a litre of water but it makes a big difference. I'm doing this because on the everest trek my legs and feet were fine but my back was in agony so I thought it might be wise to build up my back muscles this time. Ideally I should work my way up to 100 flights and 20 lb. of weight but I don't see how I can do that at work without looking utterly ridiculous.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Back into Training

So I've now officialy set aside my cute office dresses and have reverted to Sporty Asti. ::sigh:: Actually, once I've put on my kit including the neck bib and gloves I look like a bloody ninja. But I have explained to my client that I'm back in training and the poor things know in far too much detail about my mountain climbing aspirations.

Anyhoo, as of this morning I've gone back to climbing stairs. I was a bit trepidatious about my first 10 story schlep but, as it turned out, it was ok. I still have a fair amount of fitness left over from my prep and completion of Everest Base Camp trek. In actual fact, I was barely puffed after dashing up 10 flights. So I spent my day running up and down stairs betwixt each of my back-to-back meetings.

And the new boots are ok. I'm glad I'm breaking them in as, toward the end of the day, they became a tad uncomfy. They're very well structured so it's important that I start breaking them in now. But wearing them does remind me that I wish I was out of the office and out on the mountains right now. I really wish someone would sponsor me so I could just spend my days climbing and travelling and writing about it.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Winter Survival Skills

I confess that I'm really excited about the winter survival skills course. I wish that I had booked on a weekend closer to today but I wanted to make sure that there would actually be snow. ::harumph::

Nonetheless, I thin it's important that I get some actual experience using my equipment and learning about things like avalanche safety before I get out in the wild in Morocco. At least this way I'll be able to determine if my kit is up to snuff, right?

But the wait is utterly agonising. Anyway, tomorrow I go back into training mode. No more wearing cute clothes to work - it'll be functional, functional, functional so that I can get back to climbing 10 flights of stairs every hour.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Tap tap tap - is this thing on?

Dunno if anyone is still following this thing but I'm planning my next trek and I thought I would document it here to keep everything together.

So, next trip is to Mt. Toubkal to start learning how to ice climb. I'll be leaving January 20th and it will be an 8 day trip.

So I began my preparations yesterday. I need some different equipment than for Everest Base camp - in particular I need better boots, crampons and an ice axe.

And so I began to do a bit of research on boots and crampons. Boots have different ratings, as do crampons and so one must be careful to get the right combination that will give you the level of performance that you need. I decided to compromise by finding a boot that would be decent for the approach trek as well as take a decent quality crampon. Believe me, I wanted the more technical boots but I have to be realistic about what I need. Indeed I worried that a better boot might actually impede me on this trip.

Anyway, I settled for the La Sportiva which is a B2 boot so will give me warmth and waterproofness with a well structured sole that will take a C2 crampon. For the crampons I went for the Grivel G12 which are C2 and are probably far better than I need but anything of lesser quality seemed flimsy and unsafe. I used the same logic when picking out my ice axe, just getting a walking axe but getting a rather decent one. For this I chose the Black Diamond Raven.

Thanks to the boys at Ellis Brigham who were so helpful and also thanks for the British Mountaineering Council discount! ;-)

Even better, I popped by Kathmandu in Covent Garden and the guys there kindly let me have a 40% discount so I loaded up on more merino wool base layers, some more trekking trousers, fleece gloves and a bib. Further to that, I had a letter from them today with another coupon for 40% off and was informed that I'm in their top 100 of Summit Club Members. I think I ought to contact them about sponsorship. Or if nothing else, they ought to read my reviews of the gear I've bought from them!

So now I'm breaking in my new kit and need to kick off my training again. Am considering a weekend Ice Survival Skills course for next month so if anyone wants to go with me, get in touch so we can coordinate.