Round up: Best of 2017

It seems poignant to reflect on the trials and tribulations of 2017, as 2018 begins... I've worked with some great people and achieved a few life goals both in my professional and personal mountaineering, so here's a quick round up of the year...



We spent much of January, attempting to ski and climb in the Alps, unfortunately the start of our trip coincided with one of the driest years to date. Despite this we manage some great ski touring and visited some new places.

Becs coming down off the Petit Croisse Baulet in great snow

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was a tough month working in Scotland; winter seemed to be there one minute and gone the next! As usual despite this, I had some great days out.

Broad Gully in SCNL

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was split down the middle in Scotland and Snowdonia. I went skiing, passed MIC (the top UK mountaineering and climbing qualification) and worked on a couple of ML trainings.

Scottish ski touring

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April came and s

uddenly it was summer and time to go rock climbing. I had a nice mix of work; some multi activity centre work, an ML assessment, some private rock climbing coaching and several scrambling courses. I also got the opportunity to go climbing myself and had a hectic few weeks of rescuing.

Coordinating with the aircraft



was mainly spent in Scotland; I can't deal with the midges so winter, spring and autumn are the only time I visit! I had two weeks of Army work and then attempted to spend some time on Skye, unfortunately my project of a one day traverse of the Cuillin was not achieved due to lack of a weather window but we had a few fun days out.

Bla Bheinn - Clach Glas Traverse

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The majority of June

was in the Alps, some work and a fair amount of play. We climbed the iconic Eiger via the Mittelleggi and then the Monch the next day.

Beaut of a day in the Bernese Oberland



This is my time to be at home, I spent most of July doing multi activity centre work however a recurring infection which baffled the doctors floored me too and I ended up spending August mainly recuperating and then trying to do some local bolt clipping. Managed lots of 6's and quite a lot of time rescuing!

The Orme delivers

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Lot's of Snowdonia scrambling dominated this month along with work for a school in Switzerland and a rock climbing course in Scotland for the Army.

Autumnal colours in the Swiss Valais

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was probably the best month of my year for personal trad climbing; lots of great days on the grit and a quality weekend in the South West which included Coronation Street at Cheddar.

Classic grit stone at Stanage



was a quiet month for work but busy in building the new website, providing some CPD days and attending others plus a nice week of holiday climbing in Majorca.

Cyfrwy Arete on Cadair Idris

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December, a

very mixed month; an ML assessment in Snowdonia, I had a few days canoeing, a trip into Knoydart with Becs and a family Christmas which also featured a lot of road biking. For once winter conditions were good in Snowdonia and I had a few days out teaching winter skills.

Seniors Ridge

This year has seen an increasing amount of climbing wall work, something I am looking forward to continuing this coming year. 

All in all a good year, if any of the things mentioned above sound like fun, give me a bell. Bespoke courses in mountain skills, scrambling, climbing or winter. 

Simon Verspeak