Round up: Best of 2018

It makes a nice change to be writing this post in the sweltering heat of Thailand rather than the damp, cold of home. 2018 was another busy year, here are some of the highlights…



January is often the slowest time of year for us but this year we had planned it to be different and spend the month in East Africa, half for play and half for work. Sadly due to Becky injuring her back in the autumn, we reluctantly cancelled our trip to climb Mt Kenya. This left an opening for some early season time in Scotland. Some funky ski mountaineering and some cold climbing followed.

Skinning into the January murk


February was dominated by Scottish winter work. Thankfully after a terrible winter season in 2017; 2018 was stellar! Loads of great days out with folk mainly mountaineering. Mid month I worked in Norway for Peak Mountaineering and this was also the start of van woes.

Climbing ice in Rjukan, Norway


March m

aking the most of the winter towards the end of our time in Scotland, we had two super days skiing (Munros above a cloud inversion and a run down the Rush face on Aonach Mor) and climbed Orion direct on Ben Nevis. I was part of the team guiding Radio One’s Greg James on his 3 Peak challenge and then went back to Africa to guide on Kilimanjaro.

Scottish skiing at its best


April mixed month on the move; I came back briefly from Africa to rock climb in the sun in Snowdonia and to go back to Scotland to ski before flying off to Nepal.

Scrambling on Tryfan


May c

onditions in Nepal this Spring were snowy leading to us abandoning our attempt on Island Peak but we did summit Mera Peak and trek up the Khumbu. As always in Nepal I was working for Jagged Globe. The second half of the month I was up in Scotland working on a rock climbing course for the Army, culminating in 3 gloriously hot days on Skye.

Topping out on Mera Peak


June was finally spent at home working mainly on multi activity courses and Mountain Leader courses for Mark Garland Mountaineering.

Relocating near Yr Wyddfa


July away again, Alps to start, climbing a long awaited route the North East face of the Lenzspitze, then guiding a Tour de Mont Blanc for G Adventures. A week later I was in Russia leading on Elbrus for Jagged Globe.

Wild flowers in the Italian alps


August/September, g

reat to be at home and have some slower time, I worked on lots of Mountain Training courses. My busiest time was picking up again with the mountain rescue team.

Finishing off with a summer mountaineering course in Scotland for the Army, dominated by poor conditions.

Teaching navigation


October as in 2017 this

was by far the best month of my year for UK trad rock climbing, several days on the grit, lots of North Wales classics, some bolt clipping and a funky day out on Fantan B on the Lleyn.

Classic Pass guiding day


November some climbing, some t

ime at home to unwind after a busy year, taking the dog for walks and doing lots of DIY! It was fantastic after over ten years of involvement to be able to attend Llanberis Mountain Rescue team’s 50th celebrations. Oh and even do the odd day of work

Bouldering in the Peak


December, building on our idea of taking a holiday at some point, we decided to go to South East Asia for an extended travelling and climbing trip. Awesome so far

Big stalagtites

This year hasn’t been without its trials and tribulations (mainly vehicle related - we’ve had to scrap two!) but overall once again it’s been a great journey - thanks to all of you, clients, employers and friends for sharing quality time outdoors

Simon Verspeak