Happy New Year

So we are now into 2015 and after the festivities and the eating, drinking and being merry, I have had a little time to reflect on the highlights of 2014 and look ahead to what 2015 has in store for Come walk with me.

I guess that the most obvious highlight was passing my Mountain Leader Summer award at the end of May. I took the assessment with Thornbridge Outdoors and spent three days in the Peak District followed by a three day (very damp) expedition in Snowdonia. The pass was the culmination of a lot of hard work and has given me the opportunity to make a living doing something I love! Since qualifying I have worked with young people on the National Citizens Schemes, I have led a Yorkshire 3 Peaks challenge, I have taken a group of young people up Scafell Pike, I have managed a camp in Snowdonia, worked with Manchester Girl’s School on their D of E preparation and also with another school group in the Brecon Beacons. As well as working for CWWMUK I have worked as a freelancer for Class Adventure and Mountain Monkeys, and have learned from, and thoroughly enjoyed, the experience.

Aside from the ML stuff there have been plenty of other highlights. A solitary wild camp near Easedale Tarn, the most magnificent cloud inversion from Mam Tor, The Coledale Horseshoe, Peregrines and Puffins at South Stack, The Toblerone Trail with it’s stunning views of Lake Geneva, a very wet overnighter in the Brecon Beacons, plenty of night navigation, a fantastic week in the Lakes with the McAllister clan, exploring the Carneddau, one of the most peaceful wild camps ever on the Black Sail Pass, Crib Goch in wild weather followed by my first ever outdoor climb, Slieve Donard (the highest peak in N.Ireland) in the snow and more wild and windy weather with Geej and Lawrence near Grasmere. It’s only on reflection that I realise what a fantastic year it has been.

So, what does 2015 hold. Well, plenty more work hopefully and the chance to show many more people some of our awesomely beautiful countryside!! That’d be a nice starting point, but I have plenty of individual goals I’d like to work towards too. I’m hoping for some more snow this Winter so I can work on my skill set and dig out the camera for some spectacular snowscapes. I’d like to do some serious walking in Scotland. I’d like to attempt another long distance trail. I’d like my climbing to improve and maybe progress to a little more outdoor stuff. I’d like to undertake a serious overseas challenge. I’d like to expand on the writing I do about the outdoors.I also hope that my contribution to the BMC Hillwalker’s steering group will prove useful and fruitful. And, whilst I promised myself I’d never become a “pure peak-bagger” there are a list or two that I would like to work my way towards completing.

Plenty there to be keeping me busy during 2015 and hope to see you out on the hill!!