Winter has given us a slap out here this week – and all in all it’s been exhilarating. Last night, anything but ½ a metre from the fire was blowing an icy gale. And generally I don’t know how this translates to me collecting more soot on my face…but it does.
After Russell’s Sheffield race, we decided to fast for the day. It was probably the last thing he should do after a frantic week with lots of driving and racing and driving. I like going without food every now and then for a day. It’s supposed to have some health benefits, but I prefer the more mental side of things- the challenge, discipline. You have to be slightly careful about who you inflict this day on, as being hungry and light headed can mean you get short tempered and irritable. All things considered, it’s a marvel we didn’t kill eachother – in fact I don’t even remember a cross word, maybe we were just too tired. But it was to be the start of a more restful week for us than those before the Christmas break. For me, it was great to cut down the running and let in the delights of just being out here.
After a very hectic period of race numbers and service stations it was great to be back off the grid up in the little house of Gelli. Friday was a beautiful clear day so we drove to the bottom of the Carneddau, a spectacular range of mountains in Snowdonia. We dressed light so that we could run from peak to peak across some stunning ridges. Being up in the mountains this way is really exciting as you are not weighed down with heavy clothes and backpacks. You have to move fast to stay warm and trust that you won’t run out of steam before you get to the bottom.
We went rock climbing on Saturday with an experienced rock climber friend. Nina and I hadn’t been for a long time so we needed a thorough briefing before heading out. The climb was called Booboo and rated as a V.Diff which is paradoxically quite easy in rock climbing terms, but it was certainly a challenge for us. It was a 4 pitch climb, meaning 4 lengths of rope, much more than Nina and I had ever done before. We were totally fine on the first 3 pitches, but we took a long time as we were new to all the knots and gear etc. The darkness closed in quietly and we were looking up at the last and hardest pitch of the day. Our friend bravely raced up this bit ‘solo’ (with nothing to save him if he fell), so that he could rig up a rope at the top and we could follow. Even though we were safe, we still had to climb some very tricky sections with no help or advice, as the light was slipping away. If Nina or I had of bottled it or freaked out it would have been a V. Diff situation. We both made it to the top feeling elated after a thrilling experience.