A Wild Winter Breo Blog

by Steve Holmes February 09, 2016

The winter weather of 2015/16 will certainly be a remembered; although I fear, for the wrong reasons. So far this season we have struggled to maintain a consistent snowpack for snow sports. Any success has revolved around mixed climbing (snowed up rock climbing) with little in the way of descent ice conditions. The winds have also been ferocious with recorded speeds of 144mph ontop of Cairngorm Mountain just last weekend. The warm winds coupled with torrential rain and localised flooding have made business a little slower than usual but nethertheless I have enjoyed a few great days out with clients and personal climbing with friends.

 

Following my recent back injury I was keen to get climbing as soon as I got the green light from the specialists. Psychologically I knew the first few outings would be difficult as I had to trust that I was ‘fixed’ and there wouldn’t be a recurring problem with my disk. Ken and I climbed Crest Route in Glencoe as an early test of will, and a test it was. I was pleased my fitness had remained healthy given the recent amount of inactivity but my head needed allot of convincing to get on with the tough moves on the upper pitch. Thankfully Ken was patient and held the ropes whilst I made slow upward progress. During the descent I recited Mathew Syed’s book, Bounce; to ensure I picked the positives out of the day rather than dwelling on the hesitant mind set I had experienced on the route. The book is excellent and highly recommended to anyone interested in sports at the highest level of performance. Since that day in Glencoe there have been a few minor niggles but overall I feel the operation has been a total success and a real game changer.

 

As I have already mentioned conditions have not been great recently but many people have been enjoying a good battle with the weather; something I strongly believe is part of the Scottish Winter climbing scene. As instructors, we certainly don’t want to put people off our cherished sport and so it is important to ensure clients have a good experience and learn as much as possible even in adverse weather conditions. Recently the vast majority of my work has been introductory winter mountaineering and skills development, which in some ways is the most important role we can play as instructors and guides as the skills we teach will be the foundation of their climbing for years to come.

 

It still feels like the season is yet to get started which is strange considering it is now February – fingers crossed the most recent storms will leave us with some nice ice to climb during the coming weeks!

Steve Holmes
Steve Holmes



Also in News

Gone Climbing

by Steve Holmes October 06, 2016

‘As the last piece of equipment is squeezed into my haul bag I have been reflecting on a busy summer and what lies ahead for the remainder of the year. Tomorrow I depart for The Picos de Europa; a somewhat forgotten area of Spain, located just 20km from the North coast it boasts huge Limestone walls and mountains over 2600m … Continue reading
Read More
Change Is The Most Natural Thing In The World

by Elaine Abonal September 12, 2016

It’s funny how we are told that people are naturally resistant to change, whereas the most natural thing in the world IS change. These past few months have all been about change for me and although in my brain I know it, my heart doesn’t seem to be ready. Until now, where I have taken a break and have been … Continue reading
Read More
From Trail Running to Paddle Boarding

by Sarah Morton August 22, 2016

    As ever, I’m not sure where the past while has gone – summer definitely seems to have disappeared in the blink of an eye! I started off the trail running season on a really positive note and was ready, and very excited, to get my first ultra-race of the year ticked off nice and early in April. But, … Continue reading
Read More
News & Updates

Sign up to get the latest on sales, new releases and more …