Saturday, 23 February 2013

my train was running late :-(

If you are reading my blog regularly, sorry for keeping you waiting for new tails for so long. I have been very busy, but not busy climbing mountains! I’ve been busy visiting the emergency department of the hospital. Looks like it’s much easier for me to climb high peaks then walk down the stairs.....  I know, I can’t believe it either.
On Monday 18th of February I woke up at about 6.30. showered, ate breakfast, kissed goodbye to my husband.  Walked to the train station and at 7.57 i found out that my train was running 35 minutes late. Not good, as it’s only my 3rd day at my new job. i hate giving the wrong impression, even if it’s not my fault. The train journey was about 40 minutes, all this time i was thinking ‘how can i get to work as fast as i can’ (crazy I know)... The train eventually arrived at Harrogate train station, i jumped out the carriage, ran as best I could, I was running so fast i missed one step near the top of a on a flight of stairs and flew over 8 steps down.
Next second I was lying on the floor, with a few people around me. They were asking if i was ok. Yeah, umm I mean NO i was in pain, massive pain, for the second time in my life I was thinking how many bones i have broken? I was sitting on the floor, when i reached with my left hand and touched my right shoulder. Then i said “sh**” i found a big lump between my shoulder and my neck, “omg please call the ambulance”.
I was escorted by 2 nice people in to the train station building, then the station staff looked after me till the ambulance arrived. I phoned my work, said that i am not coming in and explained why. Within 5 minutes Lou ‘’my boss’’ ran to the station and was trying to support me and keep me calm.
The ambulance arrived, 3 very cheery paramedics tried to find out what kind of damage the fall had done to me. I enjoyed their company, their support was was the oxygen (it made me feel drunk J ).
At the hospital i had an x-ray done, I was in pain. I had to wait for about 2 hours to find out what was actually wrong with me.  The doctor entered my cubicle, he said well ive Got good news for you because it could have been much worse. By falling onto my shoulder i had ripped all my ligaments between my collar bone and my shoulder. As a result my collar bone spring up from the normal position and was now sticking out by 2 cm, in-between my shoulder and my neck. Oh dear, not cool.

 I have been told that there was nothing they can do for me, that i had to go home, rest and come back to see a different doctor tomorrow. I could hardly even walk, i was in so much pain. I got home, and was very upset. I was thinking about all my near future plans: single pitch award, ice climbing trips to Scotland, climbing wall, climbing trips to the peaks.... by about 17.00 i was in so much pain i could not take it anymore. I was thinking maybe they have made the wrong judgment sending me home, maybe they didn’t wanted to help me, maybe because i wasn’t showing my pain to others, they thought i am well was a very painful and restless night.
The next day i went back to the hospital and after a couple of hours wait I was told my injury was common with many rugby players and that he would see me again in 3 weeks, by when the pain would hopefully have dissipated. I came home and did some research. I have been panicking about home much movement I will keep and how the injury will affect my climbing. Sometimes I am scarred my hobby has been compromised and sometimes I am happy nothing more serious occurred. In three weeks the doctor will hopefully give me good news, fingers crossed.
Yep yep yep, crazy kat’s life as always. Mountains i miss you, I hope to be with you soon.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

You can do it!

I like writing (let’s hope sometime soon my English will get better, ha ha). I love sharing my knowledge or just ideas with people around me. Recently I have moved from Norwich to York. In Norwich I had a good job. My job was involving me talking (giving advice and help) to adventurous people 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, from first time walkers to world famous climbers, i enjoyed chatting to them all.
It is sad, that in York at this moment, I can’t do the same job. Well if can’t do that kind of job face to face, maybe I can write! Hopefully by writing I can inspire some folks to get up and do things they have only been dreaming of. YOU CAN DO IT! Pick the challenge, follow your dream, every day you will be closer to it.

For the past 29 years I was scared and worried to make a wrong choice or to make a wrong move. I was scared to die in the crevasse, or to get buried in the avalanche, or brake parts of my body while climbing/running/mountaineering...and now I understand I can die any second of my life... I could become ill or get hit by car,’s lots of or’s!!! So now I am just going to do it. Off course do it with care and make judgements based on what is happening around me. But the FACT is I am going for it. No more hiding away from the world.    And you can do it too!!! 

The best food for your trips away

The best food for your trips away.

Ok, so when you are going away climbing, backpacking, mountaineering need to eat and you need to eat well. Making sure that you got plenty of calories and plenty of energy to complete your aiming task.
Everyone is keep saying that the best thing in the morning for breakfast is porridge. Correct, but last time I was in the Alps, nearly every morning I was eating porridge. So guess what I don’t think I can eat porridge any more. You would say, hang on, you can’t stop eating porridge after just one trip to Alps.

 Just to clarify, when I was a kid, I was attending pre-school learning group. And every single morning they were feeding us with PORRIDGE! I remember force feeding and harsh moment of feeling sick : –(. No more porridge for me.

Me @ pre-school learning group

Right now I am trying different combinations of good/ healthy/light weight foods. So far - no luck. I have tried sausages. Sausages first of all a heavy product, healthy (not so sure about that one) plus you feel very thirsty after eating them –(.

Sandwich?  May be, but I intend to carry sandwiches with me on the hill.
Some other things I have tried but nothing right so far. Will keep on looking.
The best food in your backpack...I don’t think I got a problem with pack lunch. As when I am stopping for a snack break or lunch, I am starving to death, so I would eat anything! Usually, I got banana and apple, few sandwiches, packed of crisps and some kind of snack bar.  But wait there is more (LOL)!!! In the recent past my friend Paul suggested to try Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference Flapjack, now my favourite eatable thing in my backpack -), absolutely love it!

Lots of expensive bars on the market, but if you are going away 2-3 times a month’s it could be a bit pricey.
I have tried nuts and raisins on one of my trips, but after 5 days I could not eat them, as my jaws were so steve and I could not chew.
In the evening, if it’s not a budget trip –Pub/take away! If it’s a budget trip I would cook some kind of pasta, or rice dish or well anything.
Looks like I got a problem only with my breakfast –(, maybe I always will, maybe I just don’t like to eat breakfast! Time will show.

What have you got to eat in your backpack? What is your favorite breakfast?

Sunday, 10 February 2013

My drug is the Scottish Winter

I think I am a drug addict and my drug is the Scottish Winter! I can’t sleep, I can’t eat, I can’t live without snowy rolling hills and magical mountains in the Cairngorms and Highlands. Only a week ago I was at the YHA waiting for the weather to change so I could start climbing. I had an amazing time and now it looks like I am going back to finish off some routes near Ben Nevis.  Happy Days :-D 

Friday, 8 February 2013

Crevasse Rescue

Long story, but will cut it short....

In the summer of 2012 me and Paul went mountaineering in the Vallee Blanche, Chamonix, France. It was an amazing day.

Just a few days ago we had been talking about crevasses and crevasse rescue. we had kind of got all the details and agreed we had plenty of info to deal with one if necessary.

Two very happy mountaineers! At one point lots of massive dark holes were around us. Oh dear, god knows I didn't like to be around crevasses at this moment and time. We crossed one, second, third and fourth one but the fifth one didn't look as dangerous as others. I didn't liked the idea of crossing that one so i went a bit to the side,. I kind of walked around it. oooohhh all good. I was about 20 meters away from Paul when I shouted to him not to cross over, as it didn't feel right -(.

 My heart started to beat like crazy, for some reason I knew what was going to happen next..... I have braced myself down on to the snow, dug my feet and ice axe in to the ice. Within seconds Paul started to fall down the crevasse. I started to be pulled in as well. Despite all my effort I have ended up following him into  it. I woke up, I must have been unconscious for a few seconds. I had a massive pain in my right arm. I was to scared to look at it in case it was broken. So I have pulled my sleeves down and I started to freak out.

I  was screaming, shouting... luckily the rope had got stuck on the top of the slab of snow that hung over the edge of the crevasse. I was dangling in the air and Paul was deeper down, resting on a bit of ice ledge. A few times the rope cut into the snow and I was lowered down. This was scary.  It was very important to get an ice screw into the ice wall near me as soon as possible to secure ourselves from falling down even further.

Ice screw in!!!! I have attached myself and Paul to it. I started slowly to climb up. I mean very slowly. As we had only walking/mountaineering equipment (not ice climbing equipment) it was difficult to climb up. Each time I tried to climb the wall my axe just wouldn't cut in and take a grip. Some time later I had made a small amount of progress two more hours and we would have been out....maybe!

Photo: Paul inside the crevasse

But then, I could hear peoples voices. It was french mountaineers walking back to the cable car, after their climb. They lowered their rope down, then shouted "don't be afraid the helicopter rescue is coming". What??? Noooo!!!Whyyyy??? I was thinking inside my head, we were nearly out, no need for the helicopter. But few moment later we had been rescued from the crevasse by the French Mountain Rescue Team. I was very cold and looked blue and may be even close to hypothermia I got first ride on the helicopter directly in to the hospital, after an examination, lot's of pills and liquid, I was out and about getting ready for another adventure. Tomorrow Mt Blanc :-)  

Photo: Paul and Me, top of Mt Blanc

Thank you!!!

P.S. I would like to thank French Mountain Rescue Team and two french mountaineers for saving our life's.

Mixed Climbing @ Scotland, Glencoe

With winter quickly moving towards spring some mixed climbing in Scotland must be done.

 Scotland - with amazing views has been surprising me for the past 8 years. Relatively high peaks, with easy to  hard climbing grades will make a beginner or a professional climber very happy indeed.

Now a quick story about my recent climbing in Scotland.

 Weather wasn't great, ha as always! Me and my friend Paul McKenzie at the YHA been waiting for Adele Pennington.

A bit about Adele (my opinion, sorry Adele if you disagree), :
 I have met Adele in Wales January 2013 at the BMC Expedition planning seminar. Strong personality, great climber and just wonderful full of ambitions and life women!  To me she is my Hero.
 At the seminar Adele talked about her adventures in the Pakistan, Nepal, Norway and many other countries. Her speech was very inspiring I was closer to my High Peaks Dreams then ever before.
After seminar I have contacted Paul and we agreed to get in touch with Adele and do some climbing in Scotland together. Adele had free 3 days to spare and agreed to go climbing with us. OMG I was the happiest mountaineer in the world -).

...waiting for Adele at the YHA... tiny, climber build lady entered the room. It was Adele. We talked about weather conditions, routes and time frame of our climbing adventure. Agreed that in the morning we are going to stob coire nan lochan and going to climb Dorsal Arete, kind of warm up climb.
About 8 a.m. Milie(van) drove us to stob coire nan lochan and we began to walk.

 Last time I was their it nearly ended in disaster, as weather very quickly changed, me and Sarah could not see much of the way back. But common sense helped us to get back safely.

As we approaching our climb winds started to get faster. After quick lunch we started to climb. Oh dear that's when I have discovered how much I need to learn. List of need to learn was hmmm long... a bit embarrassing to write it all down so may be one day, but not today!

  Dorsal Arete was easy climb, with wonderful views of surrounding area.

  Adele was leading the last pitch, I was second, Paul third. I have started to climb final pitch, once at the top strong winds made me drop down to  my knees, oh my goodness that was a lot of fun!!!

We returned to the car park safely, Milie patiently was waiting for us. I would say that was a very successful climbing day.

I would like to thank Paul McKenzie and Adele Pennington for teaching me new useful climbing techniques and for their good company.


Find me on Twitter - Kat@HighPeakMania