2013, Another Lucky Year?

Luck. Something I haven’t always believed in, but the more I do, the better life gets! At the same time, it’s not something I choose to rely on – I believe if you want something, you have to go out and get it. Yet good things keep on happening to me and I continue to be amazed. Why do these things happen? I’m not sure which is why for now I’m just calling it luck.

2013 was an amazing year so I think it will be hard to beat, but,  I think that at the end of every year. And somehow, each year does seem to top the last. Or maybe the memories of the good times are just fresher?

Taking star trails at the end of 2012 in Joshua Tree, wondering what 2013 will bring.

This year has been very different to me for one major reason – it was the first time in 15 years that I was not in full time education. I was quite apprehensive about what I was going to do with my life. I had just finished three months of travelling (and being very ill!) in Asia and climbing in the States. Upon my return to England in January the weather dictated it too cold to climb and the pressure to get a job and earn money, was heavy on my shoulders. Stinginess was becoming an unpleasant way of life.

In the end things always work out okay in the end and what doesn’t work out usually teaches us a lesson. As 2013 draws to a close, I have no regrets (kind of). Here are some things that happened to me (some by effort/planning/determination, some by chance, and some by luck?).

–          Learnt how to ice climb. Went to Chamonix, La Grave and Cogne in February where I sunk my picks into a few fat, and sometimes juicy, ice falls. Thanks Tony!

Olli on Lillaz Cascade, Italy

–          Had my first real job (sort of). I did get a job related to environmental science and I tried and tested the 9-5 work life (conclusion: overrated).

At work, surveying in Glasgow

–          Awesome times in Scotland. I’m talking summer cragging here. Immaculate granite mountain crags, steep sandstone sea cliffs, gorgeous lochs, cute animals, flowers, a bit of adventure and not many people! The amount of cool climbing to be done is so vast, I feel like I have yet to scratch the surface.

Climbing on the fun, sunny sea cliffs of Reiff


Leading my first English 6a, Dunkeld

Fun times on Needle, Shelterstone Crag

The Summer Isles in Scotland… does life get more beautiful?

–          Experienced the ways of living on the cheap! It may involve professionally squatting in unfurnished buildings, but the extra monies saved for adventures, is worth it.

–          Won the Glasgow TCA summer competition. This was completely unexpected but I guess training hard pays off!

–          Visited several tens of crags I’d never been to before this year.

The Awesome Scafell

–          Olli and I broke up. We’ve had some amazing times over the last three years but now it’s time for us to focus on our own interests more.

–          Van life is sick! (Until you see someone else’s bigger, swankier van… Or your own has a complete meltdown and turns into a static caravan).

Tom, psyched on Van Life in Ceuse

–          Massively fast-tracked through the 7s, culminating in sending an 8a, 50 days into our trip. Cheers Tom!

Climbing in Rodellar

–          Met some of the coolest people this year… kind, funny, generous, genius, awesome…

–          Learnt that I’m not ready to settle down yet. Life is short and there are too many cool things to do first.

And for next year… I’m heading back to Spain on my own on the 3rd of January to be irresponsible and live the dirtbag climbing dream. I’m then off to Turkey at the end of March to work at JoSiTo (Climbers’ guesthouse in Geyikbayiri), and after that… who knows?!


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