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First snow of the season!
At last the snow is here, ending an uncharacteristic Autumn and start of winter. The local paper’s headline is about the lack of snow in popular ski resorts, so it looks like the UK is not the only country to have a warmer than average start to the season.

Since my last post I took a couple of weeks off to recharge the batteries, then started back running, bouldering, climbing, dry-tooling and cycling. The cycle I did yesterday in the Peak district was the first in months and was a harsh reminder how quickly unused muscles can break down. In summary, it was cold, wet, windy and hilly!

A more enjoyable experience last week was my first dry-tooling session, held at Manchester’s Rock Over Climbing centre. I have started using dry-tooling to learn and practice ice axe technique in advance of my ice climbing trip to Chamonix in January 2012. For those not in the know, dry-tooling a sport where ice axes or dedicated wooden training axes are used indoors on indoor climbing walls. Typically climbing centres with dry-tooling facilities allow you to dry-tool on a limited section, but Rock Over Climbing have areas cordoned off on a Wednesday evening for dry-toolers, with dedicated wood blocks to sink your ice axe into or to cam or can open your way up the wall. There is also a bouldering traverse that starts off easy and gets progressively harder. If this is your first session, get one of the helpful staff to show you the techniques, and try not to land on an ice axe!

I shall be writing on a regular basis from now on, so follow me online for more posts as I continue my preparation for Alaska’s Big One and other events and expeditions šŸ™‚ I am currently looking for inspiration for some short to mid distance events in the next six months so let me feel free to leave comments with ideas!

-GeekintheHills

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