It was to be the big alpine adventure.
The hardest route ever, the one where I got pushed well out my comfort zone, experienced the fear, the excitement the exhilaration of success – the adventure of it all along the way.
I trained, I surveyed route guides, we talked ideas, plans, fallback plans, gear and fear.
I practised crevasse rescue in the sun and heat of the new unfamiliar garden, the incongruity laughable. I bought new gear (just in case), I bought lighter gear (fast and light you know ), I bought special kit ( be prepared).
I trained harder, the gym becoming a virtual mountain , one more rep, one more step.
I beat myself up , not fit enough, not ready, not experienced enough.
I trained some more, studied the guides, chatted plans, packed and repacked.
Then – we’re off. The airport a chaotic packing and repacking of many bags. Checking in, boarding, changing terminals, on and off trains.
Switzerland. Train taking us from the wet, grey urbanity to the wet, snowy mountains.
Then we arrived and I was ready. Ready to go big and go hard.
The mountain wasn’t. It was laughing at us. Wrong time of year, too much snow, avalanches shucking down all around washing the dreams away with them.
Plan changed, objective agreed and an incredible day of alpine dawn, steep narrow and long snow ridges, mild scrambles, tiny summit friends smiling and laughing, blue alpine skies and chatting elated descent.
It was my first 4000m peak, standing atop that snowy snooker table of a summit consumed with the view, the peaks and points and ridges of rock, ice and snow. Eiger to the North, Jungfrau to the West, the glacier all around. An alpine paradise to which we get access for only a few short hours before we are forced back to our mortal abode.
We celebrated. A team. It was an adventure and it was awesome.
Video and photos to edit , share, talk about, pour over and remember.
Most of the kit stayed in the room. Never made it to the mountain.
Most of the skill stayed in my head. Never called to arms.
Back at home and it was focus on the house again, much needed final work to complete our new home. Comfortable and safe, a place to enjoy, relax, share and celebrate with loved ones and friends.
A place to plan the next adventure. To watch and read of adventure by others. To surf the web looking at peaks and lines. To think “what next?”
For now though its the lull. The doldrums between adventures. The last one a distant taste already mostly forgotten. Feeling less than satiated now, needing a new bite at life and new adventure.
Adrift for the summer. In the adventure lull.