Saturday, 18 August 2012

2 Weeks To Go

Another 3 eventful days off have just passed. Between days off I have still be out running on lunch breaks and some evenings. On Tuesday my original plan was to go do a CCC recce in Italy but I changed my plans that morning and decided to drive up to Buet and do a quick ascent / Descent of Mt Buet. Mt Buet is the highest peak in the Aiguille Rouges range at 3100m , its an awesome ski tour in winter but I had never been up in summer so thought I might as well go for it.
6 hours! Yeah right!
Going up Berard Valley
Leaving the car park I noticed the sign saying 6hrs to the summit. These signs are a little generous with times but that seemed long. It start with a great trail up the Berard valley then up to a little refuge. After the refuge the trail is rubbish for about 200m and then in becomes great again all the way to the summit. I made a swift 2hr 24mins ascent of the 1750m climb and was back at the car with a total time of 3hrs 50mins up and down. I was pretty tired at the bottom but was overall happy with how it went.
Great trail to the Summit on the right
On the top
Last time I went down here was on Skis!
Wednesday was a climbing day and myself and Dorian drove to Switzerland and parked up at the Emosson damn and done the Traverse of the Grand Perrons. Its an absolutely awesome ridge traverse that involves a 1hr 45min walk in which means it quiet as there is no lift access up or down. The climbing is never hard with only a few moves near the end that go at about UK Vdiff , other than that its just Moderate to Diff scrambling on some sections. The one thing it does have however is exposure , and lots of it. Way more exposure than any ridge I have done in Scotland and that includes the Cuillin in Skye. One section to get to an abseil line is proper knife edge straddling the rock type of stuff. We took 7 hours from car to car and we were never rushing. Super chilled day and route to ourselves. The only minor hiccup being when Dorian decided to not read a section of the route topo and as he read out to me “traverse the ridge easily until you meet a grassy ledge” I was perched in top of a rock with sheer drops on either side of me and no grass to be seen , only some abseil bolts. We obviously done the abseils and about 15 mins later realised the mistake as the grassy ledge soon appeared before us. Brilliant route , I will defo be going back to do this in the off season.

A tad narrow
Dorian setting up abseil number 2 of 5
Looking back at the first peak of the 3 on the Traverse.
Lunch Spot

On the 3rd and final peak , looking back where we started.
On Thursday I went with Dorian and a few others on a photo shoot for next summers catalogue. We were going to go climbing on our own but being told we would be paid 100 euro each to go pose for pics then we opted for that. We headed down the valley to do some Via Ferrata. I had never done one before and was well looking forward to it. For those that don’t know , its basically steps and ladders that have been bolted to a cliff face with a metal wire running along side and you pretty much climb using ladders , steps and rock and to stay safe you have special lanyard things to clip to the wire with as you go. Its not quite as safe and easy as you may think. I mean the climbing is not hard but you really do not want to slip or fall when on ladders , it would be a horrible way to snap your leg through a rung. It was a brilliant day with some super steep sections which were just excellent. I will be going back again with some friends I reckon.

Dont slip

Pretty steep

Traverse near the end
Running is going well and I am easing off it now with only 2 weeks until the big day. I will be going to Italy tomorrow after work to do the first 25km of the CCC and after that I will be just doing easy little short runs until about 5 days before the race when I will stop all together. I am still in the process of sorting out estimate times so I can tell friends so they can help me out over the course of the 100km as there are only certain stages I can get help. As I will be on the go for 20hrs or more I cant ask just one person to do it all so I will need to hope they can just do what they can and make sure I have someone with my supplies at 54km , 70km , 80km and hopefully someone to carry me home at 100km. I am pretty sure my support team will consist of Ally , Dorian and Jo so even if at any stage I feel like packing it in then I am sure one of their comments or stupid banter will make me push on , well that’s what I hope.

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