Current Projects

Current Projects I am working on including a Walking and Trekking Guidebook, a Book and a History of my Grandfathers role in WW1

Latest Post Circular around Puerto Jubiley by Perro Negro public

Cicerone Guidebook

Walking and Trekking in the Sierra Nevada

cover-guidebook

Harry's War

Investigating My Grandfather’s Part in World War One

I have kept sane during the enforced Covid19 lock down by getting involved in projects that normally I wouldn't have time to complete. One such project is researching my grandfathers role in World War One. Below is a link to a summary of my research, including battle maps.

He fought at Poecapelle (Ypres 1917), Ypres, Kemmel Ridge, Arras, Cambrai and Valenciennes (1918). An incredible story. I have no idea how he survived.

The mud of Ypres

The Mountain Before Me

Book - future publication

FROM THE PREFACE...

"Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement." (Evan Hardin)

This book is rather unsurprisingly about my relationship with mountains during my life. But the mountains I have climbed over the years have not always been of the physical variety. Mental challenges have had to be climbed too. Being in the wrong job and trying to escape the rat race and develop a new life in a foreign country have provided enormous hurdles to surmount.

Although this is mainly a book of memories, they also tell a story. They tell how a human being has to adapt and evolve in the mountains throughout their various stages of life.

In the outdoor world of the human in the mountains there is a natural evolution, a natural development cycle. The humble hiker taking his first steps into a mountain environment is encouraged by his success and the beauty of the natural landscapes to delve further. He may start to use his hands to scramble his way up steeper inclines. This usually leads to harder and more difficult undertakings until a rope becomes necessary for protection. Our humble hiker has metamorphosed into a mountaineer. This may be followed by a visit to the Alps in which case he can probably start to call himself an Alpinist.

As age begins to take a toll on mind, body and especially the legs our tough mountain warrior starts to reverse the evolution cycle. Whether he likes it or not, he has no choice. He starts looking for the easier option, knowing his ageing body is being put under more and more strain. His arms no longer cope with overhanging rock nor will the legs cope with 1500 metres of tough ascent. He has to learn a new series of techniques that will allow him to continue to enjoy the mountain environments. To adapt. He has to re-align his sights and lessen his objectives. But in the end, he will return to being the humble hiker he started off as all those years ago.

All along this journey of mountain discovery he has been gaining experience. This has allowed him to become safer in the mountains for both himself and his mountain companions. But what is “experience” and how do you attain it?

Certainly the more you venture into the mountains the more you will experience and gradually your in-built sensors will attune to the environment. Risk taking judgement will improve. But to really make big leaps in experience you have to have made mistakes. Mistakes, omissions, errors of judgement, lack of skills and equipment. If you have never made errors in the mountains then how can you say your experience is complete? You cannot gain experience from a book, nor YouTube nor an online course that dishes out a “Certificate of Experience”. No, to gain experience you actually have to have lived through all the mistakes and taken the pain that comes with it, to hopefully come out the other side intact.

This book is consequently full of mistakes! If you are expecting tales of hanging on by the fingernails in a blizzard at 8000 metres then this book might not be for you, although some of my trips took me well to the edge of my comfort zone.

It is the story of this humble hikers metamorphosis, evolution and journey up through the mountain world and back down the other side.