The mountains are where I feel happiest and most at home (whilst often being freezing) and the best way to see them is by mountaineering. Hiking on or around mountains can be very rewarding, however, I find climbing and mountaineering enable me to feel much more at home and peaceful than simply hiking. Friends ask me why I want to travel to such cold and isolated locations and I realised the answer to this question whilst summitting Mont Blanc. It's that I love the isolated feeling and the reward that comes with summiting a remote peak as well as seeing such beautiful locations that very few people will ever see.
Two notable trips are described below.
Caucasus - Mount Elbrus
I travelled to south Russia to climb Mount Elbrus in the summer holiday of 2017. We had given ourselves a week long window to do the final 18 hour push to the summit at just over 5600m, however the weather was incredibly poor with gale-force winds and low visibility. On the last day of our window the weather became slightly better so we made a summit attempt, but by 5200m several team members were in the early stages of hypothermia so we abandoned the summit attempt. I plan to return in 2021.
Alps - Mont Blanc
In the summer of 2016, I organised and led a trip to Chamonix for just over 2 weeks of climbing. During the trip we taught ourselves more advanced mountaineering techniques, and then put them into practice, summiting multiple peaks on multi day expeditions out from our base camp. During this trip we also summited the highest peak in Europe, Mt Blanc.