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To do nothing at all is the most difficult thing in the world, the most difficult and the most intellectual.
Oscar Wilde, Intentions, The Critic as Artist

Blowing Kisses

fragments italian album 200kcrags
lensman reflections xmaskisses

Welcome to the prototype Mountain Journal website. For me it comes at a time of change and a tentative return to climbing. Last year I arrived in Italy, or to be more precise Milan trapped within the profile of the alps.

My first 6 months here have been occupied with work and generally settling in, and mountain activities have seemed unimportant. But the interest has not gone away completely, and more than anything else this site will be a record of discovering my new location.

I hope it may be of interest.

Seasons come and seasons go. Perhaps we have seen the last of the snows this year, the mountain resorts are shutting down and with it attention turns towards the rock climbing season. I have thoroughly enjoyed my first season snowboarding, and the mountains of the alps are taking on a more friendly character, no more just names on a map or photos in magazines, but places I have lived in.

Joining the local climbing gym provides a healthy excuse to leave work at a sociable hour, I have made friends to climb with and pull me out of a lethargic existence. The days are brighter, the valleys warmer and full of colour.

Heading into the summer months with my first two experiences of alpinism telling me that I have been inadequately prepared, and with performance on the crags below what I was hoping for it is a strange time.

I still don't seem to have the will to push myself. Perhaps I don't want to succeed enough, this is frustrating. I have been to some marvelous places but I don't know if it is enough for me to just be here. Perhaps I have expectations of myself which I can just not meet. Why can't I just enjoy it for what it is and relax.

From a personal viewpoint the summer turned out to be a dead duck climbing wise. My high hopes were hopelessly high, and I came nowhere close to reaching them. It could be blamed on an injured finger, or even the high heat, but these would just be excuses. The truth is I didnt have the ambition and became lazy like allways.

Well, now we move into the autumn, a new season and new challenges. I love the autumn, my favourite month. The colours change, the sky becomes clearer, the temperature has dropped making things decidedly more 'english'. So its time to cut back on the beer and aperitivi and knuckle down to some hard training sessions at the gym. I have already a trip to Meschia, the Italian Fontainbleau planned to kick things off mid November, and a trip to Chamonix over new year. Not being one for the ice this should be a chance to wax up the old board and eat some powder.