What 2016 brings

Morning folks. I’m writing this from a Costa in Westfield. Supping on a green tea. I got up for a run early this morning and drove to work. Normally this takes about 1.5 hours. Today it took 25 minutes. Thought I’d jot down a few things that I would like to do, complete and start in 2016.

Mountain Leader Award
This is something I have been working towards for a while and it’s now finally starting to come together. I have the required number of days for the training in May. Once that is complete I either need to do another 20 more or have done a total of 40. Not sure which it is really but ideally I would like to attempt to do the assessment by November or December of 2016. That way I would be all set up to officially work in the mountains by summer 2017. I’m not sure if it is realistic and it means a lot of practice this summer. But all that means is a lot of hiking trips… Woohoo!

International Mountain Leader Award
This one is a bit more tricky. To get this I need to have the mountain leader award. There are 2 parts to the international version. Winter hiking and summer hiking. Whilst I think I could easily get the summer international hiking days it’s the winter ones that are a bit more tricky. I need to try and get out in snowy conditions which can be relatively difficult given my location. This coming year will mainly be about boosting my hiking days in the hope that the experience will help towards the IML.

Single Pitch Award
Long way to go with this one. Firstly I need to find out if a) I enjoy climbing and b) I am not scared of heights. I did a bit of climbing as a scout in my younger years but since then the closest I have come to it is the odd bit of scrambling here and there. I used to have a fear of heights but I’m hoping my natural humanitarian state of mind will help me these days! To work the mountains it would be very useful to have the SPA so I’m going to do a beginner session on some cliffs in Kent this February. Assuming that goes OK it will be all about practice. There are a few indoor walls near me which will be useful for to hone my skills.

Snowboard Instructor
I would love to do a 3 month course next winter in Europe to train to become a snowboard instructor. I haven’t snowboarded for a while but hopefully my natural instincts will kick in. I know I definitely used to enjoy it and still miss it. This would be quite an extreme trip and would no doubt be expensive so I need to do a bit of research and planning.

Move to Chamonix
Now I don’t think this will be happening in 2016 but I am hoping that this year will give me a solid base on which to build on. Getting my mountain leader award, snowboarding instructor and improving (starting) climbing will set me up and give me the required skills to work in the mountains of Europe. Snowboard instruction in the winter followed by mountain guiding in the summer. Add in a bit of kayaking and biking and you have the full package.

So there you have it. The pipe dream. The idea. The plan. It will be a busy year of training but hopefully it will pay off in the future. Happy New Year people. Let’s make it a good one.

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