Explorers Connect

Mont Blanc

CommunityJames Hipkiss

So I'm about to set off on the biggest adventure of my life. Some people out there belittle Mont Blanc as adventure tourism. At times I feel like I shouldn't be allowed to climb it, the media finding experts to damn the guides and the tourists who crawl all over the mountain like inexperienced ants - leaving me feeling like some sort of gullible tourist parasite. But then I satisfy myself with the fact that this world and all it's dangerous, beautiful places belong to all of us and when we are in these places, and our bellies dance with fear and awe and we are at one with Mother Nature, adventures belong to us and we are free to nourish our souls with them. I am female, British and 46 years old.

I spend my spare time in the wild vastness of Britain. My spirit thrives there alongside my soulmate Richard. We have wild camped next to cliffs in Orkney and tarns in the Lake District. We have traversed beautiful snow ridges in Glen Coe and ice climbed gullies on Helvellyn. We've walked the 3 peaks of Yorkshire and climbed the ice walls in Kinlochleven. We've kayaked in sea lochs and coasteered into the ocean at Cornwall. Just for fun, to feel insignificant and like a kid - we have loved adventure for the past 9 years together.

In May this year, we climbed the infamous Napes Needle from Wasdale, full of amazement at topping out, Richard took a box out of his chalk bag and proposed to me on the shoulder - incredible and amazing. I said yes of course! So now we are 12 days away from our trip to Mont Blanc and the butterflies are fluttering in my stomach - that familiar excitement and fear that comes from doing what we love. Do I deserve to be on that mountain? Hell yes. I know I am getting on a bit and I have tendonitis that's giving me gip and I've never climbed in the Alps so I am nervous mostly about being too slow. But I have a Scottish Winter pedigree and true British grit that will see me to that summit. Fingers crossed.