Wednesday, 13 May 2015

When I see you...


It's been a long time since I stood below the Eiger and had it take my breath away, as it does. But when I see it, 'am gonna love it all over the place'!

My training is going well, better than expected in terms of building up one/two day mountain fitness, but still a long way to go to the level I would like to be at before we leave in July. It's not long now really, just 9 weeks or so.

The Eiger Paraclimb 2015, has, for me, been about a few different things: regaining my well being through training in the mountains, administrating the back end of the project to maximize our message, trying to facilitate the others preparedness for the climb, John, Alex and my good and loyal friend Colin Gourlay, but also about learning about my own life again and how risk taking is a necessary part of who I am.

It's easy to take risks when your on your own, big risks. And that is maybe why I was so comfortable solo climbing in the past. But taking managed risks with others feels so much more profound to me and a lot more challenging (as I experienced on Tryfan in North Wales, UK). Being 100% relied upon by a person who is blind in a mountain environment was simply, terrifying.

The people of Climb Out UK
But John and I talked over together why I felt like this and the importance of taking a risk for others and I began to understand, that it is not his blindness or my capacity to climb and successfully sight guide us both up a mountain, but more the reality of what will happen should it not go to plan on the Eiger.

John and I are just attached and move together as one climber, where I help him and he helps me stay sane (or insane!) under the stress of our objective. But there is no ducking the pressure I feel now and will feel as we begin our slow climb up that big gorgeous mountain The Eiger, attached to a guy who borrows my eyes through my voice and arm movements as we climb. John is one of the toughest people I have encountered in my tough life and our banter is brutal in our training days together as we joke our way up each step, slowly, carefully but with a determination way beyond some peoples imagination.

We agreed, that although this is very much John and Al's choice as independent climbers, that I will likely be publicly crucified should things go wrong up there.  The irony is that the more I promote our project, the more I increase my personal exposure to the risk of failure (or worse) but that is a risk I need to take for this to happen and I am and I will.


Thanks to the The Climbing Academy and their customers who have now donated over £1,000 we are now getting ever closer to our important goal of sharing a climbing experience that I hope will show the world a true meaning of diversity, humanity and strength... You gotta love it!


Mark