Happy New Year by Deidre O’Caunagh

Well, just a quick report and a few pix from a very pleasant Christmas week spent in the French Alps. Not a lot of ice formed (due to the unseasonably warm November) but enough for a bit of fun. And, LOADS of snow… so lots of opportunities for XC skiing, falling over and getting back up again. When it all started hurting too much, the gentle pursuit of snow-shoeing was enjoyed – except by those who moaned it was just a glorified form of walking. You’re right, it is just a glorified form of walking but it does stop you getting buried up to your neck in powder snow. Highlights include: the President’s return to the Ecrins Alps 16 years after her first appearance on the Alpine scene as a young debutant (you really need to ask her about that trip…), mass falling-overs on our bad weather day and the fantastically furry dog sledding team.

So now thoughts turn to 2012 and all those exciting opportunities to terrify yourself in your chosen medium.
‘May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face.
May the next hold always be just within reach.
May you live long to retell all your climbing tales with a pint in your hand.’

Happy New Year!
PS: Question. How can you tell when you’ve got a sports climbers on your winter trip? Answer. When she arrives at a foot of an ice route with a cherry tomato and tortilla wrap for her packing-up