21 August, 2008
15 August, 2008
12 August, 2008
This Sheffield-based company is run - unsurprisingly perhaps with a name like that - by James Thacker. James is a good friend of Olly Allen - they are longstanding climbing partners in the Derbyshire Peak District and beyond.
James holds the Mountain Instructor Certificate (MIC), and is qualified to instruct mountaineering including all aspects of rock climbing, winter mountaineering, snow, ice, mixed climbing and associated activities.
James is also the proud recipient of the 2008 Mark Clifford Climbing Grant for his planned first ascent of a possible new line on the left hand side of the North Face of Phari Lapcha (aka Machermo, 6017m). Click here for more information on the Mark Clifford Climbing Grant
For more information on the courses and trips that James offers in the UK check out his website at James Thacker Mountaineering
10 August, 2008
05 August, 2008
04 August, 2008
Sleeping next to tall - or should I say short - mountaineers, blocked toilets, waking up at one o'clock in the morning, climbing Mont Blanc on your 17th birthday...sounds pretty good to me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
On the 28th of July Dad and I cruised up to
For the next day and a half we lived in the Cosmiques Hut (aka the cosmic hut) just below the Aiguille de Midi, whilst there we became acclimatized and trained for the gruelling ascent. We practised on the glacier and also climbed the Cosmic (sic) Arete, which was an interesting and exciting climb up to the top of the Aiguille. When arriving at the top: tired, sweating and feeling thoroughly pleased with our efforts we were attacked from all sides by insane Japanese and Chinese tourists asking "Hallo, you beeeeeen climbinggggggg the Mant Blanc, you like picture, picture??!!" After that we returned to the hut and rested, ate and psyched ourselves up for the main event. Rupert Rosedale, a long-time friend and trainee mountain guide was to take me up the hill, whilst Dad took James and Cathy. We wolfed down our meals and ran straight off to bed so that we were full of energy for the 1:00 o'clock wakeup call....ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh.
"Wake up, wake up", came Dads croaky voice from three bunks below "it's 1:00 o'clock and we've
We set off ploughing towards our first major peak, Mont Blanc du Tacul. Rupe and I were at the front cracking a blistering pace, with Dad, James and Cathy following in our wake. We walked solidly for around two and a half hours, twisting and turning up the steep face and finally jumping a few giant crevasses. We reached the top were we could begin to picture the outline of the mountains through the night sky. Phew...we had conquered our first peak.....only another nine hours up and down to go.
Our next mission was the ascent of the extremely steep face of Mont Maudit. This was where the work started to get extremely tough. This face needed a very slow plod and a more cautious approach due to its steepness. It took much longer than Mont Blanc du Tacul and was a lot more taxing because of the altitude. Below us the lights of other climbers were scattered across the mountain...cool! Five minutes from the top of Mont Maudit came the steepest part of the climb yet where we had to clamber up a sheer wall of ice..., it was great fun and good that the darkness hid the fall!
From the top of Mont Maudit it was now a long slog were tiredness and altitude took their toll. After walking for what felt like ages we finally reached the summit where the visibility was poor but it was still an amazing feeling...wow, it was brilliant!!
Overall it took us twelve hours up and down, it was a great experience, the team was great and I cant wait to ski it next...!
Words byArchie Parks (17 and a bit!)