My Best Adventures Part 3 // Emily Thompson
Emily Thompson gives us the last instalment of her Best Adventures. If you missed Part 1 and Part 2, you can go back and find out about her adventures. What other adventures does she have for us…. Let’s find out:
Completing GR20, Corsica
People are always surprised when I say this is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. But 12 days of relentless scrambling with 1000+m of ascent and descent every day, it eventually takes it out on your knees and leaves you knackered! If you’re fit enough and motivated enough the GR20 is a fantastic route and I loved the cabled sections on the Cirque de Solitude and the massive contrast in the mountains in the North from the South of the island. A must do – and its so cheap to get there!
Paragliding in Chamonix
Paragliding was one of those things that seemed a good idea at the time as I was with a bunch of people who also wanted to do it and I have a massive fear of missing out on things! I do however have a huge sense of my own mortality and the idea of running off the side of a mountain with a tent strapped to me was scary, even if it was a tandem jump. I have to say it was brilliant, but incredibly calm – not the adrenaline rush I thought it would be. Maybe I need to jump out of a plane?!
Completing Tour du Mont Blanc
The TMB was the first overseas walking trip I did and the first time I’d completed a long distance route in one go. It was also the first trip to the Alps and I fell in love instantly with the huge mountains and views. The TMB might not bag you mountain peaks but its still a massive accomplishment as hiking around Mont Blanc Massif you have to cross countless mountain passes, many over 2000m. Of all the places I visited on the route the Swiss side of the mountain I thought was the most beautiful and picturesque though Italy win for the biggest mountain views.
First Winter Mountaineering
I had no winter experience when my friend Alan Conway, in training for his winter ML, suggested a trip to Fort William 8 years ago. I had no expectations of what I might end up doing, what the risks where and how challenging it would be. And while I found ice axe arrests hard to do initially, leading through deep snow exhausting, when I found myself hanging on a rope with my axe dug in down to the head on a vertical wall of snow, I actually felt calm and happy waiting for Alan to break through the cornice at the top. It was a fantastic week that inspired me to many more winter trips and eventually to doing the Winter ML training myself this winter.
Ran first 10k race, Abbey dash Leeds
I’m not a fast runner and I’ve a long way to go before I ever do a marathon. But having gone from someone who couldn’t run a full Parkrun without feeling like my lung were going to explode, to being able to run all of the Abbey Dash and do it in under an hour I was very happy. I’ve since moved to running off road which suits me more and gets me out in the hills I love.
My first trad leading
I don’t think anyone forgets their first trad lead and I’ve heard a lot of tales of fear. My first trad lead was Plimsole – a horrible HDiff gully route on Holyhead Mountain. Finding myself above my gear on a block unable to move and quietly crying as I couldn’t get gear in was a horrible feeling but I did finish the
route and managed to lead the second pitch too!
Thankfully I managed to finish the summer with a lead of Alpha Crack at Wharncliffe without crying.
Well, you’ll be glad to hear that Emily continues to lead climb and has recently been testing her mettle out in Norway, ice climbing. She’s training as a Winter Mountain Leader at present and is still working hard in her position in Holme Valley Mountain Rescue.
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