Sunday, 5 August 2007

Day 24

Sat on the PC outside the bar at The Glenmore Lodge (doesnt open till 5pm! bummer!) Boys sat off at 8am from the ski station to climb The Needle.

We are hoping they will be back about 4ish! We have a new support team member as Simon left us for a wedding. Sarah came up from Wales yesterday and tonight she is cooking tea so I have a night off, yippee! Thanks Sarah nice to have you on board.

Tomorrow hopefully they will climb King Rat and Goliath another long day, followed by a trip back East to get them up The Ben again for The Bat and then if they are still able to walk and climb we want them to climb Trapeze.

Below are a few words that I thought might give you more of an insight to life on the road!

The boys are now into a routine of been told what time to get up, what time to eat, what to eat and more importantly what to climb! They are still really bad at getting out of bed in the mornings, and we can´t blame that on tiredness, as they have been that bad since day one! Rich has resorted to sending Tufa into Marks tent as he seems to be the worst. They are better now with their gear, although they do seem to lose things in the van (how I do not know as its such a small space).

We all left Scotland quite depressed and fed up due to the horrible conditions and I don’t think I helped as they would come back at the end of the day happy to have climbed anything and I would say “you mean you have only done one route?” I thought at the time that the move South was wrong, but now I know it was the right thing to do. They are so much happier now the routes are been ticked off quicker and the weather has been kind in The Peak and in The Lakes.

Also the ´climbing celebrities´ have really helped moral. Lucinda Hughes climbed at Stoney Middleton on Alcasan. Next up Chris Bonington (Sir Chris) climbed Praying Mantis at Goat Crag (what a lovely chap!), then a dash across for Alan Hinkes on Castle Rock. Sat in the pub that night with Stephen Reid I could see the boys faces with a different smile. Gaz Parry on Dream of White Horses in a Force 8 Gale was a laugh, but thanks to all our new friemds.

The climbing photographers have also been amazing, following us around out of their own pocket! Dave Simmonite (Big Dave to me!)coming all the way to Scotland. Keith Sharples hanging around on a rope in the Peak and lovely Mickey Robertson coming all the way to the lakes for the Chris and Alan shots. Thanks so much to you guys (big kiss!)

Simon and I have tried to make life easier for them, and the daily routine for us has been - up first to make them breakfast, bacon butties and real coffee on the good days and cereals on the bad. Sandwiches are made and packed in their bags and they are sent on their way! Simon has followed them on just about every ´´ ´walk in´ to get photos and footage for the documentary. Which leaves me behind to clean Cheryl and believe me she needs lots of cleaning, wet dog and shoe smell – yuch!. I then try to get internet access to update the blog, go shopping for food and cook a meal for when they get back in an evening. What a life! I have never looked after anyone this much in my life! (Mum are you proud?)

The driving has been a bit hard at times, especially the drive from Arron to Carnmore, we left at 8pm after a nice meal on the beach, at about midnight Si had to go and sleep and he left me on the worst roads I have ever driven on! So narrow at times that I had to slow down to 20 miles an hour, so remote I was a bit scared if we broke down and then the bloody deer kept jumping out in front of me! We arrived at 3am, Rich moaned that he had hit the roof a few times whilst trying to sleep up top! I stopped driving and just burst into tears. We looked at the map in the morning and realised that we could have taken another road and saved an hour! Never mind!

Scotland was an amazing place to rush through, and certainly made me want to go back, especially to The Outer Hebrides, I just got a really nice feeling when get off the ferry on The Main Land (silly name for an island!) and I was a little sad to watch all the boys climb “The Old Man”. I have always wanted to climb him, but as Rich says “ it just means we have to come back”. I have also loved our few days in The Lakes, sat in the valleys was a pain as no phone reception, but gave me some time to just chill and read my book.

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