As I was cruising up yet another stunning crack splitting a 300m granite face up high off the Aiguille du Midi, I felt truly in my element. Recent life events have really knocked my mental strength and the first thing to suffer is my ability to climb, or at least feel comfortable climbing.
Been a while, hey? I’ve been wanting to write on Digital Steak for months now but just not really been feeling it.
This blog has always been very personal to me, an insight into who I am and what I am going through but I hit a roadblock. I’ve not really been able to understand what I’ve been going through and that has left me feeling paralysed; not just writing here but in life too.
ISPO is often about launching new products but it is also about new companies making their break and launching their dreams and initiatives. This ISPO I was really lucky to meet some of them and hear what is going on all over the world. From the USA to Sweden to a global sports initiative, here are 4 of my favourites.
After 4 mega days of seeing all the amazing new clothing, skis, climbing, and more that everyone has and will be launching in the next 12 months, I wanted to share my top 5 favourite bits of kit. This is just from the big guys as I want to follow up with another post on the incredible new startups that were there too.
Lost in a sea of bright colours, shiny objects, and cool new toys, arriving at ISPO this year has been even more impressive than my first trip here in 2015. With over 2,600 exhibitors, everyone from the biggest in outdoor and ski to the new startups are here to share their wares.
I’m scared to go into the mountains. There, I said it.
I’ve enjoyed some of the most incredible, inspiring, and challenging experiences in the Chamonix hills but I have recently struggled to get out and make the most of this amazing valley. My reticence has been about embarrassment and a reluctance to talk about the challenges and dangers that are out there. Talking with a friend about it recently I realised that I am in the second stage of my concept of mountain experience and judgement.
Are you going on a ski holiday this winter? Are you running your first trail run or even the UTMB? Autumn and winter are crucial months to laying down important foundation work to allow you to best enjoy these times and I am coming to London to give workshops on how you can best prepare.
At 6.30am on Monday 10th October I am starting a very exciting, if not slightly terrifying, campaign with The North Face where I will be training skiers and snowboarders alike, live on their Facebook Page. You can sign up, download the plan, and get involved here.
Best. Decision. Ever.
As I leap off a block and plummet 6m into freezing cold pool of water in a gorge tucked up in the Swiss Alps, I can’t believe I almost chickened out on this. It’s day 2 of The North Face Mountain Festival and I’m trying out canyoning for the first time.
Do I write about the awesome cookies we tasted in a small Amish bakery in the middle of nowhere in Idaho? Or the perfect breakfast in Missoula, Montana? Maybe the long open roads that gave us both time to relax, reflect, and rebuild?
The States is really a stunning country and one I’ve wanted to explore further for many years. Here are some highlights from our road trip.
They don’t call this place Big Sky country for no reason – photos just can’t do it justice and we have completely lucked out with the weather and the time of year. It is quieter than just a few weeks earlier and the wide open roads are ours alone. Well, and the monster trucks cruising around..
35 people stare at me expectantly. I’m standing in The North Face Store in Chamonix with their professional athletes by my side. I’m about to go running with them and a group of runners from seasoned ultra veterans to newbies like me in the lead up to the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc, one of the most famous and toughest ultra races in the world. How did I get here?
I’ll be fine. I don’t need to eat at the moment. I’ll eat in a bit. It’s ok. Then.. it is suddenly not. I crash. I start to slow down first, then my concentration starts to waiver, then I just fall into a crabby and irritable mood. If only I had had eaten when I needed to!
Every year, thousands of runners and tens of thousands of spectators descend on Chamonix for one of the highlights of the trail running calendar – the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc. Besides the eponymous 166 km/9,600m ascent mountain race there are a 4 others including the PTL, 300km/28,000m±; CCC, 101 km/6,100m±; TDS, 119 km/7,250m±; and, OCC, 53 km/3,300m±.
These races attract runners from all over the world and all of the major running companies are here supporting their athletes, demo-ing their awesome gear, and meeting their users. I am very excited to be helping The North Face with their events. There are many more, however, so I thought I would put a little summary up here for you!
It’s 6.00am, my brain feels muddled. I’ve got an hour and a half until I teach my first class and so i need to get my session in before then. Training early in the mornings is hard, though. How do you balance fuelling these workouts with sleep, my schedule, and life in general?