Picos De Europa: The Futures Bright

So last week I felt a little like a rock star, although I put that down to travelling in the far from luxurious Easyjet where you walk to the plane and get to come down the steps like the Beatles in their prime. As well as that I was also asked to deliver a climbing coaching course in the Picos Du Europa.

The course went well and both the clients and the company that employed me felt they got a great deal out of it. It was of course such a privilege to be invited over by The Mountain Guide School, who are running rock climbing courses in the Picos based alongside the local guides at guiatrek. Which if you haven’t been there climbing I suggest you reconsider it as a destination, although if you don’t believe me then wait till next year when I will be based there for nearly three months.

For those that maybe haven’t been following and even those that have, my plans for a round the world trip have come together really well. I leave for South America to work for 42 days in Chile and Argentina for The Mountain Training School, I have already met a few of my students and assistants.

I am hoping that during that course we can explore the local crags of Coyhaique again, as well as travel up to Bariloche, Esquel and fingers crossed Cochamo. The last place we never visited on the first trip there despite this being one of the places I have dreamt of going for year, I have heard that subsequent courses have made it there and even put up a new route.

Cochamo was first climbed on by Cripin Waddy and a few other British climbers. I hear they are trying to develop the place more and more, with easier shorter routes as well as the major wall.

As soon as I finish I fly back to Santiago and start a journey north through south america with a aim to climb Mont Llullaillaco, visit Potosi and Machu Pinchu. If there is time then a quick surf and an attempt at Chimborazo.

I then fly back to the UK, where I have ten days off before I head back out to Picos Du Europa for a 21 day intro to rock climbing course again for the Mountain Training School. I then have a month and a half off when I am hoping to do a little tour of Europe and classic mountaineering and climbing routes before heading back to the Picos again for a 42 day climbing course finishing in July.

After that I do plan to return to the UK for some ‘time off’ and some more climbing. With the idea of heading to the USA to climb some more of their classic routes in sept/oct/november. In particular I want to climb the Devil’s Tower the route made famous in Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

I then hope to finish the year off with some trekking in Nepal. The plan is to celebrate my 40th year in style, in what I hope to turn into a youtube series called “Round the World in 40 Climbs”. If you have read my book “Hanging By A Thread” then I plan to try and climb as many of the route in that book as possible, which should keep me busy for a year.

The great thing is with the work I have lined up, the royalties from my various book projects and the hope that I can sell a few articles from the stories of my travels as I go that I have essentially funded it so no matter what it is going ahead.

I have been busy putting a more definitive proposal together to try and get a little more support from equipment manufacturers, as I think a Vlog in the form of a youtube series of this trip could be totally different, if you have seen my recent videos on the History of North Wales Climbs then imagine that on a global scale and that is what I am aiming for.

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