Looking back over 2018 it is safe to say that photographically it was a year dominated by snow for me. In the UK we had an exceptional winter which just went on and on, combined with my summer of road cycling which resulted in very few photographs and then an alpine summer which resulted in more snowy photographs.
Our winter in the UK started with a weekend trip up to Scotland to see some of our friends before they departed to New Zealand for 2 years. We had an enjoyable day walking before a day hiding from the weather.
We then were able to make the most of the excellent winter by getting some winter walking done in the Lake District on the Avon Mountaineering Club’s annual winter Lakes trip. Unfortunately due to the quantity of snow it was not possible to climb, but it was certainly a beautiful day.
It was then time for the annual AMC trip to Scotland. This year was the first time the AMC went to Torridon for a week. The week of the trip happened to coincide with the beast from the east, but bizarrely we seemed to be in the only part of the country which wasn’t being covered in snow. We had good but exceedingly cold weather.
On the way up to the trip Becky and I stopped off near Fort William and had an excellent day on the Ring of Steall and Chno Dearg. The conditions were very unusual with snow to a reasonably low level which was entirely neve, this made for an interesting descent from the Ring of Steall as it was getting dark.
The AMC trip was meant to be our last winter trip of the year, before heading to the Anti Atlas in Morocco to do some warm rock climbing. However due to a shoulder injury which was being unfortunately persistent we had to abort that plan. As winter was still in full force in Scotland we headed back up for 9 days in the van.
On this trip we made the most of where the best conditions were, by driving around Scotland in hunt of good conditions. For the most part we were very successful and we had some great days out. It was very strange (but enjoyable) being up in Scotland doing winter mountaineering after the clocks had gone forwards, as it meant that we didn’t need early starts, and didn’t need to worry about it getting dark by 5pm!
Due to the persistent winter we didn’t get out as much in spring as we would have done usually. After the non existent spring summer suddenly turned up and provided one of the best summers I can remember. I made the most of this by getting out on my bike as much as I could, which resulted in a lack of photos due to my lightweight approach while cycling.
My summer of cycling came to a sudden end in July while I was attempting to cycle from Caernarfon to Chepstow in a day. Unfortunately half way through the day I injured my knee which resulted in my being unable to continue, and having to be rescued by Becky from the middle of Wales.
We had a great trip to the alps despite the weather being a bit frustrating at times, and being evacuated from a campsite due to a landslide. We started off in Arolla before moving over to the Saas valley. The highlight of the trip for me was traversing the Zinalrothorn with Adam.
Having returned from the Alps we spent a number of weekends in North Wales. The first trip was to take part in a BMC course to learn how to teach novices, the second was a catch up with my university friends from the Expedition Society and the final time was on the AMC autumn trip to North Wales.
We also managed to fit in a long weekend to Scotland where we went backpacking. Unfortunately we were not able to complete our planned loop due to the weather deteriorating, but it was wonderful to see Scotland in Autumn colours.
We also managed some trips out closer to home, with walks in the Mendip Hills and the Black Mountain. I have also been getting back into photography, so have been trying to get out with my camera as much as possible.