(Forgot to press post on this one so dates back from November!)
So after a dump of snow down to valley level last week (or the week before?), ski psyche for the winter is high. I've dug my boots, ski and skins out of the garage and even gone for a quick snowshoe up at Le Tour (got to get IML logbook days in!). Unfortunately it has now been unseasonable warm and dry for the last week and the snow level has disappeared somewhere upwards in a slightly worrying manner. At least this means that climbing season is still going strong!
We have taken a move from the van into an apartment, as everything was getting a bit cold and damp. The relief of living inside four walls with a shower, toilet and sink can probably only be understood by someone who has done the same.
I took a trip back to the UK last month in a last ditch attempt to get my car fixed (failed), and although the weather wasn't great, saw lots of friends, my godchild, my parents and spent lots of time at indoor walls.
Climbing indoors in Chamonix, I only ever boulder at an indoor wall called the EMHM (Ecole Militare de Haute Montagne), its a wall on the French army base with great facilities for training, not so great for just having a fun time. It was so nice to go back to the UK and climbing on a wall where the problems were already made for you and a bit less testosterone flying around!
I got back to France feeling a bit stronger than before, but unfortunately the snow put a stop to immediate crushing, so more training on the indoor wall.
Just the same as last year, I then had to drive the big van back to the UK for its MOT (first time pass go van!), which combined with getting stronger and a bad driving position, immediately means I have shoulder pain again.
I've been trying to combat this with yoga at least every other day, and am already feeling the benefits, not only in my shoulders. I'm feeling more stretchy all over! The apartment has been great for this as yoga outside is a bit too chilly and damp.
Despite all this there has been trips outside. Whilst Jonny goes to Sarre roof in Italy every weekend, I've been going to more chill crags like Pierre a Voix and Bionassy, trying to tick routes around 7b to tick over. I'm not feeling a need to push hard at the moment, and I think it is unhealthy to do that all year, so I am really enjoying climbing just for the sake of climbing and being outside with good friends.
Who knows what the winter will bring!?