The Landrover! It goes vroom, vroom!

I am back home after having spent 11 of the last 13 days out in the mountains somewhere: The First six days on my Mountain Leader Training at Glamara Centre in the Lake District (Borrowdale) – for a bargain fee of £300 including food and board. We were the first group to go through the ML training there and happened to be able to get it at a reduced price thus. No internet1, no mobile phone coverage – but a Michelin Chef and three course meals every evening.

Also – up & down mountains loads, micro & night navigation, river crossings, emergency procedures, steep ground2, rope work, an overnight camping trip to Sprinkling Tarn (frozen at the time), pointless evening lectures, and many, many stories about Landrovers from my room mate3. Apart from that – my evenings filled with working on my dissertation. I ended up bringing three backpacks to carry all books.

Back home and off to Ambleside with the three that participate in my Adventure Therapy research/dissertation the day after. It was a good day, I think, and I felt – at the time – that it was quite successful. I’d left late though, we missed the first train, but had wonderful weather once there.

I spent a day at home, last Sunday. Then off to Wales for “Mountain Experience Days and Assessment” through uni. The last time to stay at Charmoix Mountain Centre with the course. None of the University Lectures actually could be present, leaving those students that already have gained Mountain Leader Assessed (or more) status to run these days (as members of staff).

Two of the LJMU students were going for their Walking Group Leader assessment, however, and I joined that group (of five total) under Phil George‘s supervision. Marshlands. Welsh wild horses (one dead). More micro navigation. The remnants of local shooting practice (wooden planks, aluminium cans and assorted other material partially pullverized by bullet holes) … and more Landrover stories4. I am glad to have had the chance to meet Phil again before the end of the course – he remembered me from back in year one. Phil – and his identical twin Al [suffering from cancer] – is one of the legends of English Mountaineering. Now in their fifties the two left the UK for Italy aged 16, became Alpine Mountain Guides by 21 and completed many first ascends of routes in the UK.

Mostly though – he is one of these awesome personalities that are rare to come by. Highly intelligent, yet humble, full of stories, little facts and knowledge – but always keen to get to know more about the world and the people around him.

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    1. Unless you paid a fee. []
    2. Still my main problem – I am less anxious than I used to be though []
    3. One of the few topics that really excite him []
    4. He didn’t like the pink one we ran into. []