Category: BC (Before Canines)

A Life Lesson Learned on a 3000ft Cliff – Via Ferrata Michielli Strobel, Dolomites, Italy

Summer in the Dolomites, Cortina d’Ampezzo

I felt like I was about to be hanged.

A sleepless night had been a lurid maelstrom of technicolour possibilities; dreams of wibbling on a busy route; being stuck with no option to go back; an exposed move at the top of The Ladder; falling, being inverted by the weight of my rucksack, pulled out of my climbing harness, plummeting head first like the start of the film ‘Cliffhanger’…

The scenic drive to Cortina d’Ampezzo over the dramatic Lagazuoi pass was overshadowed by a growing sense of my impending doom. As soon as we parked and I got out of the car and looked up at our challenge for the day – Via Ferrata Michielli Albino Strobel; 1000m (3000-ft) straight up the sheer, rock wall of Punta Fiames – I felt sick.

So sick that I had to run straight into the woods to vomit. Continue reading “A Life Lesson Learned on a 3000ft Cliff – Via Ferrata Michielli Strobel, Dolomites, Italy”

The Two-Mile High Club


It took 15 minutes for the ‘plane to circle and climb to 12,000ft, during which I became more and more nervous. I was the only first-timer and, although I fully trusted Max, to whom I was firmly strapped (in the doggy position) when they shouted “12,000ft. Doors OPEN!” I thought “You’re all MAD!” Continue reading “The Two-Mile High Club”

Lonely? A Traveller’s Tale of Christmas on the Other Side of the World.

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Christmas Morning on the Other Side of the World.

I opened the curtains on to a bright, sunny day. I watched a lone paraglider spiral slowly down through the perfect blue sky.

It was Christmas morning and I was alone. In a motel room in Queenstown, New Zealand.

“It’s just another day!” I had assured Sue, my travelling companion, convinced that it wouldn’t trouble me at all. Her boyfriend had flown out to join her for Christmas. Mine hadn’t. He was far too busy. Far to important. Traits that would ultimately clinch his place among the ranks of the X-Men!

But it’s not just another day. By my own choice, I was on the other side of the planet from my loved ones and I missed them like hell!  Continue reading “Lonely? A Traveller’s Tale of Christmas on the Other Side of the World.”

Skye is the Limit

Greetings from Eileann a’Cheo (bless you) – the Island of Mist

Vertical Limits; Cuillin Finger & The ‘Worst Case Scenario’ for a Banana Flambée!

“It’s not the mountain that wears you out, but the grain of sand in your shoe.”

Whoever wrote that had obviously never sailed bonny boat, like a bird on the wing, over the seas to Skye – and set foot on the 3000ft+ plutonic batholith known as the Black Cuillin.

Greetings from Eileann a’Cheo (bless you) – the Island of Mist, where I took Mark to experience the trials and tribulations that I had enjoyed previously in the Black Cuillin.

Continue reading “Skye is the Limit”