hi there, how goes?

i hope you've had a good week, and january 2015 is starting well for you, i am totally loving the stuff that is going on at bigmoose hq, and as an old friend of mine used to say 'i feel like a bottle pop' mainly because i have quite a few things going on that i am really excited about, and really want to share with people, but i'm scared that they won't come off, and i'll look like an eejit, so i am not playing games trying to build suspense with what we're getting up to behind the scenes at bigmoose, i'm just not a fan of shouting about stuff until it is a 100% reality, and i guess this is the benefit of being a grey 'ead and having battle scars, some would call experience. but hopefully if things continue to slot in, we will be announcing some pretty big plans for the future pretty soon, so please bear with us :) *bites clenched fist

one thing thing i can talk about is our road trip, me, chrissy sawmill, real name chris sawyer, but i have this second renamed him chrissy sawmill, cos i can, kinger, doogie and me are jumping in chrissy sawmill's man truck, and heading to the lake district for some snow capped adventure.

now doogie, who is our mountain leader on this trip, has a new rope, a headtorch that will burn your retina's if you look into it's laser beam, and no doubt a few gadgets that will surprise us all, and get plenty of husky voiced oohs and ahhs when unveiled, as doogie by his own admission is totally gadget man, and i have a sneaky suspicion is a major shareholder in cotswold, and if not, i'm sure they'll be inviting him into a non exec board director role sometime soon.

however, i have a boytoy that i am rather excited to use on the hills, which was purchased for a work project, but now finds itself packed charged and ready to be used on the hills up north.

meet the phantom!

the phantom *cue dramatic music

the phantom *cue dramatic music

now a lot of the people reading this will now be going 'cooooooool' and a lot of the other people will be going 'what is it?'

well the phantom is a drone, which is a quadricopter with a high res camera on a gimble, that allows for super steady pictures and movies to be shot from distances of over one kilometre vertical and horizontal, and is remote controlled by a smartphone, that sets up it's own internal wi-fi network. did you hear the passion in my voice then?

i have shot some test footage using it, and without fail everybody that has watched it has gone 'wow!', so i am pretty pumped to pack it up, in it's own protective rucksack obviously, to accompany the lads on our winter tour, so hopefully we will capture some cool footage which i will share with you next week.

so that's my weekend ahead.

just before i sat down to write this blog i read on facebook that my team moose friend carly portalupi and chris simpson, who i met on my recent trip to la la land, are also heading for the hills this weekend, and are off to mount whitney on a training climb, in preparation for chris's foray onto the coldest mountain in the world, mount denali.

i wish them luck, and hope they stay safe, and whenever i think of denali it brings back amazing memories of when i travelled to alaska in 2012 to attempt to climb the highest peak in north america at 6194m.

denali 2012

denali 2012


i remember just after taking the picture above, a plane flew by below us, as we were climbing above the clouds, which would be quite a cool title for a book, i must write that down.

unfortunately my trip ended at high camp 17,200ft when one of our guides got h.a.c.e. high altitude cerebral edema, which is a condition which if you don't descend quickly can kill you, so he had to go down the hill immediately leaving the remainder of our team with only one guide, as he was so ill and couldn't come back up, we all had to descend and abort the trip.

this was due the fact that of the seven man and one woman team, there were only four of us left at high camp, due to the other four having to abort their climbs due to injuries, and other debilitating factors, but couldn't attempt to summit with this four to one ratio.

this was my first mountain i had climbed but not summited, and although i was bitterly disappointed, it taught me some very valuable lessons, the first of which was that no summit is worth a mans life, and the second was that mountain climbing, as in life, is very much about the journey, and i actually think denali has influenced me more than i probably know.

i have amazing memories of the whole trip, from sharing the three weeks with my tent buddy jane, who was my best tent mate on any trip ever, and had an ipod full of amazing music, that kept us occupied for hours, to the madness of how it doesn't get dark at any time, and also having one of the best meals i have ever had at an amazing restaurant where i learnt to make what is now my signature caesar salad, good times indeed. *recipe supplied upon request

it was also very exciting that yesterday, with great joy that i read that lonnie dupre, a 53 year old american adventurer, had climbed denali, on his third attempt, solo and unsupported in winter, which is a first for mankind, and a truly amazing feat, so congratulations lonnie, you inspire me to do more, even though you don't know me!

here is lonnie carrying a spruce pole to stop himself falling into crevasses, i love this picture!!!

here is lonnie carrying a spruce pole to stop himself falling into crevasses, i love this picture!!!

the world needs more lonnie dupre's.

so, in a very mountain orientated blog, i will come to an end for this week, and hope you all have a great weekend whatever you are doing, and hopefully see you back here next week.

so for now, i'll be seeing ya,

blue skies,