2013 has been a great year for me. Lots of travelling, stacks of climbing and amazing weather (with one notable exception!). Rather than writing an account of all the best moments I’ve selected a photo from each month and added a sentence or two with each one as an explanation. Enjoy!
January[caption id="attachment_5841" align="aligncenter" width="450"] Andy Turner ice climbing in Setesdal. ©Calum Muskett[/caption]
I spent the New Year and the first part of January in the Setesdal Valley of Norway; a spectacular ice climbing area although a bit on the warm side whilst we were there!
February[caption id="attachment_5842" align="aligncenter" width="450"] Mina climbing ‘La Cara Que No Miente’ 8a+ in Siurana ©Calum Muskett[/caption]
After a great sport climbing trip to Siurana in Spain I headed back to North Wales feeling fit and enjoyed some great days out on the sea cliffs of Gogarth.
March[caption id="attachment_5843" align="aligncenter" width="450"] Skiing down the Vallee Blanche ©Calum Muskett[/caption]
I spent the whole of March in Chamonix learning to ski and made my first, aborted attempt to climb a very snowy North Face of the Eiger.
April[caption id="attachment_5844" align="aligncenter" width="450"] Skiing in the Carneddau ©Jamie Holding[/caption]
April was an amazing month. The weather and conditions were just incredible! On one day I went skiing down Glyder Fach at first light, climbed an E6 at Gogarth, did some instructing in the afternoon and then ice climbed by head torch in the evening!
May[caption id="attachment_5845" align="aligncenter" width="450"] Climbing 'Daisy World’ E7 6c ©Ed Booth[/caption]
With the continuing good weather I spent loads of time trad climbing in the mountains of North Wales and climbed a bunch of routes I’d been hoping to try for a long time.
June[caption id="attachment_5846" align="aligncenter" width="402"] George Ullrich on-sighting ‘Authentic Desire’ E7 6b, on Cloggy ©Calum Muskett[/caption]
More time spent climbing in the mountains climbing with James Mchaffie and co and the first trips up to Cloggy.
July[caption id="attachment_5847" align="aligncenter" width="450"] George Ullrich leading the ‘Indian Face’ E9 6c ©Calum Muskett[/caption]
After a great quick trip to Hoy in Scotland I returned home and jumped on the send train for an ascent of the ‘Indian Face’.
August[caption id="attachment_5848" align="aligncenter" width="450"] Leading the crux pitch of ‘Paciencia’ 8a, on the North Face of the Eiger ©Alexandre Buisse[/caption]
August was spent in the Alps. After some fun climbing around Chamonix I met up with Dave Macleod and we climbed ‘Paciencia’ on the North Face of the Eiger – a fantastic route and a great experience.
September[caption id="attachment_5849" align="aligncenter" width="450"] Dave MacLeod on the crux pitch of ‘Bellavista’ 8c on Cima Ovest ©Calum Muskett[/caption]
After our short lived attempt on ‘Bellavista’ at the end of August Dave returned to finish it off in September. Unfortunately I just had lots of work to do!
October[caption id="attachment_5850" align="aligncenter" width="450"] Twid walking down the Bader valley in Patagonia ©Calum Muskett[/caption]
I became an MIA at the beginning of the month and then headed out to a very windy Torres del Paine in Patagonia!
November[caption id="attachment_5851" align="aligncenter" width="450"] Twid hanging out on the lower slabs of ‘Wall of Paine’ ©Calum Muskett[/caption]
Our trip to Patagonia was thwarted by bad weather but we had a good crack and got to the top of the wall of the south face of the South Tower of Paine.
December[caption id="attachment_5852" align="aligncenter" width="450"] Cerro Torre ©Tim Neil[/caption]
December isn’t over yet! I’m off to Scotland next week and then to Patagonia with Dave MacLeod on the 31st to attempt to make a free ascent of the Compressor Route on Cerro Torre – really looking forward to this one!
I’ve also made a couple of changes with my sponsors this month. Having been sponsored by DMM for four years it’s with a heavy heart that I say thanks for all the help and goodbye. I’m now joining the Black Diamond team and am really looking forward to working with such a well respected company that have such a great product range. I’m also very happy to be combining two of my great passions – climbing and eating, with my other new sponsor Clif Bar. Hopefully my sweet tooth won’t lead me down the path of obesity! On top of this I’m also really happy to be joining Shauna Coxsey, Fran Brown, Molly Thompson-Smith, Hazel Findlay, Steve Mcclure and James McHaffie as a BMC Ambassador. The BMC have done a huge amount of work in Britain helping access to the hills and climbing areas as well as improving access to the sport; it’ll be great to support them through 2014.
Here’s to hoping next year will be just as good as this one!
Calum Muskett - originally published on Muskett Mountaineering