For just under 12 months I’ve been working towards climbing the Matterhorn and the Eiger. Putting in the time to train both at home and overseas and getting myself as fit as possible to take on these peaks.
If you’ve been following along with my journey, either on here or via the Tough Girl Podcast, you’ll know how hard it’s been to do this. Balancing a very busy work life with being outside and training has at times pushed me to my absolute limits.
But in my mind it was always going to be worth it. The stress, the effort, the pain, was all going to be worth it when I stood on the top of these peaks.
Fast forward and I’m at the end of two weeks in the alps. The very two weeks I had been working towards for all that time, where I was supposed to be taking on my biggest mountaineering challenge yet.
But just because you want something to happen doesn’t always mean that it will. If there’s anything I know from being in the mountains there’s always a little bit of luck involved in every trip.
Unfortunately this time lady luck just wasn’t on my side. Standing on top of either the Matterhorn or the Eiger was just not meant to be for me this time around thanks to some pretty heavy snowfall not clearing from either peak.
From the moment I arrived in Chamonix and looked at the forecast I had an inclination that my summit attempts might not happen. And with every storm that rolled through the alps, reality started to dawn. With a decent layer of snow put down and no clear weather window in which it would clear, climbing either of my chosen peaks was just not going to be possible this year.
It’s tough turning your back on something you’ve dreamed of doing. Something you’ve been training for the better part of a year to do. That sinking feeling you get when you find out that despite everything you’ve done, all the money you’ve spent, all the time you’ve invested, it’s simply not going to happen.
It’s hard to describe that feeling, devestated doesn’t begin to cut it. The only thing I can related it to is an athlete who couldn’t cross the start line.
I already know that trying to explain to most people why I didn’t make it is going to be hard. Whilst I know the decision came down to safety, and I can always go back next year, there’s not a huge amount of people in my life who understand what I’m choosing to do, or who would understand that you can go and climb if the weather isn’t right.
So there you go, my 2017 mountaineering goals firmly not ticked off. There’s always next year!
If you want to know more about what I got up to instead during my time in the alps, keep an eye out as I’ll be sharing more about the climbs I did in the coming weeks.