Climb Every Mountain, ford every stream, follow every rainbow, until you find your dream…. The Sound of Music, 1965. It takes determination, perseverance and stamina to successfully tackle crossing London Bridge at 7.45am on a weekday, however, my experience of taking on this challenge in some small way helped prepare me both mentally and physically to tackle two days of trekking in Chamonix last week. In the company of 18 of my colleagues, some highly experienced and supportive local guides and the good folk of Chamonix Hard Cross, who through helping us better understand the importance of good quality sleep, nutrition, exercise and the environment helped us to achieve what some of us may have questioned being possible.
Waking up to a fantastic view of Mont-Blanc, I frantically set about working out what from the essential kit list which I had bizarrely considered more a list of “desirable rather than essential items”, walking boots for example, I didn’t have with me. This was quickly followed by a wholesome breakfast after which we set a course for an 800m ascent to Aiguille de Posette from Montroc, followed by a descent to the col de Posettes and traverse down to Le Tour. On our second day we undertook a 900m ascent from Argentiere to Lac Cheserys, traverse of the Grand Balcon Sud to La Flegere and descent to Les Praz. In real terms we undertook the equivalent of two Snowdon base to summit range climbs reaching heights of 2150m on day 1 and 2100m on day 2. We also covered 40km in distance and burned up in the region of 5000 calories each day!
What wins did we all take from the experience? An increased awareness of how making some small changes could have a significant impact on our longer term wellbeing, that the commitments we made during our time away if realised over time will only continue to positively impact on our work and home lives in the future and what can be achieved as part of a supportive, cohesive and passionate team.