I rode to Switzerland on my Suzuki GSX1100f and climbed the mighty Matterhorn.

Also went to the Isle of Man TT, met some goats, went slack-lining, rescued a jackdaw, cows on the beach, and got drunk at the Horner pub in Lauterbrunnen.


Matterhorn Climb – 14,692 ft (4,478m) August 2013

I climbed the Matterhorn – 14,692 ft (4,478 m) to raise £961.23 to keep a Type1 (insulin dependant) diabetic child in Ecuador alive for a year.

Update: 21st August 2013 I did it! and I raised £1,414.61 to get kids in Ecuador insulin 

The Matterhorn in Zermatt, Switzerland  is a serious affair for any climber, and this will not be no walk in the park, more than 500 people have died trying to reach the summit of this beautiful mountain.  Summit day will be the hardest physically gruelling day of my life, and as an ex British Forces Soldier I know what I am talking about.

Matterhorn Summit
Matterhorn Summit 1030hrs 21st Aug 2013

As a complete alpine novice I attempted this mountain solo in 2010, but was forced to turn around by avalanches, rockfall and hailstorms.  My Girlfriend Jane is Type 1 (insulin dependant) diabetic, and I took her with me up the Hornli Ridge to an altitude of 3260m where the base camp hut is.  It was really hard for her, really really hard as she suffers badly with her illness and she will not be able to accompany me this time; however she has the memories of this amazing place and she will know where I am, and know the sounds and views I will have and she will know that the alpine choughs will be keeping their beady eyes on me.

Matterhorn Hornli Ridge
The view from Schwarzsee on my 2010 solo attempt

The whole adventure started, literally as a vision in a dream of the Matterhorn, a mountain I had never even seen a picture of before.  When I googled it, the view from the start of the climb proper was what I had seen in my dream.  Since then there have been a catalogue of strange co-incidences and peculiar paths that have led me to where I am now. Not only is this a dream come true for me, but it is destiny, and it is for a fantastic lifesaving cause.

My Justgiving Page: My Justgiving Page (Can no longer accept donations)

Article in the Southern Daily Echo about my climb: Hampshire climber set to conquer the Matterhorn in aid of charity

We went to the Isle of Man TT races 2013 (with vid)

Jane and I went to the Isle of Man TT Races for four days of fantastic motorcycle madness.

We packed a lot in on our four day holiday, we watched Thu practice from Gorse Lea which is a fast (170mph) right hander.  Fri practice at Bray Hill, Saturday Sidecar Race from Braddon Bridge, and (unusually on mad Sunday) the Superbike Race from the end of Cronk-y-Voddy straight where the bikes flew past us just a few feet away at 180mph (290kmh).  Bruce Anstey was less than 2ft away every time he passed, It was amazing.  John McGuinness (wearing Joey Dunlop leathers and with his bike in Joey’s livery) got a sixty second time penalty for speeding in the pits but still came third in a battle against Guy Martin who came fourth.  Michael Dunlop got his first superbike win, and Cameron Donald came second.  To top it off Jane did a bungee jump.  She said it was the best holiday she had ever had.   Here’s our video:

We stayed at the Quarterbridge campsite (Douglas Rugby Club R.U.F.C), heres my little review: Very friendly, £67 for four days, great food from the burger/pizza van which sold fresh locally grown produce and tasty good quality burgers and pizzas made properly on their conveyor belt style furnace thing.  Toilets were clean and plenty of bog roll, club house was friendly, great local ale, and showed the days TT events on the telly, not enough phone charger points so bring your own six socket extension lead.  Highly recommended.

Acting the Goat – because everyone likes goats – esp. mentally ill (vid)

I’m posting this because it makes me smile. Jane and I had a lovely time acting the goat.

We were just randomly driving about. We found a slow worm here too but didn’t get it on video, it was a bit like Jane’s snake “Snakey” but different and sort of not a snake at all. I think I might get some goats when I grow up, they are quite peculiar and charming.

Feeling Mentally Unstable? – Nature Helps

So I was on my way back from another emotionally draining psychiatristric appointment today and I decided to go for a short walk with Sassy dog who had been itching to get out of the car. I live in the beautiful New Forest, and she’d had her head out the window taking in the fresh air, looking for rabbits with her ears flapping about and her eyes streaming (no doubt imagining she was wingsuiting or tracking – she does enjoy watching the videos with me sometimes).

I stopped at one of the car parks, slightly alarmed at how many cars were there because I wanted to be on my own to reflect on my currently unstable mental state. But I needn’t have worried, the cars and vans were full of people on their lunch breaks sitting reading papers, gorging junk food and bitching about their workmates. I picked up a handful of the horse treats I’d bought from the farmers shop and put them in my pocket.

A broken silver birch, but sadly no fly agaric
One day, out looking for fly agaric (because Jane had never seen one) I came across this broken silver birch.

A few minutes later and Sassy was off running after the grey thing I saw bolting into the undergrowth, I knew she wouldn’t catch it she is a useless hunter (I’m happy about that). It was very wet, flooded after the heavy rain and I had to pick my route carefully because I was wearing inappropriate footwear. I noticed all the strange funghi sprouting out of the ground, and the flowers. Stopping to look around I saw a massive buzzard step from a dead tree and soar away to another tree, only to be pestered by crows who chased it away out of sight.

Moving on I met some wild ponies, standing around looking a bit miserable. I approached one and tried to get close to it, remembering not to stare at it too much. An outstretched arm offered a treat which it took and munched away with it’s mouth and lips doing that funny snorty thing. Most of it’s teeth were missing. More ponies became interested and slightly less wary, some were pregnant, more treats were dispensed, some refused my offer but took them when I threw them on the ground. I nodded then left them to reconsider whether all humans are bad. I heard a strange noise and looked up into the sun, the clouds had broken and I regretted forgetting my camera, three swans flew directly over me then landed in the temporary lake that had formed. Fully grown trees where they shouldn’t be, surrounded by water, it was quite breathtaking.

After just ten minutes I returned to the car; the people had probably read a few pages of their shitty newspapers full of miserable lies and sensationalism, learning nothing useful, achieving nothing, experiencing nothing.

I felt quite refreshed, partial sanity and a sense of well-being had temporarily been restored. For being kind and opening my soul I was rewarded with my first ever brief glimpse of an otter whilst driving over “the otter bridge”. There is a world out there people, get out of your cars. You might get your feet wet or get a bit chilly, but I promise you’ll feel better afterwards. x