Climb Everest in 2016 / 17 / 18 etc with 4 times summiteer Tim Mosedale

Everest Expedition via South Col 2016 / 2017 / 18 / 19 etc

Friday, 30 April 2010

Bob Graham Leg 4


Just heard this afty that we are on for supporting leg 4 for a chap who is having a crack at the BGR. By all accounts it is a tricky one to navigate and quite a long leg so a good one to get to grips with. Bit of a tight schedule to fit it in with the B&B / breakfast / rooms / kids bathtime not to mention catching up with Ali.

Coincidentally the first 1/2 of the route tomorrow is the Mosedale Horseshoe - so we're driving over to Wasdale and then legging it up Yewbarrow, over to Steeple, Pillar, Looking Stead, Kirk Fell, Great Gable, Green Gable, Brandreth and Honister. All in around 4 and a half to 5 hours. Hmmm. Best not let the side down. Think I might have one of my own breakfasts for sustenance.

Onwards and upwards

Bit of a busy week really with one thing and another. The B&B bookings have been coming in and we have a reasonably healthy diary for the forthcoming few months. Still have a few gaps to fill but it's nice to know that a) people are finding us b) they like the look of the website and c) that they decide to make a reservation. Some regulars (as we'd hope) but lots of new visitors as well.

Just said goodbye to Brian and Jen who have stayed with us before and we are now full for the bank holiday weekend.

Managed to fit a couple of runs in this week - visiting High Seat and Bleaberry Fell on Tuesday, which I hadn't been to before, so that was cool. Still not quite sure when I'll be ready for the Bob Graham Round - it's all very well going out for a few hours here and there but it's building up the longevity and stamina that will need some attention.

Off out with my brother in law on Sunday for a 4 to 5 hour slog so that should be a good indicator. In fact it was he who sort of got me in to this BGR in the first place. We went for a pootle over Melbreak last year and I asked him how the pace compared with the BGR (he'd just completed it) and unfortunately he said that we were doing round about the pace you'd hope for - which meant that it was within reach. I was rather hoping that he was going to say that we'd need to be going thrice as fast in which case I'd not be where I am now. I was also then suitably inspired by "Feet in The Clouds" which is a fab book all about the BGR and fell running. A real eye opener to some of the very talented and phenominally strong mountain athletes that there are out there.

As ever the play area has been in need of my attention. It is an absolutely fantastic project, and I'm delighted with the result (as are most parents and families), but it does take up a lot of my time. If it's not the website that needs tweeking it's an e mail that needs answering. If it's not a meeting to go to it's chasing the suppliers about a snagging problem that we have discovered. Had 2 meetings this week and a whole raft of e mails. Note to self - don't write to the local paper and therefore volunteer yourself by default for any other community projects! Having said that, something needed to be done and I'm glad that I got involved - but in the great scheme of things you don't get much help from Jo Public (although some people were very kindly suggesting that I take on another project last week - me thinks not. It was a great idea - but it's their turn).

Anyway - another 2 bookings for Ama Dablam (so that is now 10 on the permit) and a variety of rock climbing and scrambling enquiries. Also some great news for the Everest trip next year - the charity that I approached and pitched to in London have agreed in theory that they would like me to organise and run their Everest Base Camp Charity Trek. Can't say who it is just yet as we need to dot some i's and cross some t's but it's going to be an exciting challenge to work with them. More later ...

Friday, 23 April 2010

Another average day really

So ... up and away for the school run. Back to answer e mails (2 bookings for the B&B, 3 enquiries for Ama Dablam, 2 for rock climbing, 1 for navigation and a few other bits and pieces of business). Finalised some paperwork for the sustainability grant for the Fitz Park Play Area.

Tweeked the website and added new photos and some 360 panorama footage - Stu Holmes popped over the other day and took a load of shots and he's done a great job (you be the judge)

Finished off the work around the house ready for our guests who are arriving tonight. Popped the door furniture back on to the front door (I varnished it yesterday) and then twas time to get a quick coffee (my daily fix) before going down to the play area to discuss stuff with our mentor. Looks good and we're hoping for a grant of about £3.5k.

Whizzed down to the shops for supplies for brekkers tomorrow and bought some flowers for the couple in room 3 (it's her birthday and he's very nicely asked for a little surprise for when they arrive so I also bought a bottle of Moet when getting supplies from the cash and carry a couple of days ago).

Just done the final bit of titivating and we're all done. Going to school and then the play area before heading back ready for guests arriving later this afty.

May try and grab a quick run later and hoping to get out Sat or Sun for another leg of the BGR.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

The Bob Graham Round - Leg 1

Brekkers for the guests and managed to get their rooms serviced whilst they were still in the dining room. Cleared tables pronto and then off down to get some final bits and bobs before trying leg one of The Bob Graham Round (it's a 24 hour mountain marathon involving 42 peaks and 74 miles).

Met in Costas! Needed a large Mocha to get me going. Mooched over to the Moot Hall (the start and finish of the BGR) and off we went. We'd only been going 5 minutes when we had to turn around and go to the shops for some nibbles to keep us going. Not a great start.

So tabbed it out towards Latrigg and then walked at a hoof of a pace up to Skiddaw summit. We arrived in the biting wind 8 minutes ahead of schedule. This is good news me thinks. Down and off to Great Calva. Managed to eat away another 5 minutes or so. COME ON! Down to the stream crossing and then purgatorial terrain all the way to the top of Blencathra. By the time we got to the summit we were back on schedule so had lost all the time we'd gained. And then we had to drop all the way down to Threlkeld which is a heck of a long way. Arrived 4 minutes behind schedule.

Walked and ran back to Keswick having completed our first recce of any part of the route thinking a couple of things a) have we bitten off more than we can chew and b) on the day we'd have another 20 hours to go. OMG.

Back home. Emptied the dishwashers, laid the tables, read to Max, updated the Blog and now off to read to Grace. Looking forward to dinner and a bottle of wine with Ali.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Ama Dablam is GO!

Well what I thought was going to be a relatively quiet day yesterday turned out to be another busy one.

As ever I'd been up in the night with Max and then Ali was up for 6 to leave for work at 06.30 taking the Maxster with her.

Our guests Susan and Kevin very kindly agreed to have an early breakfast at 8 so that I could drop Grace off at school for 08.45. Got back to the B&B to clear the tables, strip some rooms and make a few beds. The guests departed with a promise to come back again and then I managed to get a couple of rooms turned around and hoovered throughout.

Meanwhile the e mails and calls were coming in ... 3 Ama Dablam bookings along with 2 rock climbing bookings. So that's now 8 on the Ama Dablam permit and 5 doing Island Peak beforehand. Processed all their deposits and sent confirmations and receipts. 2 of the Ama Dablam guys (Andy and Jon) then sorted their flights and insurance pronto and e mailed me the relevant details - which is very efficient of them. Hopefully this is the summit shot that they will see in November (that's Everest on the left):

Then ... received 3 bookings and a further 5 enquiries for the B&B. Managed to squeeze in a haircut, a quick coffee and a look at the paper and then back to unload the dishwasher, set the tables and leg it off to school to collect Grace. Went home via the play area, which not surprisingly was full again as it has been a glorious day. Had a great hour there and then went out for an hour and half run along the Lake, up and over Lower Falcon and Walla and back to the Guest House.

Grabbed a shower and then tagged Ali so that she could go out up and over Latrigg. Bathed both kids, read to Max, read to Grace, grabbed some tea, answered some more e mails, had a chat with a guy coming on the Everest expedition next year, updated the website, watched Mark Dolan visiting some pretty strange looking folk who are addicted to plastic surgery on telly and then bo bos. Needless to say I was then up in the night giving Max his usual cuddle to get him back over.

This morning - just taken 2 bookings in the B&B for New Year! Now that is forward thinking.

Monday, 12 April 2010

A pretty average day today!

Up in the night with Max (we've tried the controlled crying (and it worked - for a while) but when we have guests it's a bit unfair on them to let him holler - so I've pretty much resigned myself to the fact that I'll be in with him for a few minutes almost every night this year).

Anyway Ali up at 6 for her early shift. I was then in with Max again from about 20 past to stop him waking Grace - alas too late but she settled for a while in our bed. Got Max ready for him to go to Little Monkeys Day Nursery and Ali dropped him off on the way to work. In bed for a while with Grace reading stories until 7.20 and then up to prepare breakfast for the guests.

Grace pretty good now at getting herself ready and then she did a bit of homework and had breakfast whilst I got everything ready for the guests. They were down for 8 and then I was out of the door by half past to take Grace to school. Back by 9 to clear the tables, load the dishwashers, tidy everything away and get the laundry ready for collection ( we used to do our owner laundry but eventually realised that never mind the modest expense it just made our quality of life so much better - more about this another day).

The guests settled up and departed and then I stripped their rooms and managed to pop out for a coffee and a read of the paper.

Back late morning to receive a 5 night booking which I processed and confirmed by e mail and FANTASTIC NEWS - I also received confirmation from 2 chaps that they are both able to join the next expedition to Ama Dablam. E mailed the paperwork to them and updated my websites.

Cleaned and made Room 3 (double en suite) for the guests arriving today. Tidied all the tea trays, hoovered throughout, a wash on and started on the mountain of ironing. Answered various calls and enquiries (including a potential rock climbing session this week which will be great cos the weather is scorchio).

Ali got back and dropped off Max, collected Grace, the guests arrived and then we packed off to the brand new play area in Keswick (a project headed up by yours truly). The kids had a great time there and now I'm just filling in before taking them up for a bath.

After that Ali and I will catch up with each other, have some nosh and maybe a programme on the box. But I still have to unload the dishwashers, lay the tables and get everything ready for breakfast tomorrow.

Busy busy ...

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Thinking about running a B&B??

So ... you think that you want to own a B&B in Keswick (or anywhere else for that matter of fact)? Thought that all you have to do is cook breakfast, clear the tables and go hill walking? Thought that it's great to be able to work from home? Well I'm afraid that you may have to think again.

Yes, it is a great way of life - for those of you who are prepared to make certain sacrifices. Yes, it allows you to live in a great part of the country - but at a price. I'm afraid that the reality is that it is harder work and longer hours than you ever imagined for little or no financial reward.

Ali and I have an AA 4 star 4 room B&B in Keswick that generates just about enough turnover to cover the business costs. So ... to make ends meet we both have to work. Ali is a nurse and I am a climbing instructor and expedition leader (Ama Dablam every November) - AND we have 2 children (Grace is 4 and a half and Max is 22 months).

When you then combine this with the fact that we are invariably up every night at some stage or other with one, if not both, of the children, it suddenly becomes a bit of a big deal. We are working from home, we are on public display, our children can have a direct influence on the quality of the stay for our guests and so we are constantly trying to make sure that we strike a balance between life, family, business and play.

Then there is the quandry about how to get Max to nursery, Grace to school, make the breakfasts, clear the tables, service the rooms, get the supplies, take new bookings, wait for new guests to arrive, pick up Grace and Max, wait for more guests, entertain and feed the kids, bath them and read books whilst receiving the last guests and then emptying the dishwasher and relaying the tables for tomorrow. Phew!

This is a far harder occupation than you ever envisaged and I hope that you'll follow our blog to find out what is involved, the hours that we put in, the great (and, rarely, not so great) people that we meet and the implications of allowing the general public in to your home which, incidentally, is your workplace.

And even if you aren't interested in the B&B side of life perhaps you'd like to follow the lead up to my next expedition to Ama Dablam in November - a 22,ooo ft mountain in Nepal (my eighth time there) or the fact that I am organising an expedition to Everest next Spring with a few private clients. Hopefully there is something for everyone.

Read on .....