Sally, from Undiscovered Alps, tells us about some adventurous grandparents…!
I often wonder what Ill do when I am too old to run up the mountains and go adventuring around the world.
Will I miss that little surge of adrenalin when reaching for a tricky hold on the rock face? How will I match the exhilaration of running up to the top of a hill? And what on earth will I do with all that spare time if I cant do these things?
I have time I am only 38 but still it is lurking there in the back of my mind a grey cloud of doubt and worry !
That was until I met Chris (age 70) and Norma (age 66) who came on a snowshoeing holiday with Undiscovered Alps.
Chris, suffered from polio as a childso has muscular problems in one of his legs and also has a dodgy knee (the downsides of getting old)but despite this isa dedicated walker and adventurer!
Norma discovered the outdoors in her 40s after the children grew up a bit and hasnt looked back since!
Whilst chatting they decided to have a go at ice climbing for the first time in their lives!! Why? Because the ice was in perfect condition, the guide was available and they thought it might be fun!
Ice climbing is much more physical than people think and when you are standing in front of a vertical frozen waterfall, with water flowing underneath it, the temporary state of what you are about to hang off suddenly hits home!! It is not unheard of for people to back out before they have even started!
Bernard Guillaume our UIAGM high mountain guide decided to take Chris and Norma to The Cascade des Martins is 185m high and grade 3 – 4. It is situated in the beautiful wild valley of Champoleon. It is a fantastic ice climb with challenging moves and wonderful views!
After a slightly wobbly start, Chris and Norma took to ice climbing with a passion! With the stamina, grace and agility of seasoned mountain goats they negotiated 80 metres of ice including one technical grade 4 section which was not easy. I was secretly very pleased that Norma struggled a bit over it otherwise I would have totally lost face with my attempts!!
They were truly an inspiration to anyone wondering what to do with their retirement – life definitely begins at 60!
If you would like to try ice climbing please have a look at Undiscovered Alps’ice climbing coursesor try it as part of awinter multi activity holiday, which you can find out about by contacting Undiscovered Alps directly.