This was a very different experience for me, compared to other adventure trips and expeditions I have done up to this point. I wanted to do a trip that would involve learning new skills and given that I haven’t done much in the mountains over the course of my life, I felt a draw to climbing a mountain that was more than a hike and would require some mountaineering skills. At 4,807metres, Mont Blanc is the highest mountain in the Alps and Western Europe. Mont Blanc became a summit to prepare and aim for but I also wanted to use the whole experience in a new way. And that was to integrate my training and preparation into my life “away from the mountains” – so to consider what were the important life and business summits I had in life and work for 2022. I’ve gained so much over my life from integrating the learnings from my adventure experiences in my life as a whole, I wanted to in some way facilitate this for others. So I opened this experience up to others who might be interested in not only preparing for and undertaking an adventure but using the process to also work on areas of their lives that were most important to them “away from the mountain”.
On December 22, 2021, our team of 6 had our first call together. Interesting that this happened just 1 day after the Winter Solstice – the shortest and darkest day of the year. The period of time from Nov 1 to Feb 1 was traditionally regarded by our Celtic ancestors, as a period of looking inwards. A period when certain things needed to die off, those which no longer served us. It is through this darkness that new light emerges, as the days become longer. It was through these winter months when new beginnings and intentions would begin to seed and these seeds would blossom later into Spring and Summer. So in some respects (more by accident than design to be honest), the beginning of our journey together was very much aligned with the Celtic Calendar.
Over the 6 months that followed, we trained together in a variety of ways that included, hiking at night and overnight, indoor rock climbing as well as doing our own individual fitness training each week. We also worked together as a team around each of us pursuing our life goals and intentions and a lot of the work was done in nature together. In keeping with our Celtic Calendar traditions (again by chance), we all summited Mont Blanc on June 20, 2022 just 1 day before the Summer Solstice which is the longest day of the year!
Personal Reflections from this trip
- Integrating nature and adventure into personal intentions and goal planning can be hugely impactful.
- Cultivating and enjoying hobbies and interests are massively important to wellbeing and fulfilment.
- There may be much wisdom in planning and setting intentions core connected with the natural rhythm of nature.