Most of the time we think of cross trainers for trail runs, hikes, or scrambling. As a scientist who spend a lot of my time in field I also think of them as work equipment. I am a marine scientist who work as an expedition leader, leading Citizen Scientists in various conservation project around the globe.
In a school gymnasium in Kabul, though, I’m sitting with a group of children, imagining a different world. Girls in brightly colored tunics and headscarves are eyeing a 30 foot high climbing wall with considerable doubt. “When I come back in 10 years,” I say, “Who will be my mountain guide? Who will take me climbing?” A teenager raises her hand. She lives in Kabul, but has a family home in the countryside nearby, and she tells me she’ll be the first female to stand on top of the mountains around her village.
Because it is one of the birth places of modern day climbing and alpinism, there is a wealth of information about climbing in Chamonix. As a newcomer to the area, just figuring out which guidebooks you need can be daunting. The following page details everything I have learned that may be helpful for the person. Feel free to drop in comments about other things that might be useful.
It is only three months since the surgery, three months since I lost an entire lobe of my lungs, and boy can I feel it! Each breath is labored, my lungs desperately sucking in the air wishing for more. I curse under my breath, annoyed at the new inability of my body. Anyone who has had to go through recovery knows the feeling of your body not quite being able to do what it used to. The frustration is infuriating. I had lung surgery to remove a rare type of cancer in my right lung, and I spent five days in the hospital with Larry. Larry was the name I gave the chest tube that was draining fluids from my chest into a box. I hate Larry.