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Our first surprise of the trip: self-catering. This turned out to be a great positive; from one Pauline’s breakfast eggs, to Ms Geras’s risotto, our kitchen became a place for bonding and teamwork (and good food too!). The living room became an area of relaxing evenings, from playing cards and video games to watching the football World Cup with friends and a cup of hot tea after the cold outdoors. What could have been better?
Perhaps the climbing itself! The first day was a light introduction, where we learned how slippery ice is, threw snowballs, and got to try our climbing gear. The second surprise: being partnered to climb with a Pauline for the next two days, and an instructor for each pair. Climbing frozen waterfalls, falling into deep snow, and spectacular views of the valley below were some highlights of the second day. On the third day, due to weather getting a little breezy, some went rock climbing and some attempted to brace the conditions. It was the challenge of the last day which set the trip apart: swinging an ice axe above your head, swinging again because the first swing wasn’t great, a precarious foothold, a massive snowball falling on your head. Perhaps best of all, the sense of accomplishment afterwards. Before the trip it would have been hard to imagine that we’d ever get to do something that awesome.
Finally, a big thank you to Ms Geras, Mrs Doble, and Dr Duits (SPS), for making the trip happen and making it wonderful.
Anika and Sophie (VII)