Where Did 2017 Go?

Emily Woodhouse Adventure Stories, Comment and Opinion, Living Adventurously

I thought 2017 was going to be “The Year”. That is, the year that everything went right and I sorted my life out. Perhaps it was, but it’s incredibly hard to tell without hindsight. I’m beginning to wonder if the single moment in which my life takes a turn around actually exists at all.

Anyway, before I go off on a post-uni life rant, here are my highlights of 2017 – one picture per month.

At the beginning of 2017, I’d barely started a blog. Gradually, I worked out what I wanted to write about. Now people actually read it. That feels pretty good.

January – Becoming a Full Team Member of Mountain Rescue

I’d been a trainee with Mountain Rescue for just over a year before I took my final assessment. It was a grim night, with 12 meter visibility (yes, I paced it) and horizontal rain. But I got back to the RV with a pass by 1 o’clock in the morning. What a way to start the year.

February – Getting Blown Across a Frozen Tarn by a Rogue Gust of Wind (oops)

Yes, really. I was standing on the very edge of a small tarn on the Corridor Route at the back of Scafell Pike. It was exceptionally windy. Then a gust of wind caught me and I started to slide out from the edge… We had no idea if it was solid in the middle so I instinctively got down on my stomach to spread my weight. Above is the inelegant wiggle-swim I made across the top of the ice to reach the other side.

March – I Have Literally No Idea What I Did With This Month

Guess that’s ok sometimes! 🙂

April – Helicopters!

Maybe a pathetic one, but I got to go in a helicopter for the first time. Yay!

May – Making Spinach and Ricotta Flavoured Hot Chocolate…

Can Teenagers Take the Challenge

May was a month of local adventures. I cycled from Penzance to Plymouth along Route 2 during the bank holiday weekend. I experienced the Ten Tors event from the inside (that is, not as a participant) for the first time with Dartmoor Rescue. I also went wild camping with Joe on the lumpiest piece of ground I’ve ever slept on.

We made a pretty amateur, but also pretty funny, video of the experience. It involves a great snippet of me tasting our hot chocolate – made frugally from the water we’d cooked our pasta in… yum…

The video is embedded in my post on How to Wild Camp Like It’s No Big Deal.

June – Saying Goodbye to University

I graduated in 2015. This year the first years I knew were graduating. Not only does that make me feel old, but it also meant that I’m losing a tie with university. I can’t just go up and sleep on someone’s sofa any more, if I don’t know anyone.

I went up after exams for one last reminder of the good bits of university and to say goodbye to some friends – one of whom is heading for Australia. There were BBQs, icecream and a day trip to Coniston because what else do you do on a Saturday at the end of term?

July – Living in a Field

Spent two weeks living in a field on the Welsh borders. The picture above is the only snippet of sunshine. I finished knitting a dragon, carved a wooden spoon, did a press trip to GoApe and completed my first ever obstacle course race (I’m sold). I blogged about it here.

August – Camping, Camping… More Camping?

I managed to do a lot of camping in August… One weekend in the Brecon Beacons accidentally coincided with a meteor shower – an excellent distraction from night nav practice. We managed alright, considering we got halfway to Wales and realised we’d forgotten the camping gas.

Another weekend was two nights camping on the moors with university friends. For one it was the first time she’d ever spent two consecutive nights in a tent. We were treated to a stunning sunset.

Then a final August weekend was spent in thick fog pulling under-prepared campers off the moors.

September – Spending a Weekend Lying in a Ditch with Blood All Over my Face

Yes really. I helped out with the first ever British Exploring Challenge on Dartmoor. Honestly, I was hoping to be leading, but instead I was on a checkpoint challenge for most of the weekend. This meant mostly lying in a ditch pretending to be concussed and hiding in Charlotte’s camper van in between. The red food dye and flour mix we were using for fake blood worked fine until it started raining persistently…

The British Exploring Challenge is a fundraising event for British Exploring. I was thinking of applying to be a leader with them, but then realised that I couldn’t make it to an assessment day in London because I have no holiday left from work. Well done Emily…

October – Running with Fate to the WAEXPO

I ended up at the Women’s Adventure Expo in Bristol, thanks to a free ticket from a fellow member of the Tough Girl Tribe Facebook group. It was amazing to see how much support and interest there was for women in adventure. You can read about my time there in this slightly hilarious post.

November – Passing my Mountain Leader Summer Assessment

Yeah, I know – Summer ML in November. It wasn’t snowing and you get all the perks of not having to stay up until midnight for proper night nav. Even better, I went to a wedding the day after (cue tent drying in fancy room with wet socks all along the radiator).

If you’re interested in how I prepared and what I packed, I have the full list here.

If you’ve got some spare time and want to read a huge post about the day by day experience, it’s here.

I intend to break this down into tips and advice, but since then I’ve been a little busy with…

December – Making a Magazine Idea into a Reality

It has been an incredible journey, but Issue 1 of Intrepid Magazine went to the printers in December. Intrepid is a female first outdoors, adventure and sport magazine. I cannot wait to share the first issue with the 130 people who ordered a copy (including Alastair Humphreys, just sayin’). It’s been amazing to see so many women and men supporting this new initiative!

For more about where it came from see:

Part 1 – What Women Want In Adventure And Outdoors

Part 2 – What Shall We Be Called?

Part 3 – Intrepid It Is!

The magazine homepage is here: www.intrepid-magazine.com

We’ve got a new Facebook group that you’ve very welcome to join.

What were your highlights of 2017?