Ice Climbing!

London weather continues to be beautiful and almost too hot. And to think, a few weeks ago, I was thinking that it was a waste that I brought my flip flops here. Unfortunately, with better weather comes final exams and by final, I mean the only exams I will have had all year. My countdown to exams in my planner informs me that I only have 10 days to my first final. Bollocks, as they say. Studying has not been coming along so well, but with a new venue, the King's College Library, I think I should be making some hefty progress in the next week.

Enough of that "school" business. Let's get to the real interesting part which is ice climbing. As I've mentioned before, I work at a store which has an 8-meter indoor ice wall. Today, I finally got around to climbing it. As a rock climber (or someone that attempts to rock climb), I wondered if I'd have any advantage over a pure climbing novice. The answer is... probably not. Climbing ice like rock is not the best way as I learned in my first ascent of the wall. I chopped away at the ice, used crap footholds, and dangled from the rope while Francy told me to stop climbing it like rock.

The second climb, I redeemed myself somewhat. I made it up while only losing hold of the wall once or twice, and it probably took me half the time as well. My hands were so tired though that I almost dropped one of my axes; luckily, I caught it as it was falling and didn't kill Francy, my trusty belayer.

Ice climbing in London? Who woulda thunk? My elbow/forearm is a little busted from climbing last week and ice climbing didn't help it, but carpe diem right? Taking Jared and Stefan climbing with me was really fun, the most fun I've had at The Castle in a long time. But the competitive spirit in me, awoken by Jared, pushes me to climb harder and in some cases, past my limits. After not climbing for over 3 weeks, my muscles were a bit weak and so here I am, with a touchy joint but with more 5a's under my belt. To be old and rickety, ha. Anyways. Social obligations call.

Check out more ice climbing photos here or click on the picture above.

Hooray for Humans!

I re-entered the world of human beings today for a whole eight hours and returned to work at the fine establishment Ellis Brigham. I was all smiles because despite the good company of my flatmate Tom, it was sooooooo nice to see friends again. Sure, I have to zip jackets a million times and tag racks of clothing and answer phones. But it was great! I probably won't be singing this tune all the time, but working at EB has possibly been one of the best decisions I've made out here in London. I feel more at home in the store than I do at LSE and for sure, I see a lot more friendly faces. This isn't to stress that LSE is crap; it isn't. It's to stress that EB is great, at least for me (since I only work 3 days a week).

Yesterday I went out and took advantage of some winter sales that made London prices seem almost as cheap as the US. I bought myself a Christmas present or two and it felt damn good. I'm seeing a friend from high school tomorrow, which is yet another crazy example of how I see more friends passing through London than DC. Cheers.