Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Season's greetings from Crow Towers!

The mountains of northern Snowdonia: North Wales 

I can't believe that it's twelve months on and I'm once again offering my thanks and best wishes to all those writers and photographers who have supported Footless Crow over the last year. Of course I also send my warmest regards to those readers who have regularly dropped in and hopefully enjoyed most of the articles.
I am gratified that here in the UK I have continued to receive the good wishes and support from many in the UK climbing community,including some of our best known names who appear to appreciate the Crow's traditional slant on all things mountain related!
I have always felt that those who engage in mountain activities should have an appreciation of the natural environment and from the start Footless Crow has described itself as 'offering the best in mountain and environmental articles'.Sadly, as Jim Perrin pointed out in his book 'West', climbers are often the most disengaged of all communities from their natural environment. However I still think it is most important that Footless Crow and it's linked To Hatch a Crow page offer articles and news from a conservationist perspective.It might be a cliche but we live in a global village these days and we can't ignore the pressures we face from a burgeoning global population and the increasing pollution and environmental degradation which inevitably comes in train.The very least a media which embraces environmental matters can do is to cast a spotlight on these issues.
Over the Christmas and New Year period there is always a noticeable decline in readership as understandably,most people are involved in the festivities and enjoying the company of friends and family. For this reason,Footless Crow will be going into stasis until the new year when it will return with some unique material about and from the legendary North Wales multi media artist and climber par excellence, John Redhead.The articles themselves are fascinating, thought provoking and controversial so if you prefer your outdoor reading of a more wholesome nature then check out the Amazon adventure list and perhaps best avoid Footless Crow in early January!

John Redhead. Coming soon to a screen near you.

As I write from the North Wales uplands I am looking across snow covered fields under a foot of snow with temperatures down at minus 10c. Still in the early days of winter but already I can hear George Harrison in my head singing  It's been a long and lonely winter. Great days for the snow and ice climbing fraternity-especially for those living in their centrally homes in the cosseted urban suburbs- however,for the marginal hill farmers and many of the old and poor in the uplands hereabouts.. It seems like years since it's been here...The warm sun that is. It's certainly been a cruel winter in many parts of the UK and across Europe so far. As a climber who prefers to feel the texture of warm rock under my skin and experience the vivid colours and scents of summer as a rising sun lifts winter's aches and pains from my  bones; as you can guess....I'm already counting the days until spring!

Whatever you do in the outdoors; whether it's hacking your way up an ice smear,bouldering in a forest clearing,pounding along a mountain bike trail or trekking over the mountains with a dog at your side, I hope you enjoy this Xmas season....cheers to all wherever in the world you are and thanks again !

Traditional Welsh mountain sheep in the Berwyn range this December

PS: If you are on Facebook or Twitter you can always join the Footless Crow Facebook group or follow on Twitter.