273/365 – Climbing mountains and myasthenia gravis

The other day while considering 2015 so far, I had a realisation about what I want to do differently in 2016. The main thing I want to do more next year is climb mountains. 

I’m not planning to scale Everest or anything – like most people who saw the film with the same title recently I’d rather stick needles in my eyes. But the film has stuck with me more than others I’ve seen this year and my experience of scaling Goatfell, as pictured below, is one of my fondest memories of 2015.  

It’s not just the satisfaction of looking out across vast open spaces – it’s also the mental battle, it’s the silence and the way rhythmic steps encourage me to turn onwards, it’s the respect you show nature, it’s the lightness of clean air circulating around your body, it’s the moments of pause where you look out at the world and realise how insignificant you are. Oddly, there is nothing that makes me feel as alive. 

Other than fitness and my gammy knee, the main concern I have is altitude. I’m planning to climb quite a few mountains next year – more on the draft plan on a blog to come – but they will most likely be under the 1,500 metre cut off when altitude affects the human body. Still, the endurance on top of being over a thousand meters above sea is an unknown post MG. 

Say I do decide to clinb something higher – I’m intrigued about how altitude would affect my myasthenia. I plan to do some testing of that before embarking on any 4,000ft plus mountains in a false altitude environment and also asking my consultant for any first hand accounts. 

On top of that there is the fear about being in a remote place and not being strong enough to continue. I’ll need to practise my smoke signals and will definitely be climbing fully prepared.

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