It’s the night before chemo and all through the house, not a creature is stirring… Except steroid-fuelled sleepless little ol’ me. I want to get this one over and done with. It’s the scramble to the summit and its taken what seems like a lifetime but is, of course, just 5 months. Long enough though.
Factors that might impinge on TH3 include the weather. We are obsessed with weather in the UK. We use it as a polite way to converse with people we don’t know terribly well; typically this involves bemoaning low temperatures and rain over the summer months. Occasionally we have the opportunity to remark ‘what a glorious day.’ (We don’t go beyond 24 hour time frames because chances are storms are just around the corner!) Every now and then we get the chance to say “bloody freezing innit” and coupled with that comes the opportunity to panic because we aren’t very accustomed to snow. Snow causes chaos here, our cities grind to a halt, anyone in the countryside can be cut off for weeks and when there’s particularly heavy snowfall our electricity supplies can be affected. On the bright side, snow outside the cities looks beautiful, people take to sledging and lots of fun can ensue.
Tonight, tomorrow and Saturday we’re forecast to have heavy snow. In Britain this is anything upwards of 10cm. The forecast is 10-30cm. It’s not the kind of heavy snow you get in Scandinavia, China or the Rockies but its enough to cripple our transport and utility infrastructure. I like snow. I like walking in it, seeing it blanketing the fields and encrusting the trees with a myriad of diamond flakes. I don’t enjoy driving in it because someone crashed into me head on a few years ago. Fortunately I was only shaken and bruised but it made me very wary of what can happen when people touch their brakes coming down a hill. We’re surrounded by hills! So the main challenges to successful completion of TH3 are:
- Will the volume of overnight snow prevent me getting to chemo camp – 17 miles away with three 1:5 /1:6 hills to negotiate?
- Will chemo camp call me in the morning because the brilliant chemo nurses are unable to get to work?
- Will steroids keep me awake until 6am by which point my body will be so exhausted it falls into a Snow White like slumber only to find the handsome prince couldn’t get here because he too has been thwarted by the weather/ate a drugged apple given to him by a suspect-looking crone as ‘sustenance for the journey’?
I sharpened my ice axe and have plenty of crampons at the ready but only time will tell.