Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Rocky The Avalanche Dog.

Back in 1983  I was one of  the first people to be employed on the  “Night-Watchman” scheme at The Scottish National  Outdoor Training Centre- Glemore Lodge. 

Essentially the job was an opportunity to gain qualifications to become an outdoor instructor.  Over the last 35 years the scheme has evolved and been the launch pad for several other  British Mountain Guides.  The scheme has developed since then and it now called the Instructor Development Scheme.

Nevertheless back then the job was quite basic. I was paid £10.00 per week, plus my board and lodging. In return for locking the Center up at night and being on call in the event of a center emergency, I could join most of the courses.  I was also expected to work two days a week with the maintenance team.  In effect I was at the bottom of the pecking order and given the worst jobs and was generally treated like Black Adder’s Baldrick.

One day in January there was to be a demonstration of how quickly dogs find people buried in avalanches. I was volunteered to be the victim. I was to be buried in the snow in a coffin like cave.  The dog would be set off and would come and find me.  [It is worth noting that still the fastest way, bar non, of being found quickly in an avalanche is with a trained dog.]

In essence it was all quite simple, apart from one major issue which was Rocky the giant Search and Rescue Alsatian.  Seemingly everyone at Glemore Lodge knew about Rocky except me.  The thing was Rocky had two jobs .  His principle job was breaking up fights in the "pint and a fight" bars of Aviemore.  In the 1980’s there were more fights than avalanches. Rocky was exceptionally good at his job. Equally scary was Rocky’s  handler Sergeant Jimmy Simpson a formidable Highland Constable.

As the day for the search demonstration approached people who already knew Rocky and Sergeant Simpson took delight in winding me up. Yes Rocky would find you but he might equally rip you to shreds.
As far as my preparation was concerned I had borrowed a giant green industrial chemical rubber suit  to protect my self from being savaged.  I had last used it when it had been my  my job to swim around the Glenmore Lodge’s septic tank sporadically performing duck-dives in a reckless  attempt to unblock it.  

The day arrived . Just before I headed out of the door, Marilyn [who worked in the kitchens] pressed a bag into my hand. “Sausages” she said with a knowing wink. It distinctly  felt like I was being led off for an imaginative North Korean Style execution.  We drove  up to the Cairngorm Ski area car park.  Not far away, Scotland's foremost expert on avalanches, Blyth Wright, had prepared a roughly 100m2 area to look like the aftermath of an avalanche.  My coffin had been dug just to  the middle of the area.

Sergeant Simpson duly turned up in his blue Ford Escort police van.  On the sides of the van were stenciled "Highland  Police Dog Unit."  The van throbbed and  rocked  as something very boisterous  bounced off the walls.  When Sergeant Simpson let Rocky out my worst fears were confirmed .  He was without doubt the most frightening thing I had ever seen.  Rocky immediately jumped up and put his paws on Sergeant  Simpson shoulders and gave him a big kiss.  They clearly loved each other.

I took the sausages and shoved them up the sleeve of my green suit. I was then led off to be buried. My cave was closed in and I was wished good luck by my sniggering “Mates.”

Silence.  I just lay there clutching  the sausages in my hand. Suddenly there was this big monster panting and spraying spittle in my face.  It did not appear to want to kiss me.  I rammed the sausages into its mouth and during the momentary distraction I made my escape.

I was quite pleased with myself. I had gotten  away without being eaten by Rocky. Sergeant Simpson on the other hand was not pleased with me, not pleased one bit.   Although wrapped up with lots of expletives the general gist of what he had to say  was that if I ever fed his dog sausages again , he would turn me into dog food.  [Reasonably the dog should not expect to receive rewards like that when he rescued real victims.]

It was several weeks later that I learnt that there was to be another dog avalanche search demonstration for a bunch of dignitaries.  Rocky was again to be the star and he was to try and find the same victim.  My argument was that it was not realistic for the dog to find the same victim [because the chances of the same dog finding  the same avalanche victim in a completely different avalanche  were remote] fell on deaf ears.

This time sergeant Simpson got out of his police van, took one look at me and said “ Just remember wee laddie…You will be “Pedigree Chum” if you play the same trick again.”

Having suspected as much, not only did I have my big green  chemical suit but I was also wearing 1980”s  Koflach indestructible plastic climbing boots with Berghaus red and blue Yeti Gaiters.  To top the outfit off I wore a full face motor bike helmet  complete with visor.

Everything pretty much went as before , until the point that Rocky found me .  This time he uncovered my boot first .  Maybe he was disappointed to not find sausages but he sank his teeth into my foot and then proceeded to pull me out of my cave and drag me down the hill side like a rag doll.  To my mind it took rather longer than necessary for the command  “Leave” and for Rocky to return to his Handler.


Rocky and "Jimmy the dog Simpson" were famous throughout the Highlands . Not long after my dealings with Rocky there was the incredible story of Jimmy and Rocky out on a rescue when Rocky was blown over the Cornice on Corrie An’t Sneachda in the Cairngorms. He was blown off the plateau on the search for  two missing climbers. Rocky was located next day by Jimmy after a terrible night on the hill, outwardly unharmed but covered in ice. However Rocky had been traumatized and he never worked as an attack dog again and by all accounts became quite docile and never again ate anyone he saved.

Sunday, October 06, 2019

Autumnal ascent of Italy's highest mountain the Grand Paradiso.4061 meters.

Always a trick question but the highest mountain entirely in Italy is the Grand Pardiso.  Just like the Aiguille Verte is the highest mountain in France .  Both Mt Blanc and the Dufourspitz share their boarders with other countries.

Anyway the goal was to try and climb the Grande Paradiso in the Autum.  Meaning after the refugio had closed for the season...

The trip was organised by Rob Jarvis a fellow BMG Guide who runs a Company called High Mountain Guides.  We had six very enthusiastic clients with us. Malene from Norway,Isabella from Poland, Rodrigo from Spain, Nick from Yorkshire and Ryan and Alan from England.

In order to give them some acclimatisation and some training we spent the night in the Refugio Torino, [which was still open.]

On our first day we went on a glacier hike to the col d'Entreves.

La Vallee Blanche
On the second morning it was very cold and windy, but we found a protected scoop in where we could run a detailed session on crampon technique,  which would latter  prove to be of the upmost importance.

It was then down the Sky-Way cable car from where we drove around to the road-head for the Grand Paradiso , but not before stopping for a spot of lunch.

We all walked up to the Refugio Chabod or rather the winter refugio.  We were the only guests.
 The view from the door was exceptional straight on to the north face of the Grand Paradiso

Dinner was a simple affair of dehydrated something or other.  Not actually sure what mine was. Still the candles made it all very atmospheric.
Candlelight Dinner
Chamonix Crevasse rescue training
Big holes as dawn breaks
Breakfast was at around 4.30hrs and we were away by about 5.30hrs.  At this time of year there is a lot more walking in the dark.  When it did eventually become light we found ourselves in quite a situation as we had ascended up through some complicated glaciers.
Above these big holes the glacier mellows out a bit to where the route  joins the route coming up fron the Vittorio Emanelle Refugio.  Here we stopped to put on some more clothes before the route steepens up considerably.  In the conditions we found the slope it was hard water ice in the track.  Higher up the ladders across the bergschund had been somewhat un helpfully removed the day before by the local Guides.  Instead  the previous days new ice climbing skills had to be employed in order to get on to the final rocky summit ridge.

The Madonna awaits on the summit

Then the long return in the beautiful autumn afternoon.

Nick Chambers makes his way down to the Refugio Chabod

Thursday, September 26, 2019

"Une Sortie Scolaire."

 Rocio Mountain Guide & Teacher prepares the top rope for the" ice climbing" session.
There are several schools based around the Lac Leman Arc which follow the British Independent Senior School system. [Public School] They all have tremendous outdoor programs for their children.  So much so that they employ Mountain Guides to run incredible mountain adventures.

Along with  four other Mountain Guides;  two Swiss Guides Bertrand and Christian  and my friend and fellow British Mountain Guide Jonny Baird  I was employed by L'Ecole Beau Soleil  to climb the Wildstrubel Mountain in the Bernese Oberland.  We also had in overall charge of us all Rocio Siemens who  is a Mountain Guide and teacher permanently employed by the school . Between us we were responsible for 18 children all roughly 16 and 17 years old.

We drove around to Leukerbad and took the cable car.  From there we walked in to the Lammeren Hutte.  In the afternoon we checked all the equipment and the children got the chance to test their crampons on the specially erected "ice climbing"  poles.

The next morning breakfast was at 6.00am.  The issue was that the weather was not being co- operative and it was evident that plan A - The Wildstrubel was no longer a sensible option.  We changed plan and made the Steghorn our objective.  Everyone set off at about 7.30 am and progress was steady.  Even when we got to the exposed scrambling where we split into climbing teams every thing passed off smoothly.
rocky scramble on the Steghorn.
The weather was quite windy. We all stopped for a bite to eat huddled behind a rock.  Next we moved onto the glacier and put on our crampons.  I suppose inevitably not everyone continued to be happy.  One of the group was struggling and so it was decided that they should descend with me. So we returned down the mountain  while the rest of the team climbed the Steghorn. After which everyone was reunited at the Hutte and after some food we all returned to the cable car station and descended back to the valley.

Screen shot of the map of the area . Red lines are ski touring routes.

Friday, September 20, 2019

The finest Granite climb in Europe?

The spectacular Dos d'Elephant
There is never much point trying to crow-bar a particular wish to climb an alpine route into an unfavorable conditions and a mixed weather forecast.  That is to say ,work with what you have.
Not for the first time, this is what happened to Charles Sherwood and myself.  All the routes we had outlined as possible goals, were either falling down [Walker Spur] Unapproachable because the glaciers were all tortured [Traverse des Drus] Or were ridge climbs covered in too much unconsolidated snow. [East ridge of D'Herens]

The later route  being a possibility, if, there was a stretch of good weather and the snow  burnt off with the sun, but at least in the short term that looked unlikely.  So we decided to head south for a few days to find some better weather.

We left Chamonix,  in the rain and headed for Orpierre where the weather was good.  We had a mix of sport climbing and climbed the classic La Diedre Sud on the  Quiquillion crag.
Orpierre in the afternoon sunlight
La Diedre Sud   Quiquillion crag.

 We reviewed the weather forecast, decided that there was no great improvement in the alps and headed further south.  Cassis and the Calanques.

L'arete de Marseille

We climbed the sensational L'arete de Marseille, on the Grande Candelle . although it is supposedly only 5 pitches long, the shear aura of the route and the fact that every pitch is uniquely special without doubt makes it a world class rock climb in a beautiful position made even more special by the fact we were all alone.
Start of the 2nd pitch .
Les Calanques

We then reviewed the weather forecast and this led us to go even further south: Corsica.  The beauty of the trip is that you board the ferry at 7.00 pm enjoy a perfectly competent dinner, go to bed and disembark at 7.00am the next morning .

Leaving Marseille looking towards Le Grande Candelle
 We were on the crag climbing at 9.00am, this time complaining about being too hot!  There was some good single pitch rock climbing on rough grippy granite followed by a swim in one of Corsica's idyllic canyon streams.
Great spot for a post climb swim.

Our goal for our Corscian trip was to sample some of its classic rock climbs .  We identified two very different style of routes, both in the Bavella region.  This meant getting in to position which meant undertaking a magnificent and  hair raising three hour drive,  [as the crow fly's about 15 km.]  We stayed in the beautiful village of Zonza which was below our objective for the next day.

L' Arete de Zonza. This was a  classic route in every sense of the word.  Not just was it "classic" in the sense it was beautiful, it was also classically  traditional in the sense there was very little fixed protection and route finding was demanding if not ultimately rewarding.
Searching for the rappel anchor with the Mediterranean in the back ground. 

The second route trumped the lot.  It soaks up superlatives like none other.  The Dos d'Elephant is the most sought after rock climb in Corsica, often described as the finest granite rock climb in France , if not Europe. This is no small claim and we thought we should see if it was true .  It is a giant slab climb on featureless rock with minimal protection.  When it was first climbed about 20 years ago the bolts were placed on the lead and not many bolts were placed. it must have been mind boggling serious.  Since then it has been retro bolted, but it is still very scary. Where it isn't so scary it is instead just very hard.  Added to which the On-line posts has helpful information like "you must be very comfortable climbing at the grade 6b+ " and you need to have new rubber on your climbing shoes" neither of which we completely qualified for.

Nevertheless the next morning after a viscous steep ascent  we had located the bottom of the route.  Some achievement in its own right. [Subsequently learnt that many of my friends had failed to locate the route!] Charles was keen to stamp his name on the climb too and wanted to lead some of the pitches.  I lead off on the first pitch.  By the time Charles reached the stance his enthusiasm to lead through had waned a little.  But always a man to stand by his word he launched himself at the second pitch with what looked like  impressive commitment, although later he admitted he wasn't quite so committed.  The third pitch was the technical crux pitch after which the rest of the climbs cruxes were in the head- long featureless slabby pitches with a bolt about  every 20 meters- so potential 40 meter screamers...

Head games .

The incredible slab pitches

 We were both delighted to have been able to climb this route.  We rappelled back down the line of climb and eventually rewarded  our selves with a plunge in the canyon at the bottom.

After our final night in Zonza we explored one of the sea cliffs called  Barbicaghja outside Ajeccio while waiting for the night boat back to Marseille.

Sea side cragging.

Friday, September 06, 2019

Weisshorn 4506meters. A dream fullfilled.

It took a long time.  It was now four years since David Brooksbank emailed me asking me whether he could climb the Weisshorn after a 40 year hiatus.  David climbed the Matterhorn with Ulrich Inderbinen in 1975.  Ulrich was born in 1900.  He worked as a Guide until he was 96. Ulrich is quite an act to follow.  The Weisshorn is sometimes referred to as the "thinking mans" Matterhorn. In many ways it is just as spectacular and a lot harder- a rather more sophisticated climbing goal than its rather Chavy neigbour.  I have even heard the Matterhorn described as a sort of pimped up Ford Escort to a Ferrari but maybe that's a bit of extreme.

I agreed to try to climb the mountain with David and it was clear from the very first steps he would be more than capable.  The trouble was always the weather.  On our first year together it snowed and we went nowhere near the Weisshorn but instead climbed a lot of mixed of alpine routes all over the alps.  The next year it snowed again and we just left and headed for the Dolomites where we had some fantastic climbing.  Last year we did actually get as far as the Weisshorn Hut to find ourselves to be the sole occupants.  This was because it snowed again obliterating our attempt which ended in knee deep snow.

So to 2019.  We were to try again.  Our strategy was to climb a preparatory route that was not only "interesting" but would  provide valuable acclimatisation.  We would then have an easier day so that we did not get too tired before the ascent.  In essence 3 days warm up and 3 days for the ascent and descent of the Weisshorn.  After all, the vertical ascent of the Weisshorn is greater than from Everest base camp to its summit.

We climbed the Arete de Saille on the Grand Muveran.

The arete.
 We stayed in the Cabane de Rambert.  We both agreed that if you wanted the perfect quintessential hut experience then this was it.  A quiet hut with just a few people , a good food and then a spectacular climb with no one else on it.

Crux Pitch.
On our third day we ventured into the Vallee Blanche in order to maintain the acclimatisation and to make sure all the ice related kit was working.  We climbed Point Lachenal.

The plan was going fine, then the weather played its part again.  We were forced to re book our night in the Weisshorn Hut and delay a day.  We went rock climbing above Brevent- that was  hardly a sob story.

The next day we drove around to Randa and made the long walk up to the Weisshorn Hut.  Meanwhile the weather forecast had changed again.  Our proposed summit day, the next day, was now showing a poor forecast. The other teams bailed. We found ourselves [once again] the only occupants of the Hut.  After a "Council of War"  David and I decided to sit it out at the Hut because the next few days promised stellar weather.  This had pro's and cons.  The main pro was that we would gain valuable acclimatisation and rest .  The cons were that David would have to change his flights and I would be climbing the Weisshorn on my 25th wedding anniversary. Dinner needed to be cancelled.

Our enforced rest day involved sitting around in the fog and the drizzle.  Then the water supply dried up.  Then the beer supply dried up.  The beer supply was bravely sorted by the arrival of a helicopter slaloming through a break in the clouds.

Fixing the Hut water supply was arguably marginally more important than the beer supply as no water would mean no food.  The way to fix the water supply was to hike up to the glacier and re plum the pipe into the glacier.  This is how I spent my afternoon.  I walked up the path behind the hut armed with a long wooden ice axe, not really knowing what to expect.  I followed the pipe to its end where I found it sticking up in the air.  It was an easy fix to dig a hole in the glacier and reposition the pipe so that the glacier stream could flow in to the end of the pipe.

I was not sure how successful this had been until I arrived back at the hut, but I guessed by the hugs and kisses I received from Jacqueline the Hut Guardian I'd fixed it.

There were a couple more moral boosting teams who arrived in the afternoon.  A local Swiss Guide and his client , plus a Polish Guide and a Ukrainian Aspirant Guide, the later was apparently being assessed for his Guides badge by the former.  How this was going to work was beyond me, because neither of them could speak each others language and the only mutual language they had was English, of which neither of them [as far as I ascertained] could speak that very well either.
Anyway three parties in total.

The alarm went off at 2.00am.  We were away just before 3.00am.  All the stars were out.  Not a breath of wind.  Was this to be our day?  Progress was smooth, steady and incident free.  We made it to the "Breakfast stop"  a place on the climb where we join the the true east ridge.

 The rock on the ridge now becomes solid and the climbing straightforward but  airy.  Firstly over the Lochmatter Tower and then over and around several other towers, before the rock ridge turns to a snow ridge.  Or in our case an icy snowy  ridge.

 The other parties elected to pitch climb the icy sections.  We choose to climb moving together.  We were able to do this because in the four years we had been climbing together I knew David would be just fine.  Inevitably by not pitching the climb we arrived on the summit first followed very closely by the Polish/Ukrainian team.

Summit with the Matterhorn in the background

There was now the issue of getting back down.  Maximum concentration is needed at every step.  The icy ridge was a bit softer on the way back which helped the crampons bite well.  But every step potentially could be your last.  The rocky ridge went well and I lowered David down off the towers then rappelled my self.  The big pain was the ground below the Breakfast Stop.  In the dark we had not appreciated what a pile of rubble it was.  And a constantly moving pile.  It was difficult to find the best path because there were so many false trails, it was uncomfortably hot and we were tired.  Eventually after stopping for a swim in a glacier pool we arrived back at the Hut after about 15 hours.  Too tired to contemplate the walk back to the valley we elected to stay the night.  My status as the Huts favorite Guide was still intact and we were treated to beer and an extra special private bedroom.
After a leisurely breakfast, good bye hugs from Jacqueline we departed for the valley.  We had finally made it.

Jacqueline waives us goodbye.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

An eclectic mix of alpine climbing.

South Face of the Dibona

 I was about to be joined by John Young for ten days climbing just as the local, Mt Blanc massif weather forecast had gone  awry. A familiar story.   It was, however. considerably better down in the Parc Nationale des Ecrins.  I suggested to John that we head down there and "warm up" by climbing the south face of the Dibona.  John is fundamentally up for any new mountain  adventure and  just said "lets do it " so off we went.

Yet I had last climbed the Dibona exactly ten years ago and the trouble was I had forgotten that I had forgotten three key parts of my original trip. 

We drove from Chamonix leaving in the rain. After a four hour drive we ended up  near the end of the remote Berarde valley where we  parked the car and set off up the path.  The first key thing I had forgotten was how fierce the walk to the Sollier Hut is.  A very steep unrelenting 1000 meters plus walk.

The Hut was busy but not too busy.  Some work had been done on the infrastructure since I was last here  and it was good to be able  to take a [albeit cold] shower.

We were keen to grab an early start the next morning  because our route, the Madier Climb, is the classic of the Dibona and we didn't want to be all tangled up with other groups. The Hut is a ten minute walk from the start of the climb .  If you fell off the climb you would probably land on the roof. We were climbing by about 7.30hrs.  Soon passing through the famous tunnel pitch.
John popping out of the tunnel pitch

 It was several pitches later that I remembered that the climb is a lot longer and considerably more difficult  than my memory recalled.  Still we climbed on, always on fabulous rock and in sensational situations.

Finally the summit , as the photos suggest it's  compact.  We weren't alone as all the climbs on the Dibona naturally converge on its top.  Quite an eclectic set of climbers from every part of Europe.

 A couple of short rappels from the summit followed by some simple but exposed scrambling lead us to the path which took us pack to the hut.  The third thing I had failed to remember is the descent from the hut back to the car is harder work than the ascent.  Ultimately a twelve hour leg shredding day.  "Some warm up climb" John said.

What to do next ?  Well we were down in the Ecrins with a good forecast and it seemed that we should make the most of it.  In particular John had never climbed the Barres des Ecrins.  [One of the 4000 meter peaks  missing from his impressive portfolio.]

Me with the Barres des Ecrins in the background.

We secured a reservation in the Barres des Ecrins Refuge [Hut], which was easier than I had anticipated because the flip side to the ease of reservation   was that not many people were climbing the the Barres des Ecrins because it was intimidatingly  icy and a lot more serious an undertaking than normal- [whatever normal now means in the world of global warming].
We left the road-head at at 10.30hrs and followed a path which was ludicrously busy but after two hours we  troughed down  a welcome omelette at the Glacier Blanc Refuge. After which we continued plodding on to the Ecrins Refuge.  The whole approach walk taking about 4 and half hours.

In this part of the world it is a bit of a tradition for the Hut Guardian to address his  guests with an "After Dinner Speech" -a bit of a conditions report and the weather forecast,freezing temperatures etc etc.
It is also the tradition  for the Guardian to actually wake people up at their designated breakfast time. Ours was at 3.00am. There were only about 8 of us for the early breakfast.

We were a way by 3.45hrs.  Firstly it's all about re-descending about 200vertical meters back down to the glacier. [Global warming] before plodding up the glacier  for an hour or so, where the ground rises up sharply and the difficulties commence.  Suddenly we knew exactly why there were so few people attempting the peak.  It was steep , there was no track, we were surrounded by huge crevasses and it was still dark.  We were forced to front-point up some boiler plate hard ice which was distinctly sketchy, while at the same time thinking it its like this all the way , then , we're going to struggle and that is without the no small matter of returning .
We carried on and to our relief the terrain mellowed out and we followed a good track until we arrived just before the Dome des Ecrins.  This proved to be another tricky obstacle because all the snow had melted into ice.  We had to pitch the final part placing ice screws for protection.  We were able to do this in a controlled and considered manner , yet nevertheless it was far harder than what most people would sign up to.

Once we were on the Dome we had to make our way on to the ridge of the Barres des Ecrins. This part of the climb benefited from the dry conditions and the climb to the summit was magnificent. Alpine climbing at its best. We moved  quickly along the rocky exposed ridge and were on the summit for 9.00hrs.

The summit of Les Barres des Ecrins
  To the north we could see Mt Blanc . To the south Monte Viso. We took  some photos, then  something to eat and then it was back down again.   The rocky ridge went well .  We were able to circumnavigate the icy ascent of the Dome des Ecrins by a rappel.

The rapel avoiding the icy slope of ascent in the background
 A group of four french climbers very kindly let us jump on their ropes.  We made the descent with some  trepidation while pondering how we were best going to negotiate the treacherous icy section. As it happened the snow had warmed up the track and we found our crampons bit in to the ice well.  We were able to weave our way down through the crevasses, the  intimidating snow bridges and steep slopes with no problems.  Then it was just a case of knuckling down to walk the 2000 meter vertical descent back to the car.   We did stop to trough a couple more  omelettes on the way down which were fairly essential fuel. Still another 12 hour plus day.
Pointing towards Mt Blanc

 Big crevasses spanned by small snow bridges.
We traveled back to Chamonix.   We decided to take a rest.  This also coincided with some bad weather which allowed us to rest without feeling overly guilty.  

We reconvened three days later.  It seemed sensible to change the emphasis from massive mountain days and explore some of the multi- pitch rock climbing .  Firstly we needed to find somewhere that was dry after the apocalyptic rain of the previous days.
We chose to start on the Pantagreul on the Trappistes crag which is near to Sembrancher on the road bewteen Verbier and Martigny.
Penultimate pitch on the fabulous Pantagreul 6a
The next day we headed up the Berard Vallee to climb the modern classic L'Ete Indian.  A stiff hour and halfs walk brings you to the foot of a seven pitch masterpiece all in beautiful remote surroundings.

On our final day we decided to head over to the Col de La Colombiere famous among Tour de France fans as its on the Tour most years.  There is also a huge amount of easily accessible rock climbing.  We chose to climb the route Le Lord Anglais on the pic de Jallouvre. 
Col de la Colombiere
It seemed like a strange name for a climb. May be the last pitch was a clue :  It was much harder than advertised and effectively "sand bagged" us, not unlike the present privileged classes and the Aristocracy is doing to everyone over BREXIT ?

Still a very fine climb to sign off on.