Our adventures with mountains have been consistently...adventurous; we appear to have an unparalleled ability to underestimate them yet bounce right back, hungry for more. Here's our latest, featuring Mont Charvin in the French Alps, presented in an informative, "how (not) to" format:
1. Forsake a nutritious evening meal for mayonnaise on stale bread, because you're too lazy to cook.
2. Forsake a sensible, pre-sunrise start for a late morning one, because you're busy cooking a big breakfast to make up for the inadequacies of the night before.
3. Laugh in the sticky face of suncream. It's not even that sunny, and the walk will only take a few hours.
4. Assume that the initial gentle meadow amble is the pattern for the whole walk.
5. Think you're a mountaineer, because you foraged two sticks and you can stand with one foot on a rock, staring into the distance.
6. Forsake the described route in your guide book that meanders around the mountains, for glory and the summit!
7. Ignore that everyone is descending the mountain via your ascent.
8. Hang around at the summit taking selfies, despite already tripling the proposed time to this point.
9. Ignore the Via Ferrata warning signs on the 'descent'.
10. On discovering to your surprise that your descent is via Via Ferrata, do it anyway. Endeavour to take sticks with you.
11. At the bottom of the distinctly hairy Via Ferrata 'descent', relax safe in the knowledge that you are nearly done... Ha.
12. Stop for about 20 minutes being silent and still while you stalk a den of marmots, waiting for an opportunity to capture the moment. Discover that your camera lens is nowhere near capable of taking a high resolution zoom shot but say bollocks to it and take a fuzzy one regardless, 'cos aren't they so cute!
13. Try to assimilate with the native beasts, lose your gruntle when they try and eat your shorts. Is it common knowledge that goats eat anything? Amber says, yes! In revenge, eat their cheese.
Nearly done being a gargantuan assumption... A mere nine hours of walking and we found our way back to the car after what was a really beautiful and fulfilling, if not entirely conventionally undertaken and certainly inadequately prepared, mountain climb. Despite our incompetence, we TOTALLY topped out the mountain anyway. 2,409 meters up there we stood on the peak of Mont Charvin, admiring the full panorama and absorbing the air, but more importantly, we revelled in dicking about on the summit.