Wednesday, 14 September 2011

A new reason to climb...

On the 7th August, I took a 3 hour start up climbing course at Edinburgh Indoor Climbing Arena (i.e Ratho) as a way to build strength, stamina and confidence in climbing and to help me toward my goals and also because I always wanted to do it. I had a great time and decided that I wanted to pursue it further and so I began to take baby steps towards achieving some routes.
Then on August 25th, my worst nightmare came true... my closest friend, my best friend, my rock, my mum, passed away and it would have been so easy to just give up but I promised her; in her last moments; that I would never give up on trying to achieve my dreams and that I would take her with me everywhere and I intend to do just that. Because as she told me once; not so long ago; she was proud of me for having the courage to follow my dreams and I was proud that she was my mum.

So Mum, I will continue to climb and chase my dreams because; just as I promised and just as e.e Cummings wrote

"I carry your heart. I carry it in my heart"

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Powerful words

Regret... now that is a powerful word and most people will have one or maybe even two. Why then do they allow themselves to have this feeling? Is it because deep down they are actually too scared to try and live their dreams? Maybe instead of giving in to fears, whether small or mighty, maybe they should remember these very wise words:
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover" ~ Mark Twain
Action is relatively easy, all it takes is a simple little thing, something that wont cost you anything, it wont harm you in any way. All it will do is make you think and the rest is up to you. All you do is start by making a small promise to yourself. This is how it goes:
"I will not allow my dreams to be over shadowed by my fears!" ~ SMcClory
A few words can change a life, why not yours?

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Something's definitely 'lit a fire under me'

As you know (especially if you follow me on Twitter) I have been on a bit of a mission lately. Everything that has happened in my life the past few months has definitely gave me the kick up the arse I needed to get my head straight... finally. Between the inspiration from the Richard Parks' 737 Challenge and the intense need to actually live my dreams and do something to help others, I actually was able to see clearly into myself enough to remember what it is I love and want most in my life and since then, there's no stopping my dreams from popping up to say hello.

Ben Nevis was a real pleasure to complete because I knew the reason I was doing it was for something more important than my own need to do it. Don't get me wrong, it was a challenge because I made myself do it before preparing physically properly for it so that I would work harder for the donations and so I did. Now the ankle, as some of you know, suffered a little when a rock overturned when I stepped on it but it is getting there at last. I feel a little twinge every now and then if I descend step stairs but I am resting it when I can and also doing gentle exercises to help make it stronger.
Now I have a few things in the pipeline which I am excited about, not just the Winter Mountaineering Course but also a trek of the Haute route from chamonix - Zermatt  and The Beacons Way both of which I am currently in the process of investigating.

So I am finally able to be thankful for my OCD side as I have needed to write everything down and kind of make lists and plans to try and bring some order to everything I want to do. Now this would normally be quite an easy task but when everything is rushing out of your brain at 100 miles an hour, it's difficult to capture it all. So far, I have a part training plan down incorporating the bootcamp, walking, trekking and hill walking/climbing on a regular basis but I have remembered to make time for my free / fun time like Canyoning, which I have booked again for 13th August and also for my climbing course on the 7th August. Not forgetting my concert time like 30 Seconds to Mars in Belfast and Panic! at the Disco in Edinburgh both in August too. With all of that, August is set to be a pretty hectic month. Every other bit of spare time will be spent planning and getting out and about and that part, I love the most.

Overall, life has become a mish mash of ideas and hopes and dreams and everything has become exciting again. It's an amazing feeling to chase your dreams, everyone should do it. You never know what you can achieve until you try

S xx

Monday, 18 July 2011

The Mighty Ben... The days events

7am on Big Ben day (09/07/11) and we leave Glasgow on the 3hour journey to Fort William, after only a miniscule 4 hours sleep and no breakfast, I was able too tell that the day would be a little bit harder than I had originally planned but sure that I would grab a bit to eat in the Ben Nevis centre before starting, I settled in for the drive... What a lovely drive. The scenery, relaxing, remote and just outstanding. Near the end of the car journey, you get an idea of what you are about to task yourself with:

This is closeby but doesnt match the intensity or the altitute of the Ben... it's pretty none the less.

The Ben Trek begins on a grassy route alongside the Water of Nevis and although steep, it is a very pleasant path.

After about 20 minutes the pleasant path disappears and is replaced with a very lovely step after step of testing, leg shaking rock laced pathway which zig zag's up and up for hundreds of feet. Now all of this sounds very rough but the Ben is more sneaky, it distracts you all the way along with little joyous views and sights...

some of the many streams... beautiful water. Tastes amazing!

Some of the many many mountains close by. Staggering just how close and how far it is from this very spot. Now while you are distracted by the views, I dare you not to smile when you see this for real... its peaceful in a way you can't know about until you are standing there and feeling all your worries and stresses fade away.

The trek continues in the chellenging way that it does but take your time (it's not a race unless you join the official Ben Nevis race), rest, drink plenty (free refills a plenty) have a snack or four (you'll need a lot) and most of all don't give up. You'll get to a place where the ascent flattens out and this is a perfect place to have a seat and catch your breath and whilst you are having your banana or your sandwich or whatever you choose to bring, you can let the beauty of this spot remove the previous 600m (approx) from your muscles

The previous 600m (approx) disappears down the pony track

The next 700m (approx) still to be climbed. Of course you don't climb it directly here, you have to follow the route which looks a little something like this:

Not to worry, there are plenty of people to meet along the way. Be sure and chat with some, it benefits everyone and don't be afraid to say hello and ask them how they are doing.

When you make it through the trials and marathon that is the Ben and you make it to the waterfall, fill your water bottle and perhaps take a rest and enjoy again the views (if she permits it)

It'll seem like a long time since you sat away down there enjoying the view
The rocky path, gets steeper still and it becomes quite a journey from here on in and when you make it through and get to the place of massive rocks, know that you are not far from the place you are aiming for, this would be the best place for your last short break... grab a sugary treat, a banana or a hard boiled egg (whatever you prefer and whatever will give you the energy you require for the last push)
 After this point, you'll see lots of people coming down with hats and jackets on looking cold and you can't imagine feeling cold yet even though there is a breeze in the air, right now it feels good on your face but now is the time to get your gear ready if you aren't a person who enjoys the cold. It is very common to see snow on the Ben, even in July
Keep your wits around you and don't step onto snow and ice near the edge ('well duh' Im sure you say but you'd be surprised)

So here you are, tired and if you have a day like mine, walking blind:
but know that what you came here for is right there, just make the final few steps and alas, it shall appear for you and hopefully, you'll get a view from the summit but even if you don't... You made it! Well done!

Now all you have to do is get down safe... Relax, take your time, chat, laugh, encourage people and even lend a helping hand if need be and most of all just enjoy yourself. You have climbed the UK's highest mountain (1344m) and that is something you'll want to celebrate when it's all over.

Now just a wee advisory note: If you are trekking the Ben alone, there are a few things to remember: Take a map and compass and be competant in their use (the Ben doesn't always give you a nice easy clear day for route following), take appropriate footwear/clothes (remember it's a Scottish mountain, respect it's ability to change at a seconds notice) pay attention to where you are walking and of course, be nice to those you meet as they pass you by. Greet people with a hello and a smile, I guarantee it will pay dividends when you are feeling low as they will then be the very people that pick you up and give you a boost if they meet you on the way down and you never know, you may just meet a new friend for life. Most importantly... Have fun and go home feeling like you have been privy to a little secret piece of heaven because the feeling you take with you will never leave you.

Siobhann xx

P.s I want to say thank you to everyone who donated to my Ben Nevis trip which went towards Richard Parks 737challenge . You guys are fantastic and you managed to help me raise an amazing £213 for a wonderful cause... Lots of love xxxxx

Another thank you to Sarah and Jen for coming along, you both did an amazing job getting up and down so fast, hope you have happy memories of your day. Sorry I couldn't keep up with you but in a way i'm glad that i got to do it alone, as my self motivation ability was tested to the max and in the end I won out.

Another Thank you to everyone I met on the Ben that day, you guys all made it such a perfect day and a wonderful memory for me. I have never met so many lovely people whilst exercising haha. Gordon you especially really did make the descent a wonderful experience with all your stories. Such an amazing character, I wish you so many more amazing memories and all the best in your life, you deserve it. Perhaps we shall meet again

Finally, a massive thank you to Richard Parks for motivating me ; without knowing it; to push myself, test my boundries, fight harder and succeed even when I think that I can't possibly go on (You are my inspiration).  

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Munro Magic

Hi everyone
My friend Jen & I have decided to do a charity climb to the summit of Ben Nevis on Saturday 9th July and we would really appreciate if you could show us some support by heading over to our Just Giving page: and donating a small amount. Every little penny helps and it is for an amazing cause. We will also accept offline or paypal donations if you prefer to do it that way, just let me know and we can sort it out.
We are supporting Richard Parks' 737 Challenge in his attempt to raise £1million for Marie Curie Cancer Care by climbing the highest summit on each of the worlds 7 continents as well as venturing the last degree of the South Pole and Geographical North Pole and all against a gruelling 7 month Deadline.
(7 summits, 3 poles, 7 months)
You can find out more about his Challenge here:
I really hope that you will donate anything you can. Your support really does mean a lot to me and I just want to say thank you.

Siobhann McClory & Jennifer Lang

Friday, 1 July 2011

Life is a ball game

Dreams are a funny thing. Some are easily forgotten when left too long, others just never seem to let go of you no matter how long you ignore or put them on hold in the deepest recesses of your mind. It does not matter if you fulfil your dreams, it's in taking that chance, risking failure that we achieve the greatest things in our lives. So now it's my turn to step up to the plate and take my shot.

Yesterday I finally began my intensive fitness training. My first major step was getting over a tiny hurdle and getting myself to bootcamp which did not come easy but hey, I did it. Don't get me wrong, it was quite tough in parts but I actually enjoyed being out in Kelvingrove park getting proper fitness training from an ex-military man. It seemed to motivate me more having someone who was willing to be hard on me and not let me give up, especially when I reached that all important pain barrier. At times, I did have to keep giving myself a pep talk "c'mon Siobhann, just 1 more press up... c'mon just one more reverse crunch" and it did actually work. I made it out in tact and still managed to find fun in something so brutal... Go me I say


Sunday, 5 June 2011

Drop and give me 20

Well, university is almost over for the summer and I am really looking forward to a 4 month break from the monotony of it all. I cannot wait to finally have some free time. Of course, it won't stay free for too long as I have a plan to be moving on with (after a celebratory Lifehouse concert in Manchester first :P)

Last update talked about the Mountaineering course I signed up for, I am super excited about this and have only got another 8 months to wait haha but until then, like I said, I have to get a move on with the fitness goal. Bootcamp is my first step really and I have signed up for a whole 2 months of it with Scottish Millitary Fitness I will be taking my first class approximately Saturday 18th June. I intend on doing as many classes as I can in my 2 months (other things permitting of course). This is a big enough step as it is but wait, there's more... on June 25th (day before my birthday... hint hint) I am also going to do some climbing at GoApe in Aberfoyle which has Britains 2 biggest zip wires on site... I can't wait. It's a place I've been dying to go for ages and it will be so much fun. Next on the plan will be another round of Canyoning with Splash. I did this at the beginning of April and it was freezing, terrifying and so much fun at the same time, I can't wait to do it again. You can check it out for yourself.

After that, if I survive it all... I go to the Ben Nevis and get some of these amazing Scottish mountains under my belt... it's going to be an exciting couple of months. So, in preparation for all of that, I best get some sleep ;) Until next time... Catch ya on the outside xx

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

A small step for me...

After taking a couple of months to figure out my climbing/mountaineering options and where I want to begin, I have repeatedly changed my mind regarding the whole Kilimanjaro thing. This very famous peak, is every trekkers dream starting point at altitude and that is the down side in a way. It has become such a common dream among walkers that I have decided, for now, to postpone my trip. Of course, this is not to say that I will never climb it but for now, it is on hold.
I have not given up on my climbing / mountaineering dreams, instead I put my ideas and goals and dreams into perspective and came up with a starter plan.

Now with this plan in mind, I booked a winter mountaineering course with Jagged Globe today for 6 days and this week, I will be signing up for my 6 week intensive bootcamp course to kick start my training motivation. You can read about the course here: Jagged Globe - Winter Mountaineering

It is such a refreshing thing to finally take a step into the realm of your dreams and I could not have done it without the inspiration from Richard Parks. He reminded me that even in the face of our deepest fears, dreams are attainable no matter how far off they may seem. All you have to do is take the first step
You can follow Rich's 737 Challenge to climb the 7 Summits (Aconcagua, Mount Vinson, Kilimanjaro, Carstensz Pyramid, Everest, Denali & Elbrus) which are the highest mountains on each of the world's continents, and venture the last degree to The South Pole and Geographic North Pole. All against a 7 month clock here: and you can donate here: Donate

Bye for now
S xx

P.s: You can also follow Rich on Twitter and Facebook

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

T to the I to the N.T.O

So I figured that everyone has to start somewhere and without using steep Glasgow streets as my starting point, I decided to go with a real hill. Not a Munro but everyone has to start somewhere right. So Tinto was that place:

(Picture by Siobhann McClory)

Bearing in mind, I haven't been hill walking for many a year so I didn't want to have a long drive before starting out on the days adventure. Tinto reaches a height of 2320ft (707m) and as a smallish hill close to home (approx 5 miles from Lanark, i.e 24 miles from home), it's quite impressive indeed. It has a very beautiful setting even on a less than perfect day and it benefits from the usual unpredictable Scottish weather for an all round experience of a hill walking day out.

Starting out kind of late was nice because it meant the hill was a little quieter and I was able to just take my time and enjoy the view:

(Picture by Siobhann McClory)

I reach the 2 false summits and see ice in front of me and think; awesome, I'm almost there so I'll have a water break and get going on the last 100 or so metres to the top before taking in the view and starting back down. in typical Scottish weather pattern fashion, I turn around and enjoy a beautiful view and when I put my water away, turn to face the direction of the summit and all of a sudden I can't see... the fog decends so quickly:

(Picture by Siobhann McClory)

There's more of a hurry to reach the summit now before it is too late. So walking on ice and rocks and taking slightly less time than I would have liked, I make my way to the final goal. Frozen and windy, the summit is a bitter place in January but I made it:

(Picture by Siobhann McClory)

As you can see, the rocks directly in front of me are the only things that can be seen (except the other camera of course) Damn that fog, I was looking forward to avoiding getting my picture taken with the view in the background. Tinto - Done! That makes Stage one complete... what next? I guess you'll have to wait and see.

Until next time x

Saturday, 19 February 2011

An idea to behold

I have so many ideas of what I want to achieve and having an idea is always a good place to start. So why not start big and in doing so, mould and shape those ideas so that they can become a reality.

This is my beginning: The Seven Summits Challenge. Consisting of Kilimanjaro, Denali, Aconcagua, Mt Vinson, Carstensz Pyramid, Elbrus and of course the highest peak in the world, Everest. (Further information on the challenge can be found here: Seven Summits Challenge)
I realise that some people may think I am a little insane for even considering the idea but aren't we all nuts for something? Whether it's driving around late at night to fulfil that chocolate craving, sticking posters on the wall or travelling around the world for concerts (me included).

We all have something that we love to do and dreams we want to achieve so why can't we just do it? Why not just take the chance, just risk everything and go for it? Isn't life there for the taking? If we hold ourselves back or let fear take over, we aren't really living the lives we could be. Even if we fail at least we tried and in trying, lies success.

So whatever it is, Dare it all and Dream it to life

Tuesday, 1 February 2011


I thought I would start with a little introduction: Hello, I'm Siobhann and I have a dream... too cliché? Seriously then:

Ever since I was young(er) I have always had an idea in my head of certain things that I want to achieve in my life. Just like everyone, there were some fairly regular things on that list: Learn to drive, have my own house, travel and many others that change and grow as you move through various stages of your life and many of which I am proud to say, I have achieved. However, there has always been one, a dream you may call it and that was to climb mountains. Not just any ones, but MOUNTAINS made of dreams. I'll give you some idea of the ones I am referring to: Ben Nevis, Mont Blanc, Everest, Annapurna, Kilimanjaro and my ultimate dream... K2. Sadly, I have always managed to avoid doing these for one reason or another but the feeling and the desire has never really gone away, no matter how much I tried to replace it with something new.

What began this transformation was back in January 2010 when I decided and promised myself that I would do what I wanted and go where I wanted and celebrate my life and my 30th birthday for a whole 12 months. What a promise that was and how much fun it was actually fulfilling that promise to myself and in doing all of the travelling and having adventures I realised something magnificent... I can accomplish anything. So at the end of December 2010, I decided that I am going to live my dreams and I am going to set out to climb the mountains of my life. Voila! My little seed of an idea had been firmly planted and watered for the first time and now there is no stopping it.

So here we are. The newest chapter in my life and the starting point of something, which I just know, is going to be wonderful.