According to Abi Austin’s report, more Afghan National Army soldiers died in Afghanistan last year than Britain lost in 13 years of conflict.
Ten days to book launch and I’m eking out the last of the ski season with my two sons, Harry and Alfie. Prior to going to Afghan in 2012 I was concerned that I might not return to share with them my love of snow covered mountains. I wrote about this in chapter four:
I was also making a video for Harry and Alfie. This was to be my message to them from the grave should I not return. I reasoned that if I didn’t live long enough to share my love of snow covered mountains with my boys firsthand, then the next best thing would be to make a video. I tried to explain to them why I felt so drawn to the mountains and my hope that one day they would come to understand and share my passion. I also told them how much I loved them, how they were growing up to be such wonderful boys, how proud of them I was and how sorry that I would not be there to watch over them.
Finally I told them not to mourn my loss or to visit my grave – I would not be there. If they needed me in the years ahead they should come into the mountains. They would find me here on the wind as it whistles over jagged peaks, in the rays of early morning light turning the mountains pink and in the branches of pines laden with snow. Most of all they would find me in their own aching limbs after an epic powder day, in the shortness of breath that comes with thin mountain air and in the pounding of their hearts with the euphoria of a successful descent.
This is where they would find me and could be with me, for they would know then what I know now.
I’m proud to say they are now both accomplished skiers.
The Trois Vallees weather forecast promises 8cm of fresh snow overnight so we’re keeping our fingers crossed for an epic powder day tomorrow.