A tour up Gross Chärpf with a side of forgotten gear

“Hey guys… I forgot my poles.”

Now, that’s one way not to start your skitour. But here we are — Luki, Pius and I — at the trailhead at the very end of the Sernftal; boots on, skins sticking, bindings locked in. Ready to rumble. 

But I didn’t bring my ski poles.

We start skinning anyway. We drove far enough to get here and there is no way we are turning back and screaming abandon. Pius lends me a pole; he says he’ll need it to ski back down, though. Luki says to look for a suitable branch in the forest. I laugh and joke. The adrenaline is pumping. With such a start, this is likely going to be a hilarious (and probably exhausting and frustrating) day.

We skin up for maybe three minutes when Pius shouts:

“But Jo — don’t you have your trailrunning poles in your car?”

He’s right! My lightweight summer poles have been hanging out in the trunk of my tiny orange Suzuki for months. I’d always been too lazy to take them out and stow them away. I’m suddenly thankful for being a lazy bugger. 

I tell the guys to wait as I sprint-skin-ski back to the car to grab the poles. They only have a microscopic basket at their bottom, so I know that they’ll sink straight through any kind of snow except the boilerplate kind. But at least I’ll make it up this mountain (in hindsight I know I would not have made it without them).This is going to be a hilarious, albeit now slightly less exhausting and frustrating, day.

Pius and Luki approaching the Skihütte Oberebs. Our goal is already shining bright in the early morning sun.

Luckily for my inappropriate poles, the skin track turns out to be of slippery, boilerplate quality as we ascend through the forest, following a summer hiking trail. No way they’ll sink in. My climbing skins, on the other hand, aren’t as lucky. My skis slip out from underneath my feet every third step. It hasn’t snowed in several days. There is extremely little snow in the forest. This means the best-before-date of this skin track has long passed and we’re left with more of an icy bobsleigh track than an actual uphill track.

I naively imagine that it will become less slippery higher up once we get out of the woods.

It turns out that it, well, does not get better higher up. The track on the hiking trail soon joins up with the summer road which goes up to the Skihütte Oberebs — a wee hut overlooking the head of the Sernf valley, which is open year-round. I know the place; it was one of the checkpoints my friend Nadia and I had to visit on our gravel bikes when we participated in the Dead Ends & Cake race. The terrain just below the hut is quite flat, giving Pius and I a nice rest from sliding around (Luki seems to have no issues whatsoever, he is just skinning up without sliding, as happy and chirpy as ever). But what comes after — oh my.

From the hut at about 1700m, the route follows a broad, open shoulder in a north-westerly direction until about 2500m. The terrain is never steep, except for a micro-feature in the shape of a tiny roll-over here and there. The views are quite stunning. We ascend overlooking a little vale and cirque, the headwall of which we will have to traverse to looker’s left, and notice some tracks down a very shaded slope on the opposite side. It seems extremely sheltered from the sun; from a distance the snow looks to be fluffy, preserved powder.

We are travelling upslope in the most sun-exposed terrain one can find. Since the Glarus Alps have mostly towering rock giants for mountains with very deep and narrow valleys cutting through them, it takes a while for the morning sun to actually hit our slope. Once it does, it comes full force and remains until the late afternoon. This basically means that the snow here gets baked over the course of a sunny day and then refreezes over night, especially without cloud cover. Add to that the refreeze of ski and snowboard tracks made in the softened up afternoon snow. It is a recipe for disastrous skin track slippage.

Luckily for us, the terrain is so gentle that the icy skin track isn’t dangerous, but mostly an utter annoyance — one that drains extra energy over time. Pius gets out his ski crampons but quickly stows them away again, swearing as he does, as they make the ascent even more frustrating. You see, the snow in the tracks is so hard but the terrain is so flat that ski crampons dig themselves in all too well, slowing you down even more. The best strategy is to simply break a new trail instead of using the existing one. But even so, my skis still slip out from underneath my feet a lot because of the aforementioned refrozen downhill tracks. And here I was, thinking that it’ll slide less once we get into the sun…

It takes a lot of sweat and delicate weight distribution on our skis to make it to 2500m, where we leave the main skin-track-highway going to Chli Chärpf. Instead, we head due west on a relatively flat band of snow, traversing below the headwall of our objective — Gross Chärpf. Unfortunately the track remains just as slippery. Pius now gets his ski crampons out for good (which is a sensible choice as a bad tumble here would likely send you over the edge and down several hundred feet) and Luki just keeps plowing on ahead (nothing can stop this guy, really).

Ski crampons were a sensible choice for this section.

We soon get to a tiny bootpack and clamber up it to find ourselves on the proper summit shoulder. We click back into our bindings. The route now follows a small traverse and switchbacks through steeper, west-facing slopes. Considering the skin track frustrations up to this point, I decide to finally put on my ski crampons as well. No more delicate redistribution of bodyweight. I just want to get to the top without subconsciously tensing up my entire body in fear of a slip.

The terrain is now steep and consequential enough to actually warrant the use of ski crampons, anyway. Using them makes you worry so much less. So, without a worry in the world (who am I kidding — I’ve been worrying all morning about the “easy climbing” to the summit that I’d read about in the Swiss Alpine Club’s route description) we reach our sunny Skidepot (that’s the German term for where you leave your skis and continue on foot to the top) about 50 vertical meters below the summit. I get a little anxious when I see the way up; there is definitely a rock band we need to scramble through. Alright, I guess it’s time to scare myself a little…

Luki goes up first, not wanting nor needing to wear his crampons. Pius and I follow suit after a few minutes (with crampons, of course). Here, too, the snow is rock solid and so are the previously made steps. I breathe a sigh of relief when I notice that the rock band has been made more secure thanks to a metal rod and a piece of rope to hold on to. I clumsily manage to clamber up and over (not without using a classic “climb with your knees” alpine move) thanks to Pius patiently guiding me through it. 

What can I say, I feel uncomfortable and not confident moving over rocks in ski boots and crampons. And I also have to get back down. Oh boy.

Yes, I’d like some rocks with a casual struggle on the side. Thanks.

My worries are put aside for a moment as we reach the top of Gross Chärpf at 2794m. The views are extensive. To the north our gaze swipes over the Glärnisch massif as it towers over the town of Glarus far down below. The Linthebene lies behind, giving us a glimpse of how dark and dreary the day must be out in the Mittelland covered in a thick layer of fog. Almost 100m right below us, the more frequently visited summit of Chli Chärpf is covered in tracks. 

To the east I can make out the famous Martinsloch, a hole cutting through the serrated Tschingelhörner. Twice a year, shortly after sunrise, sun rays shine right through this hole onto the village of Elm (they illuminate the church’s clock tower) far below on the valley floor. The Canton of Graubünden, my chosen home in eastern Switzerland, lies behind these geologically unique formations — the UNESCO’s Sardona World Heritage Site.

As I keep looking south, the Hausstock and Ruchi come into view. To the west of them, far in the distance, the gigantic Tödi massif reaches toward the sky. By its sheer appearance and height alone, it thwarts the peaks around it into a quiet submission.

If this isn’t a stellar summit panorama, I don’t know what. Looking out from southwest, to west, to north.

It is time to stop being awestruck and get off the rather windy mountaintop. I struggle my way through the crux, as expected. But I make it without any hiccups (like I always end up doing — I see some kind of “anxious for no reason” trend, don’t you?), once again thanks to Pius coaching me through the climb. Put your left foot here, hold on to this solid flake, step down onto this outcrop around the corner — you got it.

The day is far from over. Already full of impressions, emotions and memories, we still have to tackle the best part — skiing down. Our daydreaming about that good-looking, shaded slope we observed on our way up quickly cements our group decision of taking a gamble: an alternative Abfahrt round the back, despite not knowing what that back looks like (I had very briefly read the description and only remembered there being a steep section). We had tracks to follow, though, and avalanche conditions were good. Thus, instead of retracing our steps, we descend in a southwesterly direction. 

We quickly notice that, despite all the sunshine and it already being one in the afternoon, the sun-exposed snowpack hasn’t softened up yet. The old, mushy-now-a-solid-death-cookie tracks make for a bumpy and annoying ski (especially with basket-less poles). I see Pius struggling, too — this is his first tour after twisting his knee (and said knee subsequently miraculously healing) over the New Year. Understandably, he cannot muster the necessary confidence under these borderline circumstances. 

“Slow and steady wins the race,” I think to myself. He makes it down the first section just fine.

We are suddenly standing on top of a 40-degree steep couloir. Ah, this must be this steep section I briefly read about. It fortunately doesn’t look very scary but it is quite skied out and the snow is just too hard to ski properly. Nothing a good old sideslip action can’t solve, though, and the three of us make it down the funnel in less time it takes to say “luckily I am an excellent survival skier.” I am very glad it goes down without a hitch as it turns out to be Pius’ first steep couloir. (He doesn’t think it is anything to be proud of as it wasn’t possible to ski it properly but I highly disagree.)

Notice Luki in the belly of the beast?

We are now in a broad, high plain named Wichlenmatt. Due to its exposition and it being surrounded by high walls of rock, it is sheltered from the wind and we find ourselves getting baked to a crisp. As we push ourselves through the flats below the Stockplanggen, we realize that we have to put our skins back on to reach a little saddle and the top of that line of hopefully good snow we’ve been longing for all day. Bummer.

Although it is now well into the afternoon, the skin track up to this little col is as slippery as its cousins we encountered in the morning. I cannot believe it. I thought those struggles were behind us. I employ the same method I’d used earlier: I make a new track right next to the existing one. Like this, the snow is softer and my skins get better grip.

As much as we did not enjoy this added uphill, we are quite stoked when we reach the saddle and get a glimpse at what awaits us. Oh boy — that snow really does look good. And while earlier skiers have found this stash of goodness before us, there is still plenty of room to draw our own, fresh lines.

Something we, in fact, proceed to do.

Luki goes first and immediately lets out shrieks of joy and stoke and excitement and — ah, what a relief to find this sun-sheltered powder! He pins it more to skier’s right, away from the majority of the tracks which trend to the left. He’s looking for some fun chute he saw in the morning. He stops on top of something that is either a drop-off or a steep rollover. I decide to join him and tell Pius to stay to skier’s left and the easier terrain, just to be safe.

Luki enjoying a moment’s rest before plunging into the good, good snow.

Luki and I end up skiing down this chute he stood on top of. There was one entry for each of us, on either side of a rock. He picks the better path, fully in the shade, as I hit some slightly sun-affected snow. But it was fun nonetheless — especially the transition out of the funnel to the flats, slaloming in champagne powder through tiny larches.

We reunite with Pius who, in fact, also skied down a funnel (“it was steeper than it looked but I was in it, so it was too late,” he said), cross a stream and step back onto this morning’s hillside, into the sun and onto, frankly, absolutely terrible snow. At that point, I feel terribly lucky for having taken this alternate descent in good snow. The gamble sure had paid off.

We get back to the Skihütte Oberebs and make an unanimous group decision to enjoy a little après-(backcountry)ski before skiing out. Gluten-free chestnut cake and non-alcoholic apple cider go down really well after a tiring but hugely successful mission.

Our lines are somewhere in there… Just let your imagination run wild on this one.

The last stretch back the car follows the summer road and is basically a super fun cat track — the perfect ski out. Our cars are some of the last leftovers of the parking lot. The sun is long gone behind the mountains and so is the heat; the winterly cold and soft afternoon shadows have reclaimed the head of the valley.

I think I might just keep leaving my trekking poles in my car. Just in case.

The Spearhead Traverse: A Boxing Day Repost

Back in 2018, I embarked on the Spearhead Traverse – North America’s most classic multi-day skitouring itinerary. It had taken me a year exactly to put the experience into words and publish this article on my old blog (let’s name it “Jo Runs Wild 1.0” from now on). As it is now Boxing Day 2021 and we are soon wading, chest-deep, through ski season (and planning some future multi-day trips), I thought you’d appreciate my plastering of this snow-capped adventure story onto the virtual walls of this new blog of mine. I hope to stoke the fire of your adventure lust. Enjoy it, folks. And Happy Holidays!

Luke has worked his way roughly two-thirds up the headwall when he stops, looking on. Suddenly, a small slab releases several metres in front of him. A few switchbacks below, Kyle, Julien and I scramble to get out of harm’s way. Luckily enough, the slide doesn’t travel very far. Still, this has not been the only evidence of snowpack instability we’ve come across that day. A bit of new snow and winds overnight, avalanche control on Blackcomb Glacier that morning, a skier-triggered size 2 on the east-facing ridge south of Blackcomb Peak – and now this – are more than enough reasons for backing off and instead contouring Mount Pattison from the south. Sure, it’s longer than heading up the saddle due north of the summit, but it’s not as steep nor as wind-loaded.

What is is, though, is that it is stuck in a cloud. A thick one. The four of us make sure our maps and other navigational tools are ready, and set out into the whiteout.

On our way into the whiteout
Do we really have to walk into this eerie whiteout?

Exactly a year ago, I was seemingly spit out of British Columbia’s Coast Range backcountry – a stinky, sweaty, and utterly exhausted mess. I had just completed the Spearhead Traverse with three good touring buddies and excellent partners for this trip – Kyle, Julien, and Luke. I’ve been wanting to write a trip report of sorts about this adventure ever since. Yet, it has taken me an incredibly long time to get around to it. I can’t quite put the finger on the exact reason for it. But every time I would write a paragraph or two, it didn’t seem quite right. Mentally and physically tough as it was for me, I may have just needed an entire year to disentangle the emotional and subjective from the objective and take a more level-headed look at the remaining memories I still hold very dear to my heart. Also, let’s face it, publishing this on the trip’s one-year anniversary gives me just the motivational push to sit my butt down in front of my laptop and actually write something. This text is a mix between paragraphs written only a few weeks after the traverse, others written down more recently, and whatever I am spewing out right at this moment to try and string them all together in a more or less cohesive unit.

What was my experience on the Spearhead Traverse, if not one of having the mountains, a sudden lack of trust in my own skiing skills, and the heavy load on my back beat me into a sort of quiet and humbling submission?

It’s interesting how the force of gravity can shape and dictate our ability to move through tough landscapes. Of course I know that being light is might and I tend to consider myself a bit of a weight weenie. But just how utterly exhausted I could be from carrying a few days’ worth of food, camping, glacier, and ski gear – it’s something I thought I’d knew. I mean, I had done it before. Yet, the Spearhead taught me otherwise.

I’ve had a good roll that season. During a two-week high pressure window that December, I suddenly found myself diligently ticking some objectives off the bucket list. As an ex couch potato that is still wondering how she managed to stumble head-first into this life, I felt almost apprehensive at how far I was able to push it. But at the same time, finally being able to confidently refer to myself as a reliable adventure partner instilled a new sense of pride in me. Still, those summits I had reached and that one day I cracked 3,000m of elevation gain meant nothing as I dragged myself up toward the Tremor-Shudder col, my exhaustion and frustration pushing me ever closer to the brink.

In hindsight I can blame my physical state on that first day of the traverse to our rushed demeanor and subsequent lack of fueling. Our late start forced us to keep the pace up. Without adequate food intake, I just hit the dreaded wall. Not the one Trump wants to build to keep out fictitious “bad hombres” but the one endurance athletes fear; no matter how fit and strong you are, you cannot go on. Unless you snail-pace it. And as much as I know that I reached that point because of poor planning more than anything, in the moment I felt weak as I lagged behind my friends. They had already crossed over the col! As this most dreaded feeling of mine (that I am holding the group back) settled in, I felt overwhelmingly disappointed in myself.

That same morning, despite an early wake-up in some snowmobile club’s gravel parking lot, we didn’t get to the top of Blackcomb’s Showcase T-bar until about noon. Figuring our way around an unfamiliar, busy place and trying to figure out where to park – a rather unnerving task when you don’t want to come back to a towed vehicle after 3 days spent in the mountains with no means to change out of your ski boots – took way longer than we thought. We felt rushed. There was no way to leisurely enjoy the walk that day. Luckily a trail had been broken in for us until we reached Trorey Glacier. Then, it became up to us to put down a track. This happened on the west side of Mount Pattison where we tried to take a shortcut via a small col to reach Tremor Glacier. The small slide that Luke set off brought us back onto the usual route, contouring the mountain from the south. The absolute whiteout we then entered made navigation difficult. It also made it much more stressful – traveling through white clouds on white glaciers is by no means a fun time. We eventually reached what we thought was a ridge down onto Tremor Glacier. Luckily, we were bang on, and we fully left this shapeless, timeless space and returned to a looming end of day which showed us the way up and over the icefield and to the next col, the sunset in our necks.

Dusk over Tremor Glacier
The last climb over Tremor Glacier at last light. What you cannot see is me, close to hyperventilation, trying desperately not to fall behind any more.

Hitting the wall hard right off the bat on a multi-day ski traverse is, looking back at it, definitely something I do not recommend. Without being able to really recover at all over night due to the reality of glacier camping at 2,600m above sea level (on Platform Glacier to be exact, roughly the highest point of the traverse), this just set the tone for the rest of the trip and I carried the exhaustion with me like some kind of additional weight.

Packing up camp on Platform Glacier
A cold morning on Platform Glacier with giant peaks all around us.

Despite it all, the second day was amazing. Without a single cloud in the bright blue sky, we were basking in the incredibly rugged and grand mountain views while our sunscreen-lathered skin was basking in the powerful glacial sun rays. It felt absolutely humbling to be these tiny moving specks traversing glacier after glacier, from one serrated ridge to the next.

We made a few navigational mistakes. We dropped too low on MacBeth Glacier and ended up east of Couloir Ridge. After getting our bearings straight and reaching the proper MacBeth-Couloir Ridge col, we skied down onto Couloir’s southwest ridge. There, the second route deviation happened. Normally, you would follow that ridge to get onto Iago Glacier (which we later discovered as we looked back and saw a lone telemarker, out for a little day walk by himself, breaking trail across the terrain feature) as this saves you from a big climb. Instead, lured by the prospect of skiing some mashed-potato snow that had been baking in the sun all day, releasing some wet slides in the process, we dropped too low.

Sun-facing aspects in the warm spring sun and everything starts rolling
The snowpack confirms; it was hot out.

On the climb up to the top of Iago, I was beating myself up again. Hard. I just couldn’t keep a consistent, slow walking pace. I’d go a hundred metres, then stop. Go another few, then stop again. I was unable to dial down the speed enough to move continuously, and the boys were marching on, lengthening the gap between us. Here I was again, disappointed that I was going to hold back the group which would have to wait for me at the top of the climb (thinking about it now, this gave them at least a nice lunch, pee, and number 2 break on top of a mountain). This time around, it was also incredibly hot, which slowed me down even more. However, upon checking my GPS watch to keep track of my progress, I discovered that I was still averaging a pace of roughly 300m of elevation gain per hour which is considered to be average ski touring speed. Maybe I wasn’t that terribly slow after all – the boys were just really fast. That didn’t change my attitude, though. I couldn’t really reason myself out of wanting to keep up with the other three, no matter how physically impossible that was.

Rock spires on top of Mount Iago
The summit of Mount Iago included some pretty cool rock spires. Notice the ski track in the bottom left corner?

Something else became apparent when we then skied down the south face of Iago, toward the vast glacial expanse north of Cheakamus Mountain. My skiing didn’t feel right. It felt sloppy and far from inspiring confidence. Sure, it was harder to ski with a big lump of weight on your back. But it felt as if I was skiing with my boots in walk mode, thrust into the backseat. Suddenly, the thought of skiing anything steeper became scary. I was losing trust in my skiing ability. To this day, that trust hasn’t fully returned, even though I discovered a couple months ago that the plastic shells of my ski boots were to blame; they had fatigued and became way too soft. Basically, they broke under the weight and heat.

Proudly and tall it stands – Cheakamus Mountain. I’d love to come back and climb it. It looks like serious fun.

We left Cheakamus behind as we crested the col between Fitzsimmons and Benvolio and contoured the interestingly named Overlord Mountain from the north. With the day’s end in sight, I was getting more relaxed. However, I didn’t count on Overlord’s northwest ridge to throw such a scary crux at us. We had to descend onto Refuse Glacier through a narrow choke in the cliffs. It was reached by sketchily traversing a sliver of skied-out snow which tightly hugged the rocks above a considerably tall cliff band. I went through it last. There was practically no snow left as I resorted to remove my gloves to grab onto the rocks for dear life as I moved over to the little snowy choke, my skis scraping on bare rocks and my body absolutely gripped with fear of exposure. To put it mildly – it was awful. It also sucked the last bit of energy out of me. I was done. I let the boys climb to the top of Whirlwind Peak to enjoy a longer sunset descent to Russet Lake, while I just barely ascended a little above the Whirlwind-Fissile col.

Fortunately, the last descent of the day was just the kind of mellow I needed to cap off a day full of highs and lows – from the towering peaks and breathtaking views to the pits of my confidence and exhaustion. Even better yet, there was more than enough room for us to sleep in the now-gone Russet Lake cabin (it has since been replaced by some fancy hut). That evening, I crawled into my sleeping bag, the most exhausted I have ever felt in my life (editor’s note from 2021: to this day, still the most exhausted I have ever felt).

From Russet Lake Cabin, because of the Spearhead’s horseshoe-shape, we could look back at our entire route that day. Platform Glacier, where we had slept the night before, is located in the shady divot just to the right of Tremor Mountain (the prominent rounded peak in the left third of the picture).

On the third morning, I was waiting at the cabin as the boys went up Fissile Peak to ski its “banana couloir.” Thinking about the walk ahead and how I had felt the previous day, I decided against joining them. Even with the possibility of traveling light, leaving most gear at Russet Lake, I couldn’t possibly see myself making it up the prominent peak, down some slightly more serious line and then all the way back to Whistler (remember, my boots were basically broken). The sun baked us again that day as we inched toward the resort boundary, four lumps of sweat and stinky clothes. Eventually, though, we were sat at a bistro in Whistler Village, wearing normal shoes and eating copious amounts of pizza.

From a cynical’s perspective, we really put in a lot of hard work just to avoid a record-breaking Gondola floating hundreds of metres above the valley floor to connect our start and end points. (The Spearhead runs from Blackcomb to Whistler, after all – two halves of a ski resort connected by the Peak2Peak Gondola. Taking it is a lot quicker than what we did – a monstrous detour.) But it was about more than that, of course. It was about adventure and experiencing one of Canada’s classic high-alpine ski traverses. It was about crossing 14 different glaciers and feeling really small.

So, to echo my words from earlier: What was my experience on the Spearhead Traverse?

One hell of a valuable and memorable learning experience? It was that, but also much, much more.

And on the third day, we leave Russet Lake Cabin, with Mount Fissile (including the Banana Couloir) in the background. I guess I should come back to ski this one day, too.

On the little tasks (like starting a blog, again)

I’m the first to admit that getting anything done is hard. There is so much that I want to get done – all the time. I want to write more, read more, paint and be creative, go on early runs and rides. It’s not that there aren’t enough hours in a single day to be able to put time toward what I consider being meaningful activities. What is plentiful, however, is the sheer incredulous variety of distractions. Yeah, social media is definitely not helpful for someone like me who struggles with procrastination. It is just so incredibly easy to lie on the same sofa and mindlessly scroll through stuff. It requires no effort at all.

But does it bring rewards? Honestly – not really, no. You might learn a few interesting things here and there, but mostly it is just a useless time-suck that is proven, time and time again, to have negative effects on our relationships, health and mental well-being. Connectivity without connectedness. Collective solitude and the loss of thousands of hours that we could spend doing something else – something with family, friends, or something for ourselves.

Yet I do acknowledge that social media opens possibilities that nobody could even fathom before they actually happened. We are more connected than ever, overall, and for grassroots movements and activism of all kind, it sure is a great tool (although this can also be harnessed to stir extremism, racism, discrimination, and the like). Our brains are just not wired to deal properly with this new technology. Everything around us evolves and changes so fast that the evolution of our bodies and brains is hugely outpaced. The advent of social media managed to put real connection and the sense of local community on the back burner (arguably, so does living in large cities). We are becoming more distant from our “tribe”. But we are social animals. We have evolved to live in small groups. But our modern life increasingly alienates us from our tribes. It is making us less happy, less motivated.

I wasn’t intending to rumble on like that, so let’s swing back to the original line of thought here. With all present-day distractions and my incredible talent to procrastinate, lose and do nothing, I tend to quietly celebrate every task that gets done, every bit of time I put aside for school work or creative endeavours like a big achievement. I also understand that it is a reason why I love to move and exercise so much. It gives me the feeling of having accomplished something. And, just like Aaron Stuber from the Thought For Food podcast once said years ago: I feel like shit when I don’t move my body – because that is my identity. 

So, I am taking this space here to pose a challenge to myself; to widen my sense of self to include writing, reading, meditation, creativity and mindfulness. Maybe then I’ll get somewhere. Starting anew with a blog I previously tended to from 2016 to 2019 is a good step in that direction. In that regard, I welcome you to go on this journey with me.

At least I’ve already learnt to keep my phone far away from my bed so I have to get up to turn off the alarm; beating the snooze button as a metaphor for doing the things I set out to do.