Hi Everyone.

The last few days have been hectic, but also pleasant and enjoyable. The truth is that ending the year like this is great fun.

Last Sunday we were lucky enough to be able to make an incredible helicopter flight along the whole Aran Valley (Valle de Aran), which at present is my second home since I am spending lots of time there training. Thanks to our friends from Heliski Pyrenees we were able to film some great scenes throughout the whole valley in preparation for a new television project for next spring. This is a really great project that we are very excited about, and we think that you will like it a lot.

Monday was a magical day. I visited the Juan XXIII foundation (Fundación Juan XXIII). When you get to know foundations such as this one, which aim to find jobs for people with mental disabilities, I begin to wonder if what I do means anything at all. They wanted me to go and talk to them about effort, about perseverance….but how was I supposed to talk to them about this when they are the perfect example of perseverance, excitement, and hard work that I have ever seen. I have even been lucky enough to be made a patron of the Foundation – is there any greater gift than this? There are days when it is worth being the “public face” of something, when you can help in some way, or make somebody smile, or cry with joy. Thank you for making me happy.

We are now in the home straight of 2010. Over the last few days I have been giving a lot of interviews and they have asked me to sum up this year that is coming to an end.

It has been a year full of dreams, of great recognition, during which one of my life projects – that of the eighteen-thousanders, has come to an end. I am still winning awards and recognition, such as the latest prize from National Geographic for the best adventurer of the year. It is a popular prize and thus depends on whether or not you wish to vote for me

I feel happy, happy to have taken, at a crucial moment in my life, that decision to do what I love doing – climbing mountains. Over these last 10 years not all the Christmases have been like this one; there have been better ones and many others far worse. But this year will be a good one, that is if my nephew comes out of hospital soon because he is very ill. If not, we will spend Christmas at the hospital by his side, waiting for 2011 which I am sure will bring us all many good things.

Amongst all of you who read my webpage, there will be some of you who smile every day, those of you who smile from time to time and those of you who find it harder. I would love to be able to do everything it takes to make you all smile, but for the time being, albeit a small gesture, I would like to send you all the biggest and best hug possible, full of sincerity and affection.

From the bottom of my heart I wish you all a very merry Christmas.