Readers Blog

Alpinist Comforts

Posted on: June 9, 2008

The comfort of being in an alpine environment brings a level calm. We can avoid everything and avoid nothing at the same time.

We work to fund trips. We work half years to claim more tax back, which is then instant trip finance.

We blag free equipment from friends in the industry, on a “test” basis, only to use it and ebay it, then for it to be transformed into something else that we need for the next trip.

We watch the weather obsessively before a big trip, for once the weather chick is not worthy of our attention.

People we work with do not understand how anyone can find enjoyment in suffering in the cold. They do not appreciate pure water ice, the low moisture content of true powder snow or the danger of windslab and rock fall.

Our friends seem amazed by the photographs, the endless tales and the quality of dinner party guest you are at their otherwise dull tables full off bank workers, accountants and “normal people”.

Your family are concerned that you are looking for trouble heading into the mountains. The only thing you are looking for is some kind of perspective away from people who are concerned.

We are driven by the ability to be able to visualise, to read an account or route description and be there, feel through the roof to the jug, torque and jam our fingers, feet and tools.

We earn the right to extreme thought during long approaches, this kind of mental purging is our release valve.

We need to keep thinking, keep visualising, keep looking at the possibilities, keep studying the old magazines for new potential lines, keep studying the maps again and again until it makes sense.

Will this life ever make sense?