Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Whilst doing my daily internet roundup, seeking out ways of alleviating the boredom and monotony of working with pubescent shitheads, I came across this piece of genius from Andy Kirkpatrick (http://www.andy-kirkpatrick.com/blog) talking about Everest and the associated insanity. Often people ask me about mountaineering, assuming that as I am a rock jock I automatically have a strong interest in lugging a heavy pack up a big hill covered in snow. To which I normally respond with one of the following: "I am a rock climber, rock-climb-er!", "Why the fuck would I want to do that?", or "Me, a climber? Nah, that's that bloke over there. I think his name is Julian."

But, these questions do get me pondering about the mountains and the similarities and differences. Climbing is a sport that appeals to ones ego, no doubt about that. All other responsibilities are put aside for 'time on rock.' Climbers tend to be pretty selfish people, always focused on the next trip, the next project, the next training session. Being a climber's partner would be a pretty lonely task much of the time I suspect. But, mountaineering is a whole other kettle of fish, as they say. Now, I am not going to rant on about how selfish mountaineers are, how they put summiting above all else, mostly because I understand their motivation. The bit that fazes me, the bit that really pisses me right off is the continued media attention that this 'Everest' circus creates. The people who were trying to summit Everest a few weeks ago, formed a conga line of wealthy, inexperienced twats, queuing for death at 8,000metres in my mind. Paying $70,000 for a guide to lead you up a mountain is no more momentous than paying someone to safely negotiate your way up the Bard at Arapiles. It is just more expensive and, of course, a little more dangerous. Sure, for some climbers Everest is the culmination of years of training, dreams and proper hard work, or perhaps just another tick along the way to the seven summits or some such madness. With these people I have no beef. But for those other 'clients,' being guided to glory by some sherpa on his 18th ascent, feel free to refrain from telling the world about your amazing, life-changing experience, don't tell me how dangerous it was and how 'alive' you really feel, because really pal, I couldn't give a shit...

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