Oddly enough, while I am here in India sitting in 36 degree heat drinking sweet lassi's and bouldering with the setting sun, I am still inspired by the mountain masters. Those bitchin hard men who put most of it on the line, for the line. That loose frozen snow covered limestone of the Canadian Rockies is a mystery to me, and as much as I am curious about the art of alpinism, I am also far too addicted to warm weather rocks to find out what all the fuss is about. Don't get me wrong I enjoy good ol' Rock Alpine, the kind of climbing that invloves 20-30 feet of snow traversing to gain a 2000 foot granite spire in mid summer. This I can, will and do participate in, but the mixed climbing of scary shafts in bleak minus 20 degree weather while hauling small packs of emergency gear and ice tools just doesn't appeal to me, not yet at least. All the more reason for me to be in awe of the men and women who are. I stumbled upon this article on climbing.com and can't help but feel excited for them. I can almost see the attraction, the pictures are rad and it seems like a great way to have an adventure, not too far from home. Congratulations to Rob, Steve, John, Ammon, Rapheal and the rest of the friends keeping the fire piping hot. For some radical pics and a good story check out these links…
Also, congrats to Mike Doyle for sending the Mandala V12/13. One of the proudest lines in North America for certain, and although it has now seen hundreds of ascents and most recently an ascent by the beautiful and talented Lisa Rands it is still a dream line and a fine accomplishment. I would like very much to stand atop this block. Earlier the 'way too strong' McColl did the sit start (i think) bumping the grade up to V13/14. Shit man, I don't even want to know what that feels like. Razor blades on the tips. Perhaps as climbers we all deal with a bit of pain, perhaps that is what seperates our great acheivements from the good acheivements, the ability to deal with a little pain and discomfort, from high mountains, to sit down starts, to painful locks on steep cracks. Pain needs to be enjoyed or ignored, even if just a little bit. We climbers are sick individuals.
Today was a rest day in Hampi, everyone here is feeling under the weather, a cold that has been passed around has found its way into my system and it sucks. Lot's of sleep, ginger lemon tea and reading. I am reading 'A walk into the woods', by Bill Bryson, a truly funny story about an unhardened man and his friend Katz in search of adventure on the Appalachian Trail. If you get a chance pick it up, it will have you in stiches.
Also, and I am not sure exactly why I am sharing this information, but recently CBC asked me to participate on the Television show, "Test the Nation" I have never heard of this before and it sounded interesting. I looked into it and discovered that it's a show where they gather a group of people from all over Canada, whether they be artist, cheer leaders, doctors, lawyers, bus drivers or extreme athletes and they test them with skillful questions about the world we live in. Sure, it's all in good fun. "Over one million viewers" was the catch phrase to lure in the talent. But after deeper consideration I was compelled to decline the offer. I hate being on camera, pictures are one thing, but on video I usually shy away and crumple into the corner sucking on my thumb. In addition to this, I am not a big fan of TV (apart from the Simpsons), especially game shows, so I didn't feel a connection to it's purpose. I think people should only do what they love and the rest will fall into place. So I won't be flying to Toronto on March 28th, but perhaps I will try and tune into the network when it comes to air, just to see what sort of action I missed. Hopefully it won't be much.
With that being said, I hope everyone is doing exactly what they want to be doing today, we only get one spin on this dustball and we may as make it count. Being sick is hard for me, I want so badly to go exlpore the '90 degree arete', which is a 7a that hovers around 12-14 feet high, it's a perfect corner with crimps and smears, but I know that if I go out, I wil only be set back another day. I better go back to bed and tear into my Bryson book. If you can and are able, go outside today get some fresh air and do something interesting, for all of us sick folk who wish we could. Sniff sniff.