|Volume 1, No. 5
A quick glance at the countries of origin of subscribers, and it becomes obvious that Mountain is becoming a "Global" magazine. Thus attaining one of it's goals. To be a truly international magazine, unfettered by boundaries and cultural differences.
But other goals still have some way to go before we can begin talking about them having been reached. (Such as: A regular flood of news snippets, expedition news, local updates, etc. Though, even in these departments the flow of information and support is steadily increasing.)
New THIS Month!
Till next time, enjoy your reading, keep the comments coming in, and if you have something, regardless of how trivial it may appear, to contribute, let us have a look at it!
So, you think YOU'VE had a bad day?
Climbing often mirrors life. Sometimes it shapes it. You can have a bad day at the office, you can have a bad day at the crag. And, bar perhaps fishermen, climbers are the biggest yarn-spinners of the lot; many hours being spent around camp fires or in snowbound huts recounting amusing and often downright fallacious anecdotes. Often this reflects the high points of a climb or trip. But seldom is the enjoyment matched as when conversation turns to "Things That Went Wrong."
Like failing for the n'th time to make that crux you can normally do quite comfortably with grease in your chalkbag. You drop your new Friend (no dummy, the piece, not your mate) and watch it arc gracefully into the sea. You discover that the only nut in your rack that will fit that overhanging crack between you and the end of the route, is the one your girlfriend thought would make a cool paperweight. And when you get down, you find that someone broke into your car.
CragRat, for instance, recently discovered that on some routes, the number of bolts, when counted from the bottom of the crag as opposed to halfway up it, differ quite dramatically! Perhaps they hide or something? Maybe they just try to look inconspicuous as you eyeball them from below in preparation for "pushing the envelope" onsight. Five quickdraws later, and less than halfway up the crag, a glance upward shows at least seven more bolts, shining happily away in the rock above. A touch disturbing when the Rat only has three draws left on his harness. Feeling a little like John Wayne facing a showdown in Dead Mans Gulch with only three bullets in his six-shooter, CragRat was able to convincingly declare that "he was having a bad day!"
He is in good company. Many great figures in climbing history have had their fair share of falling foul of that fickle lady, Luck. Maurice Herzog, returning from the first ascent of Annapurna, had a nasty train ride in which he endured multiple amputations of his toes. Several stops saw astonished locals jumping back as the unfortunate digits were swept unceremoniously from the carriage door.
Walter Bonatti, perhaps one of the greatest climbers of all time, endured all sorts of hardships including a night alone near 8000m. Less dramatic but somewhat more irritating were a series of mishaps incurred while on his solo climb of the Southwest pillar of the Dru. On this formidable route he had an early setback. His punctured fuel bottle leaked into his food, not only contaminating his grub but ensuring that he had to spend the rest of the trip sucking icicles as he had no fuel with which to melt anything to drink. His misery was compounded when a resounding blow of his hammer, earmarked for the head of a piton, instead connected with his ring-finger, taking off the end. (You try and climb with a blood-soaked bit of rag substituting for a digit!) All this was testing, even for the likes of Bonatti, so like any sensible climber, he decided to have bit of a break to enjoy a frosty. Using his ice-axe to break the seal on the can, he succeeded in squirting foam from the by now rather unhappily shaken beer all over his parched face and chapped, bloody hands. Lesser mortals would have called it a day. Bonatti first finished his climb.
As far as bad days are concerned, we won't even go into Joe Simpson's famous epic. So if you return from the crag feeling as if you have "Kick Me" tattooed on your butt, just read "Touching the Void". You're lucky!
Photo Expedition " Roy Stroud shares his summit shot with us.
Foli's First Climbing Lesson " American Bill and his Ghanaian friend Foli enjoy their "Climbing Lesson." Foli wonders what he will tell his friends in Ghana about the climbing lesson!
Number 4 - Sept 1996
Number 3 - August 1996
Number 2 - July 1996
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