"A word on the spot is worth a cartload of recollections"
James Maggs, Southwold diarist 1797-1890

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Cold climbs

Andy Kirkpatrick often hits the mark when he writes about climbing. His latest blog is about how today's middle-grade winter climbers can make a step up to grade 5+. His post includes this classic observation about the differences between climbing today compared with 40 or more years ago:
Buy [Cold Climbs] and sit and look at the pictures over and over. Look at the crap gear they had, cutting steps or swinging axes people wouldn't want to climb grade I gullies with. These men weren't gods, they just had balls. You on the other hand are also not a god, but to those guys you'd look like the ice climbing version of Predator; decked out with alien technology curved axes and mono points, boots that together weigh less than one of theirs, and clothing that you could nip up Everest with - not to mention 8.5mm dry coated ropes, cams, nuts, ice hooks, tri cams, helmets, GPS, up to the second weather and avalanche forecasts and UKC posts about conditions. So instead of flicking through Cold Climbs and looking how hard all the routes look, just think about the outrageous advantage you have over those guys. Frankly it's cheating.

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