Friday, October 5

Sweet thoughts

Until I started to actually earn something, I used borrowed gear for all my mountaineering trips. And by gear I mean everything other than backpack and boots, as gore-tex and merino base layers and crampons and harnesses and ropes and helmets and poles and gloves and beanies etc were very expensive. This always resulted in me wearing clothes that were too big for me and had weird color combinations, making for very very funny pictures. For example, I used a down jacket that was size XL for Aconcagua. It was very good (kept my knees warm too!) but it made me look like a very very fat blue! penguin. With an orange beanie!

I cannot begin to say how much my mother opposes me doing any type of climbing and mountaineering, and long distance running for that matter. Oh, and trail running. And bungee jumping. She would really love it if I did more tennis, not-long-distance running, and frankly, would be very happy if the only sport I did was chess. She gets so disturbed and so worried about any trip I take (probably more disturbed as she ages), that I don't even tell her anymore. All of our grampians trips have been "trekking with friends". I did not tell her about the last Alps trip (and had to take the photos down from picasa as well), and I will not tell her about New Zealand either. At least not about Mount Cook. When I went to Aconcagua she checked (and worried) about the wind conditions and the weather conditions and every fucking little thing more than we did. She, of course, had interwebs, which we didn't.

Even with all this, when I went in my first alpine climbing trip, she bought me a (very expensive for Romania) pair of crampons that I badly needed and I didn't have money for as I was at the time a poor-er PhD student. That pair of crampons turned out to be the first technical alpine piece of gear I owned. I have yet to take them out and look at them but here is a photo of how they looked when they were new:

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