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Blog — Zen and the Art of Climbing

No Ordinary Holiday

No Ordinary Holiday</p>
     
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by Morag Stewart   “Are you getting excited about your holiday?” This question was asked repeatedly by my co-workers in the weeks and months before I left my regular full-time job. “Errr, yes… no…. yes, yes, I think so”, I would respond with furrowed eyebrows but a wide smile. The reality of it was that I had a huge mix of emotions regarding the trip, because this was no ordinary holiday. We’d been planning our trip for over two years, so there was no shortage of excitement to finally hit the road. Of course, a 12-month holiday has different challenges...

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Crag Profile: El Potrero Chico, Mexico

Crag Profile: El Potrero Chico, Mexico</p>
     
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Imagine, if you will, the following scene… Having spent the day climbing pitch after pitch of Mexican limestone, you finally rest your weary body on a tattered boulder pad. Surrounding you, the monolithic walls are awash with fiery sunset hues, and someone hands you a margarita with colours to match. It is strong and spicy, the rim of the plastic cup encrusted with a mixture of chili, lime and salt. Jim Morrison’s husky baritone blasts forth into the desert twilight. High above, a climber is working the moves on a 5.11 testpiece, tonight’s entertainment. Surrounded by friends, you recap the...

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Trip Report: Failure on Illimani

Trip Report: Failure on Illimani</p>
     
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Being the second tallest mountain in Bolivia at 6438m, and the tallest in the Cordillera Real, Illimani was always going to be an ambitious objective. Dominating the skyline of La Paz, this broad massif issues forth a siren song that cannot fail to be heard by anyone with climbing in their veins. We certainly heard it clearly, though our excitement was tempered by reserve. One of our team members, my long-time accomplice and partner in suffering Adam McKenney, did not have the luxury of time. Even the mere two weeks vacation he had wrangled from the miserly clutches of corporate...

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5 reasons you should take your rope on a holiday

5 reasons you should take your rope on a holiday</p>
     
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Some folks dream of seeing London, Paris, Rome or New York… But not you, of course. You’re a climber. And that means your idea of a holiday is a little different. You don’t want to spend it touring museums, dining in expensive restaurants, and sliding your pampered body between two million thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets each night. You want to spend it examining a large body of rock in minute detail, drinking cheap beer, and contorting your body into strange and uncomfortable positions. So, instead, you dream of seeing Yosemite, Kalymnos, Chamonix or Patagonia. As if you needed any further...

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Has the Internet ruined adventure?

Has the Internet ruined adventure?</p>
     
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Possibly my greatest achievement as a human on this planet is single-handedly conquering the Water Temple in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. For those of you who wasted equally massive amounts of your childhood playing video games, you may well know how diabolical the puzzles contained within this dungeon truly were. We’re not talking mere hours of frustration here. We’re talking days, maybe even weeks of wailing and much gnashing of teeth as you pieced together the subtle nuances of that forsaken labyrinth. But such herculean feats of intelligence and resolve are more or less a thing of...

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