Blue Bird image

Blue Bird

January 23, 2018

After decades of sat waiting for weather windows, I’ve sat for two months at this window waiting for weather. You’d have imagined giving yourself two months to get something hard done would be more than enough time, but not this year, just constant snow, then rain, then snow - a break of one day or two of blue sky - enough to allow the snow to settle - then repeat. People often wonder why young climbers have little interest in the alps, the greater ranges, few applications any more for the MEF funds.

They say that the young have no fortitude, no stamina, are soft, only after quick hits, and once upon a time I’d have said the same. But then I think about being in the high Sierra, Zion, Red Rocks, Yosemite, where bad weather is a relief. I think about all those routes climbed, Dream of Wild Turkeys, Unimpeachable Groping, Eagles Dance, each one a gem.

To sit on your arse waiting and wanting for two months - making do with skiing - is not healthy, it’s also not climbing, it’s deeper and darker than that - that only joy to be had, not any one move, but just getting it done.

So my advice to the young, who feel they might be missing out, or guilty at their pleasure, is life is far too short to wait for the mountains to make up their minds, to be climbed or not, to curse your mind with doubt, double guess and indecision. No, alpinism is not a game for climbers, but a game for gamblers, gamblers hanging on to the hope of their bluebird win.

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