Thursday, 24 February 2011

Mountain Climbing theme

In Blackwells with Emma the other week, we bought a couple of books that were marked "3 for 2" but she struggled to find a third, so I choose Graham Bowley's No Way Down about the 2008 K2 disaster. Reading this the last fews days has re-kindled my enjoyment of mountain climbing books.

A few days ago I began sorting out the old TV recordings in the cupboard downstairs and have come across loads of climbing videos, including Jim Curran's excellent K2 Triumph and Tragedy. That has always been one of my favourite climbing films, but I have decided to re-read his book first. The multiple deaths in 1986 occur at camp 4 on the picture below. In 2008, they occur because the serac marked above the Bottleneck collapses and takes out the fixed ropes - hence "no way down"

It has been some years since I have been on this theme though i occasionally buy Trail Magazine and sometimes Adventure. I also still receive each year the brochure for KE Adventures. I have noticed they are running a 28 day trek which goes to K2 Base Camp. But I am so unfit at the moment, that such a trip would be out of the question. I mentioned the possibility of such a trip to Linda but she got cross that I could be thinking about such a thing when I should be thinking about the trading instead.
It seems ages since I went on those two winter mountaineering courses in Scotland - scene of my greatest climbing accident when I tumbled around 100 metres down a long snow slope when I caught a crampon on my trousers. I managed a regulation ice axe stop on that occasion but the others in my group were still amazed that I survived wholly unscathed. On that trip I took a day off the course later in the week and while on a walk through a forest saw the only golden eagle I have ever seen.
My climbing ambition had always been to climb Mera peak, a 6,300m Trekking peak in Nepal and the highest it is possible to get to without any advanced climbing skills. I have thought about maybe looking at doing that in 2013 when I will be 50. I suspect that if I leave it much later, my chance will have passed.

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