"Not all those who wander are lost"

My Life Officially Revolves around Climbing

You see things and say, “Why?”, but I dream things and say, “Why not?”

-George Bernard Shaw

 

1/24

I have had five straight nights of dreams about climbing.  Some have just been that I go climbing, which is great because it helps satisfy my need to climb during the week.  Two stood out as really crazy or odd climbing dreams.  In the first I was back in Ilam village in New Zealand and someone was throwing climbing gear off the roof of a building like candy at a parade.  Slings, draws, biners, hangers were tossed and gently landed all around or were caught out of the air by people.  I wish this was the reality.  I think some climbing companies should get together and do this in several places around the world each year.  I will preface the second dream by saying I watched a video from the Petzl website before I went to bed about climbing in Squamish featuring, among other people, Lynn Hill.  In the dream I was suddenly standing at the beginning of a large sandstone arch.  But it wasn’t what you think.  It was a perfectly flat vertical side of a hotel; the arch was the opening over the entrance to a parking garage.  Lynn Hill was climbing the arch (it had a small lip at the edge to climb) and hammering pitons straight into the flat sandstone wall.  At first I started climbing after her, but then I realized she didn’t have anyone belaying her so I grabbed her rope and gave her a belay.  I don’t know what that means, but I’m open to suggestions.

 

1/25

Back to the Rech Cave for another night of bouldering.  I had more success than the previous week, sending several problems I had worked on before.  Gordon had built a Tufa to practice for a climbing trip to Turkey in April.  While I was messing around with it doing a layback I slipped off, hit my side on a protruding hold and managed to remove skin from a long, wide streak down my ribs and giving me a nice bruise.  It’s been sore since then and oven hurts when I’m climbing or using my left oblique.  It was another good night of good climbing with great people.

 

1/26

Went to a new restaurant in the labor camp.  It was cleaner, probably better food, and we found out they DELIVER!  Delicious vegetarian (not everything there, but a decent amount) food for less than $1!  You can’t argue with that, especially when it’s delivered to your room.

 

1/27

Dan Mazur, 7 time Everest summiteer, international high altitude guide, and ambassador the Mount Everest Foundation for Sustainable Development in Nepal was giving a presentation at the Lakes Club.  The plan was for Sam to pick me up at EA and we’d head over there to see it.  The plan didn’t quite work out.  Sam had to give a kid two make-up tests after school then got stuck in traffic trying to get to RIT.  On top of that there had been two times mentioned so we didn’t know if it started at 7:00 or 7:30.  It was after 7 when Sam made it to EA and we headed back across town to the Lakes Club.  Dubai, as always, is full on construction, detours, illogical, and counter-intuitive driving.  This was no different.  We took the directions and somehow ended up on a wrong road.  Sam knew a bit about the area so we tried to make it there but we kept ending up on the wrong side of the road without any way of crossing.  After countless U-turns and zig-zags we finally made it to the Lakes Club at 8:20.  50-80 minutes late for the presentation.  We walked in and found the presentation out on the grass by the water.  As we walked up Dan walked up to the stage.  We got there just in time, we had only missed the time for dinner and a talk by Toby (the author of the UAE guide book).

Dan showed several videos about the work that the Mount Everest Foundation is involved in, talked about climbing Everest, and showed pictures.  He told the detailed story of his first trip up the mountain.  It started by meeting an old Soviet man in a gear store in Kathmandu.  He was attempting to be the oldest (at the time) man to climb Everest.  After a talk in the store he made plans to join the man’s party and two weeks later he was on the summit of Everest.  I was jealous, I wish that something like that could still happen today.  He had joined a Soviet national climbing team during the height of the cold war, but, despite being considered the weak and dumb American, was allowed to climb with them.  He and the old man had been partnered for a summit team and did almost everything they shouldn’t do.  Instead of heading off from the high camp at midnight they waited until sunrise so they could see their path.  They made the summit at 5pm after Dan had helped carry the guys pack every time he stopped.  Just after they began the decent the guy ran out of air and passed out in the snow.  Dan tried to carry or drag him but could barely keep going himself.  Eventually he made the hardest decision anyone could make and decided to leave him in the snow and try to get himself back to high camp.  He felt like he had killed the guy:  he had encouraged him, brought food and water for him, and even helped carry his pack.  After hours of crawling in the dark he somehow made it to camp.  He informed the people there of what had happened and they managed to find and rescue the other guy who was nearly dead.  Later he found out that the guy only had one lung.  He also told about a summit attempt that turned into a rescue when a guy was left for dead by his sherpa (who even poked him in the eye to make sure he was dead).  The story made it onto national news and can probably be found online.  The whole presentation made me want to climb everest even more.

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