Tuesday 19 August 2008

From one extreme to the other

Over the past two weeks I have done a good job of replacing climbaholism with workaholism. It’s funny how things fit together nicely. August just happens to be the worst month for climbing in Scotland (often too wet in the mountains and getting colder, but still warm and midgy in the glens) and this August as been something of a monsoon. It was a good decision to grab my chance on Echo Wall when I did. If I hadn’t it would have been next year for sure. 

Is this workaholism healthy? Definitely not. A week straight of 4/5am finishes makes one’s edges a little frayed. But it has it’s uses. and in the very short term can be a good idea. After setting up our production company to make the film about Echo Wall and working with Claire on some editing, I headed back up the Ben as soon as the clouds broke to film a bit of running and nice footage of the mountain.

Bill Murray said “ No man will ever know Ben Nevis” When I was climbing Echo Wall I did feel like I did have a small window, a partial insight into understanding how to move well on this mountain, just for a second. But the feeling, illusionary or not, soon wore off. Arms and legs are hurting once again from the climbing and running efforts - a good feeling.

Time in the computer chair can be deadening for both mind and body at times, but so long as the connection to climbing isn’t allowed to become too distant, it can strengthen the motivation.

I always forget just how much I love rock movement until I have enforced time away. This is great for me. After 15 years of rock climbing, to still feel the psyche to be on the rock stronger than ever makes me so excited and full of energy to start new projects, whatever they might be???

Right now I’m in the car with Claire on our way to meet with Jimmy Marshall and talk about Ben Nevis climbing. You’ll see it in the film.


  1. One thing I really enjoy about your blog is your willingness to address the non-climbing realities of life: work, money, relationships, house and home. It's a tricky balance if we want something more than a solitary life of camping in the dirt.

    I spend all day in front of a computer writing software, and you touched on something that has worked for me to keep me training during the week and trying hard on the weekend, and that's hunger: if I leave the crag never having quite climbed enough, if work sometimes prevents me from as many midweek sessions as I'd like, I find that the desire to keep after it creates an edge and intensity that is always there. Climbing remains a passion, and the motivation to pull harder next time is easier to come by. Sure, it would be great to climb full time with nothing else to distract ... or would it?

  2. After reading this, Dave, I'm not quite sure how I've managed to spend so many years in front of a computer 5 days a week. It is deadening, you're right, but only when I'm here. It doesn't affect me outside work. It's a wonder they haven't fired me yet for being.....well, dead! Maybe it just makes me feel more alive when I'm somewhere else.