Its been really fascinating to see how the talk is absorbed by both the climber and the none-climber in an almost equal measure, and although extremely cheesy to say it, it has been very pleasing to have someone come up to you at the end and say they were "inspired".
Although i'm now in danger of sounding like the kind of person who normally i would be intensely annoyed by, i have to say that.......this brief insight in to spreading my fascination and enthusiasm in climbing has shown me that one of the missing parts in the jigsaw, that for me has to be looking a little more complete to be convinced that climbing is an entirely meaningful and worthwhile thing to be involved with in an all-consuming way, has just began to fall in to place. It is possible for other people to "get" the very specialist area of climbing that is Alpinism, and even if not interested in partaking in it, people find it uplifting to hear about.
The last talk i did, i was asked to talk for 20 minutes as an after-dinner thing for a Manchester based mountaineering club. One thing that became apparent was that talking for short times is much harder than talking for longer, as when you are talking you have no sense of time, and when talking for twenty minutes, you have to time it so that you feel like you've only been going for about 30 seconds!!
Some things i've been talking about:
|St.Bees, my original playground and a very special place.|
|Precarious living on some of the Alp's hardest lines.|
|How to climb the Eiger North Face in a day.|
|The story behind this photo.|
|And what it feels like to be completely wasted with no back-up plan.|
On Saturday i took a day off from the farm i work at when i'm in the UK, and went along to the Alpine Club China symposium in Shap. Much was learnt about this fascinating area and many ideas were wizzing around my mind on the drive home. Talks from Bruce Normand on Edgar and Chris Bonington on Kongur were my favourites. But definitely the most fascinating part for me was sitting with Bruce and his laptop for a couple of hours afterwards, looking at hundreds of unique photos he possesses from his travels in the Chinese mountains. This guy knows a lot.....