Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Things Have Started to Calm Down.

There was a slide show last Saturday night that I was quite looking forward to.

It's always nice to catch up with everyone, and I needed a couple of beers after the week I'd had:

First of all, I started a new job, which ended up being fine in the end, but caused me a sleepless night before the morning I started and caused me to not eat from 9am to 5pm each day through fear of screwing up resulting in total loss of appetite! I collapsed in the door each evening and gobbled enough dinner to make up for the two missed meals each of the commencing days of my new job.

Then there was the small matter of moving house... Which is like pulling teeth in it's own right.

Basically, my whole world changed last week.

My head is still spinning a bit!

Last Saturday is when the big move took place and as luck would have it - the weather was absolutely bouldering gorgeous. There was no way around it though - my Saturday was mapped out, and there would be no rock.

Chris and Tom kept the boulders of Glendalough company while I suffered the dreaded move, as the sun shone in a clear blue sky and temperatures plummeted to about 5 degrees or maybe less!

The move happened and after it did I made my way over to share some beers with some friends. The slideshow began and I heard about one girl's ascent of El Cap... on her own. Jane's style of climbing is the exact opposite of what I'm into or into hearing about, but as a spectacle and a story is far more entertaining for one and all than a story about a 2.5m boulder send. Her accomplishment is very impressive indeed and also mental.

Next was a story about a trip to Patagonia. I've never really looked the place up, nor do I know much about it - other than the fact that I've been told the bouldering there is exceptional.

I'd read Ron's story before but was really looking forward to hearing him talk about it - and seeing pictures of the place. It looks incredible, but the weather seems as though it'd be enough to put many (including myself) off visiting the place.

Between the slideshows we chatted and ordered more drinks and chilled out... and chilling out was something I hadn't done in about 10 days. So nice!

The last slideshow began and I listened to a story about what an adventure was not. It's left me wondering many things since and I've been thinking about it a good bit, because since I was very small, I spent lots of time in a gym.


I would go as far to say that I avoided the outdoors. I didn't want to spend any time outside in the cold, or the rain or probably even in the sun. The gym is a very controlled environment and I reveled in it.

I think it jarred with me to listen to the pontification of what is and what is not an adventure last Saturday evening.

Bouldering takes me places I never thought I'd go and makes me happy and so after all, it would seem that as long as one is having fun and smiling, it doesn't matter at all if it's an adventure or not.

In the middle of the story about whether or not I've ever had an adventure, the question was asked:

Would you do what you do if you couldn't tell anyone about it and no one could see you do it. (or something to that effect)

I jokingly turned to Naomi and said NO!

Since then however, I've again been thinking... and the joke I made has kind of turned into my answer.

I love how social bouldering is, I love to train with people and I love heading to the boulders of Ireland and the world and sharing the experience with my friends. That aspect is really important to me.

I also love how I can tell my friends about a send and they get it. They understand the work that went into the project. I think that's important for anyone's motivation. I don't think there's any shame in admitting that I appreciate the social aspect as well as loving bouldering itself.

Would I do the things I'm passionate about if no one could see me and I couldn't tell anyone about it... if I had to - yeah - I would...

But where would the fun be in that?

So no I won't!!

Maybe it's not the point, and maybe it's a hypothetical question but for me the two - bouldering and socialising - go hand in hand and keep me motivated to head towards my next project... With a big smile on my face and the promise of fun.


That's the main thing isn't it?


  1. Best write-up I've seen in ages!
    I guess some of the question is more to do with the media circle. It's great to tell people about what you're doing but if the primary goal is purely just for media purposes, then it's a bit daft. I guess some of the topic on Saturday was focused towards more alpine-y/arcic/mountain stuff - a lot of trips to Everest/etc (as an example) are more for publicity media, than just for the sole purpose of going climbing/mountaineering with a bunch of people.
    I rarely go climbing on my own (although I will do some training in isolation) so completely relate to your point above :)
    And my own last post mentions that climbing is as much about traveling to different locations as it is about grades/etc - I get bored of the same crag pretty quickly.I guess the important part is that it's everyone to their own - do it for your own reasons, respect everyone's different perspectives.

    And the slideshow served it's purpose of getting some people thinking and considering other ideas....
    Brilliant post :)

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    A slightly more palatable essay on "adventure" and what it might mean. As usual Pritchard's writing is excellent.

  4. What did Diarmo say?

    I often climb on my own, primarily cause I enjoy it just as much as climbing with others. Also I tend to go on lots of weird pointless quests (ask Tim about the time we walked up hill for 1.5 hours and then I turned around and said "ehh sorry Tim, I have just realised there isn't any bouldering here." Tim replied "ahh its grand I didn't really expect to do much climbing today". Also I'm free when not many are around ie. midweek.

    Climbing on your own is nice. Everyone should try it. I would hate to have to rely on others all the time.

    What was the story with the third slideshow "listened to a story about what an adventure was not" ? Sounds weird.