Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Mid-winter excursions in the southern hemisphere

According to my traditional predilection, I once again provided ample proof at the weekend that there are no pubes on the bawbaggery because hair doesn’t grow on steel (cymbals! thanks smeaton.com). It was time for the mid-winter tramp to the top of the mountains nearby for a touch of frolicking in the snow and sheet ice, and to prove my ‘metal’ I defied the sniggers and taunts of my fellow travellers and donned my favourite faded pair of rugby shorts. Pictures can be found at the usual place on Flickr. Here I’ve only provided the one photo below because it’s much nicer, and besides featuring the handsome derriere of one of the fairer members of my climbing party, also demonstrates just how sphincter-puckeringly cold it was on the top. That’s the mountain trig she’s climbing toward that had a good foot of ice hanging off it horizontally.
The original intention was to walk across the ridge from Mt Holdsworth to Mitre Peak, but none of us particularly fancied slicing ourselves another arsehole on the wind-blasted ice. I went point just after the trig in this picture but quickly lost my bottle when I slid about 10 metres down a jagged rock face and took half-an-hour to climb back up again. Even a bunch of old fellas wearing crampons thought it would be a bit foolhardy to attempt the crossing. Having visibility down to five metres didn’t help either.

This was with a bunch of about a dozen ex-pat Czechs and one random Pole following the birthday celebrations the previous evening that I mentioned in the last post. It’s always amusing tramping with Europeans in this country, as they insist on wearing the latest mountaineering fashion replete with bright pastel colours, while Kiwis are happiest when they’re covered in the mankiest old woollen jerseys knitted by grandma and moth-eaten long johns.

Change of subject: I know it’s a long way off, but is anyone up for renting a chata somewhere in the Jeseniky or Beskydy next summer? Have been amusing myself today by surfing Czech accommodation websites like superchaty, 1ubytovani, and levneubytovani, and I reckon it could be fun to rent cela chalupa for six or eight people and spread the costs. Could be anywhere in CZ and not necessarily in the areas mentioned. Don’t all rush to agree. Was also looking for information about the cycling trails through Moravian vineyards, but ran out of time. You got any tips on those, tvc?

And speaking of tvc, I was alerted to your comment on that earlier post only through the automated messaging system that I’ve set up for myself. I just finished Rajiv Chandrasekaran’s book last night, but I didn’t see your name in the acknowledgements…Jaysas, what a bunch of loons those neocons are.

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