Just finished a little shopping and have a pair of these in the post ready for my next expedition in April next year, Once I have had a chance to use them I will upload a full review.
With Christmas passing I found myself with a new book to read and that book I couldn’t put down was “I chose to climb” by Chris Bonington.
This book takes you on a down to earth journey with the author through his formative climbing years through to his ascent of the Eiger North Face.
Unlike some mountaineering books where the author takes an almost super human perspective to their exploits Chris Bonington shares his fears and lets you know he faces the same challenges with you. Through out this book you get a sense of the authors growing skill and competence as he climbs with different partners including Don Whilllans (The Villain).
If you are going to buy any book in the next few months add this to your list if you haven’t already read it.
Reinhold Messner what more really needs to be said? a true icon and revolutionary in the climbing world, his feats are still something modern mountaineers seek to emulate and his philosophy changed the way man kind see the mountains.
Born on September 17 1944 Messner was introduced to climbing by his father at age five where he quickly developed a flair for the sport and being lucky enough to grow up in the Dolomite’s where he could refine his art he progressed quickly. From the age of 13 Messner was climbing difficult routes in the eastern Alps.
Messner became of the first people to climb in “Alpine Style” as opposed to the traditional method of climbing big mountain. Messner did away with the idea that climbing teams needed to stock a mountain with supplies and camps and employ Sherpa’s to carry loads up and down the mountain.
In 1970 Messner climber his first 8000m peak Nanga Parbat a peak that had already seen its fair share of tragedy and heart ache. This trip was no exception, as it was on this expedition that Messner lost his younger brother Gunther. Messner spent a considerable time looking for his brother on the mountain and as a result he suffered severe frostbite to his feet. the event has caused controversy over the years and still continues to do so. Not to be taken away is the feat of climbing Nanga Parbat’s southern wall for the first time.
On the 8th of May 1978 Messner along with long time climbing partner Peter Habeler climbed Everest without the use of oxygen canisters, the first to do so. Many people tried to convince them that it was a bad idea and that they would do themselves permanent damage if they tried.
Messner became the first person to “Close the loop” or climb all 14 mountains over 8000m in height. A feat that is still rare amongst mountaineers.
- Everest 1978
- K2 1979
- Kanchenjunga 1981
- Lhotse 1986
- Makalu 1986
- Cho Oyu 1983
- Dhaulagiri 1 1985
- Manaslu 1972
- Nanga Parbat 1970
- Annapurna 1 1985
- Gasherbrum 1 1975
- Broad Peak 1982
- Gasherbrum 2 1984
- Shishapangma 1981
Recently Messner has laid the final touches to the “Messner Mountain Museum” spread across various sites in the Alps.
In summary its fair to say that Messner is a remarkable man who has achieved more than most and continues to do so.
“After Messner, the mystery of possibility was gone;
there remained only the mystery of whether you could do it.”
– Ed Viesturs
Todays weather with snow and rain reminded me of a walk I did a couple of weeks ago when the conditions were about the same.
The walk was designed to test out the new boots i purchased in Melbourne which I reviewed a couple of weeks ago.
The walk was a quick trip from the springs on Mt Wellington, Up the zig zag track to the summit and down the road back to the springs only a couple of hours really.
Leaving Hobart at about lunch time we stopped at Kate’s berry farm near Swansea for a last coffee, then proceeded to Coles Bay to buy some cheese and were on the track at around 3:50 pm.
The walk up the saddle to the Wineglass bay lookout revealed some great views back to Coles bay and took about 30 minutes to reach the saddle. we then dropped down the other side and descended to Wineglass bay itself. We stopped for some chocolate and a drink before wandering the remaining 30 minutes up the beach to the campsite. Its worth noting that water can be hard to find at this end of the beach so we hauled in about 7 Liters of water ( a bit overkill). We set up camp in the fading light before heading down to the beach for make dinner and enjoy that chilli cheddar we got in Coles bay. all up the walk took about 1.5 hours including the stops and a very restrained pace.
We woke up the next day to a beautiful day, warm by winter standards in Tasmania. Breakfast in bed was only improved by the sun pouring into the tent. the morning was spent sitting on the beach, swimming (yes in a Tassie winter) and eating some fresh fruit. before retracing our steps at around 11am and enjoying lunch back at the Coles Bay bakery. A very pleasant trip to relax before returning to the corporate jungle.
Well the time has come swap out my old pair of boots which were also La Sportiva’s but I cant remember the model. Heavy full grain leather boots which lasted me eight years and sold me on the quality of this brand. So I headed to Melbourne with my tax return in my hand and feet pointed to little Bourke street.
I wont go into the full spec’s of the boot which can be found here Sportiva.com
I found the boots very comfortable straight out of the box and managed to wear them on a day walk three days after purchasing them. The walk was a snowy bash up the south wellington track, across wellington plateau to the summit and then down via the road. With 15-20cm of fresh snow on the ground I was expecting to end up with wet feet at some point during the day and I also packed the blister kit just in case. I was very happy to get home that evening with dry feet that were completely blister free. The Vibram soles provided plenty of traction on a slippery track and at no point were my feet cold.
I would recommend upgrading the innersole of the boot as its a tad thin.
All in all I was very happy with my purchase and hope to get another eight years out of these ones.