I’ve been talking to my housemate, Cherry (of Stefan and Cherry fame) about big trips lately. As the link will show, they’re off to the States: big walling in Yosemite, as so many of you string-obsessed climbers would dearly love to do. Thing is, i may be off to join them in the summer, to visit one of the “world hub[s] of rock climbing”, although as you can imagine, my objective will be less 15 pitches and more 15 moves. They’re trying to publicise it quite heavily to build the profile of their trip and gain a bit of exposure to try and get some help towards what could be a very expensive trip. With all due respect to them, as i told them, Yosemite isn’t that big a thing any more.
They don’t mind, of course. They’re not going to try and push grade boundaries, to first ascent, or to discover some new and unknown area, they’re going on a trip to have one of the experiences of their life time, and fair play to them! But what if they were thinking big? Well, i explained, there is plenty of cash out there for those that are trying to hit the points mentioned (and there’s no reason these two won’t achieve that in the future, i can assure you!). First ascenting in Eastern Europe, big walling in Siberia, bolting new crags in Mongolia, the only thing to hold you back being imagination! But what of us poor boulderers?
I had the idea a few years back of going to traditionally “mountaineering” destinations, or other rock spots, where people normally go to tie on and go high, but to play on the boulders. Imagine going to Patagonia or Baffin Island but instead of haul bags, taking bouldering pads? Seem absurd? I did get some funny looks when i flew over to Squamish and didn’t even put a harness on, and would doubtless get a few more where i to join my friends this summer in the States. But why is it so crazy?
Turns out i’m not alone. Cherry sent me a video today, of bouldering in the Himalaya. There are other snippets that i’ve seen, such as the Favresse brothers et al on their Asgard expedition, but this is different: this is Bernd Zangerl going on a specific bouldering trip to India. It’s not just unusual, this is unheard of and a massive welcome breath of fresh air in my opinion. It’s also a well made video and worth a bit of a watch: