It’s Been a While

"It’s been a while" is the title of a brilliant track by Staind .  It’s also been a while since I could pull my finger out and endevour to add to the spam that makes up the internet…
I arrived back from Switzerland late last night.  6 guys back from a (non)Winter climbing trip.  We had a great time; as anyone normally would when they’re shacked up in a Swiss Chalet in a beautiful part of the world for a week.  However, weather in the Alps this season has frankly been crap.  It rained for the first few days of our trip last week and all the ice that we were hoping to climb had either been stripped from the rock faces or just never got chance to form in the first place. I managed to pick up a copy of Hot Ice while I was out there – another book of dreams. Now I can torture myself over all those quality ice climbs that we missed.
I spoke to an elderly woman in Kandersteg who said it was the worst conditions she had seen in 30 years as a ski instructor. The snow level was at about 1800 meters. Anyway, we managed to get some ski-touring done together with a few blasts down the piste.  I’m not a good skier, but was pleased to be able to still get myself down a red run without breaking anything.
I’ve had 3 brilliant winter climbing trips over the last few years. Two in Cogne (Italy) and one in Rjukan (Norway). If I’m honest, I think I was just glad of the break without the mental stress that climbing hard ice can bring.  It was nice just to walk/ski by day and sink some really good bottles of (cheap) wine during each evening.  …still I’v got the desire to drive on a 1000 mile round trip to Scotland some time over the next few feeks to grab some routes while things are in condition up there.
…it won’t be this weekend though….  I’m an idiot.  I’ve done something really stupid.  I submitted to peer pressure at work. I had my arm twisted… 
"…go on Andy  …we need you  … we’ve got 7 and we need to enter a team of 8…"
This Sunday I’m taking part in "The Tough Guy Challenge" AKA "The insecure mans challenge". Still it should be fun and it is for charity, even if it is only a donkey farm.  I’m number 3649.  A seven mile cross country run followed by some deamon assult course and a swim in some (probably frozen) waters.  My aim is just to finish…  I’ll say more about it next week when it’s all just a bad memory…
Changing the subject completely I thought I’d say something about spam…  returning from holiday my inbox is full of it.
Some enlightening subject lines from some entries caught by my spam filter are :-
  • Wanna be more man? Check this dude
  • Gain up some Inches for your darling
  • YO, Smallest sausage of the year, how are you? 🙂
  • We can double your weenie size.
  • How long you will live with small prick? :))
…there were others…
I wonder if someone’s trying to tell me something ?  Maybe they’d seen my race entry…

About Andy Harpur

Interests : The Scottish Highlands, The Pennine Alps, The Milky Way, Abbot Ale, Mountaineering, Climbing, Mountain Biking, Canoeing, Sea Kayaking, Astronomy, Guitar, Penny Whistle. I live and breath for the outdoor lifestyle. New places, new faces, new adventures....
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