“Listen, guys, I had a wonderful dream. A great garden party. The tables were buckled under loads of food. Anything you thought of was there. And all the things for free. My boss was there too, he came over to me and said he was putting off the current projects´ deadline of another two days.”
“Oh, that´s nothing. I had a dream! There were twelve finalists of Miss World and I was the only man at hand. Every one of them was longing for misbehaviour, I still see their horny eyes. And then I won the latest LCD TV in a lottery plus a voucher for some furniture worth eighty thousand.”
“Sounds good. I have the same dream every night. Marvellous landscape, like from a fairy tale, probably somewhere abroad. When the sun rises we get up and go climbing. When it gets dark we sit by the fire and flush the dregs out of our souls with red wine. Or we go to sleep. Time or date suddenly do not matter.”
I know this climbers´ joke very well. I have had it about one hundred times and I have been told it at least one thousand times. You know, to get away from the merry-go-round which is trying to make you buy things you don´t need or want and then you realize you are chasing after them like crazy. Why? Beyond all doubt, when you get them all they will improve your social reputation , won´t they? The stern true of media, false speeches of politicians, greedy banks, stupid sitcoms. This system is going to destroy you. In years you have been dreaming about the rocks that you see in magazines but you languish on the metro bus crammed with those grey run-down faceless figures.
The mankind has always been appropriately punished for their sins.
First, there were the plague pandemies in the Middle Ages and then both of the World Wars.
In the modern time there is a new craze of 160 working hours a month and 4 weeks of holidays.
If only it was possible to throw all the worries to the winds, pack up your stuff and set out in the world – to search for adventure.
As soon as you feel the conviction that climbing is the best thing in the world, more important than material wealth, you have no other choice. To get crippled on the black ice in front of your well heated house which you have been saving for thirty-five years? No, thank you.
This decision doesn´t have to be as difficult to make as you have always thought. The guy throwing in that the Earth was not the centre of the universe was burned not that long ago. Today, we are so lucky to live in total freedom. We do not even realize it.
People are running around from the conference room to the Xerox machine… And at thirty?
“An affair of the heart in the atrium.”
“An affair of the heart?”
“Yeah, a heart attack.”
“We are said to belong among the 10 per cent of the richest world population. Alright, but the problem is the calculation considers money only.”
One can approach life differently. A lot of people have discovered some power and willingness within themselves to make a step into uncertainty and insecurity. They have become prophets heading towards the mountain: full-time climbers.
„Hey, listen, how long have you been climbing?“
„For about 3 years.?“
„No kiddin´, and you have reached the 10s in such a short time?“
„You see, in the last three years I have been climbing ENTIRELY.“
I have met loads of freaks who make it for Spain in winter, south of France in spring, the Alps in summer, if there is enough drive they go to the sandstone and if there is some strength they go hanging somewhere on limestone. When the fogs of autumn call they are thinking of somewhere to get warm in winter. Their only home is their van and they go climbing five days a week. Their biggest problem? To decide which one to open at night – Rioja or Crianza.
In the US, I saw climbers from all corners of the world who had left jobs and were zipping around the climbing resorts as seasons were changing. An eight-hour long shift in the vertical world each day. Their hardest thing to decide about? Which flavour muffins to buy.
Someone can keep this for a year, someone much longer. By the way, this trend is no hot news. There are chain stores abroad which provide these addicted climbers with nearly expired food for free. All you have to do is to dive in a skip and dig it out…
You must be asking yourself: „Where do I get the money for it?“
Natch! Running away for a year-long climbing vacation is not just a simple thing. But check the ratio of prices and start thinking twice …
A1) 4 pounds of organic apples at a posh city market: 4 Euros.
A2) 4 pounds of organic apples picked from the tree: for free
B1) 2 multiplex cinema tickets for the latest thriller plus a large bag of popcorn: 20 Euros
B2) The real thriller – your mate struggling hard in a difficult route: for free (and even if he botched it up it costs you nothing to make the emertency call on 112)
C1) Every night in a rented or your own mortgaged apartment: at least 15 Euros
C2) A night under the open sky or in a bivouac: for free
D1) Three pieces of a pie at Starbucks: 8 Euros
D2) Three pieces of a pie from a stunner who you gave a proper back massage the night before: for free
E1) Two hours of climbing on an indoor wall after work: 12 Euros
E2) All day long climbing on rocks: for free
Editor´s note: „Alesak, there are some costs of climbing, too. Our readers would bite our heads off…”
…so, the items must continue like this:
F1) A tin of baked beans in tomato sauce heated up in a microwave in a restaurant: 5 Euros
F2) The identical tin of baked beans in tomato sauce heated up on your own gas cooker: 99 cents
G1) Infatuating the most beautiful girl in the whole company: jewels worth 280 Euros
G2) Infatuating the most beautiful girl in the company sitting at the fire: a bottle of red wine worth 3 Euros
H1) Buying a thing which will be envied by everybody: iPad mini with retina: 360 Euros
H1) Buying a thing which will be envied by everybody: a new climbing guidebook: 29 Euros
If this is your dream you´d better pack up a coffeemaker, guitar, hammock and five pairs of climbing shoes. Take your best friend or girlfriend, wind down the windows and let´s gooo…
For three months, a year or two?
Or move somewhere close to the rocks straight away? Why not?
You can climb several routes every day and if you are extremely lucky an interesting boulder will roll down the hill right into your garden.
Everybody can enjoy adventure just behind their house. It is just up to where you park it.
Loves the pulse of metropolis. Amazed by technical progress… Watches the latest fashion. Never misses any cultural event or social intercourse. Reads newspaper daily, follows financial market. (smiling)
“Climbing is not about the grades and life is not about the money” He loves to write about crazy people.
Addicted to situations when he does not care about the time – in the mountains or sandstone crags.