Bowery Mural

Climbers/Mountaineers - are the brave... or just a bit mad!?!

Tuesday, 11 November 2008


Ok you may be wondering at the title of this blog. I'll explain...

Went along to my third mountaineering/climbing talk last Thursday. This one was again at the Ochils Mountaineering Club. It was by Kev Shields. In case you don't know who he is, he is a guy who climbs with most of his left hand missing, see these websites for details: and

Anyway when he started the talk i was thinking 'man he's a brave guy! if a little nervous' and as he went on and the talk progressed to the end he got into the flow of it and I realised he's also a bit mad!! - no offence Kev. It was a fantastic talk and his life seemed liked one disapointment after another until he discovered a real passion, i mean a real actual passion and enthusiasm for all things relating to climbing. His enthusiasm was infectious. He had funny little tales of girls dumping him as he spent most of his time stuck to the side of a rock instead of wining and dining them on Valentines Day - a very funny story! He has a prosthetic hand attachment made by the University of Strathclyde Prosthetics Dept which has an ice axe built into it. He said it's a bit limiting in some ways but in others it's as useful as a real hand he said, pretty amazing really.

Now i'm still picking up the climbing lingo but i am assured by a trusted source that him wanting to climb a route called The Hurting in the Cairngorms at an XI/11 is totally mental!!!! But this guy is different (and i'm sure there are some others like him) but this is like Spiderman, James Bond and [insert another superhero name here]. So I ask this question... Mountaineers/Climbers, are they brave or just a bit mad?! I mean you'd have to be wouldn't you?

A few questions were asked at the end of the talk - is his mum still talking to his dad after he built him a climbing wall in the garage? and how would he prepare for The Hurting? He said that he'll have to get into the mindset that the worst could actually happen on this route. Can you imagine that? I couldn't do it but i wish him all the luck in the world in his efforts. He never said when it would actually happen but he will be doing it with Dave MacLeod - i think! Here's an interview of Kev by Dave Macleod.

So yeah if you get the chance to see his talk go along, it was fab.

Next stop Pitlochry on Saturday for a talk called Vertigo by Kenton Cool and Ian Parnell. Looking forward to this one!

Oh yeah nearly forgot. Climbed my 4th munro last Saturday - Ben Vorlich up by Lochearnhead. Did it in good time despite the rotten weather, all in all a good day that was finished by a cup of tea and cream cake in a Callander coffee shop - yum!

catch you later
Ange xx

PS on a totally different note completely, it isn't just me who loves the song from the Barclaycard waterslide advert?? Do you know it? if not here you go ...... enjoy! :-)

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