Friday, April 29, 2011

Adventuring In Chad

"The real gold's not in the mountains. The real gold's south of 60. Sittin' in front of the boob tube, bored. Bored to death... How do you beat boredom, Tyler? Adventure."
-Rosie, Adventurer

For me none of this training that I do would have much meaning if I didn't take the body it's improved out for a spin in the natural world. With most of my pre-season training finished off, new workout programs in a can, and longer warmer days on the horizon adventure season is just ahead. Today's Friday psyche is just the sort of thing I'd be doing if I wasn't working so much. My adventures are more pedestrian; obtainable to anyone with some fitness and a couple of weeks of vacation time. But the spirit is the same. This one, however, makes much better video. Enjoy.

From climber James Pearson on UK Climbing:

"To cut a long and sandy story short, the trip was one I will remember for a long long time – simply incredible. After a day in the air, and 3.5 days driving through the sand, we got our first glimpse of an alien world, the most isolated from civilisation I have ever felt. An un-climbed land! It was hard to believe, but according to our guide (a climber himself, and one of only a few people guiding in this area, with 40 years desert experience) we were the first group of climbers to visit this place! There were spindly arches and towers in every direction, a virgin playground of your life's best FA's just waiting to be explored – the pictures hadn't lied.

In the 10 days we spent living in the area we climbed many routes, ranging from easy scrambles up sandy choss, to proud lines of patina topping out perfect towers. The crew from Camp 4 Collective were by our side the whole time capturing every ascent in glorious, jaw dropping beauty – the video and stills are some of the best I have ever seen.

The situation in Chad was thankfully a lot safer than I had feared, and apart from a few "minor incidents" our time in the country passed with minimal threat of mortal danger. The nomadic people of the Desert were some of the hardiest people I have ever encountered. To my ignorant eyes, this barren expanse offered nothing one could survive upon, yet these people somehow forge an existence out there, and seem to do so in relative comfort. They were usually very friendly and on a few occasions our camp was visited by wandering locals, bearing a gift of warm Camel milk - actually pretty good! What a place..."


Trainer T.s Fitness said...

Thought provoking......I liked it!

Anonymous said...

What's the cure for Boredom?

Anonymous said...

Nice footage, but what's with the the egregious consumption of natural resources and questionable environmental practices evident throughout (driving on desert hardpan)? And for what? Killer pics for the summer catalog? Presumably not a relief mission to bring sorely-needed services to one of the poorest countries on earth.

The sorry old raison d'etre of exploring for exploration's sake - filling in the blank on the map, as it were -- no longer holds water as we tilt toward a post-petroleum economy.

Sorry - those were my thoughts as I watched Mark, Alex, and James play.

Steve Edwards said...

I'm completely ok with adventure for adventure's sake. In fact I think it makes like worth living to a degree. Sure, there are more noble things to do but life, at times, can and should be about nothing but having fun and broadening our horizons.

As for resource consumption, I suppose this ain't perfect but they used less resources on this entire adventure than gets used in one lap of a NASCAR race. In the worlf we've created that's quite a nitpick.

Nick said...

I would love to take adventures and travel around the world like these guys do and ski all of the worlds terrain. Europe, Australia, South Africa, Asia, South America. I envy these guys.