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Hallucinating Beard Lust

I recently tried something reasonably adventurous as a training trip for something even more adventurous. This little challenge involved somewhere in the range of 1,200m of climbing and 25-30km of approaches, with our goal being to complete it in 24 hours. We failed. We could whine about the flat tyres on the way there, the lack of sleep the night before, inadequate water, food, the cold. But really we just piked out.

Our challenge involved climbing a remote spire, then bush bashing our way to four other climbs nearby each other. We accomplished this first section, albeit a lot later in the day than we would have hoped (thanks to above mentioned delays). So, we made a start at knocking off the four remaining climbs, only 1,000m to go.

Climb number 2 went down with the last two pitches climbed by headlamp and we were back on the ground at around 9pm.

Climb 3 went slower, lots slower. It was getting chilly, with a fierce nor’easter blowing through us. We topped out around 1am, about 750m climbed. Two climbs to go, only another 500m and the hike back to the car.

We stopped, gazed at the stars, ate some food and re-hydrated. Lying on the ground with another man “accidentally” resting his leg on mine I dazed off into a semi-sleep, semi beard lust fantasy. As I stroked that bushy beard and dreamt of whiling away my days sipping whisky in a remote base camp, I was jolted awake by the cajoling of another beard. “I’m cold, lets find a place down in the dirt to sleep, warm up and wait for the sun”.

So, we headed down to a more comfortably locale. Twenty minutes of walking had snapped us out of the comfort of another man’s touch and we lay on the ground with a well defined two foot gap between each of us. The only problem was we had inadvertently moved ourselves closer to the car, hinting at the decision we wanted to make but which no-one wanted to be the first to suggest.

We woke up to the need to pee, and the realisation that all we had accomplished in the last three hours was two naps and a dream about beard lust. Lets go back to the car and stop kidding ourselves. Disheartened we started the walk back to the car. With the sun came that nagging feeling that we hadn’t given 100%. We probably could have kept going, we would have been thirsty and hungry, but probably could have done it. We arrived at the car at 6.30am. Nearly twenty hours after starting we were planning our return to finish the job.

Failing is good. It shows you things that you don’t learn if you succeed all the time. It means you’re trying.

Stay tuned for round two (I’ll check the spare type pressure this time!)