Sunday, April 20, 2008

Climbing Social Scientists

I was at conference in Brussels on Friday and Saturday on "Visas, Migration and Asylum in the EU" - all very political science and, even worse, international law geekdom. But one of the conference attendees I got chatting with turned out to also be a climber (hello Ben!). And not just a once a week, down the wall for a bit of exercise type of "climber", but actually a completely nails, hardcore climber. He is now my idol for showing that social scientists can climb very hard, a proposition that I had found precious little evidence to support in the past. There is no two ways about it: climbing attracts engineers and natural scientists to disconcerting degree, particularly for the few of us climbing who have backgrounds in the humanities. I like to think this keeps me grounded and makes me a better person. Obviously living the glamorous hip, urban, metrosexual lifestyle that I do - surrounded by the chattering classes of journos and politicians, the cultural glitterati of artists and other creative types - I think it is good that I can honestly say: "I have nothing against geeks - some of my best friends are engineers".

Even odder, at the same conference, we also met a very pretty Turkish girl who outed herself as a caver. I think this was the first time ever in my life that my brain had to deal with the concepts of "very pretty" and "caver" together. It just seems unnatural doesn't it?

I flew home last night with the sun shining in the north and a full moon to south - both perfectly framed through the plane's windows. Sunday dawned clear so we hit the rocks at Haukkakallio. It was good day, cool but sunny with not a cloud in the sky all day.

The forest, now clear of snow

Mina on Tinkerbell F6a+

Jari on Twinkletoes F6c

A team on Enter the Hand Jam 5 (VS 5a); sorry chaps, didn't catch your names

First day testing the new DMM Renegade harness for UKC

If anyone one is interested, I took it out of the bag, put it on and then climbed in it for the next 6 hours, basically forgetting it was there. I even took one proper-ish fall of a couple of metres into it will no ill effects. So overall a jolly good start for the renegade.

Työyhteenliittyma F5b

Monday morning update: it was a great day with lots of climbing done, but today I ache like hell!

3 comments:

Lara said...

Maybe I'm wrong but, as far as I can judge on your posts, that was the first time you were inspired coming back home from a non-climbing trip =)

Anonymous said...

>...we also met a very pretty Turkish girl who outed herself as a caver. I think this was the first time ever in my life that my brain had to deal with the concepts of "very pretty" and "caver" together. It just seems unnatural doesn't it?"

Excuse me??

There are thousands of cavers, speleologists, hydrologists, and geologists around the world, many of whom happen to be very pretty young women.

In fact, here is (tongue in cheek) proof:
http://www.nss2008.com/media/SPF2008spoof.html

Alex

Toby - Northern Light Blog said...

Wow. This blog has some strange readers! :-)

But, anyway, they're American and that's somehow cheating. There is a disproportionate number of highly attractive, highly talented American women climbers as well. It's the better weather I'm sure.

I still believe that real cavers have beards, social issues and an unhealthy penchant for spending much of their lives in a pair of wellies and an old, muddy, moldy
wet suit.

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