– What am I doing here?
– Inching my way up – what a stupid question!
– No – what am I actually doing here,? Like in ‘what the hell’ am I doing here?
Still a stupid question – like the classic ‘why do you climb’? Difference is that I have neither a clever remark like Mallory’s nor a soapy one. I don’t even have a moronic answer!
– Because it is a stupid question! That’s why!
– Then why am I asking it?
Here I am, half way up a hundred and something meter wall, it’s pitch dark and I’m nothing than an insect, a firefly with the speck of light from my torch shining on the ice encrusted rock. I am tapping gingerly on anorexic seams of ice and I reach for blind spots – blind as in devoid of light and blind because of overhangs. I’m loving it!
– ‘Why do you love me?’ asked she once – another moronic question.
– I have no bloody idea! I just do,! For you being you I guess… If I were to sit down and look through all the reasons, truly, your legs aren’t as long, your hair not as black, your…. I don’t know – taken down to bits you’re quite a mess actually, yet I love you…
Taken down to bits, this is stupid. It’s cold. I have no idea where I am going except that I’m going up. I see about a meter around me. I have screaming-barfies in my hands and the holds are quite often a joke. It is a mess, yet, I’m loving it… I walked past this wall in the morning, on skis. I saw ‘a line’ – of course this sounds pretty much like a critic seeing a ‘something’ in a canvas splashed with paint in a gallery. Yet it doesn’t mean it’s not there. I am on it actually. This beats art!
I came at night only with my ice tools to solo this line. Its beyond onsight – it is no-sight almost. If I fall I won’t even see the ground rushing towards me. I am a blob of dim light on a black canvas. Oh, and I’m loving it.
I swing my ice-tool over a small roof. It sticks. I am stretched. I swing the other one next to it. I can’t reverse. I am committed. I cut my feet loose. If the tools rip off I’ll plunge to the valley below – a hundred or so meters. How long would it take to reach down? I have no reference as I dangle encapsulated in my black universe. I pull over the lip. I cut the cornice. I’m on the small pointed summit. It’s a first ascent. I am happy! I’m loving it! Who the hell cares why? I’m busy doing it!