Showing posts from December, 2020

Give 'Im Enough Rope

January 2016. The Scottish International Winter Meet. Perhaps just to make the international visitors appreciate the fickle nature of Scottish winter climbing, the first few days of the gathering were either too warm, too rainy or both. Rather than take our gear for a walk in the wet, windy hills, we went drytooling in the guts of Newtyle Quarry and rock climbing on the shores of the North Sea. Then a morning dawned with clear skies and below-freezing temperatures. A thousand and one teams drove up the road to the Aviemore ski area and stomped across half-frozen bogs to to the Northern Corries.  A thick layer of hoar frost grew on the walls of Coire an Lochain. As I understood the quirky ethics of Scottish winter climbing, this was considered a good thing. Coming from the cold, dry Canadian Rockies, I was more used to waiting after a storm until wind and gravity had cleared the rock of snow, but hey, when in Rome, do as the locals do. My introduction to Scottish mixed climbing was The

The Hand of God

1982. On April 2, Argentine forces invaded and occupied the Falkland Islands (aka Las Malvinas), and the next day South Georgia, British islands that Argentina considered its rightful territory. Just three days later, Britain dispatched an expeditionary force to take back what had been a British colony for over a century. In the end, British aircraft carriers and Harrier jets prevailed, and after nearly a thousand people died, the islands returned to British control. History doesn't record if the king penguins and elephant seals inhabiting South Georgia were consulted about which country they'd like to live in. Given how humans have treated other species from time immemorial, it seems unlikely. *** 1986. On June 22, Argentina and England were playing in the quarter-finals of the FIFA World Cup in Mexico City. The match was still goalless when, a few minutes into the second half, Diego Maradona leapt for the ball that had been cleared towards the English goalie. However, instead