My little life betwixt the sky and the sea floor.
The rescue services of Chamonix, guys I used to boulder with, and who would risk their lives to save my sorry ass have recently issued some guide lines about equipment. Nothing terrible an ax, crampons, suitable foot wear, and a down jacket, strangely enough I have nearly always taken just that. Sometimes a little cord was added for rappels or crevasses! It sufficed for hundreds, or thousands of routes. Was I safe-who knows-but at least I covered my bases. Is a runner in trainers safe on the MontBlanc, well depends on the runner, but generally we would have to say, no he isn't equipped. Was Honnold well equipped on Freerider? Yes I think he was. Would I have been safe on Freerider with the same gear? Of course not, my mental equipment, and skill level were and are inadequate.
Some things change,climbing has changed, but being cold and slipping down towards a crevasse are largely the same I would say. So kit up. I have always said that racing is for the track, even though I have raced in the mountains. The time for the Blanc can only go down by a few mins, and if you ask me the real time is a good bit slowed.
Naked Before the Mountain was the title of a book by who? Certainly not a runner, naked this, Alpine style that, Naked Climbing was a term of Voytek used to differentiate his ascents from lower climbers, Fast and Free was a term I like, and grew up with and even propounded. They are all just marketing in many ways. The book about Voytek which I will review next goes into detail how Voytek thinks his best climbing partner was locked into a competitive battle with Messener to climb all 8000sand meter peaks-well of course he was! But Voyteks very climbing was the same, it was all one upmanship.
I spend time in the water, probably half my free time is in the water, I know the sea since a child, it is not my friend, but I still love the sea. I treat the sea with huge respect, different equipment choices, I never race the sea, never. Do I go into it naked-yes I do. I sometimes have used tanks of air, and I also free dive-is one better than the other-no it isn't. In the mountains with snow and ice and crevasses, an ax is a very handy bit of kit, so are a good appropriate pair of shoes with some spikes on it. Have more Fun and success, but engage brain, its an often neglected bit of kit.