When I started climbing, I never thought I’d become so addicted to it. Since my first day at the climbing gym, I met new people, learnt new things, braved many fears (sometimes terrifying). I have seen amazing places that are quite untouched by masses of people. Truth be told, I kind of feel as though I’ve stepped into an exclusive world of amazing people who have a lust for adventure. These people venture fourth into a world of amazing beauty to do what many fear. Surprisingly, these are some of the most down to earth and friendly people in the world.

In everyday life, we tend to forget about the great outdoors. People live in a rat race, full of cars, and big office blocks with air conditioning. They sit behind their desks and computers each day, climbing in and out of elevators, eating ready-made meals, sitting in front of a TV at the end of their day hoping for an escape from this reality that they live in, but never finding it.

What an amazing world we live in. There really is so much beauty in it, and all we need to do is pack a bag and head out of the city, even if it’s for a day.

So, as we check the gear, prepare lunch and have breakfast, that morning cup of coffee being an essential starter to the day, we pack the car and leave at around 6am. Our destination: Bronkhorstspruit Dam (or Bronkies as we call it in our little community). The task ahead: a day of climbing. Being the most experienced climber in the group, with Hannes being my second in command, it is our task to teach Tinus to climb, but I also have to teach Hannes a few things as well, because he’s been out of it for a while now. I really don’t mind though. I get to spend the day doing something that I love, and I also have the opportunity to spend the day with two of my best friends, and I get to usher them into the world that I am so passionate about.

A view of Bronkies from the Crag!

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About 4 years have passed since I decided to start Rock Climbing. While I was a Summer Camp Counselor in Rock Hill, New York, USA in 2005, I met up with Dale, someone who would ultimately influence the way that I view life in general. He continuously spoke of how important it was to be spiritually in-tune with life. After many yoga sessions, and general ramblings of the practice of mountaineering, travel, and some rather interesting nights sitting on canoes on the camp lake and rambling on about many different topics, ranging from spirituality, to adventure, to the birth of The Mad Traveller, I began to understand the importance of what he was trying to tell me.

Life is really an amazing thing. Your views change as you experience more things in life, and slowly, as life passes you by, you end up as the person you are. I’ve always believed that one should try as much as you can in life, but this just blew my mind.

Up until that time, I was focused on making as much money as I could and attempting to be a successful individual. I was, and in many respects still am quite involved in IT. Needless to say, after the many years that have passed, and many rather interesting, and somewhat odd jobs around South Africa, I’ve finally fallen into a great working environment, architecting some pretty complex IT Infrastructures for some noteworthy clients, with a rather decent set of qualifications gained along the way. Every job that passed me by I learned something valuable, and along the way, I began my climbing career and my route to my personal enlightenment.

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This morning I stumbled across the blog of one of my readers… Pretonero. I was pleasantly surprised when I stumbled across an article that she found on the National Geographic Adventure website, entitled Everyday Survival. Needless to say, I fell in love with the article, commented on her post, and then decided to add the article to my blog, as it’s truly AWESOME!

Survival

Text by Laurence Gonzales, Published August 2008

Most survival guides fail to consider some very useful tools: an individual’s character, wits, and worldview. The tips assembled here will change the way you approach each and every day—and help you survive a particularly bad one.

Long ago I believed that survival meant having a pack full of equipment that would allow me to make fire and build shelter and trap varmints to eat in the wilderness. But then I kept coming across cases in which someone had survived without any equipment or had perished while in possession of all the right tools. Obviously something else was at work here. After more than three decades of analyzing who lives, who dies, and why, I realized that character, emotion, personality, styles of thinking, and ways of viewing the world had more to do with how well people cope with adversity than any type of equipment or training. Although I still believe that equipment and training are good to have, most survival writing leaves out the essential human element in the equation. That’s why I’ve concentrated my efforts on learning about the hearts and minds of survivors. You can start developing these tools of survival now. It takes time and deliberate practice to change. But new research shows that if we adjust our everyday routines even slightly, we do indeed change. The chemical makeup of the brain even shifts. To make these lessons useful, you have to engage in learning long before you need it—it’s too late when you’re in the middle of a crisis. Presented here are 14 concepts that have proved helpful to survivors in extreme situations, as well as to people trying to meet the challenges of daily life.

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We are all connected. Humanity is an interdependent web joined together by the planet we share, the air we breathe, the collective unconsciousness, technology and human networks.

We live in cities and villages, in the cold north and the warm south, in forests, savannahs, by the ocean and on top of the hills. We are closer than we think.

In the 1960s, Stanley Milgram conducted the Small World Experiment showing that each of us is connected to everyone else by short social networks. This is the Six Degrees of Separation. At Earthdance, we bring together thousands of people across the world and harness music, dance, technology, prayer, education and people power for peace, sustainable culture and humanitarian aims. Think of it as the Six Degrees of Global Unity.

Earthdance

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Was browsing around on Facebook this evening and I stumbled across this group about dating climbers. Considering that I’m an AVID climbing fanatic I found it extremely funny, and in many cases VERY true… Though’t I’d share… 🙂

01) we use protection
02) we are flexible
03) we keep going when it hurts
04) we like like it on top
05) we will grab them big or small
06) we take it in every position
07) we dont mind getting dirty!
08) we like it hard
09) we have perfect technique
10) We grunt when the action heats up.
11) We are good with our hands
12) we know how to use our hips
13) not scared to do it for an audience
14) We dont quit
15) We arent scared of anything
16) We move anyways you want us to
17) We like tight clothing / almost no clothing
18) We like making people scream and yell
19) we have good technique even when tired
20) we have amazing bodies
21) we have big jugs
22) (for girls) even your slopers are always firm
23) we’re cool with fist jams
24) we think friction is a good thing
25) our average rope is 50 meters long
26) our girls are like ‘biners….they don’t get mad
27) if you don’t kiss them after you finish.
28) We’re used to being overhung.
29) experts at stabbing pockets
30) fist jams…yeah, we invented those
31) used to juggling nuts
32) always end up going down.
33) know how to rest then go at it again.
34) dont mind doing it against a wall
35) we always top out
36) we have huge racks…
37) we love wet cracks…
38) we swap leads…
39) We know a knot for every situation.
40) We already own harnesses and rope.
41) When our hands are busy we use our mouths.
42) We are okay with having more than one partner.
43) We make sure everyone we are with gets on top.
44) We never stop before the climax.
45) Oh, and we are great at sex.