09 December 2009

A cold lesson

All this cold weather reminds me of an ice climbing trip to Canada back in 2001/03. We were staying in Banff and one day when it was fairly cold (-20 ish) we headed out to bag a couple of pitches of road side ice.

We climbed to parallel routes, I was climbing as part of a three and by the time I got back to the bottom of the pitch there is no sign of Dave and Mike but there is a lot of blood on the ice. That's a bad sign, given that you either have to have a facial injury or be bleeding very heavily from below all the layers for there to be that much blood on the ground. I was expecting the worst.

Back at the car and the boys are looking sheepish but decidedly intact. I ask about the blood and Mike nods while Dave sniggers.

Turns out that Mike was sorting his gear and he put a metal crab in his mouth, which had...

...yes predictably at -20, had stuck. He then panicked and pulled the skin off the end of his tongue and as he started screaming blood and spraying went everywhere - OW!!!

There is a lesson there! We felt the need to re-enforce this lesson by feeding Mike chili and curry for the rest of the week. It was for his own good but I think we realised that it could have been any of us.
I have not asked him but I am prepared to bet that he hasn't done that again, I certainly haven't. So the following from http://www.despair.com/ is for Mike...

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