VIDEO 4: TNF Roadtrip, James Pearson and Gaz Parry In Their Own Wordsby Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com May/2009
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OK all you cynics out there. So three climbers are lucky enough to go on a European climbing roadtrip paid for by The North Face. So what, you may think? Yes of course it is a marketing exercise, anyone, and that goes for most of us, can read and deconstruct the media and advertising these days. So no prizes there.
However, The North Face, as well getting lots of exposure by supporting top climbers and mountaineers, also provide their pro-athlete team with the resources for these experiences that through their blogs, videos and articles provide the rest of us with lots of inspiration. The North Face support expeditions to the greater ranges, big wall climbs, extreme adventure racing, rock trips and humanitarian aid.
Here are some recent North Face Expeditions that you may find interesting:
The Summit Series Roadtrip wildly surpassed any prior expectations I had and was genuinely one of the best climbing related times of my life. We visited many amazing places, made many new friends and had a few surreal experiences that we may never have again. I feel very privileged to have been part of it, and lucky to have shared the time with two great friends, after all, it is really the company you have that will turn a good trip into a great one.
Best Time, Worst time?
Its hard to pick a best and worst time, not only were there so many, but when I look back they all sort of blur into one. Some of the worst times, were actually some of the best as they made us really test and explore ourselves to find out out just what we were capable of.
My personal favourite route was Skuruti Beh, at Labak near Decin in the Czech Republic. It was a very pleasurable route to climb; a nice day out and I cant say enough good about this area.
If anything, the roadtrip has shown me just how lucky we are to live in Europe. The amount of incredibly varied world class climbing venues within a few hours drive of one another is simply staggering.
We've had a lifetime of experience in only 40 days.
When I left the UK I was pretty blasé about what the whole roadtrip idea would entail, but it quickly dawned on me that we may have bitten off more than we could chew.
From start to end it was a voyage of discovery; new climbing areas, new friends and new realisations about what we could achieve.
The real challenge of the trip was not climbing the route but more simply reaching the end of the day in one piece, being able to go to sleep safe in the knowledge we would be near our goal for the following day.
The hardest moment for me was our massive Germany day. It began with an early 7am start after 5hrs sleep, a quick and classic route called Magnet Finger in the Pfalz was climbed, then it was back in the van for a four hour drive over to the Frankenjura for Slimline, another hours drive, a two hour lecture and then just to finish us off we blasted on with another two hours of driving just for good measure.
At the end I was destroyed.
The best time?
The best? Well that's a hard thing to say, there were so many highlights. Far too many to mention here. The best part I think is being able to look back on an event that will stay in my memory for a long time to come.
This trip has really reopened my eyes to what is out there in Europe, sometimes we live such a sheltered existence in our own bubbles in the UK. I say we, but I don't really include myself anymore...........I have packed my bags and moved to Spain.
Read his latest blog Final Thought Number Three
UKClimbing.com News Reports on The North Face Summit Series RoadTrip.