It may be approaching summer but that’s no reason to cast aside your hiking garb just yet. Plenty of you retain an understandable appetite to look like an urban mountaineer and a bit of sunshine and an ice cream in your hand won’t alter that.
Does this sound like you or someone you know? Or are you the type to rock the look but avoid the hard work that goes with it? Well, we suggest you take this quiz to decide whether you’re taking the mountaineering look too far.
1. How do you react upon receipt of a text saying ‘are you coming down the pub?
a) THR in 10min M8!!!
b) Get a grid reference, fire up the Magellan, spend two hours putting various technical layers on and another 45 minutes doing your boots up before turning to the missus and saying ‘I’m going out, I may be some time’.
2. What was the last reason you took a day or two off work sick?
a) Stella Artois sickness/ Because I’d be playing Desert Storm on my PS3 for two days/ To go to a massive festival in South Wiltshire
b) Altitude Sickness/Because I’d been stranded in a storm for two days/ To attend a mass funeral in South America
3. How often do you solo?
a) If it’s a slow day at work or when the 10 minute adult channel preview comes on and I’ve got the house to myself
b) Whenever I think I know a route or problem well enough
4. If someone were to open your wardrobe and threw a large bucket of icy water in it, what would the effects be?
a) Devastating for all concerned
b) Nothing a gale force wind couldn’t dry out
5. What is a crampon?
a) Is it those moods ‘she’ goes in when it’s that time of the month?
b) An essential piece of kit when trekking in arctic conditions.
6. When did you last suffer a whiteout?
a) Ibiza Town 08, I have never seen so much powder, I thought I would never get the feeling back in my face
b) Mont Blanc 06, I have never seen so much powder, I thought I would never get the feeling back in my face
7. What did you have for breakfast this morning?
a) A full English breakfast and a round of toast washed down with a mug of sweet milky tea.
b) Kendal Mint Cake
8. You go out to meet up with ‘the lads’. Are you:
a) Mobbed up in a boozer close to a football ground, but safely off the radar of the local OB.
b) On the summit of Ben Nevis.
9. The last time you had trouble with a sherpa you:
a) Rang the local van centre and informed them that was the last time you were buying a fifteen year-old runaround off them.
b) Rang the local base camp and told them that was the last time you were buying a fifteen year-old runaround off them.
You’ve got the right idea. Forget all that huffing and puffing up and down hills and hanging off cliffs. You’ve got yourself a pair of Diemme or Fracaps and a bit of Penfield or Engineered Garments, perhaps topped off with a nice bag. You look every inch a suave mountaineer, it’s just the ‘risking death’ bit you’ll want to avoid.
You are Chris Bonington and I claim my five pounds.
The original version of this featured in Proper Magazine, Issue 11 of which will arrive in the coming weeks.