THE DARK SECRETS OF A NORTH WEST CLIMBER
The damp doldrums of the day have sunk into my soul even before my swollen eyes open. It is nine something in the morning and I have gotten plenty of sleep but still can’t muster up the courage to face the day. As the sleepy fog begins to creep from my head to the coastal city around me I think of my life blood. Coffee.
I am not a North West native and to be honest I usually stay only for the summers. But this year is different. After spending three months in Asia in the fall and another two in Argentina I find myself living in Vancouver BC. It is winter becoming spring and the weather is as depressing as a cold wet sleeping bag. I am trying to keep motivated, climbing and skiing, or at least biking and trail running, or more commonly brewing coffee and reading.
In this region weeks of cloudy fog with rain, drizzle, mist, and a good old downpour are the standard. So, when you get a glimpse of good weather, maybe an afternoon that is just overcast, you have to seize it. This is why there is so much coffee being consumed in the North West, why there are Starbucks and local cafes on every street corner; to fuel the people poised to strike off into the mountains. With such unpredictable opportunities to get to the mountains it is beneficial to keep yourself in a constant state of nervous, jittery, caffeinated readiness. A steady regiment of three to five cups of black coffee throughout the day keeps me on standby for that “weather window” which I take full advantage of clawing my gortex off the hanger, stuffing my pack full of freshly cleaned and oiled cams, because what else do you do with so much forced indoor time. Then bursting out the front door like a high octane Ducati into the brilliant patchy sunlight I peddle through the damp glistening streets straight to the climbing gym.