Tuesday 1 August 2017

Seven Mountaineering Lies

I recently stumbled upon this funny piece and I don't want to withhold it from you. Lucky for you, I can read Bavarian so here's the English translation.

Translated from the Bavarian original "Sieben Berglügen" written by Stefan Frühbeis

1 "Almost there"

If you hear the following sentence from the mouth of your local climber: "Almost there!" - then you should be very suspicious. "Almost there!" actually means that you are not exactly there, and it will take at least an hour and a half or 650m difference in altitude. And it also means that you should please finally stop nagging about the route of the tour. "Almost there!" is the most used and most important mountaineering lie.

2 "No need for gaiters - for sure!"

Noobs should know that seasoned mountaineers carry so-called gaiters in their backpack during at times, which they use as needed, for example to cross old snowfields while remaining dry feet. Whether they are needed is a favourite discussion among groups which eventually results in a decision generating the sentence: "No need for gaiters - for sure!" - a notorious mountaineering lie.
However usually the liar is quickly unmasked. Especially when someone has slipped into the snow cover as far as humanly possible and while pulling the leg out the snow crystals penetrate between the shoe and socks where they immediately melt. This way - despite Goretex - the alpinist is experiencing wet feet in an instant .

3 "Already did the steepest part!"

"Already did the steepest part!!" - a favourite mountaineer lie, when you have friends coming along on the hike who have no idea of the location.
The weakened companion joyfully takes a deep breath and squanders his last power reserves while contemplating at the next steep uphill part to push his mendacious comrade down the ridge-line.

4 "It's clearing up!"

After all the most important topic on the mountain is not the beauty of the area or the joy of personal well-being but the weather. This leads us to another important mountaineering lie: "The rain is almost gone!" or "It's clearing up!"
Mature alpinists can see right through this lie due to their wealth of experience. They know: It never ends when you get wet, and it does not clear up until you arrive dripping wet at the cold hut or car.

5 "And the one in the back is Feathertop!"

Finally at the summit. This is the right place and the right time for one of the most beautiful mountaineering lies: "And the one in the back is the Feathertop!" Warnings are unnecessary here. Mountaineering lies while explaining the panorama are completely harmless and have no negative or positive effects. Only for Mount Feathertop* we can be very sorry.

*In the original it's the Großvenediger which is an iconic mountain in Austria.

6 "I've never snored!" 

So. The alpinist is exhausted. The "night-camp" is approaching, in the true sense of the word. "Camps" are narrow berths in alpine linguistic usage, most of them endowed with 19th-century blankets bearing the inscription "foot-end" which is absolutely essential due to hygienic reasons. Now if the mountaineer next to you goes to rest after six bottles of red with the words "I've never snored!", you can be assured that your peace will disturbed during this night.

7 "Well it wasn't that hard!"

The conclusion of the tour is always a good reason for a final lie. The last classic mountaineering lie is often used by alpinists, who want to provide their conversational partner the enjoyment of physical near-death experience.
If you ever ask for objective dangers and difficulties of a tour and the answer is "Well it wasn't that hard!", then you can prepare for the worst!

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