Climbing over mountains
Floating out on the sea
Far from the lights of the city
The elements they speak to me (Pearl Jam)
There is something pure about the simplicity of survival in the elements. As Antoine Montant said, to feel the nature, feel alive, to feel everything and understand everything, to take power, there is so much power in the mountain, so much energy.
In modern life our survival instincts are muted, some focus on ever elusive financial security instead. In western comfort and excess, idleness gives us depression and other lifestyle diseases.
Angels on the sideline, puzzled and amused…
Why did Father give these humans free will? Now they’re all confused. (Tool)
We need a purpose in which to direct our passion.
I will be using this page to build up a repository of ideas, and other websites that are worth a visit. Advocacy – it does work – the act of promoting ways of thinking to change the world!
Below was last updated 2011/09/19:
Before I get too deep however, here are a few basic links to get you started:
First and foremost, I was so stoked to come across Cross Country, an inspirational magazine to which subscription is essential if you are even remotely interested in adventure flying. And PG Forum, while I don’t use it much, is the resource for general discussion on paragliding topics, while justacro is another parallel community. Also check various blogs as linked on brenreid.
The New Zealand Alpine Club is a very functional organisation with a gorgeous pristine country to represent and it does this well with excellent publications, including guidebooks, a quarterly magazine, and a high quality yearly journal. Not to mention the numerous other services including conservation advocacy.
Southern Alps Photography is a showcase of brilliant photos from a Dunedin tramper, well organised with maps describing each of his creative trip itineraries and it even labels the mountains so besides offering great armchair exploration it is a fantastic resource for those who know the backcountry and are planning their own trips.
Check Guillaume Dargaud’s website for awesome climbing oriented photos and trip reports from all over the world, even Antarctica.
On the list for sure is a trip to Pakistan, Brad Sander put it on the map for many people with a record 224km flight through some of the highest mountains on earth… not to mention the Himalaya Odyssey, an epic group vol biv mission… and John Silvester has been going there for years, a recent film relates it through his tandem passenger. In fact there is a history of different people flying the Himalaya, but they certainly are an unknown minority!
Also read this account of one of the early XAlps races, an incredible all weather adventure if a little dangerous – or you could just wait for the right day? And here is a good story of a committing flight in the Canadian Rockies.
Other sports and travel
I have never skydived let alone flown a wing suit, (yet another essential life skill I need to learn!) but I do appreciate other mountain sports. Speaking of the French, how many women do you know that would travel independently with a parapente across South America?? Here is the dutch equivalent with a bicycle… seems a good way to travel – a couple I know is on a two year trip, and here is a year long cycling journey through China.
For more ideas the Banff mountain film festival is normally pretty good value.
No easy answers for this one unfortunately but I guess the first step is awareness. Take responsibility for your life – be a thoughtful consumer, defend your values in the workplace, engage with your surroundings, and choose lifestyle before committing to the western economy model – debt fuelled expansion (as they say the best things in life are free, and personally the idea of waiting until retirement to get out there and enjoy life is far too risky for me!). I find it quite staggering that many don’t believe in climate change, another reason to go and see glaciated mountains before they disappear.
The film Last Paradise made me proud to be a kiwi, as AJ Hackett said, “We’re only here for such a small amount of time… and we should be leaving a nice footprint.”
Paragliding in the mountains is all about freedom. The exhilaration of making your own decisions and the power of being responsible for the consequences. The natural environment follows the laws of physics, and not some arbitrary artificial authority, so there is a sense of justice.
Since being interested in Austrian economics and libertarian views, it’s been hard to fault the logic. Although tragedy of the commons and the environment certainly needs to be addressed. Ron Paul seems the best placed to dismantle the authoritarian and corrupt combination of corporations and government in the USA, and transform them to be responsible for themselves (end debt) and mind their own business (end war).
Democracy has a weakness that it relies on an educated public. The commercial mainstream media is being challenged by the internet, a freedom lifeline, with alternative media such as RT and Al Jazeera, the only two “worth speaking about” according to Julian Assange. Get informed with honest and hilarious Rap News.
I’ve started another blog, with occasional updates on economics, social, and political topics. Some other interesting articles that I found include “War on Terror“, an interesting TED talk about community overcoming consumerism. Kiwiblog has comments on a range of topics, and there’s plenty of thought provoking movies here.
My brothers website easyroadtrips.com has juicy photos and helpful route info.
The western notion of working too hard to build wealth for the evil pharmaceutical companies when you retire, all worn out… I’ve been trying to figure out an eloquent way of putting this for a while: