Cordillo Downs – Outback Australia

Cordillo Downs

 Cordillo Downs Woolshed, Outback Australia

Photo: Baz – The Landy
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Beach Culture – Downunder

Surfing

Merewether Beach, Newcastle, Australia…

Photo: Baz – The Landy
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More dope on a rope (High altitude climbing)

Baz - Chancellor Dome in Background, New ZealandFor a simple bloke who can’t even tie his shoe laces properly the prospect of climbing some of the world’s highest mountain peaks would seem just a little ambitious.

At least that would be the conventional thinking.

Not that I have ever thought of myself as conventional…

And let’s face it, Castle Hill, which prominently stands out as a feature of Townsville, the wonderful tropical North Queensland town I grew up in, is merely a speed hump when compared to the Himalayan Mountains.

But in a similar way that I am drawn to the rugged beauty of Australia’s Outback, I am lured to the mountains for much the same reason.  The solitude and magnificent beauty, a feeling that you are insignificant in the broader landscape, but equally, an important part of this picture seemingly painted on the canvas of life…

Plans are now well under way for two expeditions I will be undertaking to Nepal in 2015, my place on the expeditions confirmed, and plane tickets are booked.

The first expedition will be in April when I head to Kathmandu to climb Mera Peak.

Standing at 6,500 metres, Mera will provide a fantastic view of Cho Oyu and Mount Everest from its summit.   The trip will introduce me to the culturally stimulating world of Nepal and will assist in refining my technical skills at altitude in preparation for three other peaks I will climb in the post-monsoon period in November.

The peaks, Island Peak, Lobuche East, and Pokalde will be more technical and another opportunity to enjoy the people, culture and landscapes of the Himalayan region of Nepal.

And training for high altitude mountaineering is something I look forward to and will require lots of cardio-vascular work, and nothing beats putting on a 20-kilogram pack and walking in the hills for a few hours.

I’m excited to be back on track once again, so be sure to join me on the climbs – one step at a time, as that is what it will take as I progress towards an expedition to climb Cho Oyu, the world’s 6th highest mountain peak standing at well over 8,000 metres. That is set down for the 2016.

Strewth, I’m as excited as a rooster in a chook pen!

Baz – The Landy

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The Australian Outback (At Sunset)

Australian Bush

 

Photo: Baz, The Landy
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Dope on a Rope

(Big Bad) Baz on  Sweet Dream, Blue Mountains, Australia

 Just hanging out, on a climb called “Sweet Dreams”…

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Selfishness – A simple word with a complex meaning

This is a word that we are confronted with each and every day of our lives, in fact, if we cast our minds back we will most likely find it has featured in discussions from a very early age of our development.  

But what does it really mean and how should it be applied to our daily lives, if at all?

I consulted a dictionary and Wikipedia and both were very similar in the description of selfishness…

“Devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one’s own interests, benefits, welfare, etc., regardless of others.”

The description made me stop and think for a while and eventually I came to a conclusion that this is possibly one of the most misused words in the English vocabulary.

Let me place some context around this.

I have an ambition to climb one, or more, of the world’s 8,000 metre high peaks. I am training and working towards Cho Oyu, the world’s 6th highest mountain. 

To further my love affair with the hills and mountains I teamed up with Adventure Consultants, a mountaineering company based in New Zealand’s South Island a few years back to assist me in achieving this goal. 

My reason is no more simpler or complicated than wanting to see what I am capable of, what I can achieve, to explore new horizons and to develop as a person, to stand at the edge and look at the world through a different lens…

But is the goal of high altitude climbing selfish?

Being a deep thinking person I spent some time pondering this notion. I realise there is an element of an individual pursuit involved, but did it really fit the definition of selfishness? 

As individuals our life and the way we lead it creates a mosaic of who we are.

The pieces of a jigsaw puzzle randomly sitting in a box are meaningless unless they are joined. In much the same way the pieces of our lives, scattered, cannot  portray or project anything about who we are or what we seek to be until pieced together.

Interlocked they provide a mosaic of whom we really are…

The picture unfolds.

Whom or what would we be if we were not able to join the random pieces together and pursue our individual dreams.

Would we ever fulfill our real potential?

Or would a fear of selfishness limit us and how we develop?

Is it selfish to want to put all the pieces of the puzzle together? 

 Photo; Baz – The Landy
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Feed the Rat (It’s gnawing away)

 

Baz - The Landy, Southern Alps, New Zealand

Baz – The Landy, Southern Alps, New Zealand

Since a young  age I have been fascinated by the majestic beauty of mountains, of the peaks that poke through the clouds reaching ever higher into a deep blue sky.

Growing up in Australia has had mountaineering limitations given our highest is Mt Kosciuszko, a mere 2,228 metres high.

So I contented myself with walking through and over the hills and mountains, developing a love of the Australian Bush, the magnificent Australian Bush…

Like an unsatisfied lover, in recent years I started to look further afield with a desire to experience more from my affair with the mountains…

Three years ago I commenced training designed to assist and enable me to contemplate  climbing an 8,000 metre peak in the Himalayan Mountain Range.  The mountain of choice Cho Oyu borders Tibet and Nepal and is the world’s sixth highest mountain peak and possibly the most accessible of the world’s fourteen 8,000 metre peaks.

The fun is in the journey, right?

I have had some great times developing my rope skills climbing in the Blue Mountains not far from Sydney as well as undertaking an extreme fitness regime.

And talk about a good laugh here and there, strewth, I can’t even tie my shoelaces properly (it’s a long story) but here I am tying myself off on vertical rock-faces!

 

Unfortunately injuries over the past year or more proved to be a significant setback and at times had me questioning whether I should continue!  But the injuries are now behind me and a solid fitness regime is under way to get me on track!

My head is back in the right place, the switch has been flicked once again…

And crikey, the “rat” is gnawing away and it needs to be fed – that’s a good sign, for me anyway, as Janet rolls her eyes with a wry smile breaking through ever so slyly.

Janet knows the rat well, it has led us on many wonderful adventures…

And how good is New Zealand’s Southern Alps playground – truly a mountaineer’s playground.

After a reasonably steep multi-pitch climb I crossed this snow covered Arête in the cover photo on the way to the summit of Auroa.

Whenever I view this photograph it reminds me that “standing back from the edge is safe, but the view is never as good” – it reminds me what I love so much about the mountains, it inspires me to pursue my goal…

So, one step at a time, let’s do this together!

Baz – The Landy

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