Archive for August, 2008

waking up

Thursday, August 21st, 2008

I am currently reading this book, “Philosophy for Polar Explorers: What they don’t teach you in school” written by Erling Kagge, the first person to surmount the ‘3 poles’ – North pole, South pole and Mt Everest. One of the lines that struck me most – “One of the most important things is to get up in the morning” . On the ice, or in the mountains, it’s always tempting to remain in one’s sleeping bag when the temperature dips to minus 20 degrees, or lower. I remember on our Cho Oyu expedition last year, I woke up in my tent to find my sleeping bag covered with frost and tiny snow particles. I spent some time trying to unzip my sleeping bag, after which the effort left me so breathless that it really wouldn’t hurt to fall back asleep. Coupled with the low temperatures and wind gusting outside the tent, it does seem to defy logic to purposely pluck yourself out from your warm cocoon. However, Erling Kagge maintains that getting up can be painful, but what’s even worse is lying there dreading doing so. I think this applies so much locally, when one has to wake up at 5am to work, go for a 15km run, go to school, or mop the house (my mum used to do that) . So, one of the most important things in the world is to get up in the morning.

The Alps

Saturday, August 9th, 2008

I just caught the film “The Alps” (IMAX)  in the Hong Kong Space Museum at Tsim Sha Tsui. It was produced by MacGillvray Freeman Films, also the same company who produced Everest IMAX. Although a short 45 min documentary, there were lots of stunning images of the Alps. I especially loved how the film was projected on the entire inner surface of the concave ceiling of the dome-shaped building. Many a times, I really felt as if I was there in the mountains, plodding along / skiing on the snowfields. And I also felt my heart jumped out everytime the climber slipped as a result of an unstable placement of his ice tools on the slopes of the Eiger. The ‘lead’ mountain in the film is the Eiger in the Alps of Switzerland. In particular, the north face of the Eiger (4,158m)  has earned itself a reputation as a killer face, with its particularly steep face, regular rockfall,navalanches, flaky rock and unpredictable weather. With its knife ridge section leading to the summit, it sure looks more daunting when viewed from the top (as shot from a helicopter).  Lots of amazing footages, sure recommend this to everyone.

Visit the film website: