Thursday, 4 October 2012

Like a Bullock in a china shop

"Sometimes I think of the mountains as a brutal place and I can't be the only one who feels that way. Yet mountains are not brutal. Death and injury, trauma and distress do occur there. Being in the wrong place at the wrong time can cost you. Sometimes it's because of a mistake, a wrong decision, or just bad luck. Sometimes ego and ambition get in the way. Accidents happen. But a mountain has no soul. It's never the fault of the mountains."

Having just finished Nick Bullocks book 'Echoes', I now have two very strong outcomes on life: Never go to prison and follow your ambition. I first heard about, then met Nick, at a BMC Alpine climbing lecture in Bristol where I had dragged my girlfriend and grandad along to show them what it's all about and that it's not all about epics, falls and touching the void! Nick was like no one I had ever come across before. His wild and care free atitude, the passion in his voice, the mad hatter within him, all colaberated into one, unique personality. My girlfriend thought him mad, crazy, "please don't turn out like him" she said. Me? I thought he was brilliant, funny, very inspirational and if i don't turn out like that mad man, then I must try harder.

And now I have come to realise why Nick is the way he is. Echoes is an insight into how Nick discovered climbing. A heart warming journey through the good and bad and to how it changed his life. And how the prison service set him up with the mental attitude to push him on where many of us would have turned around. Echoes doesn't throw us in at the deep end though. Nick builds the foundations and leads us up to the moment his view on life changed. His life in the prison service features extensivly within the pages. As we flick back and forth from life confined to walls and doors, to the vast freedom the mountains give, Nicks life and passion for climbing unfold, getting ever more exciting, more ambitious, more heartfelt.
"My life depended on frozen moss"
For me, Echoes has inspired me to persue my ambitions in life. To find the time and motivation to succeed. His beautifully written account of his solo climb on Orion Face, Ben Nevis, left me sweaty palmed and in disbelief. I had to reach for my guide book 'Scottish winter climbs' and read the description out loud. His successes and failures in the greater ranges, his new routes and repeats of old, the tales of the epics and the drawbacks in life, all emalgamate into one, astonishing journey.

A link to a UKC video article with Nick Bullock talking about Echoes:

For those that need that little inspiration, that think that their hard-done-by life in the office is all very dull and need that uplift in life, and for those that enjoy a good bit of climbing liturature, Echoes is the book.

And for those with a little crazy person within you:

"The Bells! The Bells!"

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