Monday, 9 December 2013


It is odd how a single pic can instantly take you back. A snapshot in time that means little to anybody else perhaps, but in that millisecond produces the same feeling of excitement, fear and adventure. Being limited to light duties as it were until I get my back sorted again, I have just been sorting through some old pics and found this one of me looking somewhat focussed on the Camino del Rey (Kings Way), El Chorro, Spain. It instantly made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up and I felt that familiar buzz of adrenaline.

© Alan Best

You might wonder why it invokes such feelings but this video shot by another climber (Copyright Daniel Ahnen) years later shows the walk in full. Sometimes I shudder at some of the things I did when I was younger, but more worryingly I would happily do it again. 

CLICK link for video

So here's a question - Do you stop doing things because you get old, or do you get old because you stop?

Incidentally if you have ever watched the WW2 film Von Ryans Express.  This is the place where the train is attacked by the fighter planes, one of which crashes into the walkway.

Sadly Daniel who shot the video died on 11th May 2011 in the Himalayas.  He was 35 years old. RIP Daniel


  1. bloody hell daft lad u r young in that photo

    1. Aye, it was the 12th April 1995. Since then someone has nicked some of my hair and coloured most of the rest grey, time flies odd lad :-) I have quite enjoyed looking through these old pics and diaries. Here's a question to test your grey matter - What were you doing on 19th February 1994?

    2. Ha, nope. We climbed Moss Ghyll on Scafell Crag in full winter condition. Thought that route might have stuck in your mind.

    3. thats when we had to help the group down off scafell

  2. My old caving mate Chris Jones emailed me that video clip a couple of years ago and asked me if I fancied doing the camino with him next time I was in Andalucia. I declined. I might have had a go once over, but definitely not nowadays.
    I don't know whether it's an age thing, but I would have had a crack at anything when I was a teenager and in my twenties – and on my own as well. But I can't stand exposure any more. I just freeze up.
    Bring on more of the old photos, David. Can't beat a bit of nostalgia and airing a few memories.
    Cheers, Alen

    1. Like you I have definitely got more cautious as I have got older and have noticed the need to slowly recondition myself to situations with exposure. Perhaps doing similar may help you. On the other hand I have a shot of me descending the main shaft of Alum Pot from years ago and there is no way I would dare to do that nowadays.

      You are spot on when you say you can't beat a bit of nostalgia and the airing of a few memories - I will add a few more pics to bore folk with once they are scanned and processed. Cheers, David