As the sun sets on the ides of August, I bring you one of the most annoying things that can happen at a horse show: the open in-gate. An open in-gate is exactly what it sounds like…the entrance to the arena is empty. Everyone is waiting for the next competitor. The judge is annoyed. The other competitors are cooling their jets trying to quash their nerves, worried that their trainer is going to put them in out of order. There is gossip about the inexperienced trainer who is somewhere else, holding up the show.
In the end, the trainer arrives, the competitor enters the arena–the show goes on. Everyone is polite, an apology is offered, a laugh is shared.
I’m holding up the show, keeping the in-gate open. When I come back, ready to actually post, I will tell you how to enjoy a hunter/jumper horse show. Now may be a good time to hit the porta-potty or get a snack. Just remember, the horse world is very small. If you say something about this missed commitment, it will get back to me and I’ll tell everyone about how you jumped that oxer backwards in the warm-up ring.
So this góral named Andrzej Bargiel decided to climb K2 carrying his favorite pair of skis, then ski down. He asked his brother Bartek to bring up the snacks and take the drone footage. His brother said sure.
This was on July 22, 2018; a report made it into the August issue of Polish-American Journal. I was so relaxed and comfortable in my reading chair, despite ink glomming on my fingers from the exercise of turning the pages of the print edition, when this shocking report destroyed the peace of that athletic endeavor.
From the PAJ item:
Andrzej Bargiel, 30, has become the first person to ski down the world’s second-highest mountain. With skis in hand, the highlander from Zakopane climbed the 28,251-foot peak and skied back down to base camp intact.
He didn’t use any oxygen.
The downhill “run” took him a little over seven hours. When you look at the drone camera footage, you can see that it was seven hours at steepness rating “Ridiculous”.
Last year, he had attempted the same daredevil feat but had to abandon the bid due to bad weather. . .
There are moments in the footage when cloud obscures everything. What can you do if the cloud settles in for a few days as you sit there on a 45- or 50-degree slope of snow with a crevasse on either side?
. . . Three years ago, Bargiel became the first skier in the world to descend from the nearby 26,295-foot Broad Peak. He has now skied from the summits of five of the 14 highest mountains.
Here is another good compilation of the day’s footage.
The górale of the Tatra Mountains are famed for mountaineering and for the white-wooled sheep they raise. The traditional images are like these:
Is this nuts? Of course it is admirable and valuable to pursue excellence and expand its definition. And of course, if someone has skills, he feels compelled to exercise them and perfect them. But suppose you had his talents: would you look around for an application of them that produced immediate practical benefit? Or would consider it simply a good, even a necessity, to keep up and advance the traditional skills just so one’s descendants can do daring rescue ops on Luna some day? What do Ratburgers think?
Recently I been going over the doping scandal in cycling. I don’t condone doping but I can understand how it can happen. Athletes are asked to do impossible things. In sports the Tour de France is more than the average body can take.
I hope people more knowledgeable will add things in the comments. My understanding is the Tour de France is like running 21 marathons in 23 days. The distance covered is like from New York City to Las Vegas. The yellow jersey is yellow because a newspaper first sponsored the event. What do you expect from “yellow journalism”?
The current Tour de France end on July 29th. Any bets on who is going to win?
This is early this week. It is the World Cup and I am up at 4:30 am watching the Japan vs Belgium match. Japan is ahead by 2 with less than a half hour left. Japan has not been known for soccer so this is big deal.
Belgium just scored. It is now 2-1 with Japan in the lead.