Thursday, 25 June 2009


I'm still having dificulty in coming to terms with just how steep the ground is here in the mountains. Obviously one expects there to be a certain amount of up hill going on, these are mountains after all, but it seems like most of the wooded areas consist of ground that is predominantly vertical. Yesterday afternoon I went for a bit of a stroll in the hope of happening across a patch of south facing flat ground with shelter from the wind and easy access to a river, all I found was myself halfway up a cliff. I'm not entirely sure how I got there, I was just bimbling along, hello clouds, hello trees, and before I knew it I was clinging onto the ground with both hands and having to make very sure of my footing. After a couple of hours spend zooming up and down like a yo yo the novelty of vertical waned, it was time to go home.

One back at Chez Monkey I set about trying to design a suitable shelter in which it would be possible to survive the winter. Size is one of the biggest issues, the larger it is the harder it will be to waterproof and heat but the smaller it is the more uncomfortable it will be. It would be quite straight forward to build something just big enough to sleep in, insulate it very well and allow it to be kept warm from body heat and a couple of candles. Such a design would be fine in an emergency but to live in for an entire winter, which is about six months here, would be uncomfortable in the extreme. I managed to find one location where a massive rock would form a wall against which I could build a roof. Building a fireplace next to the rock would turn it into a kind of radiator to release heat during the night, the problem though is that the ground disappears very steeply so a floor would have to be built and there are a number of trees growing in just the wrong places so whilst I might be able to build a shelter for one there would be no space for my girlfriend should she want to visit. As I was pondering this she called me and I explained the difficulty. Apparently this is not a problem at all, she doesn't mind not coming to stay during the winter and she assured me she is not just saying this to make my life easier.

No comments: