Mountaineering in the age of feminism…

It’s the stuff of nightmares. You drive 200 miles to Wales, book a hotel, dress in appropriate attire for climbing a mountain, journey to said mountain, pay for parking, kneel down to tie your shoe-laces and hear the awful tearing sound of your ass making a bid for freedom (Yes, I know, very peachy).

unnamed-4Son of a bitch!

What was I supposed to do – drive the 10 miles back to the nearest town and buy new trousers? There’d only be more people there to notice my shame (plus, as aforementioned, I’d already paid for parking!)

The fog rolled in. Bonus, I thought (as well as added peril obviously).

These are the moments that separate the men from the boys. I kept my cool and asked the most pertinent question: What if women see me?

And then I realised there was a more pertinent question: What if my trousers fall down on a mountain in winter?

I checked the waistband. It seemed sturdy enough. One final question to ensure maximum rigour:

Is the exposed area cold?

I probed about a bit.

No, the exposed area is not cold.

I set off.

It’s fair to say that I was reasonably popular during the ascent (albeit largely with ladies of a certain age guffawing and threatening to manhandle me or poke my bottom with their hiking poles).

I’ve never felt so objectified in all my life. I mean, would it be OK for me to prod a random woman in the derriere just because it was on show? (This isn’t a rhetorical question).

Harnessing the raconteur skills for which I’m world-renowned I kept the feral beasts at bay whilst regaling them with fictional explanations of how my wardrobe came to malfunction. I then slipped on a wet rock and fell on my car keys, giving myself an epic dead-leg and tearing the trousers even further.

unnamedI made good my escape from the cackling hoards.

On the way down I encountered a Chinese businessman and his son. I knew he was Chinese because he told me. I knew he was a businessman as he was climbing in a suit and frock coat and carrying a briefcase.

We exchange frowns – me because of his formalwear and he because my attempts to face him meant that I was walking like a crab.

‘How much further to the top?’ The son inquired.

‘About an hour from here,’ I replied.

His dejected face prompted the father to bizarrely shout, ‘remember honour!’

We spoke briefly, but I was starting to feel a little chaffed, and I imagine he needed to dial into a conference call…

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