Fifty three kilos…surely not a single gram less, but possibly a few more.
It takes a specific form of elephant ballet combined with lots of swearing ans some experience with powerlifting in order to get such a huge load on your back without looking like a helpless beetle turned over on his back and wiggling it’s legs around.
Of course you need to warm up for a training session like this. so you lift up your girlfriend’s light 48kg backpack and help her put it on. Because…you know, she can climb rock slabs with that thing but lifting it off the ground – most certainly not. It’s too hard she says!
Once you start walking however especially if you have experienced caring such loans you want only two things. To switch yourself off from reality and to walk with a consistent monotonous speed without stopping all the way till the next break. You also want to have no pain in your back. Considering your hips though you’ve long since love to have the idea of having those pain free.
But! As an old friend of mine used to say – “Guys we are doing this to ourselves voluntarily”.
This is where the worst of surprises come in.
The tops of your skis got stuck on some bloody branch. You got lucky though the branches and dry and doesn’t break and you don’t get rained on by 5 kilos of dry wood. your lady however is no acquaintance to luck. She’s walking right on your heels, doesn’t react in time and smacks her nose bang in the middle of your backpack. Unfortunately she hits the pulks and not the crampons, conveniently strapped right beside them. Dammit! I just can’t get rid of that woman! Nevermind, there will be many more chances to come…
You go in reverse to free the skis from the branches, feeling like a big truck in a narrow street. You’re only missing the parking beeps…next you bow down, squat a little bit and using some of that gracios ballet technique, hunched below the 53 kilos, you’re finally free!
Whew. Now we just have to walk along that lush green fore….BANG!
– NOT AGAIN, YOU MOTHE#&$&##$^#@^@%@&$&$*#*!!
So much for monotonous walking. Welcome to the grind!
The next hour or so passes in a string of lush-green landscapes and modern ballet with the lenga trees. At some point you actually become an elegant master of preventive bowing. Your desire to carry a chainsaw has almost evaporated.
You barely notice it (yeah, right…) but almost 5 hours had passed. You’re now walking through a vast and very old glacial valley. Climbing over another rock step, you are rewarded with the view of a lake with electric blue waters on one side and on the other – the clouds are performing a dance of light and shadow on the impressive walls of the Fitzroy massif. You want to drink from all that beauty until you’re full, but a microscopic little nuisance is jumping up and down on your tight nerves. The veins on your neck and forehead are only seconds away from bursting and you back hurts like hell. Sh*t…this thing’s heavy alright…Some time between the 2364-th and the 37484-th shoulder straps and hip belt adjustment, you slap yourself on the head. Dickhead! You’ve forgotten to re-adjust the back length after that winter trip back home! Ha! Now that’ll take care of things!
Coming up with the solution makes you feel like the smartest gear nerd around. So you put your arm behind your back – damn, it’s tight here with all that weight, plus you’re as flexible as a piece of wood – you flip up the adjustment buckle’s cover and push the buckle up so it lengthens the back a bit. An instant relief and God bless those pack designers at Fjallraven!
Now you can marvel at Mother Nature for a few more pain-free minutes. You even become optimistic about the remaining 8ks and 8 hours of light.
Donning a wide and hopeful smile, you look back to where your lady is. She’s slowly stumbling across a field of boulders, barely keeping her 48-kilo pack in balance.
Hmm…wouldn’t she finally trip over…?