By Lorea Zabaleta | Photos courtesy of Lorea Zabaleta
The days continue to pass by, and while some restrictions are lifting in Montana, it is clear that things will not be back to “normal” anytime soon — least of all, playing outside. Some more “risky” activities are resuming in the area again, such as climbing, but with great restrictions and precautions. High risk, remote adventures are certainly neither encouraged nor responsible right now.
So instead of doing what I normally do each May — climbing, planning some multi-week backpacking, or taking a quick trip to some peak — I am slowly losing my mind. I find myself wandering into the basement, or rather a small room in our basement with an eclectic mix of outdoor gear and other items, to seek solace. As I have already cut my own bangs and dyed my hair purple, my only current course of action to remain sane is to look longingly at all the stuff in this room, all the good times and memories, and pretend I’m auctioning them off to mimic social interaction.
A note: there is literally no way I can cover the sheer volume of equipment that my family, primarily my father, has amassed over the years.
First up, we have the box of crampons, and I truly mean a box full of crampons. It’s got quite a variety, some newer models (2014) and some from the 1970s that have stories in their very rusty points. The older pairs have been to the high peaks of the Himalayas, which is neat, but the fresh ones (mine) have been all the way to a small waterfall outside Colorado Springs, so either way, a bid on a single pair from “the box,” or on the container as a whole, is certainly worth any collector’s money.
But if hardware isn’t your cup of tea, there are also the vintage snowsuits/layers from the 1980s from brands such as Sun Ice and the Spanish based “Sirocco” (which I am told does not exist anymore). The Sun Ice options are a full-zip, pastel turquoise and purple snowsuit with neon pink inside and fur lined collar and a coat of a similar color scheme that appears to be fitted for an incredibly tall person (even though no one in my family is over 5’8”). As for Sirocco, there is a significantly puffier snowsuit of, again, bright pink and turquoise. I have inside knowledge that it kept a wearer warm on K2 along with the fleece set (complete with suspenders) of bright teal and yellow. I assure you if you choose one of these pieces you will be the most fashionable person on the mountain, whether that mountain is a developed ski resort or some remote peak. There is also one pair of down booties (do I hear $40?).
Some miscellaneous items include the wide variety of climbing ropes, sleeping pads, ancient trad gear, and an avalanche shovel handle without a blade. The ropes and pads are a great option for those gamblers out there because there’s no telling which ropes are coreshot, or which of the inflatable pads have holes in them if they even blow up at all.
And if you’re in the market to equip a very small, guerrilla-force army, I would recommend the selection of ice tools/axes. For very reasonable prices, varying with the age of the product (ranging from 1970-2020), we can provide you with pointy metal that is very easy to swing.
And last but certainly not least, we have the Basque and Chilean flags. These very versatile pieces of gear can be used for decoration or tied into knots and jammed into cracks as protection in the Czech fashion.
Please do not actually contact me with offers because I have no desire to “disappear under mysterious circumstances” if my dad finds any of his stuff gone.