Easter – that most beautiful of weekends bookended by a Friday and a Monday of glorious leisure – is as close to a national spiritual holiday as a heathen climber has, at least it is for the weekend warrior.
For four fabulous days the crowds may be maddening but that is the way with all pilgrimages. Campsites are chaos and roads are crammed and yet such is our reverence that we pile out of city and suburb and flock to the cliffs to pay our respects and purify ourselves in ritual.
But every major modern holiday worth its salt needs an icon, a recognisable and marketable talisman, and convention dictates this is either a fat judgemental man in a red suit or an anthropomorphised creature. We’re climbers so fat men are out, if not exactly in practice then at least in pretence, because every kilo counts people (remember, ABT 4 EVA).
That leaves creature. We don’t care for bunnies (introduced vermin, good for stewing only) and the bilby never really took off (no profile, has anyone actually ever seen one? Or know what one is?) For a while at VL we have been channeling our own spirit guide, one of power and magic and undoubted virile potency, and so now we are proposing the climbing unicorn as the symbol of this Easter festivus. And who amongst us does not love unicorns?
Whatever you do out there this climbing holiday – whether you are crushed into the Pines, crushing at Nowra, sliming off things at Coolum or basking in the Great Wall at Moonarie – remember what Unicorn says, “Climb good, be careful People of Earth.”