As we all continue to live with restrictions on our outdoor activities, we talk to some of the world’s best mountaineers and mountain athletes about what they are doing to stay fit and focused during the Covid crisis. Next up is mountaineer, author and Rab athlete Andy Cave…
Where have you been, and with whom, during lockdown?
I’ve been at home with my family. We live in the Peak District.
Have you been able to get out into the hills/mountains/outdoors, or have you been restricted to your home and immediate vicinity?
Stayed in the immediate vicinity, but luckily the outdoors are literally the back garden. Running, cycling, walking, but no climbing outdoors.
Have you been training/exercising at home, and if so, how?
I followed a training plan to stay in shape, ready for when restrictions are lifted. I have a small home climbing wall, weights and a campus board. There has been a boom in people building home climbing walls in sheds, cellars, back gardens… a few friends get together via Zoom, looking at each other’s walls. Now we have a beer and a catch up and chat about the big outdoor adventures we’re looking forward to!
What are you looking forward to most when restrictions are lifted?
I miss the UK mountains – Wales, Lakes, Scotland. It will feel special when we are allowed back. I enjoy the camaraderie that comes with climbing also, but it may be a while until we can grab a pint in a pub after a day’s climbing.
Name a book and/or film you’d recommend to help keep our readers motivated/entertained during lockdown?
‘All the light we cannot see’ by Anthony Doerr is a beautifully crafted novel. Film – ‘The Lives of Others’ is special and powerful. I guess if you want to get motivated about adventure there are tons of films online for free right now. Covid has forced many of us to slow down and re-evaluate what is really important. This film – ‘A New View of the Moon’ – shows the power of nature to move people.
How do you anticipate the Covid-19 situation affecting your future plans and activities, and what – if any – changes do you think you’ll need to make?
Obviously, so much is unknown. Hopefully, at some stage we’ll get more reliable data on the R rate in particular areas. This would mean you could make an informed decision on where to travel or where to avoid when planning an adventure. As a pro climber and Mountain Guide, I travel a lot normally. It has been good to slow down. Once we can travel to the Alps, life will feel a bit more ‘normal’, but I’d be happy with Scotland to start with!
Can you supply a photo of either a) you keeping busy at home during the lockdown or b) in the mountains during happier times, and describe the image in a few words?
Feature photo: Got plenty of jobs done outside the house, tidied some trees in the garden and toast marshmallows on a bonfire!
Above: I put a lot of nice wooden holds on my home wall – it’s been fun, but nothing beats being outside in a wild place.