Feckin' Trekkin'

Matt and Krista's Awesome Travel Blog

Month: January 2010

Book review – Feeding The Rat: A Climber’s Life on the Edge

Cover of the book Feeding The RatHaving a 10 day trip in Mexico is awesome. A few books were required between drinking, swimming and exploring. I was fortunate to have acquired a couple over the Christmas holidays. This was one of them.

The book, Feeding the Rat, is written by English poet, writer and critic, Al Alvarez.

The term “feeding the rat” refers to a phrase Anthoine uses to describe the mixture of pleasure, fear and pain that is fed in the climber, a feeding he can’t get enough of.

Written beautifully, Feeding the Rat, gives the reader an intimate portrait of Mo Anthoine. It provides the reader with a visceral sense of being on a variety of climbs, and much sound and accessible philosophical matter to think about. Mo Anthoine was considered to be a cautious climber who valued safety, travel and the companionship of friends more than the actual summit which really hit a chord with me as my values are quite similar. The book portrays some of the best stories of adventure and personal experiences allowing climbing enthusiasts and book junkies to feed their own rat.

Mo was often criticized for being overly cautious. His response to those who criticized his climbing technique was simple: “No mountain is worth a mate.” Mo never lost a member of his team on expeditions carried out in over 20 years of his time.

I read this book in 2 days. Matt read it cover to cover on the plane ride over. This book draws you in, allows you to befriend Mo and ultimately leaves you full of emotional and a sudden need for adventure. A poignant journey.

Anyone who plays the stunt double for Rambo is wicked. Mo was wicked. His accomplishments and his outlook on life makes me want to be a better person. If only I could have met the guy. A top read and a must for anyone who is looking to read an intimate encounter about an amazing individual.

I give this book two thumbs up, five stars and a high five.

January ’10 Training Summary

January was a baaaaad month. Well actually it was pretty awesome fun, with a 10 day trip to Mexico and 4 days of partying at Mt Tremblant. But when it comes to anything involving major exertion…  Not so much.


  • Bodyboarding and river swimming in Mexico
  • One day snowboarding at Mt Tremblant
  • Winter hike at Belfountain
  • Yeah, I’m struggling here…

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  • 3 sessions at the climbing gym
  • Winter hike at Belfountain

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Another fine mess…

Xray of dislocated shoulderSnowboarding season arrived a little late this year, so I was thoroughly ready to rock when the snow finally showed up. Unfortunately it looks like it’s going to be a short season for me this year. On my second time out, taking it easy up at Blue Mountain on a Wednesday evening, I took the silliest of spills. I slid on my butt for a while, rolled over and *BOINK* my arm decided to fall off for no particularly good reason. Well, OK, not actually fall off, but I did manage to dislocate my shoulder fairly thoroughly. At first I thought I’d just given it a thump and had a dead arm, but upon closer inspection I discovered my armpit had sort of dropped a couple of inches, and there was a big gap where my shoulder joint would normally be. Oh yeah, and it did actually hurt quite a bit now I think about it…    Fortunately I was close to the bottom of the hill, and the Blue Mountain safety guys are pretty efficient so I was out of harm’s way quickly. The First Aid guy took one look at my shoulder and got my good buddy Matt to drive me to Collingwood Hospital quick-sharp.

I’ve had a few painful injuries over the years but this one was particularly excruciating. Bouncing around in the car, undressing, being examined, x-rays, a first attempt to get it back into joint… all just added to the pain. By the time they finally got around to knocking me out I was pretty crazy, rocking backwards and forwards and mumbling like a madman. A quick shot of general anesthetic, 5 minutes of wrestling and I was back in great shape. As soon as I came round I felt great. I couldn’t move it a whole lot but at least I *could* actually move it, and it was a LOAD less painful.

Unfortunately, that was over a month ago and things haven’t moved on a lot since then. I’m not stuck in a sling any more, but I still can’t move it very much and it’s a total impediment to actually doing anything fun. I can’t cycle, climb, snowboard or play volleyball. I can just about run but even that’s not very comfy. I get the feeling it’s going to be a loooong recovery period…

December ’09 Training Summary

December was a great month! The level of physical activity went up after we had a good look at our November summary. Running has started up, rock climbing is back on the agenda and snowboarding has been introduced. I think we’ve done well considering the holidays. An unfortunate turn of events left Matt with a dislocated left shoulder which will undoubtedly slow him down for a while. After a 10 day trip to Mexico it is time to turn up the heat for January.


  • Two climbing sessions at the Rock Oasis and one at Toronto Climbing Academy
  • Seaton Hiking Trail – Completed all 3 sections, 11km
  • 10km run on my own
  • 2 x 5km run with Krista
  • 2 days of snowboarding at Mt. St. Louis and Blue Mountain
  • A couple of hundred km on the bikes (Note to self: Check exact distances – odometers started at 400km and 1142km)
  • 3 hours in ER getting shoulder joint relocated

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  • One climbing session at the Toronto Climbing Academy
  • Dec 21- climbing session at the Toronto Climbing Academy
  • One climbing session at the Rock Oasis
  • Seaton Hiking Trail – Completed all 3 sections, 11km
  • 5km run (getting back to old tricks!)
  • Dec 15- 5km Run
  • Dec 17- 7.12km Run
  • Dec 21 – 3km
  • Day of Snowboarding at Mt. St. Louis
  • Swimming in the Pacific Ocean (YUP! I think it qualifies as cardio exercise)

I started up running! I think December was awesome. I really kicked it up and had a great time! My goal was 30km for the month, which I didn’t reach. As such, I only award myself 4 stars. I will make it up in January!

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