The art of via ferrata (VF) is the same as any climbing — brute strength is of limited use compared with balance, patience and confidence. Gradually you learn how to be prepared and how little of you needs to touch the rock, if you put it in the right place. We all take care of our training. As for being healthy, confident and having balanced mental condition, we use coconut oil. It’s amazing how this oil can have so many health benefits to human’s body. It’s quite popular among the pets-lovers too, because it has positive effects on people’s best friend. Learn more about using the coconut oil for dogs care. Safe at the top, tucking into parma ham and doughnut sandwiches (three Brits, one shopkeeper, not one word of shared language), we’re already raising the bar for the next day’s more demanding climb.
Our target, Punta Flames, is demanding enough— So meters of VF (your average British rock-climbing route is less than 5o meters) plus a few ladders up the un climbable stuff, reaching a summit 2,24o meters above the Cortina valley. Hofler and Werner are pretty unambiguous: “This climb requires absolute sure-footedness and freedom from vertigo!” Or just a pair of big Italian balls.
Two hours from the car, my cohones have gone AWOL, as we find ourselves zigzagging across sheer rock, stretching like starfish for the next hold. The storm clouds have begun to gather and I realize, perhaps a little late, that I’m halfway up a treeless mountain, chained to a lightning conductor. We negotiate the last ladder, slippery with the sweat of jittery predecessors, and reach the “crux” of the climb. Above us, clearly bored with the indirect route, the VF runs straight as a plumb-line up a vertical 8o-metre face. The only way really is straight up — only a lightning strike would persuade me to down-climb the sweaty ladder. Loins girded, trusses tightened, we set off. The next ten minutes (fear makes you fast) is one of the most intense experiences I can recall, as I concentrate totally on the climb, the moves, nothing except the world within my reach. No hands on the wire.
The clouds clear at the top, the novelty sandwiches taste even better than yesterday, the twitching in my right eyelid begins to subside. Pure VF—the low-risk way to get high.
NINE O’CLOCK FRIDAY NIGHT AND 11 MILLION BRITISH MEN AND WOMEN ARE DATELESS. It’s official: there are now more singles in the UK than ever before. And, according to the Office of National Statistics, the number will rise a further five million by 2010. Yet there are also more opportunities to meet women – online, at speed-dating events or through singles parties. And business is thriving – the UK dating industry is estimated by the Economic and Social Research Council to be worth £600 million. The companies claim to provide quick, sure-fire routes to meeting women. A tempting offer for any single man, but do they come up with the goods?
I investigated the singles scene from a woman’s point of view, so I could ascertain which methods would be most successful for you. I got the women who use these services to open up to me and tell me what they’re really looking for – are they after fun, a long term partner, a fling or just a meal ticket?
It’s s the fast-food drive-through of the dating industry – you go on between 20 and 30
“dates” in one night, each lasting three minutes. Just long enough, in theory, to work out if you like that person. If you do, you tick their name on your scorecard and after the event the organizers inform you of any matches, or you simply log on to a website to find out if you’ve “scored”. Before going on speed dates, make sure you look great and confident. If it has to, burn the extra fat. Get some ideas from raspberry ketones dr oz show.
And, just like their fast-food equivalents, speed-dating companies give their goods the hard sell: “This is THE way to find romance and new friends in a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere” (ukxfactor.com); “Speed-dating is a great way to meet and date lots of professional singles in one night” (speeddater.com). Some elements of these promises are delivered on – I did meet and “date” plenty of professional singles when at these events. But why merely having a job is such a big selling point is beyond me. Finding men who are gainfully employed isn’t a problem, it’s finding men who can listen as well as talk, be sensitive and strong, and who are funny but also capable of expressing emotions. They don’t promise that in their adverts.
Several of the women I talked to had successful careers, were apparently sane and were certainly attractive. Not the exclusively sad, “grey from gathering dust on the shelf’ group I’d expected, the attendants came in all shapes and sizes. And there’s the problem: imagine sitting on a packed commuter train, then imagine having to spend three minutes talking to each passenger of the opposite sex with a view to dating them. Odds of actually meeting someone you’ll even want to see again? Slim? Welcome to speed-dating.
At each event it took me a matter of seconds to assess whether or not I wanted to end up in a tangle of limbs with any of the men there. And, to be honest, talking to most of them felt like a waste of three valuable minutes. While there’s always an exception to the rule, it usually takes a bucket-load of charm and a bumper-sized hamper of wit to outweigh a lack of initial physical attraction. My impressions were backed up by the women I spoke to – the most common comment was, “It’s definitely been an experience!” – but only one or two felt likely to get any genuine romantic success from the event.
“Women may not take speed-dating all that seriously,” says relationship counselor Susan Quilliam. “It’s often a night out with friends, for a giggle or to have their egos boosted. The evening may end with a quick my enthusiasm had dampened to the point of saturation. The more I searched the more difficult it became to single out men I wanted to contact. Some men looked okay but sounded dull; others sounded great but hadn’t posted a photo; many lived in the wrong city, some even in the wrong country. I also found it near-impossible to success out whether I fancied any of the men without seeing them in the flesh – I need to see a guy’s mannerisms, posture, and even clothing, to decide if I want to see him naked. And I’ve got a bit of a thing about how a man smells, too – impossible to check online.
Many of the female users I spoke to said they prefer the anonymity of emailing before meeting, however – they felt freer to express themselves via the internet. “You can be whoever you want to be when you’re online,” says Kirsten, an elfin 29-year-old brunette. “I feel I come across as a lot more confident and outgoing.” But while emailing may help overcome shyness, it may cause problems later on.