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The cold world of skimo & alpine climbing

The cold world of skimo & alpine climbing

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Buff?

30 years ago half of the gear available off the rack in Snells couldn't be had in the US.  Half the climbing gear available in the US no one wanted. 

Things have changed.  Maybe 5% of the gear available in the US is hard to find in Europe and nothing in Snell's can't be had in the US these days.  And when you do find it, it is generally cheaper.  Although some of it might take a bit of searching.

So what does all this have to do with a Buff?  They are big, mean and generally like to be left alone.  Mess with them at your own peril.  The burnt and salted earth approach.

First I had heard of THE "Buff" was after a little apre ski at the apartment in Cham.  We meet a couple of the local live in  Brits just after lunch at the Requin hut on the VB as they skied by from simu soloing Laratoune.  They in turn cheerfully helped us through our stock of wine and beer back at the flat.  Couple days later someone wanted to know if they had left their "buff" behind.  I guessed, correctly it seems,  it was one of those retro '70s, lycra head band thangs that were so fashionable in Chamonix.

Figured it was "only" a Chamonix thing so I bought my buddies one each for grins before we left town.

I earned my retro '70s style.   Cotton bandanas, wool scarfs of assorted colors, leather head bands.  Used them all to good effect with a full head of hair.  Often times they required attire bitd. So not uncommon for me to turn up looking. as my wife describes it, like a "muffin head".  Which almost, but not quite, squishes my ego.   But not my now white, muffin head!  Admittedly only half cool with a buzz cut but workable.   Yes they work well under a helmet to keep your ears warm.  Yes there really are 12 ways to wear one.  Pirates, banditos and real men will use only 4.

The "Buff" is made in Barcelona, Spain, of 100% mirco fiber polyester (or Merino wool) and available in every color the rainbow and most patterns you cna imagine at your local REI of all places (or Technique Extreme) for 15 Euro or $20 US for the polyester versions.  The cheap knock offs will squish a grown man's head.  They do how ever make most of us look a bit like a urban camo'ed Buff and may be even a bit of a colorful muffin head. 

Get a little style!  And add a little color to you shady life style and your buddy's photos.  Get a Buff!  Hell, get two and mix it up!

Fook'um I earned my muffin head and liked lycra 30 years ago!   The colors may fade but a truly classic style, doesn't   ;-)

Now who is making a good knicker again and bell bottoms...ya, we need some Shoeller bell bottoms!

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