Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Climbers, Skiers and World War Z

I just finished reading the best of the best of the subgenre of horror that one might refer to as "zombie-apocalypse-punk." You know, because there's splatterpunk and cyberpunk and steampunk.  I don't know if zombie-apocalypse-punk has made it into the lexicon of genre fiction yet, but if it hasn't, we should probably help it get there...

Anyway, I just finished reading World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks. If you're not familiar with the book, Brooks uses a clever tactic to tell his story.  A series of individuals from all over the world tell an interviewer their stories about the zombie apocalypse.  This provides a wide array of viewpoints on the story, from soldiers and housewives, to dog trainers and scuba divers, from scammers trying to get rich off the plague, to politicians trying to rebuild society.  It is an incredibly engaging read.

But the interviews fell significantly short in one area.

Yep, you guessed it.  They didn't talk about climbers and skiers.

After reading this book, it is my contention that climbers and skiers would fare much better in a zombie apocalypse than many others.  The duel facts that zombies can't really climb and that they can't ski would give us a great advantage.

Think about it. Zombies are mindless.  There is no way they could climb much of anything.  Their fingers  probably wouldn't stay on their hands if there was any real cranking to be done.

In the winter, zombies would have a hard time in the snow.  In World War Z, many zombies freeze solid during the coldest months, making them harmless.  Add to that the fact that zombies wouldn't have the wherewithal to use floatation, and skiers would have free reign in the mountains without fear!

So what do you think? How would the world of climbers and skiers fare in the Zombie Apocalypse?

And yeah...this is reaching a bit for a blog topic. But hey, who doesn't want to talk about zombies?


--Jason D. Martin


derek said...

As a climber and a zombie-apocalypse-punk nerd, I definitely agree. However, I'm not sure that our specific skills as climbers or skiers would necessarily be the main benefit for our survival. I think it would more so be the subset of skills that most climbers and skiers possess that would be most beneficial.

Many climbers and skiers are also general outdoor enthusiasts. That means a good sense of how to live in the backcountry for an extended period of time. Since we all know that highly-populated areas are the most dangerous place to be during the zombie apocalypse (more people = more zombies), we have the advantage of knowing where and how to live without the comforts of home. We also have the advantage of having the right gear for quick and light movement and varying weather. Not to mention, you don't find too many climbers and skiers that are out of shape.

Skiers definitely have the advantage during the winter. The frozen zombies will pose little threat to someone cruising by on skis. However, winter months are generally harder to survive in when your food source is based on hunting and gathering.

Climbers have the advantage of being able to rig themselves out of a zombies reach and escape a zombie threat vertically. This could potentially give them a safe haven in between food runs. Of course, just because a zombie can't climb, doesn't mean they can't fall. Depending on where you are, if the top of the cliff/crag/wall is accessible by walking, the threat of a zombie falling into your hideaway is always there.

So, while I agree that we would definitely be at an advantage over normal folks, I think a more well-rounded climber/skier with a well-rounded outdoor skillset would be the most apt to survive.

Mike Barter said...

You know I was thinking the same thing. They have the book as a audio book. unfortenutly it is the condensed version. The way I look at it I have been training my whole life for the up coming zombie apoculips

Robert Rogoz said...

I think this direction of thinking deserves look. I think a movie would be in place.

scott said...

I would agree with Derek. The incidental skills developed from being a climber/skier/backcountry user would be arguably more important. The ability to go light and stay on the move, combined with the reasonable proficiency with firearms many rural climbers have, would greatly contribute to survival. Don't forget the first two rules of Zombieland: 1) CARDIO; 2) Double-tap. Sounds like a fun read - have to check it out. Almost through The Stand...