PMags, Wife Carrying & the Liebster Award

When I first saw the term “Liebster Award“, I thought it was some sort of prize that Mags’ German born wife had given him for being a good hubby (i.e. Lieber translates to ‘dear’ in English).


Paul “Mags” Magnanti

I soon discovered it was nothing of the kind. Instead, it turned out to be a dodgy chain email…………….“what is Mags sending me this rubbish for?”………….the type of thing that normally goes straight into the spam folder, never to be seen again.

Yet here I am, four beers later, about to reply to the Q & A section contained in that very same chain email.

Why? Three reasons…………1. It’s hiking related; 2. I can’t find anything good to watch on Netflix, and; 3. It was sent by Mags. For those of you who aren’t aware, Paul “Mags” Magnanti is the author of, one of the most thoughtful, well written hiking blogs on the net.

Note: I’ll have to take a rain check in regards to the “tagging other blogs” aspect of the Liebster award. It appears that pretty much all the hiking blogs that I regularly check have already been tagged.

Anyway, without further ado or shamelessly fabricated excuses, listed below are Mags’ eleven questions along with my replies:

1.  Favorite post hike meal?

A family sized tajine that I devoured after completing the Jebel Sahro Loop in Morocco.

2.  Favorite beer?

Duvel and Guinness.

3. Favorite short hike (you can define that however you want!)?

I don’t have favourites when it comes to hikes. That being said, the first trip that popped into my head upon reading the question was a day hike up to the summit of Hermannsdalstinden Peak in Norway’s Lofoten Islands.


Stevie W on the climb up to Hermannsdalstinden Peak

4. Favourite place to see a sunrise?

No favourites; I just know I never like to miss one. Same goes for sunsets.

5.  If you could hike with any historic person, who would it be and why?

Buddha. Two reasons………..firstly, he was a laid back, insightful sort of bloke…………secondly, from all reports he was pretty good on the tooth, so I bet he would know where all the choice restaurants are located.

6.  Who do you consider to be the person most influential to your outdoor pursuits?

This is the easiest question. An 84 year old Swiss gentleman by the name of Marc. I met him whilst hiking the Alpine Pass Route in 1997.

7. What is the most obscure piece of gear you use?

Possibly my sunhat. Made by an Australian company called Adapt-a-cap. It’s a bee-keeper style model, and in the 15 years I have been wearing them I have yet to see another hat that provides the same all around protection.

8. Besides hiking, what other outdoor pursuits do you enjoy?

Wife carrying.

This one may surprise some folks, as I’ve never actually been married.

Whilst travelling in Scandinavia in the summer of 2009, I was visiting a Finnish mate by the name of Paavo, who along with his spouse Evelina, had entered a local wife carrying competition. Anyway, the night before the big event, he pulled a groin muscle whilst engaging in some “nocturnal calisthenics”. Being the good friend that I am, I offered to step in as a replacement………..for the wife carrying, not for the “calisthenics.”


Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Thankfully for yours truly, Evelina was a slip of a girl who weighed in at 98 lbs soaking wet. Anyway, to cut a long story short, we ended up finishing a very credible fifth. Paavo got such a kick out of watching his Mrs being carted around, that he invited me back the following year to try again.

Unfortunately those next 12 months weren’t kind to Evelina. Her weight ballooned some 30 lbs. Suffice to say in the 2010 edition of the race, we ended up placing second to last. Evelina was in tears, I got a hernia and Paavo ended up running off with a younger, slimmer woman………….perhaps with an eye on taking out the 2011 competition.

9.  We all, hopefully, learn from our mistakes. What “DOH!” moment in the backcountry did you have and learned from the most?

In 1995 I did a hike between two Coptic Christian monasteries in the Eastern Desert of Egypt. I learnt more in those two days than on any hike before or since.

10.  Who is cooler: Bigfoot, Lochness Monster or El Chupacabra?

Lochness monster.

11.  42 is the answer, but what is the question????

How many Jehovah’s Witnesses knocked on Douglas Adams’ door during the writing of Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy?


PMags, Wife Carrying & the Liebster Award — 4 Comments

    • That may be true in so far as the Brooklyn Dodgers/US Baseball is concerned. However, in literary-speak, the number ’42’ is a reference from Douglas Adams, “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.”

      To the best of my knowledge, Mags is more of a literary aficionado than he is a pro sports fan, so I would say in this particular case my answer may be quite close to the mark.

  1. Great blog posts lately, Cam (as usual). Some are highly informative, some are thought provoking, and some are great fun. I almost had to spit out my beer when I read #8 above. Keep up the good work, and above all–keep hiking.

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