Dirtbag’s not dead!|Iskren “Iso” Hristov


Dirtbag’s not dead! In fact, he’s home in Bulgaria for a while, very much alive and kicking.

Meet my unknown buddy Iskren “Iso” Hristov who has found his way to traveling, geting in touch with people and experiencing amazing things by means of climbing. A month ago he just came back from his last trip to Turkey, where he spent three months volunteering at one of the best climbing camps around Antalya.

This “dirtbag” word got quite popular in the last years and everybody is talking about them – the new beatniks, the modern hippies that seem to follow their dreams not caring about the mainstream lifestyle standards. They travel a lot, have immodest amounts of fun and even beautiful girls are seen around them. The normal holiday saving people are watching enviously, unable to understand how is it possible – having all these opportunities without being a working slave first.

Once I used to see climbers who don’t push themselves hard enough as losers. I remember adopting such stereotypes and applying them to people with different motivation like my friend Iso for example. “What a flabby piece of shit,” I was thinking…

…and I was so wrong!

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Mile End Climbing Wall|London’s Finest #1

Outside Mile End Climbing Center

Wikipedia says that “Mile End is a district in East London, England, 3.6 miles east-northeast of Charing Cross.” For me – yet another cityscape spreading in front of my eyes as I come out of the tube. My destination – the famous Mile End climbing center, the only thing I was associating with this geographical concept in East London.

Intending to write my first climbing wall review for the “London’s finest” project I jumped straight into the gym located on a beautiful riverside and surrounded by a calmingly green landscape. I approached the venue, immediately instagrammed my presence and entered replete with curiosity. Once inside – straight to the reception, smiling suspiciously and asking tons of questions. That’s what I mean when I call myself “an alien climber” – locals are looking at me as if I were the first V-1 flying bomb that hit Mile End in 1944 during WWII – something foreign, unknown and totally unexpected. In the best scenario I could be a nerdy and bothersome beginner or some sort of mystery customer.

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