Saturday, December 10, 2011

One week left

Nikki and I have one week left before we head to South America.  On this past Wednesday I pulled out all of my gear and it is all good to go.  I went and bought those little items like pepto tablets, cold medicine, and lip balm, pretty much the standard.  Every time I go on a trip I keep thinking about what items I do not really need.  My goal one day is to actually have a light pack, but I think the definition of a goal is that it needs to be attainable.

I got a pretty good article from my good friends the Bennett's, it was written by Ed Viesturs talking about his Annapurna attempt in 2000.  The article talked about how Ed and his team were moving up the mountain but just could not get comfortable with what was going on with the mountain.  In the end they decided to bag it.  While they were putting snow on the badly bruised ego's, the largest Avalanche ripped down the mountain.  They all said what a great choice they made, they would all have certainly perished.

This reminded me of a climb I was on in 1998, Bolivia, Illimani.  It is not the same but similar in the fact that I just kept seeing a man falling in my mind the whole time I was sitting in the tent waiting for the clock to hit 11 p.m., the time we were going to head to the summit.  I was in the tent with the lead guide and when we were about to get out of our tent I said I am not going.  He said "why, you are a good climber you can do this" I just said this is not my time.  As it turned out, another guy on the team that was heading for the summit did take a fall on the rope.  The pitch was close to 70% on parts of that hill.  While nothing went wrong, I often replay that decision in my tent that night and I forever say, go with your gut when your gut is talking loudly.

When I was on Everest at 24,000 feet, feeling like death NOT warmed over I went through a different kind of thinking.  While everything in me was saying don't give up, give it all you got, I just could not see the outcome in my mind.  Since I could not clearly see the outcome, I turned as many of you probably know.

You can easily say that I have made good decisions but I will tell you the emotions that were tied to those decisions still swim around in my head.  Constantly I try to make myself feel better about turning or not moving on, but they still eat away at me.

That being said, you might have figured it out...I need to cap this mountain for it mocks my very soul.  I will not go lightly into the hill, I will fight with every step.

Climb High, Don't Die

1 comment:

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