Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Soap Box - non triathlon ranting

I was reading about the climbing year at Everest. 4 climbers died this week in conditions described as "congested".

I then saw this quote:

"Traffic jam at Everest. Perhaps it's time people realized they are not being pioneers..."

I congratulate this person for nailing it. This is my point. I am a climber. I have climbed all over the southwest. I have never done mountaineering. It is somewhat appealing to me because I don't get cold too easily. I have always said I have NO DESIRE to do Mt Everest. I hear that the litter on the mountain is becoming a problem. The problem being that it is not just empty oxygen bottles. It's human waste, food waste and dead bodies with a side of steel oxygen containers.

Isn't it time to at least reassess the situation surrounding the summit of Everest? People with more money than sense show up to "conquer" the highest peak on the planet only with the aid from a team of sherpas, a professional guide and any other luxury that can be had above 18,000 feet. I agree that it is probably a very challenging physical endeavor but this is getting ridiculous.

Here's another quote:

"You don’t have to be a fantastic hero to do certain things – to compete. You can be just an ordinary chap, sufficiently motivated."

Guess who said this? Sir Edmund Hillary. He and Tenzing Norgay summitted Everest in 1953. What this quote says to me is that Hillary realized that he was just a regular person who decided to do something DIFFERENT. He wanted to push his own boundaries. He was obesssed with summitting the mountain. After he did, he spent his life helping the people of Tibet ... rather than climbing Everest again and again. He did summit several other peaks after Everest but continued to do some truly pioneering things beyond climbing.

"Going after goals is a pure endeavor if those goals are persued with a personal motive and measured only in terms of how it changed you as a human."

I said that - just now.

Going to the summit of the world's highest mountain for the sake of being able to show people your wealth and prowess is a poor approach.


  1. have you read Into Thin Air?? I read that a few months ago - incredible book a must if you have not read it

    Ive been reading as many blog accounts of the IMSG race as I could over the past few weeks...some amazing stories. A couple really struck me one was a guy who battled his way through a two hour swim then one loop of the bike but got cut before heading out for loop two. They offered him a chance to run the marathon. He went out on the run and described his emotions and mental state after like 4miles without his timing chip. He mailed it in and quit. You didnt. Your finish at IMSG a few weeks ago is damn damn impressive. Congrats again


  2. I have read Into Thin Air and several other of his books too. I like his style. Great book.

    I have not seen this particular blog. The further away I get from the day the more important it becomes. I found a new persona that day. A less intense and more open-minded Bryonman showed up on May 5th. I did not know he was in there.

    I appreciate your support.

    I also continue to be impressed with your sub 12 time in those conditions. Ridiculous. Good for you.

  3. Great comment. We should do what we do because we love it, not because we're trying to show off. I love a challenge, but it's for me, not really for anyone else.