Death or the summit?

Post general questions and discuss issues related to climbing.
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Luciano136

 
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by Luciano136 » Tue Jun 08, 2010 1:57 am

Catamount wrote:
MoapaPk wrote:
lcarreau wrote:I can see "going for it" if you're completely "cut off" from everybody else in your life.

If you have "dependents," that's a different story. Case by case basis; but it might be

incredibly FOOLISH to "kill yourself" over something Nature has thrown at you.

Unless, of course, the Grim Reaper chooses to grab you on that particular day.

:shock:


My feelings about this stuff radically changed when I got married, 33 years ago.


Agreed. I now find I am willing to accept far more risk.


:lol: :lol:

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Tbenner

 
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by Tbenner » Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:07 am

Go Big or Go Home.

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bergs

 
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by bergs » Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:10 am

I'm obviously not saying that I would "choose death" for myself but I also have no problem admitting that I greatly admire those people who, whether out of an innate fearlessness, extraordinary courage, eccentricness or even madness, venture to places (and to heights) that would make us normal human beings wilt in fear. Although not a book about mountaineering, I highly recommend the book "The Lost City of Z" for an illustration of the type of person I am thinking of (google Percy Fawcett). I enjoy reading about the exploits of mountaineers, explorers, oceaneers, soldiers and others who test the limits of the human soul and the human capacity to survive in incredibly dangerous and hostile environments. Selfishness is certainly a trait common among these types of people and I am glad that most of us are far too involved in family and community life to even consider an adventure in which the chances of survival are low just for the sake of some discovery, some accomplishment (the first to do this or that) or even for the sake of the adventure itself. There is no doubt that there are people who have lived that would knowingly choose death over turning back and this is a good thing.

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MoapaPk

 
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by MoapaPk » Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:31 am

Catamount wrote:
MoapaPk wrote:My feelings about this stuff radically changed when I got married, 33 years ago.


Agreed. I now find I am willing to accept far more risk.


You got married at age 7?

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Outside

 
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by Outside » Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:08 am

I can think of many other things I'd be willing to die for but the summit of a mountain is not one of them. Unless you have no other people, pets, political affiliation or web-cam co-eds that you care about, or who care about you, it seems pretty ridiculous to risk it all for so little. The mountain will still be there-you won't. Get down safely and come back when you are more prepared or when conditions allow your safe passage. Its a fine line between bravery and foolishness.

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lcarreau

 
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by lcarreau » Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:25 am

Yep, even if you use all your strength, courage, raw determination and cast-iron balls to
get to the summit ...

You still gotta make it back down to civilization. (i.e.) - that cozy fireplace with the fridge in
the corner and spider webs on the ceiling.

Sorry, but that's how life in a Society (with other fools and numb-skulls) works!

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scottmitch

 
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by scottmitch » Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:47 am

summit or death; either way i'll be happy

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The Chief

 
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by The Chief » Tue Jun 08, 2010 4:43 am

What is with all this summit or nothing shit any how.

Like any of us got into this game thinking that it was all about the summit or death... right?

Not this dude. It's all about the process for this poser, all about the process. The summit in most of my endeavors is no where on the agenda and not achieved. If the process line (route) happens to involve the summit, then there it be.

The process.

After reading and researching all these Big Mountain folks and their emphatic quest for the Seven Summits, the last week or so, will, I guess I am just a poser.

Believing in and living the process forces me to rethink this death thing. The process does not allow for the death deal being a part of the accomplishment. Listening to that little voice that has told time and time again to get the fk outta there so I can return another day and climb again, that is part of this process and what keeps me alive.

This process does not allow for the death deal. Thus, I am just a poser cus I am not concerned with the summit nor dying in the attempt to achieve it.

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artirm

 
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by artirm » Tue Jun 08, 2010 5:15 am

Mountaineering is intrinsically irrational activity. There is no valid point in climbing mountains. Therefore, calling some behavior "stupid" or other "smart" is kinda out of place. It's utter stupidity to go there anyway. So, I guess "admire" is a good word. Yes, I do admire people who can conquer their own fear and press on. Plain lack of endurance hinds behind an apparent prudence way too often.

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Ejnar Fjerdingstad

 
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by Ejnar Fjerdingstad » Tue Jun 08, 2010 12:03 pm

artirm wrote:Mountaineering is intrinsically irrational activity. There is no valid point in climbing mountains. Therefore, calling some behavior "stupid" or other "smart" is kinda out of place. It's utter stupidity to go there anyway. So, I guess "admire" is a good word. Yes, I do admire people who can conquer their own fear and press on. Plain lack of endurance hinds behind an apparent prudence way too often.


No more irrational than a lot of other things people do!

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bergs

 
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by bergs » Tue Jun 08, 2010 12:56 pm

"Mountaineering is intrinsically irrational activity."
I know what you're saying. I'm not sure if it is entirely irrational but, mountaineering, like other sports and games is done primarily for its own sake.

I read Viesturs's "No Shortcuts.." and while I admire his greatness as a mountaineer I found his story a little boring. He's a little too rational to be as interesting as some of the pioneers. He's like a machine. That's no knock against him but I'm talking more about life as a story and an adventure.

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The Chief

 
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by The Chief » Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:15 pm

Dingus Milktoast wrote:I think of some of the classic mountaineering tales we all grew up reading and hearing. I still marvel at the shitty weather guys like Bonatti et al climbed up into ON PURPOSE.

Whether or not any of us has the stones, death or the summit has long been a fact, in this sport of ours. Not everywhere all the time... but those Golden Age blokes were some hard motherfuckers.

Sometimes too hard for their own good.

Ah but our tribe is stronger for them and the stories to which their tragedies produce.

I've been reading too much death and mayhem mountaineering stories lately - Joe Simpson's Beckoning Silence most recently, where he catalogs death after death as a way of examining his own growing sense of mortality and dread. Particularly the Norwand of the Eiger - death or the summit has long played its role.

I keep asking myself as I read those stories... (A Short Walk with Whillans remains to this day my favorite Eiger story)... WHAT WERE THEY THINKING???

Being first was worth risking it all, to a lot of those guys.

DMT


One difference here DMT, the gents you write about, you and your partners had the common sense to know your limitations and when & how to retreat/bail, together, safely, in order to return another day to climb.

Big difference.

That my friend comes with experience and truly is the rational side of this deal that many never achieve. They are too busy involved in their ego and in attaining the damn summit.

Modern day "Summit Fever" is deadly and is killing novices who have absolutely no business being where they are dying, plain and simple.

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SoCalHiker

 
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by SoCalHiker » Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:46 pm

I don't find anything admirable if someone still pursues his/her goal and death seems inevitable. Of course serious accidents and even death are almost all the time part of the equation if one climbs these mountains but it should never become the only possible outcome.

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Sierra Ledge Rat

 
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by Sierra Ledge Rat » Tue Jun 08, 2010 4:16 pm

SoCalHiker wrote:I don't find anything admirable if someone still pursues his/her goal and death seems inevitable. Of course serious accidents and even death are almost all the time part of the equation if one climbs these mountains but it should never become the only possible outcome.


In the military I was ordered on a mission that seemed terminal to me. I was sad realizing that that day was my day to die. There was also a lot of disbelief. We started our engines and taxied up to the catapult, and then the mission was scrubbed.

In climbing, you put yourself in dire situations voluntarily. The life-and-death struggle can be as taxing as anything you might encounter in war.

Mountaineering is indeed a strange sport.

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