Search Results for: ‘risk’

Ngawang Sherpa crosses a massive crevasse on a ladder; at 18,000 feet in the Khumbu Icefall, Everest, Nepal.

Thursday Thought: Climbing, Risk, Kids, and Life

Last week, I read a great article in Boulder’s Daily Camera about risk: “Chris Weidner on extreme sports: Risky or reckless? …

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Climber John Griber gazes at the summit of Mount Everest at sunrise from 28,000 feet on the Southeast Ridge climbing route.

Thursday Thought: Garrison Keillor on Challenge, Risk, Failure …and Joy

He’s a bit of an odd duck, that Garrison Keillor…but one possessed with an  impressive amount of odd wisdom. I …

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Thursday Thought: Worth a Little Risk

[This Thursday Thought is both written and video…the reason being the video version didn't come out the way I had …

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A simple piece of wire. Looks like…

A simple piece of wire. Looks like trash, and in many ways it is, mere jettsom from days past. But, it is much more, with a story. In 1933, the 4th British Mount Everest Expedition ran telephone wire some 14 miles from Basecamp up to Camp IV at the North Col to enable better communications for the team. Bits and pieces of this wire artifact have been popping out along the route for the 20 years I’ve been climbing here. Trash, yes, but also a story, a connection to the past, a reminder of those quo came before.

I worry that, as the years pass, we lose touch with our mountain history, and the lessons and ethics the pioneers can teach. When we forget our history – or simply fail to engage with it – we not only run the risk of repeating mistakes made long ago, but we inevitably diminish the richness of the endeavor by ignoring the fabric of those who came first.

That little bit of wire carried the voices of legends 86 years ago. Whispers of Wager and Wyn-Harris, Frank Smythe and Eric Shipton can still be heard if you listen close enough, connecting our present to their climbs above 28,000 feet without oxygen in knickers and tweeds.

I wonder how many here on the mountain this year have given thought and pause to those who led the way, pioneered the paths we now tread or Sent the routes we only gaze at and shudder. High above me now, towering over ABC, the Pinnacles are raked with fierce, jet stream winds, the final resting place on this day in 1982 of Peter Boardman and Joe Tasker. Is anyone else looking up there now, remembering their story, their sad passing, and the path they paved both in the mountains and in mountain literature?

Bits of wire poking out of the rubble. Meaningless trash, yet a physical tether to our collective, inspiring past. I left this bit on an obvious rock… Hopefully someone will notice and dig out its past, it’s story… And ours.

#mountainsofhistory #liveyouradventure @eddiebauer #boardmanandtasker #Everest2019 #Everest1933

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As we sit here in relative comfort…

As we sit here in relative comfort at Rongbuk Basecamp, resting before heading again up the mountain, we’re – as always – tracking the weather and the course of Cyclone Fani as it hurtles toward landfall tomorrow near Puri. Certainly, Fani could cause some issues for all of us on Everest and other peaks – snow, wind, and heightened avalanche risk. I in no way want to trivialize the potential impact, but let’s keep in mind that we’re all here to climb, most of us by choice. We have detailed forecasts, nice tents, and ample warm clothes. While the concern and writing from @forbes in today’s article is appreciated, let’s keep the focus where it should be: on the tens of millions of people in India and Bangladesh who stand to shoulder the brunt of Fani, and who have far fewer resources and options than we Himalayan climbers. My heart goes out to all those in the path of Fani, and I pray that she will weaken greatly in the next 12 hours before landfall. Be safe and take good care. #cyclonefani #fani

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18 years ago today, my teammates and…

18 years ago today, my teammates and I scrambled about in the forlorn corners of the North Face of Mount Everest. I don’t think any of us harboured particularly high hopes that we’d find anything of great significance; we were there to find traces of a mystery from 75 years before. But as the twisted threads of luck and fate would have it, we found on that solemn morning the remains of George Mallory, one of the great and visionary climbers of his era, and of all time. Fast forward to today, and our community is mourning the loss of yet another visionary, Ueli Steck. I didn’t know Ueli well; we shared but a few cups of tea, lots of conversation, and laughter, on Everest in 2012. But I do now that his loss is much more then simply the loss of a climbing genius. Though their tools and techniques were far different – separated as they were by the passage of time and development of sport and ability – the underlying drive, motive, and passion was shared. When stripped of the pressures and perspectives of the press, and the statements and structures of sponsors, Ueli – like Mallory – I think was propelled by a true and profound love of the mountains, of the portal to self discovery and reflection they allow and, at times, force upon us. Their goals, while risky, dramatic, and tragic, we’re motivated by an underlying desire to push the boundaries of the possible to greater understand their – and our – role and place in this world. Like Mallory before him, Ueli’s abrupt and tragic passing will be looked upon by many as simply the logical outcome of a life on the edge. Perhaps so. But, I think there’s more to it than that. Most of the climbers I know, and choose to be with, do not embrace risk simply for the adrenaline, simply to tempt death. Underneath the seeming casualness, the at times cavalier approach to real consequence, is a deeper philosophy and process of thought which doesn’t make for good headlines and translates only seldom into the press and papers, but one of wanting to know where the edge of possibility lies, what this … MORE IN COMMENTS

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Sadly, on World Wildlife Day (today), we…

Sadly, on World Wildlife Day (today), we find more and more wildlife under great strain across the globe. I came upon this massive bull elephant chomping happily in the Serengeti. He was an old one, long in the tooth (literally and figuratively), and one of the biggest I’ve seen in Africa. Unfortunately for him, that also puts him in the category of at high risk for poaching, and there’s a good chance he has been. Like much of Africa, poaching is a huge problem here in Tanzania. According to a census released in June, 2015, the country was down to 43,000 elephants from 109,000 just 6 years earlier (2009). Fortunately, though, the governments of Tanzania, Kenya, and many other countries have cracked down on poaching and poachers recently, trying to staunch the deaths and flow of illegal ivory, mostly to China (which is also finally making some moves to slow the ivory trade). But, elephants are still at great risk. Check out and support the great work of @elephants_save (@elephantsamburu), one of the leaders in this effort along with @dswt (@sheldrickwildlifetrust). #worldwildlifeday #liveyouradventure #elephant

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I remember watching the awe and wonder…

I remember watching the awe and wonder on my children’s faces as the experienced true wilderness for the first time. It was a look of pure joy, innocent wonder, robust curiosity, and a zest to see more, experience more, learn more about their world and their abilities within it. They’ve known from a young age that the wild lands we have left are a precious gem, a jewel of our planet, the legacy of our nation. Like me, they treasure the wild, and fear for its future. From the rise of anti-science and alternative facts to the growing power of industry over preservation, short term economic gain for the few over long term sustainability for the many, our wild lands and all that depend on them are once again at risk. Today, let’s honor the words and legacy of Edward Abbey, and vow to save what we have left. “Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread. A civilization which destroys what little remains of the wild, the spare, the original, is cutting itself off from its origins and betraying the principle of civilization itself.” – Ed Abbey | Lila looking out over the mosaic of the Painted Desert, Arizona. #liveyouradventure

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On my first trip to the Southeast…

On my first trip to the Southeast Ridge of Everest, I made a few hour foray from Basecamp o a rest day to check out this cool, rock spire far down the Khumbu Glacier. I didn’t have gear with me to climb it, so made do with bouldering at the base and enjoying the solitude, figuring erroneously it had never been visited, or climbed. It wasn’t until I got to know the amazing Tom Hornbein years later that I found out it had been climbed, by Hornbein and Barry Corbet on a similar foray some 39 years before. While insignificant as a climb, their small, fun ascent represents the ethic of the 1963 “West Ridgers” on Everest which I so admire: they were there not simply to get a summit, but rather for the adventure of the climb, a step into the unknown, the embrace of uncertainty and all the possibilities it opens up. Their climb of this little pinnacle pales in comparison to the historic ascent of the West Ridge, made 2 months later by Tom and Willi Unsoeld; but the underlying ethic, the desire to pursue a life of exploration, uncertainty, risk, and reward, is equal. Turning 86 today, Tom still embodies this ethic, on the mountain and off, whether hitting the trails and crags of Rocky Mountain National Park or taking piano lessons at home. Sending great birthday wishes to a hero of mine, a true inspiration, and one we can all learn from. #liveyouradventure #happybirthday

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Today I’m sharing a photo by friend,…

Today I’m sharing a photo by friend, teammate, photographer, and humanitarian @davidcmorton, Founder of @thejuniperfund. | This is Pemba, a young monk and son of an expedition worker. His father left each spring and autumn in order to be employed on commercial climbing trips. While good work, the profession is subject to great risk and his father was lost in 2014 in an accident on an expedition peak. Pemba’s family is supported through relief and recovery efforts of @thejuniperfund programs along with many other families who have also lost fathers, husbands, sons in the mountains. Photo: @davidcmorton

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