“If everyone made a point of remembering Darwin, we might be spared a lot of mountain philosophy and psychoanalysis. Why do you climb? Because it’s the natural thing to do.” – Tom Patey, “Apes or Ballerinas?”
6 years ago I had a daft idea to climb a mountain. At that moment with my busy med school life, I didn’t think I would be able to accomplish it. After med school, when I had my last 3 month vacation in davao, I thought, why not do it now? I can be impulsive with my goals so I decided to go for it without second thoughts. I had a month for self resistance training. I had prepared myself psychologically and physically. I did it. I reached the summit.
Mountaineering is an extreme sport. It is not the easiest thing you can do in this world. I lost 3kg in 3 days albeit I ate overbounteously. You get bruised, hurt, exhausted, sleep deprived, agonized & finally oxygen deprived. So why go through that kind of pain? Is it a sane idea?
In my experience, Mountains are Spiritual. The feeling is evincible when you first look at the mountain itself. From the bottom clumsy ride through the dense & rocky forest to the serene peak, the entire journey is beautiful & meditative. My journey through the difficult trail made me discern ‘mountains define life. ‘ It gives you many challenges & let’s you find the answer; gives you audacity to subdue the wilderness. It boosts your confidence, helps you overcome your worst fears. You become more positive, you develop more patience & endurance. It changes your perspective about life, hurdles look insignificant and you believe in humanity (I had a real good company.)
When you reach the summit, eventually you will apprehend ‘nothing is impossible. ‘ The summit is exuberantly quiet; you can echo. You can just sit there allaying your agony and get lost in the idyllic world’s view for hours ignoring the chill whilst gasping for air. I felt closer to the sky with many clouds beneath me and had one of the best views of the sunset. I sure felt closer to God, a feeling that lasts a life time.
Reaching the summit is a triumph, even if it was a small 3000 meters climb. For a second, I thought of not climbing again. But I developed a new passion for trekking/hiking. I haven’t stopped climbing hills (3000ft max.) My goal is to climb at least 3+ (>3000 meters) mountains. I will make time in the future and then may be I can call myself an alpinist. 🙂
Mountaineering is a sane idea. With precaution and preparation, It can be a lark. Taking risks isn’t amiss. There is no psychoanalysis (sorry Freud.)
“Somewhere between the bottom of the climb and the summit is the answer to the mystery why we climb.” – Greg Child