Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Cool Mountaineering Story

I haven't blogged in a couple of weeks because of the holidays and family events, but I'm back now with a link to a cool mountaineering story. It has spectacular feats, possible acts of cowardice/selfishness/infamy (including possibly a man who deserted his brother on top of a mountain or a climbing team that refused to help its own distressed members), adultery, revenge, and a thirty-year-long feud. How's that for a bunch of guys who like to climb around on rocks?

By the way, the guy in the story, Reinhold Messner, is a legendary climber, but if he did what his former climbing partners allege it still wouldn't surprise me that much. Climbers, as you might guess, are an odd breed and seem to be prone to making horrible decisions when a goal is in sight. That's why my favorite is Ed Viesturs, the first American to scale all of the 8,000 meter peaks without supplemental oxygen. His attitude is that there's no point in reaching the summit if you can't make it back down. I've always thought it sad that this attitude is unusual enough among climbers to be worthy of comment.


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