Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Mountains Are Always Unpredictible
At one point the big mountains were encased in clouds and then thirty minutes later the sun was shining through those same clouds. Not long after it looked like the skies were about to open up from an approaching thunderstorm and yet we only experienced a few drops of rain where we were.
I think back to climbs of 14er's we've done over the years and remember the sleet, hail and even lightning we encountered after starting out in blue sky and perfect temperatures. You never know.
It is wise in life climbing to also remember and accept that our mountains may not always give us what we thought they might. Pain comes unexpectedly, people let us down, our bodies don't heal or perform as we'd hoped and the trail is steeper than we could have imagined. Storms come out of nowhere some of the time.
God allows challenges to come our way even though we don't understand the reason.
So, how do prepare for life in ever changing mountain surroundings? There are no ways to keep bad things from happening but we can do a few things to prepare well. Let me suggest some:
First, accept the unpredictabilities of your climb. If we at least expect that it probably won't be easy at some point we'll be more prepared and better able to handle the challenges without giving up. We would love to have every day be a blue sky day (and there are some to be sure), but we're wiser to plan for sudden changes. They are more likely.
Second, listen to the wise people around you who have walked the trail before you. Most of our predecessors knew what they were doing and so they speak truth worth listening to. Remember the outstanding climbers in 1996 who knew and were told to be off the summit of Everest by a certain agreed upon time but didn't listen and follow the guidelines of other experienced climbers. They died in part because they didn't listen to the wise voices continuing to speak truth to them.
Third, be as prepared as you can before you leave. I have written about this in other posts so go back and look one up that talks about things you can take with you (and not take with you) on your climb.
Remember, mountains have no nationality, personal preferences or loyalties to anyone. They are what they are and often that means dangerous so it's up to us to know what we will do in spite of their unrelenting fierceness.
Unexpected challenges on a climb of any kind should be a welcomed adventure not a horrible tragedy.