Some said, “it’s pure madness.” Others read, “it’s suicide.” Some considered, “why are they risking life for nothing? They have no regard for their families.”
Another said, “It’s just for personal recognition.” Other people advised, “what use has such activity? Go find proper work.”
So why do some people risk everything to reach the top of a mountain?
Some do it because of the growing disillusionment with the material world and to escape the rat race, the dull way of life, and meaningless careers. Mountains are where they try to discover the purpose of life.
Besides, exploration and risk-taking is in our genes. Otherwise, how else could have humans made out of Africa two million years ago if it were not for the crazy ones who dared to leave their homes and chartered unknown territories by crossing mountains, rivers, and oceans? Today, mountaineers carry on that legacy. They inspire us by showing how to make the impossible possible.
Mountaineering is about pushing the limits of human potential. It’s about gaining new perspectives. It’s a meditation and a way to gain focus. When you gasp for each breath in thin air, and each step on the mountain could decide your fate, it gives you a tremendous amount of focus.
Lastly, there is nothing more meaningful than pursuing your dreams.
Sirbaz said, “I have asked myself many times, why I do this? But I have always felt that I am made to love mountains.”
Abdul said, “when I see a peak, my eyes naturally start tracing a path to the summit. At the top of a mountain, I feel closer to the Divine. The amount of peace I get on the peak, I get nowhere else.”
“But why take such a huge risk?” I ask.
“I climb to gather stories. Tougher the mountain, the better the story!”
Tomorrow, Sirbaz and Joshi will be leaving the Annapurna Base Camp for the summit push. If all goes well, they should be back in one week.
So why are they climbing after all?
Theodore Roosevelt said, “far better it is to dare mighty things to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.”