Archive for May, 2013

Death on the Mountains

Posted: May 7, 2013 in Personal


One thing you realize when you become a mountaineer is that death is always on the horizon. Climbing is a wonderful experience as you learn to overcome challenges, create enduring memories with friends, and take in gorgeous scenery along the way. However, there is always that danger of twisting an ankle on uneven trails, falling off the edge of a narrow pass, or succumbing to hypothermia due to the unpredictable weather at high altitudes. You could try to be as careful as possible but sometimes you’re just no match for Mother Nature.

Earlier today, it was reported that four people died while climbing Mt Mayon due to a sudden phreatic eruption. A few weeks back, a solo hiker was found dead below the Rockies of Mt Maculot. Last year, a woman fell to her death at Mt Batulao. In 2011, a mountaineering group lost one of its members to the raging currents of Wawa River. These incidents can make you pause and ponder the question: is it worth it?

I found that Kilian Jornet’s thoughts about the death of his friend on Mont Blanc mirror my own views:

The price you pay is very high. The pain is immense. Right now, for the people who loved him, it’s really painful to see that he’s not here. But if you ask me if we could have changed anything, I don’t think we could have done anything differently.

You have to go after happiness in life, you have to look for it and find it doing the things you love, the things that make us feel alive.

Life isn’t something to be preserved or protected. It’s to be explored and lived to the full. To make the most of it we need to be in the mountains – we need to be here. And if we pay such a high price at times, it’s because we are truly making the most out of life.

The quote was taken from his documentary, “A Fine Line”, a portion of which appears below: