Faith Can Move Mountains... But Dynamite Works Better

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Five Thousand Feet Up Mount Calamity

Some business before the mayhem as expected. Go on over to Beishir Books or to Norma's Blogger page, and have a peek at an excerpt from a hilarious work in progress she's calling Sucker Punched. And let her know what you think.

Now then, to the chaos at hand...

"It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves." ~ Edmund Hillary

"Getting to the top is optional. Getting down is mandatory." ~ Ed Viesturs

"For a climber, saying that you are stopping by Everest is like saying you're stopping by to see God." ~ Roland Smith

"Every mountain is within reach if you just keep climbing." ~ Barry Finlay

"If you cannot understand that there is something in man which responds to the challenge of this mountain and goes out to meet it, that the struggle is the struggle of life itself upward and forever upward, then you won't see why we go. What we get from this adventure is just sheer joy. And joy is, after all, the end of life. We do not live to eat and make money. We eat and make money to be able to live. That is what life means and what life is for.”  ~ George Mallory

"Life's a little like mountaineering- never look down." ~ Edmund Hillary

"He had a head start on me, but it didn't matter. I had the experience, the equipment, the knowledge of these mountains. He had a pair of loafers, designer clothes, no climbing gear, and no idea what he was doing. It was fear that drove him up Mount Calamity. Fear, and the slowly dawning knowledge that I wasn't the Lars Ulrich he thought I was, and that I was annoyed. Honestly, what was it with these entertainment reporters, constantly mistaking me for that heavy metal guy? That Lars looked like he's been hit in the face by an ugly stick too many times. No matter. I knew the mountain, and there was no place on its slopes that Entertainment Tonight reporter could hide from me. Sooner or later, I'd be throttling that waste of space Rodrigo Perez." ~ RCMP Inspector Lars Ulrich

For those who might not know, I'm a rock climber. I've been doing it since I got a taste for it climbing Rattlesnake Point on the Niagara Escarpment when I was a kid- without equipment, experience, or a fellow climber (yes, I know that's stupid now). Needless to say, it did open up my taste for it. Most of that's been done in the eastern parts of the continent, up whatever convenient rock face presented itself. It's something that I've enjoyed doing- though I have yet to have gone this season. With the passing of my mother (four months ago today), I don't really trust myself right now on a climb, and that's not good for other climbers. It'll come back when it comes back.

I can say that we climb because the mountain's there (like the ill-fated George Mallory once said). We climb for the sheer joy of the experience. And we climb because if we couldn't, we'd have to find some other foolish way to fill our spare time. It wouldn't be nearly as much fun though.

So I thought today that I'd give you some images to amuse or shock yourself with (depending on your tolerance for heights). Enjoy, and do tell if the prospect of mountain climbing excites you or chills your nerves...



  1. Why do I sense this has something to do with American politics? LOL

  2. I look at these pics and I wonder...are you out of your mind? Makes me think of that line in Captain America--you know, the one about bugs on a windshield....

    Seriously, I like a challenge, but there are limits....

  3. I haven't been hiking since my back injury. I used to climb when I lived in El Paso and once in the ozarks... never had equipment though so I couldn't do as much as I would've liked.

  4. Well, that was exhilarating. I stay with what I know. Gravety.

  5. @Eve: not that I was aware of!

    @Norma: I am not out of my mind... my mind just happens to be drawn to the idea of less oxygen.

    @Krisztina: I can't imagine not being able to do it.

    @Lorelei: but it's so much fun! And exertion...

  6. No way would you catch me on one of those peaks! I'm a coward.

    I kinda like the kitten making it over the gate, though.

  7. Yeah, you'd never catch me in a sleeping bag hanging off a mountain. Good lord!

  8. I'm afraid of heights so the only climbing I do is up a step ladder!

  9. Too many great images to pick just one favorite! I never had the head for it, but my brother loved climbing volcanic cliffs in his teens (also sans equipment) - it seems addictive!:)

  10. Can't look...vertigo alert :) I know it's hard missing your mum William, it takes a long time, if ever.

  11. @Cheryl: isn't it a cute kitty?

    @Kelly: but it's fun!

    @Deb: a stepladder to 29000 feet?

    @LondonLulu: it is addictive!

    @Jane and Chris: you just need to get a taste for it!

    @Grace: one day at a time. I keep telling myself that.

  12. I always thought it was kinda cool to see climbers in Yosemite (close to where I grew up) but the thought of being up so high just freaks me out!

  13. I think I'll have to become a fan of Little Edmund Hillary:D I've never been a climber, gulp! But I have huge admiration for those who do. A wonderful collection of inspiration and images! Heidi

  14. See...I would never be in a predicament such as these fine folks. I have a fear of heights. I can't stand on a step stood without feeling a sort of anxiety from being off the ground. Poor cats! lol

  15. I admire rock climbers. I'm sure it's immensely gratifying to make it to the top, or at least as high as you aim to.
    Cute pics!

  16. You are a rock climber? I am impressed. But, I won't be joining you. I really don't like heights.

  17. As I get older, I have a more refined sense of heights.

    In other words, no friggin' way.


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