Friday, 29 October 2010

It’s hard to know when to stop – especially on Everest!

The Bet Buddy homepage uses my own images from an expedition climbing Lobouche East in Khumbu region in Nepal. The analogy of mountaineering and gambling may not be obvious. Mountaineering gives me an edge, a feeling of excitement, frustration, achievement and is quite addictive once you get into it. It’s the same kind of feeling my brother Rad gets with gambling (he is a horse racing fanatic!). But knowing when to stop, rather than pushing yourself all the way, is important in mountaineering, gambling and many other aspects of life.
In 2007 I remember sitting down and taking a breather at 4am in the morning just below the 2nd Step on Everest’s North East ridge at around 8,600m. I desperately wanted to carry on that extra 250m and stand on top of the world but alas, it wasn’t meant to be for me that day (it would take way too long to explain why!). I was fortunate to have Sherpa Sonham with me to help me take the right decision. Looking back, although I remain frustrated at falling short of the summit that morning, I’m quite relieved I stopped and am here to tell the tale. You can see a short slide show on the expedition with some interesting facts and figures on Everest and mountaineering if you are interested (if you are interested in things like ‘death to summit ratios’ and the costs to climb Everest then you should read it). We are all human and occasionally we all need some advice, a tap on the shoulder, or a helping hand when things get a little too much for us...