Do you know what I’m tired of? Mountain climbers. As a group I’m becoming more and more convinced that they are a bunch of egotistical, selfish jackasses. Yes, I know the country was gripped by the frantic search on Mt. Hood for the three lost climbers. That is exactly what my problem with mountain climbers is. Mountain climbing is a hobby right? No one makes their living climbing mountains right? Mountain climbing is an optional activity. But people do make their living rescuing mountain climbers, and sometimes the rescuers are risking their own lives to save an idiot who wasn’t smart enough to stay the hell off of a mountain in the middle of winter. If your hobby risks your own life, fine, enjoy yourself. If your screw up of an entirely optional activity could result in the death of others, then you need to either quit that activity, or leave a waiver form with someone at the bottom of the mountain absolving anyone of any responsibility for rescuing you when you screw it up. And why go in the winter? If I’m going to climb a mountain I’m waiting until it’s as warm as possible. There is absolutely no need to maximize the risk by going in the middle of winter.
Mt. Everest is the worst example of this. Over 50 people have died on Mt. Everest this year. Why? I just don’t see the thrill. It may be the highest mountain in the world, but it’s been climbed hundreds of times now. There is no longer any sort of exclusive club of people who have climbed Everest. The sherpas that guide expeditions go up and down that mountain daily. They might as well be herding people onto Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride at Disney World. Virtually every mountain in the world has been climbed many, many times. Why go? The view? Is any view worth risking your life for? If you pick the wrong day to climb it just might be the last view you see. Of course I’m told that the view from heaven is spectacular, but that doesn’t mean I want to climb up there today.
I do not feel badly for the climbers who perish on their climbs. I do feel badly for the people who risk their lives and probably occasionally lose fingers and toes to frostbite while rescuing lost climbers. I also feel badly for the climbers families. One of the climbers family members said, “He died doing what he loved.” Apparently he loved it more than his family because now they have to spend the holidays grieving for him because of his hobby. If you have a single person in this world related to you or who cares about you, why would you risk your life for just a nice view, leaving your family behind to suffer the waiting, worrying and loss? Climbers, quit being selfish. Take up ballroom dancing or something. At least there you’d have a chance to meet women.