I’ve never much wanted to climb Mt. Everest.
There are a couple of reasons for that.
-The first one is the fact I’m pathologically acrophobic. Heights make give me vertigo and stark terror of the sort that makes me want to pee in my pants, or worse. It’s not so much falling I’m afraid of; it’s hitting the bottom after the fall.
– The second reason is because it has become so commonplace that it’s no longer the feat it was when Hillary and Norgay did it way back in 1953. So many people are now climbing Everest that it has become as congested as an LA freeway on the last leg to the summit. Like so many things in life, conquering Everest has become as ho-hum as an intimate encounter with Marilyn Monroe was reputed to be back in the day. In other words, everybody’s done it.
Oh, and there’s a thrid reason. And that’s that it probably involves a certain amount of tenting. That wore out its welcome with me a couple decades ago.
And that reality only leaves me with the sneaking suspicion that it was always easy. The conquest of Everest was a big scam mounted by the Nepal Tourism Authority to attract people to their hotels and fast-food joints and to give a bit of work to itinerant Sherpas.
“Right, mate, that was a piece o’ cake,” said Sir Edmund to Tenzing after they’d completed their feat back 60 years ago.”
“Just don’t let on, boss,” Tenzing replied, “Or everybody will be wanting to do it.” (I don’t know how to reproduce the Sherpa accent, but I believe his comment went as shown.
I’ve never much understood the impulse to climb mountains. I mean, I like mountains well enough – from afar. They can make a wonderful backdrop. But I’d rather stay down below, like I do in this community where we have the amazingly lovely curtain punctuated by the Comox Glacier. Magnificent. And I have flown over the Glacier and that was cool. But, I have no need to wend my way up there. I suspect there are crevices and other nasty causes of premature death.
I have seen other mountains, too. The Cascades punctuated by Baker, Ranier, Hood and Shasta. Dazzling all. I’ll ponder them from the bottom. Mona Kea on Hawaii’s Big Island is exception and, if measured from the sea floor, is considerably loftier than Everest. I’ve also seen the Rockies, the Alps, the Apennines and others. Just nifty, from down below.
“Because it’s there,” is the cliché excuse for climbing Everest or other crags.
So is Jupiter, but again I’d rather ponder it from afar.