Monday, December 18, 2006

Drama on Mount Hood

A co-worker asked: "Should I feel guilty for asking who is going to pay for this rescue up on Mt. Hood?"

Well, no. I think it's a legit question. The co-worker went on to say that the climbers knew the risks, and wondered why the wall-to-wall world coverage was necessary.

My issue about the Mt. Hood Drama is this: Why do people climb mountains?

Now, I've heard that reaching the top of a major peak can be an almost spiritual experience. I've heard and read that reaching the literal mountaintop and looking down on the rest of the world is a surreal moment that can't be matched by anything else.

Ok, but...why? When I lived in Colorado I never went skiing. Sometimes, I regret it, until I remember all the stories: Clowns playing football on skis and are surprised when they get decapitated; fools thinking they were at the Olympics rolling down the mountains at 50 miles per hour and breaking legs.

As beautiful as the mountains are, they can be menacing and dangerous.

The family of Kelley James, one of the climbers found dead on the mountain, said that when he climbed mountains, he felt at peace and closer to God. That's why he did it.

That's all good, and I'm all for seeking whatever provides internal peace.

But, sometimes, it's just not worth it.

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