For anyone remotely familiar with me, you’ve noticed (by now hopefully) that I’ve gone off the beaten path in the last couple of years. Now if you are in my parent’s group you will have no idea why I’m doing the things I’ve been doing.
A lot of people remember George Mallory’s quote about why he climbed Everest: ‘Because its there’. Now for those who follow Ben Saunders (Polar Ben), might remember his incredibly inspiring TED talk about ‘Why Bother Leaving the House‘, a topic on which I had blogged earlier. Ben quoted George Mallory’s response to what is the use of climbing Everest.
My answer must at once be, ‘It is of no use. There is not the slightest prospect of any gain whatsoever. Oh, we may learn a little about the behaviour of the human body at high altitudes, and possibly medical men may turn our observation to some account for the purposes of aviation. But otherwise nothing will come of it. We shall not bring back a single bit of gold or silver, not a gem, nor any coal or iron.
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.’
Now I’ve wanted to go checkout Everest for a while but after seeing the Ben Saunders talk, I definitely knew I had to do it. So in the spirit of leaving the house, I’m heading on an everest trek next week. Now I don’t want to climb everest (yet), but I definitely want to go sit on Everest’s footsteps and maybe get a feel of how Mallory felt when he first encountered the mountain. To make things slightly challenging, I’ve scheduled back to back treks. So the day I reach Kathmandu from everest, I’m flying to Himachal to go on the Saar Pass trek. I’ve never gone for a month long trek where I’m walking every single day but hopefully my body holds up and I feel the same joy for life that Mallory once talked about.