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Thread: The psychology of extreme mountain climbing

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    The psychology of extreme mountain climbing

    There are 14 mountains above 8000m.

    Some people set out to climb them all. I can't imagine how anyone could choose such a course, though--some of them have nearly a 1 in 3 chance of killing a climber. Many of those deaths are avalanches, skill won't protect you. Overall, your odds of dying before completing the 14 are over 80%.

    Is something wrong with their mind or what?!

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    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    Everest is just insanity, and ethically/ecologically irresponsible besides.
    "Banish me from Eden when you will, but first let me eat of the tree of knowledge."

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    Add to that extreme drinking, and extreme drugs.

    Back in the 70s I used to climb at Ragged Mountain in Ct. I was top roping somebody when someone else free climbed past the guy I had on the rope.

    Someone in the area was traversing a big flake over in Scotland. It broke loose and he ended up on his back pamcaked by the flake.

    One can die a slow monotonous death, or one can liven up life.

    There are the extreme windgsuit jumpers. They jump off a mountain and glide near the face. High mortality rate.

    There was a documentary about an extreme skier who launched from cliffs on skis and parachuted down. Died.

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    Contributor skepticalbip's Avatar
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    It sounds like a description of people competing for the coveted Darwin Award.

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    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    Add to that extreme drinking, and extreme drugs.

    Back in the 70s I used to climb at Ragged Mountain in Ct. I was top roping somebody when someone else free climbed past the guy I had on the rope.

    Someone in the area was traversing a big flake over in Scotland. It broke loose and he ended up on his back pamcaked by the flake.

    One can die a slow monotonous death, or one can liven up life.

    There are the extreme windgsuit jumpers. They jump off a mountain and glide near the face. High mortality rate.

    There was a documentary about an extreme skier who launched from cliffs on skis and parachuted down. Died.
    I can understand people who think their skill will be enough, just because it killed lesser people doesn't mean it will kill them. However, there's a 30:1 ratio between the most deadly of the big mountains and the least--the difference is mostly the weather and avalanches. Those are things beyond the climber's control.

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    Veteran Member Treedbear's Avatar
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    It's an addiction to serotonin and a heightened sense of self. Nothing focuses the attention like the imminent possibility of death.

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    There was someone who soloed Half Dome.

    Peple die every year in the Northwest skiing and riding snowmobiles, avalanches. Periodically there is someone who inores a posted boundary because of avalanche dangera nd gets caught in one.

    Peop

    In the 80s a private high school had an outdoor adventure graduation requirement. A group went up on Mt Hood in Oregon when I was in Portland. They had adult supervision.

    They were totally unprepared. Ho food or proper clothing. They got caught in a storm and a white out. They dug snow caves, and one walked out. He survived the others suffocated.

    People die on Mt Rainer who are not doing anything extreme. They climb alone, fall, and get injured or die on the spot.

    Read the story of Hillary and his Sherpa companion on the Everest first assent. They are a climbing mythology. Everest is insanity IMO.

    Evil Knievel is a hero to some. Auto racing.

    Challenging death.

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