Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Climbing does wonders

I originally wrote this entry on June 30, 2004.

In an earlier Web-log, I had noted my plans to climb Mount Sabalan during my vacation this summer.

While on the plane from San Francisco to Frankfurt, I ran into the Economist's obituary for Ulrich Inderbinen, the world's oldest mountain guide. Just take a good look at his face in the photo Economist has published.

He was 103 when he died. At 90 he was still nimble as a climber. At 92, he wanted to go to a trek to Kilimanjaroo. For his 95th birthday, he was given an ice axe and put it to good use on some last climbs.

So, what does Ulrich's long life tell us?

I'm really not sure. One thing I do know is that when I climbed Mount Agassiz (as a practice for Mount Sabalan) with a friend from Force 10 Networks, I felt great when I came back to the office.

When one goes climbing with a group, something else you learn is that there's a large variety in the level of individual skill, tolerance, needs and goals in the group. So, group climbing is a great exercise in team-spirit and a good way to learn to be more tolerant and respectful of others . . . An obsession, like all obsessions, of course, can lead to a self-centered mentality . . .

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