While reading, I repeatedly asked myself why Herzog exhibits this active and violent attitude toward Dhaulagiri, Annapurna and the surrounding landscape. Does it serve some sort of inspirational or motivational purpose? A clear difference between my hikes and Herzog's daring adventure is the risk level. Everything about their climb is extreme: Extreme weather, extreme climbing conditions, extreme danger. Whereas I rarely doubt that I will return safely from whichever Adirondack peak I choose to hike, Herzog and his team are well aware that they are entering a life-and-death situation. Set in this context, Herzog's choice of language seems more appropriate. His use of words such as "attack," "reconnaissance," "war," and "strike" is a manifestation of his knowledge of the trip's inherent danger. The mountains provide the setting for the extreme weather (snow, wind, hail) that literally strikes the climbers. This factor and the huge, intimidating nature of Dhaulagiri and Annapurna make it easy to believe that the mountain itself launches attacks against the climbers. Though the personification of the mountain may serve as a retrospective literary tool to dramatize and increase tension in the text, it seems (if we are to trust Herzog's memory and honesty when recounting direct quotes) that the team actively characterized the mountains' and their own actions as violent during the adventure.
On a slightly unrelated note, Herzog very much portrays climbing as a man's world. Though he does write that Ichac married a climber, Herzog also claims that "a wife is always a problem!" and describes how Couzy and Rebuffat leave their wives at home to pursue climbing (3). For the members of Herzog's team, climbing seems to be an escape from domestic life. This may lend to the war-like portrayal of the adventure since, at the time, war was also a "man's world."