Saturday, February 2, 2013

So close, and yet so far...

Let me forst of all apologize for the lateness of this post. I actually completed something on Thursday, but I apparently hit "save instead of "post". It all worked out for the best though, because as I started reading Annapurna for this week, I decided on a different topic of discussion. One aspect of climbing extreme peaks that I had never considered was the journey leading to the base of the mountain, before the actual climbing can begin. Krakauer details the trials and tribulations he must undergo before he even sinks a single axe into Devil's Thumb. Herzog similarly spends numerous chapters detailing the paths they attempt and the countless different approaches they could potentially choose. All the while, the peaks loom at once menacingly and invitingly in the distance, encouraging the climbers to reach them at any cost. I believe this may contribute to Krakauer's disappointment at the end of his tale. Seeing the Devil's Thumb in the distance beckons him onward. Perhaps first seeing it from a distance makes it appear less of a challenge (although he does express his intimidation in the mountain's presence), and to draw closer and closer is to feel a certain elation at drawing nearer to his goal. Additionally, considering Krakauer had planned for this excursion since he was a child, you could say that the peak had been looming on the horizon of his life for many years before he begins his story.

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