There is something about climbing solo compared to climbing along with an expedition. Tuesday’s class covered a lot. The questions what do mountains do? What is that attraction? sparked a response within me. I believe it depends on the climber but I feel as if there is a universal law within a climber that keeps them going. That law is the feeling of being alone in nature, when the world around you is so big and you are so small.
The result of the maturation process is a sense of self. What I mean by that is Krakauer spent the previous few years of his life roofing houses, living paycheck to paycheck. What he needed was a change, a place where he could live life without stressing about the little superficial things. Mountains, and nature in general relieve that stress in most people. Nature is larger than life, and it puts human life in perspective. I had a similar feeling walking through the glen that afternoon. I no longer found myself stressing about finding a fourth class or what my summer plans were going to be. The fact is nature tests another aspect of your mind that temporarily eases the pain of “real life”.