Thursday, March 14, 2013
It is interesting to see how the two teams in Forever on the Mountain were unable to mesh well and I have been pondering why they were so incompatible. Both are groups loved the mountains and were true climbing fanatics, which would lead one to believe that they could find common ground on which the could be friends. However, this was clearly not the case. Personally, I feel that this is mostly due to Wilcox and what I perceived as him being unsure of himself. I noticed textbook signs of someone young and inexperienced feeling stressed and internally uncomfortable with the mantle of leadership that he has taken. For one it was clear that he was extremely intimidated by the Colorodoans who were apparently larger, more rugged, and had more experience in climbing. This led to Wilcox feeling emasculated and small, resulting in his less than friendly attitude towards the group, even upon their first meeting. This continued even more as he was commonly heckled about his leadership choices, especially about rationing food and gear, as they moved up the mountains. Wilcox felt that he had something to prove to the big guys so to speak and his terseness led to friktion, as the book would call it. He did not even enjoy the top as he said that planning and organizing the expedition took all of the fun out of the experience. In all I feel that Wilcox was a man who distinctly lacked confidence in himself and this was reflected in the way that he acted towards the Colorodoans who he perceived as a threat to his "alpha status".