Monday, April 21, 2014

A Battle of Endurance

A major difference between reading Endurance and other adventures I have read is "fittingly" endurance. During vertical adventures and Albanov’s adventure I was often struck by the amazing deeds the adventurers accomplished.  Climbing Everest or Annapurna I had a feeling of amazing as these men were accomplishing something I could never dream of being possible.  I had a similar feeling reading about Albanov’s crew dragging the incredible weight of their gear across the ice.  On the other hand there were many moments during Endurance where I found myself thinking that what they were doing wasn’t amazing and I could believe that I was capable of such a thing.  Then I remembered that these men were stranded for a year.  Much of their adventure was truly outlasting the elements. My belief that I could accomplish such a thing quickly disappeared.  Other, vertical, adventurers had described their feats as battles of endurance. Krakauer described Everest as a battle of endurance where man had to continually battle and outlast pain. Similarly, Herzog describes his approach to Annapurna as a siege, literally a battle tactic of endurance. However these were also incredibly feats of strength, skill, and tactics.  This is in no way me saying the adventure detailed in Endurance is less than climbing a mountain.  On the contrary I view mental toughness as significantly more impressive than physical toughness.  The ability to endure when survival seemed like a fools dream is amazing.  More so than any other book the crew of the Endurances ability to continue to survive and fight back when it seemed that nature was working against them amazed me. 

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