Saturday, 14 March 2009

Extreme Alpinism

Vakar naktį pabaigiau skaityti jau šiek tiek aptartą knygą "Extreme Alpinism". Mano nuomone, tai labai savotiškas instrukcijų, asmeninių išgyvenimų ir (per) tvirtų nuomonių rinkinys. Jaučiausi lyg neleistinai skaitydamas modernų samurajų vadovėlį, parašytą vieno iš didžiųjų mokytojų, kuris savo žinias paveldėjo iš kitų mokytojų. Tai užburiantis kūrinys. Kažkuo žavus ir tuo pačiu labai tolimas. Dėl nelabai aiškių priežasčių autorius tvirtai apsisprendė visą savo gyvenimą paskirti alpinizmui. Ir atrodo daugiau nebekelia klausimo vardan ko rizikuoja, kodėl turi stebėti kaip žūsta draugai ir kodėl vos likęs gyvas vėl iš naujo kopia savo keliu. Tai kitas supratimo, rizikos ir pasišventimo lygis. Kai žmogus dienom kopia be virvės vertikaliu ledu, tam kad būtų saugiau.

Parašysiu keletą keistesnių ar man patikusių citatų. Aišku aš dabar sunkiai surasiu labiausiai patikusias. Beje nesupraskit klaidingai. Tai knyga su daug labai vertingų instrukcijų apie techniką, pasiruošimą ir tt, tačiau mane ji sužavėjo ne tik šiuo aspektu.

"Strategy is beyond the techniques. Technique is beyond the tools" (Preface)

"Beware of accidentally succeeding on a route above your ability. Success tends to breed ambition. The next time, a route of similar difficulty and danger may deliver the hard lesson that a single success at a high level may represent luck and not skill." (p. 21)

"Nobody controls a situation in the mountains. It is vanity to imagine one can. Instead, grow comfortable with giving up control and acting within chaos and uncertainty. Attempting to dominate constantly changing circumstances in the mountains or to fight the loss of control serves only to increase fear and multiply its effects. Embrace the inherent lack of control and focus on applying skills and ideals to the situation." (p. 22)

"One goal of this chapter is to debunk the marketing hype that created a consensual reality called the "layering system" - a reality that doesn't exist in the world of extreme alpinism. [...] To address al the variables, the outdoor industry develops materials, systems, and combinations of clothing marketed as the next great miracle fabric or idea, which may or may not work in practice. Miracles aside, no item of clothing or fabric choice will cause failure on a route. Reflect on the difficult climbs undertaken in bad weather by climbers from the former Soviet Union and East Block nations using what Westerners consider hopelessly antiquated clothing and gear. More often than not, they succeed." (p. 82)

"I say this is beautiful because the greatest human act is the act of survival" (p. 150)

"Even after many years of climbing together, the partnership will experience conflict in the mountains. It's the nature of the stress involved, where skin wears thin and souls are bared" (p. 151)

"While democracy is attractive, it is unwieldy and slow in times of crisis. Better that one climber should just take over, make the decisions, and take the responsibility than to let the team pause for discussion, votes, and confrontation." (p. 154)

"I assumed our similarities indicated that our motivations and methods would be alike as well. But we all know the old wordplay: that to "assume" something makes and "ass" out of "u" and "me" both" (p. 155)

"Before deciding which rope system suits a route, consider whether to use a rope at all." (p. 158)

"The massive stretch in the system pushes the imagination into high gear. The more exposure, the thinner the rope looks. It's disagreeable, but works" (p. 164)

"Open your mind to moving at all hours, in all situations. Don't plan on stopping. Count on climbing thought. [...] Route finding at night is hard enough when you know what you're looking for. If you don't... just sit down, tie in, and suffer silently. [...] And as a friend of mine once said, "There's no point in practicing for a bad night's sleep." (p. 185)

"The pee bottle [...] Mark the bottle clearly with a skull and crossbones so no one confuses it with a beverage, although urine won't hurt you a bit. The weight-conscious will share one bottle. Etiquette demands that one empty the bottle and let it cool of before handing it over to your partner." (p. 195)

"If it's impossible to down climb and you cannot climb back up and descend another way, remain clipped to the station while others rappel. If the anchor fails, you will die quickly, which is better than slowly freezing to death or dying from renal failure once you dehydrate" (p. 208)

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