”I will never climb an 8000 m mountain again.” Six of my friends had died during a short period of time in various expeditions and I had been injured for over half a year unable to walk or sleep. My friends had died in everything from avalanches, rope that had broken to execution by Taliban’s disguised as military.
My expeditions are far from do-or-die missions neither are they 100 % safe. But my philosophy: no mountain view is worth dying for, have kept me alive and if there is doubt there is no doubt. Then I turn around to see another day. Perhaps my passion for climbing derives from the fact that I’ve always been scared of heights. Finally, I had the means to confront the trauma in a functional way. I rather enjoy my precious time on the planet instead of spending a life in survival mode.
For me climbing is about mindfulness, like opening up your eyes for the very first time, like going from black & white to colour TV. I realize that so much distracts me from what’s really important in life. I’m thankful for the moments when I climbed and woke up. Society will always be fascinated about people who perform daring things. So am I.
However, society was never built for adventurers. Nature is. Face your fears. Think less and chase your dreams. And you know, I’m still scared of heights.