In this Huff Post interview with Krakauer and Jimmy Chin regarding the latest mountaineering film making the rounds, Meru, Krakauer is asked for some advice by a young kid (11) who would like to climb the Seven Summits. Krakauer's engaging response is one of the most honest answers I've ever heard:
The events of the 1996 Everest disaster continue to haunt him, events that occurred 20 years ago, 3 years before Kai Lightner and 5 before Ashima Shiraishi were even born. His words are a sledghammer strike on the anvil of mountaineering's contstantly conflicted core: Why.
Ironically, behind Krakauer's comments live the reasons we enjoy climbing: Exploration and Adventure. Whether personal or physical, these two beckon us to invest significant amounts of time and money into our climbing. Every time we climb we gain experiences that reward us with increased self reliance, an ability to be responsible for our own safety, and better judgement. Without these, abdication of thought and freedom makes us a slug and the vine doomed to suffer the worst of consequences.
Our young adveturerer, who is undoubtedly an inspiration, needs to clearly hear what Krakauer and Chin are saying: Go climb Denali first to gain experience. There is no substitute for experience, and at age 11, experience may not be the longest section of his resume.
Every time we climb, we gain more insight into our passion for why and how we choose to accept different levels of risks. The sound of each swing of the axe, the feel of every kick of the crampon, the twilight evenings spent descending via headlamp as snowflakes begin to fall, the slight nausea of an alpine start, that ominous feeling when you're on pitch 9 of an 18 pitch route and you feel the barometric presssure drop, these experiences inform and refine our decision making processes.
DRY ICE Tool users not only gain practical strength, but with their choice to train safely, they seek experiences to responsibly push their personal risk threshholds. It is our sincere hope that our customers, simply by choosing DRY ICE, will continue to train safely, climb safely, and gain the experience needed so they never have to repeat the Krakauer regret.