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Mountaineering Mind Games: What role does Altitude really play?

Ever dreamt of climbing to the roof of the world?  Visions of standing atop Everest?  I recommend reading Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air.  It will test your commitment to the dream.  In Krakauer’s tragically relevant first-hand account of the 1996 disaster on Everest, in which 8 people perished in a blizzard, he discusses at length the games altitude plays with the mind at very high elevations. Krakauer suggests, as many have, that the cause of the high mortality rates during the blizzard that afflicted their expedition were in part due to the madness induced by altitude. With the recent tragedy on the same peak, in which 16 high-altitude workers died in an avalanche, we are reminded of the many dangers of climbing the world’s highest peaks.

Gen. Mountaineer

Just as calling the Spelling Bee a sport seems to degrade the term sport, calling Mountaineering a sport degrades Mountaineering in its own way.

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