I value my life. I’ll never understand the rationale behind risking one’s life for the thrill of climbing a mountain. It must be an amazing experience – when you live to tell about it.
While visiting in the Olympia area of the State of Washington, I stopped grumbling about the cold weather when I realized that with it, came new snow on the volcanic mountain that overlooks western Washington. Mt Rainier, named after Rear Admiral Peter Rainier, a friend of Captain George Vancouver, is considered an active volcano. It hasn’t erupted in over 100 years, but there are frequent “shakes” that keep geologists on their toes.
They say that because of the enormous amount of ice in the glaciers on this mountain, in the case of an eruption, this would contribute to huge “rivers” of mud, ash, and debris flowing down to cover the valley below.
I don’t see residents leaving the area in droves, so they must think the risk is minimal, at least for now.
Not only are they not moving out of the area, but people come to the mountain for recreation. Mt. Rainier is the highest mountain in the state and is especially attractive to climbers. Unfortunately, the mountain has claimed many lives and continues to take an average of two lives a year.
So, I ask, why do people feel the need to risk their lives climbing a mountain?
You know the answer.