Friday, December 10, 2010

Paying for the Summit-Chapter Four

Jonathan Waterman talks about the whole guide-client relationship in this chapter. Burnt out and especially fed up with certain recent events, the last sentence in this chapter is "I never guided the mountain again".
I've talked to several retired professionals who made their passion their profession. After several years, they found their clients became the assassins and pallbearers of this passion.
Doesn't happen to everyone, that's true. Not sure how a person could predict the approaching calamity. Losing one's passion is a great tragedy. Finding a new one is nearly impossible.
In this chapter we are treated to the hilarious recounting of the Phil Story: a preacher from the state of Georgia felt the Lord had told him to climb Denali. Had our guide not rescued him time and again, this preacher would not have summitted nor survived to brag on his achievement. Of course, the Lord has been profusely thanked for his good fortune. The guide has not been.
While reading this chapter, I think of the disparity between an "insiders" viewpoint and an "outsiders". An insiders job is to make everything look like its going smoothly, pick up the slack, and give good value for the price paid. An outsider is often unaware of the grief he causes by rude or selfish behavior.
When all is said and done, the price to either party has been considered, and paid.
Sometimes on the mountain, the price was their life.

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