Why do I climb mountains?

Why do you climb mountains?”, Jed asked me during our team building last February 27, 2009, the day before the Mt. Manabo climb.  

I was thinking about this while climbing Mt. Manabo and realized that I got no solid answer as my attention was curiously caught by the breathtaking sights on my way up. I climbed Mt. Pulag a week after that and still, I left the question hanging in my thoughts.   

Honestly, the question was hard especially if the person who asked hasn’t climbed a mountain before. See, climbing seems like a good idea except when you’re actually doing it. This is the grand paradox of climbing.  

I was observing myself and the people I was with. The stereotype of a mountaineer is with a mounting backpack. This backpack?? It’s really heavy, you can get it from different sizes, brands, prices, colors and designs, but it’s not really what you carry but how you carry yourself. There’s so much things to do before you climb. File a leave, tell your parents, save your budget, prepare yourself physically and mentally. When you’re up there, I tell you, It’s all worth it! The view you can rarely see, the obstacles on the trails and the camaraderie of the group.  

I went back to Jed and answered “Because It’s all worth it!” You feel a certain level of fulfillment once you conquered a mountain. You’ll love nature more and you’ll appreciate simple things.   

Going up the mountain is not an easy thing. You sacrifice all the conveniences of the urban life. You sweat a lot, you use up every strength you have, you carry an oversized backpack, you slip, you trip, you don’t just quit, you stand up and walk with a goal of reaching the summit.

 I climb because I can roll up with other mountaineers, unless climbing is their superpower, I can, maybe, surprise them.   Eventually, it all comes down to this: I climb because I CAN.

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