You Only Climb a Mountain Once, So Climb the Best – Everest

Every time I hear about people climbing Everest I think of the double glazing adverts. And then I think, as I’ve thought for a while, that basically people should stop climbing Everest. There is too much litter on the mountain, too many Sherpas have to risk their lives to save people and each trip degrades the mountain – in every sense; not only detracting from the physical substance of the mountain, but also detracting from its importance, its mystery and power. It might seem absurd to say that mountains should be revered and that climbing one should be a mystical* experience but I think this is a more healthy relationship to have with our environment than one which sees mountains as obstacles to be conquered. I hate it when I hear people say they’ve ‘bagged’ a Monro, as if they’ve taken it home to put on their mantelpiece. Sure, I can understand the desire to put oneself to the test and pit body and mind against what nature can throw at you, but we need to retain a sense of awe and wonder as well as a respect for nature, otherwise we’re doomed.

*as well as mistical

Speaking of a respect for nature, I’ve been trying to call the doctor this morning to request a thyroid function test. It must be about 18 months since I last had one and I’m experiencing some symptoms including weight gain which just won’t go away – and that isn’t like me. I’ve also gone mad and blitzed my hair; I got really fed up and attacked it with the clippers and now I’m feeling a bit scared at the result. But I was so tired of having long straggly hair and didn’t really have the money for the hairdresser, so what’s a girl to do? I guess I could dye it purple again – what there is of it – but I might end up looking like a ‘fifties child with ringworm. So maybe instead of conquering it with clippers I should have respected the nature of my hair and let it grow…


OH and I have been continuing with the Jimmy McGovern drama Time on BBC 1, about a teacher in prison for death by dangerous driving who comes up against some violent bullies who make his life a misery. It challenges me because I think, what would I do? I daresay men’s prisons are more violent than women’s but I doubt that women’s prisons are havens of peace and sisterhood, so what would I, a person committed to non-violence and who besides has never won a fight in her life – what would I do? I don’t know yet; maybe by the end of the series I’ll find an answer. Unfortunately they’ve put the whole lot up on iplayer so it’s veeeeeeeeeeeeeeeery tempting to binge-watch. But we’re rationing ourselves…

Have a good Tuesday.

Kirk out

7 thoughts on “You Only Climb a Mountain Once, So Climb the Best – Everest

  1. The subject of Everest, and the attitude of potential climbers of it is analogous to something I ponder from time to time: and that is how we can justifiably [if at all] ask or expect developing countries to be restrained in their quest for material advancement; for example, in the acquisition of cars [the current, polluting type] and multifarious electrical gadgets, which increase exponentially the requirement for energy, still produced by burning fossil fuels in most cases. What right do we have to expect them to be restrained, when their response, understandably, would be something like “Well, you’ve had all these benefits, so why can’t we?” We should be leading by example, of course, by downsizing to a more sustainable modus vivendi, but if the Western world’s appetite for consumer goods is anything to go by, that’s a pretty futile hope.

    My younger daughter has thyroid issues, and she had to pay for a private blood test, because it was taking so long for her to get any help from her GP practice. Naturally, I’m conflicted, and the duplicitous attitude of the government and its apologists & facilitators doesn’t give me much hope for optimism. Come the revolution…….. Cheers, Jon.

    1. I quite agree that we need to lead by example. sorry to hear about your daughter’s experience; I guess it’s a postcode lottery since here I’ve not had a problem. But I’m sure in London and other places it can be very difficult

      1. We’re actually in Whitby, and you might think that such a small area would have less pressure on services, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. I can’t ‘like’ your reply, I’m afraid: I might have mentioned that before? There’s no ‘like’ button to be seen; only the ‘reply’ link. Cheers, Jon.

  2. If Everest is anything like Snowdon, which I have climbed numerous times now, there are many paths to the top.

    As for litter, Snowdon doesn’t fare too badly; on my last hike I found there were a few stray cans/bottles that people had clearly carelessly left at the top (not helped by the building there being closed), so I took what I could down with me. Perhaps I should climb Everest…

    I’ve seen how easy it is to get so focused on a task at hand (like climbing Everest) that one fails to see things like litter. I once watched a Yoga video on Youtube that was set in a beautiful location; the instructor showed the surrounding views at the beginning, but as they panned round with their camera I couldn’t help but notice a pile of litter off to the side and I thought, considering how seemingly oblivious they were to it, they weren’t going to take that away with them.

    “Try and leave this world a little better than you found it…” – Robert Baden-Powell, founder and first Chief Scout of the world-wide Scout Movement.

    As for hair, I used to clipper my own, until I suddenly had the crazy idea to not bother.

  3. I never understood climbing mountains, and never will. I have seen documentaries about the mountains of rubbish and filth left on and around Everest, and I think it’s disgusting. But it cannot be denied that ‘Everest Fever’ provides a regular income for local people now, to the extent that I would wonder what they would do if climbing it was banned.
    Best wishes, Pete.

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