HUMOR BY ELLA STEINBECK
Hey idiots, quit climbing Mt. Everest! And stop jumping out of planes, wingsuit flying, base-jumping, and ice climbing in remote locations. Stop doing stuff where a rescue costs thousands of dollars of tax payer’s money or leaves your children without a parent. Stop it! Stop it! STOP IT! Living life is dangerous enough without making life-threatening situations a hobby.
I get it! You’re a thrill seeker. An adrenaline junkie. An adventurer. You’re fearless. You want to push the limits of your body or your mind. You want to be an elite part of the population that did the thing people told you NOT to do. You want to do it cause, “it’s there.”
It’s really no different than walking around a gang-infested neighborhood looking for a fight. You can call it a “climb” or a “jump” or whatever makes it sound “smarter”… but it’s stupid.
Look, here’s the thing: nobody wants to ruin your life or stop your good time. What they want to do is SAVE YOU FROM YOURSELF! They want to save your life BEFORE you need it saved and end up on the news.
Let’s focus on Mount Everest since we’ve been hearing about it recently. Mount Everest is dangerous. Very very dangerous. An average of 10 climbers die there every year and many more get injured or maimed. Jon Krakauer wrote the book Into Thin Air about a storm that killed 8 climbers in 1996. Even under perfect conditions it’s risky. Just ask the 13 Sherpas who were in an avalanche last week. Oh. Wait. You can’t ask them cause they are dead.
Firstly, there are altitude dangers. You can’t climb more than 300 to 500 meters a day or you’ll get dizzy, vomit, lose your balance and have a persistent cough. Personally, I don’t enjoy any of those feelings. If your crazy-self insists on climbing more than that in a day, and you don’t pay attention to the warning signs of oxygen depletion in the body as you climb, you can die from Cerebral and Pulmonary edema. This is why when we fly in an airplane at high altitudes the cabin is pressurized. You know… so we DON’T die!
Next, there’s frostbite. Frostbite is nasty! Your skin turns white, it becomes numb, turns black, it blisters and then it falls off. If you hate a cold sore or a pimple you’re gonna really hate frostbite. Not to mention, if a foot or leg or some other body part can’t be warmed back up properly you’ll lose that leg or foot or hand or nose. And why did you lose it? Oh, because there was a big mountain you wanted to say you climbed. I see.
Then, there’s hypothermia. It can kill you in 30 minutes or less. You know when you jump into water that’s a little too cold and you get out and shiver cause you can’t warm up? Well, multiply that by like a million and that’s what hypothermia on Mount Everest feels like. Let’s say you didn’t pack the right layers or a storm sets in and you get wet and can’t dry and you start to shake and shiver. Well, your body temperature will start to drop shutting down blood circulation to your arms and legs. Your pulse will start to weaken. You will begin to slip into unconsciousness and once your body temperature gets down to 75 degrees your heart stops. When this happens you don’t get to tell anyone about the big mountain you climbed because you’re dead. Dead people can’t talk.
I’m obviously giving you the worst-case scenario. I didn’t even mention the risk of breaking a bone, getting a blistering sunburn, not getting enough water, feeling homesick, or wishing you had your mommy there. These are obviously very real risks as well. So, if you’re thinking about climbing a big mountain or hiking some crazy ridge or want to dive head first off a cliff…DON’T! Stay home. Watch TV instead. Trust me.