Mountaineering has got to be one of the dumbest sports to get into, and one of the hardest to pull yourself away from once you’ve started. It’s expensive and not particularly fun; most of your time is spent in horribly cold and windy conditions, walking for miles uphill, on ice, and usually in the dark. The environment tries to stop you with avalanches, crevasses, windburn, snow blindness, and piles of loose rock called skree just waiting for your foot-step to start a landslide. On top of this your body and high altitude don’t particularly get along. At these heights the air is thinner, digestion slows, pulse increases, sleep evades you, and AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness, a serious and potentially deadly reaction to altitude) starts to show itself. Really there are only two small moments that are rewarding: the 10 seconds or so that you can stand the cold on the summit, and of course bragging to your friends about it once you’re done.
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