On climbing mountains

My eyes are red and dry, I can’t move my ankles around, my legs didn’t work this morning and a twenty-minute back massage felt nice but didn’t really solve much.

…and this is awesome.

Yesterday Mike (summer volunteer) and I climbed Iliniza Norte (5125 m, 16814 ft, also known as Tioniza) south of Quito. If the peak were in the US, it would be the fourth tallest and the tallest of any mountain outside of Alaska.

Denali (aka McKinley) here I come?

For more about Iliniza and some pictures, check out Craig’s blog entry from last fall. We didn’t get to take pictures because we summited in a thunderstorm and had to head back down once our heads started tingling and the rocks started buzzing. (?)


“Mountains should be climbed with as little effort as possible and without desire. The reality of your own nature should determine the speed. If you become restless, speed up. If you become winded, slow down. You climb the mountain in an equilibrium between restlessness and exhaustion. Then, when you’re no longer thinking ahead, each footstep isn’t just a means to an end but a unique event in itself. This leaf has jagged edges. This rock looks loose. From this place the snow is less visible, even though closer. These are things you should notice anyway. To live only for some future goal is shallow. It’s the sides of the mountain which sustain life, not the top. Here’s where things grow.”

~ Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

One Reply to “On climbing mountains”

  1. i am re-reading pirsig right now, and had just finished that passage. its always good to hear from you- keep the posts coming.best of luck in absurdistan.

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