To the Risk Takers...
"Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far it is possible to go." -- T.S.Eliot
Why do people take risks? Or one could ask, why don’t people take risks? We all know both kinds of people, those who takes risks in life, in love, at work, at play… and those who don’t seem to take any risks at all, who just play it safe, who live in a bubble of security and predictability.
Helen Keller said, “Life is a daring adventure, or nothing.” Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Do one thing every day that scares you.” Even Jimmy Carter understood the importance of taking risks in life when he said, “Go out on a limb, because that is where the fruit is.” What are Helen and Eleanor and Jimmy getting at? What are they trying to teach us about risk taking?
"Leap and the net will appear." -- John Burroughs
"You do the thing you’re scared shitless of and then you get your courage. Not before. That’s the way it works." -- George Clooney in “3 Kings”
"It’s better to burn out, then it is to rust." -- Neil Young
"I’m not fearless. I often feel afraid. I just try not to let fear stop me." -- Jon Wunrow
Climbing and Life...
"What we get from this adventure is just sheer joy. And joy is after all, the end of life. We do not live to eat and make money. We eat and make money to be able to enjoy life. That is what life means, and what life is for." -- George Leigh Mallory
"The more you live, the less you die." -- Janice Joplin
There is so much about climbing, and risk taking in general that is a metaphor for life. Life in the mountains teaches us about ourselves, and how we deal with adversity, and fear, and defeat. How we approach and deal with challenges that on their face, seem unsurmountable.
Just like the mountains, life isn’t always easy or fair. Life can often be hard, confusing, and depressing. We all experience unforeseen circumstances, use poor judgment, receive our fair share of karma, and have to deal with the actions of others or our own inaction. Shit happens. And if it hasn’t for a while, it will. This isn’t a fatalistic view of life. Experiencing hard times is just part of the human condition… part of being alive. Hardships will come, and how we deal with them not only can impact the ultimate outcome, but can teach us a lot about ourselves.
"To have a great adventure, and to survive, requires good judgment. Good judgment comes from experience. Experience, of course, is the result of poor judgment." -- Geoff Tabin
"If you fell down yesterday, stand up today." -- H.G.Wells
"I might be a slow walker, but I refuse to stop walking." -- Jon Wunrow
Why I Developed This Website...
I've never been much of a self-promoter. It have to be in the right mood, in the right situation, with the right people before I'll talk about an upcoming trip or retell a climbing story. To be honest, I developed this website as an avenue to to share some of the writing that I've started to do, about the high points I've climbed around the world. My first book, "High Points - A Climber's Guide to Central America" as self-published in 2012. High Points s the book that I wish I had when I climbed the highest peaks in the seven countries of Central America. The book includes the first available written account of climbing Mogoton, the highest peak in Nicaragua, and an account of our 4th documented ascent of Doyle's Delight, the highest peak in Belize. See the "Books" page on this website, to purchase autographed copies of High Points. In 2017 I published a Second Edition of this Central American climbing guide that can be found on Amazon.com.
My second book, "Adventure Inward - A Risk Taker's Book of Quotes" was written to help the reader explore topics that are part of the emotional fabric of risk takers and extreme sports enthusiasts, including: Why Play a Risky Game?, Qualities of an Extreme Adventurer, Acceptance and Being Content, Take Risks, Family and Other Sacrifices, and Death. I just signed a contract with a publisher for Adventure Inward. It will be available for purchase on my website and elsewhere later in 2013.
My third book, "High Points - A Climber's Guide to South America, Part 1" s now available. I published it in 2018. This second book in the High Points series focuses on climbing the highest peaks in: Argentina, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname, Venezuela, Paraguay, Ecuador, and Uruguay. The book includes a detailed account of the 1st recorded ascent of Juliana Top, the highest peak in Suriname, completed by my climbing buddy Anthony Melov and myself. There are also some great adventure stories that take on some of the most amazing peaks in South America.