Falling from 8000 ft – How did we survive!
Well, we actually survived because it really is not very dangerous. And we don’t fall. The recent article from the CBC about a Daredevil Climber is the sort of fluff that denigrates the public broadcaster, my home community and amateur mountaineers the world over.
I know nothing about the ‘daredevil’ Spencer Seabrooke, but I do assure all readers that this mind-blowing achievement is overcome on a daily basis – even in winter.
Hiking up Mount Lady MacDonald (named for the wife of our drunken first Prime Minister), is a somewhat tiring slog, but the hike offers excellent views and a slightly technical finish.
My son first ‘summited’ it at age 5.
Let me be as clear as possible – I love the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation). It is the voice of a nation and it has helped to bring a country together across massive distances, diverse cultures and numerous languages. Generally speaking the CBC / Radio Canada (en francais) is vitally important to the Canadian mosaic and manages to represent so many Canadians despite truncated budgets and a constantly aggressive stance from the federal Conservative government.
I am / we are / very amateur mountaineers. Living in Canmore / Banff we are surrounded by serious climbers. The Alpine Club of Canada is based here in our mountain community and as a result one may rub shoulders with some of the world’s best climbers. Don’t expect humility…
Of a huge concern is the sensationalizing of a regular mountain ascent. Obviously climbing ‘Lady Mac’ (as the mountain is locally known) is reasonably challenging, but certainly not akin to base jumping or even running a marathon.
I am an avid climber and hiker, but in absolutely no way do I consider any of my endeavours extreme. There are so many climbers and athletes far beyond my skill level, I cannot begin to name them, yet I have walked across the ridge atop Lady Mac at least a dozen times. I am nowhere near alone in this accomplishment.
This sensationalist reporting either results in the mountains being ‘off-limits’ or encourages extreme behaviour. Neither is good nor safe. Should Canadians and visitors alike want to discover and enjoy our mountains we all win, but if we scare off the general public and attract the thrill seekers, we all lose.
Most of our mountains can be safely climbed and should you want some, specialized training companies and organizations exist to help out. I am a particular fan of Yamnuska Mountain Adventures for an introduction to rock / ice climbing as they help to open the great outdoors to us – normal people – with a love of mountains and activity.
I hope never to fall 2500 meters and if I do, I will die. I am an average climber with an authentic love of mountains. This so-called extreme climbing is both exclusive and false.
Please CBC, lets do an enjoyable report about inclusion in the Rockies instead of rewarding publicity stunts.