i have made a Decision. several years ago i looked at skiing and suddenly realised that not only was it uncomfortable, in turns frightening and dull, and fucking cold but also outrageously expensive. this was followed by the realisation that i was old enough to have the joyous option of saying "hell no, i won't go" anymore and nobody could make me.
i suspect that hiking up steep mountains is about to receive the same opt-out from me. because despite whatever you might say about the goddamn view, i am firm on this - i like looking UP a mountain a hell of a lot more than i like looking DOWN it. but the view, the view, quoth the die hard mountaineers (and i know who you are, with your gnarled little hands and shifty eyes). fuck the view, i quoth back. the view is nothing more than the place i was at before someone dragged my ass up this pile of rock. as seen from above.
now don't get me wrong, i will still climb the odd mountain if it has a reasonable ascent. by reasonable i mean that while i can handle moments of cardiac and pulmonary distress, full hours of it shall be deemed not only unreasonable but of satanic origin and desirous of my immediate demise, and thus will be given the finger and left to rot in their godforsaken steepness without my participation.
obviously, i am not a climber, i think everest is an arrogant fake** and i think "because it's there" is a far better argument for having a drink than for climbing a snowy heap of rock. and one of the joys of being well on the way to 40, is that there are fewer and fewer people who can tell me what to do. sure, my mom says that i ought to climb more mountains because it is good for the bones, but so is a glass of milk and it hurts less.
so, let this be my official announcement - if you want me to climb a mountain, do not dangle The View as a carrot before me ("is this a carrot i see before me?") because i do not give a hairless rat's ass about the view. and make damn sure that the path, while not necessarily rose-strewn, retains a reasonable degree of incline. if i have to hoist myself up using trees, it's too damn steep and i won't stand for it.
* which makes it 3 for 3 - each time we go on a bigger hike, we get lost. this is sad and could be dangerous. it is also funny. go, us!
**sure it claims to be the tallest mountain, but when you start up from a massively high elevation, i think you have an unfair advantage. let's see everest come down to sea level, then we'll talk.