I just don't get it

For things people choose to do that make sense to them but you just can’t fathom.


I can get people summiting Everest as the crowning achievement of a life spent mountain climbing. That’s almost like a Christian taking a tour of the “Holy Lands”: a pilgrimage without which something would seem to be missing.

What I don’t get is tourists trying to summit Everest. People who have either never climbed a mountain, or who just aren’t at the stage where they can do it safely yet.

Safe to say, there’s adrenaline and prestige that come with it… But there’s a long line of hundreds of people in front of you and behind you, so how prestigious could it be? To be worth the risk of being one of the bodies that everyone is climbing over to get to the summit?

Part of this might be that I’m an acrophobe, but even if I weren’t, I don’t think I’d understand this.


Dunning Krueger effect. See also people run marathons without training for them.


Don’t I know that. I was doing first aid for a marathon here this past weekend, and there were a lot of people who looked like they were coming in completely unprepared.


See also: why SAR gets overworked.

For example, people deciding they can do The Grouse Grind in flip-flops.

If you have experience hiking, cycling, running and consider yourself fit, it will be a challenge, but most likely you will have no problems conquering the mountain. Individuals with heart issues are recommended to give this trail a pass for something NOT called “the Grind”… I’d like to know that someone can easily work out for 40-60 minutes keeping heart rates in the upper range of their target heart rate to feel confident taking on the challenge.”

North Shore Search and Rescue does a lot of rescuing people who don’t realise that mountains are steep, trails in the woods can be hard to relocate if you wander off them, water is necessary when climbing long, steep hills in summer heat and that the sun goes down at night and it’s hard to see in the dark, and that mountains have cliffs and it takes a lot of upper body strength to pull yourself up from a ledge that was easy to get down onto.

In other words, people are idiots.


[sheepishly raises hand]

The first time I registered to run a marathon, I had never run more than a mile in my life. I had registered for a half marathon that was one month away and a marathon that was two months away. I finished the half marathon in 1:45 and the marathon in four hours. It can be done, but I wouldn’t advise it.


Or a helping hand. Having worked first aid at a few Tough Mudders, I’d say that if you can get your shoulders level with the top of the wall/ledge/cliff, you can get pulled the rest of the way up pretty easily, if someone willing to pull is waiting there for you.


Those are impressive times for someone who hasn’t trained for it; that’s a decent jogging pace (12 km/h and 10.5 km/h, respectively), and you kept that pace up for a long time. Well done.


Eek. I walked just downhill Grouse Mountain in rather nice, sturdy walking shoes, and that alone just about killed me, since the slope angle alters your gait for so long.