Wednesday, February 2, 2011
The day up to the Shelter was beautiful - almost too hot - but sadly a westerly front came in sooner than we hoped and the winds coming over the main divide were too strong to allow us to go over the pass safely. That second day we all returned to Mt Cook Village, tired, a little frustrated that we only did half the trip, but delighted to have had time in such fantastic alpine country.
I value that kind of time with my son Sam, and our friend Andrew. Great talks, testing ourselves against the mountains, trusting each other...
It taught us more about peseverance. I was fairly fit, and Sam was even fitter, but our legs felt the test of the 7 and a half hours walking and climbing. We were very glad to see the Shelter at the end of the day. We got there because we kept on going, even when it was hard, even when I got cramp, even when it was a bit airy scary. Yes, we stopped to rest. Yes, we refueled with meusli bars, chocolate, nuts and water. But we kept on going. It was a lesson in pressing on no matter what. It's amazing how far our legs can take us if we keep on going.
It also taught us about the importance of disciplines and procedures. We filled out our intentions with the DOC staff. One of those staff checked in at the scheduled radio call. We carried our share of emergency gear, GPS, Satellite phone, first aid kit...
And yet there was also risk. We managed the risk with safety gear like ropes and helmets. We avoided unnecessary risk by chosing our route carefully. We treated the weather with respect. And yet there were risks involved in our climb. There are always risks in life. Not always obvious risks, but risks are present if you look hard enough. The obvious danger we faced reminded us that as long as we are alive we face threats of some kind. The Macaulay Clan motto is dulce periculum, "danger is sweet." It reminds us we are alive!