Sunday, January 9, 2022

Mountain Memories --- Days 10/342 & 343

Walk: 1. Opera Plaza Cinema (Torn) 2. Sunday Hood

Distance: 1. 4.6 miles  2. 3 miles, small yoga

Mount Shishapangma (Tibet)

So, once upon a time Ciwt lived in the mountains where a lot of extreme, risk devouring athletes lived or came for the season.  (Then onto a place down under where winter continued).  There were many deaths.  Almost all of very young men somewhere in the mountains or back country.  The more famous, the more elite, the more the chances you were looking at one of them.  That became kind of axiomatic to Ciwt, sadly.  You just sensed they needed to keep pushing themselves, and pushing themselves all over the planet, no matter how high, how remote. And, as the 'old man of elite climbing,' (at 59) Conrad Acker, has put it - eventually 'gravity won.'

And once upon another time, Ciwt went with an adventuring boyfriend to a small village within a village in Yosemite at the base of El Capitan where several elite climbers and their families were allowed to live.  The feeling, the constant hush in the air, felt so hallowed it was difficult for Ciwt to breathe.  All those people - the climbers, their wives, their children - lived constantly near that looming rock wall with the fearful knowledge every day could be their last.  

All this and more came back yesterday when Ciwt went to Torn, a documentary by Max Lowe. the son of by far the most famous mountain climber, maybe ever, Alex Lowe.  Who was killed in an avalanche in Tibet in 1990. Max was 11.  The movie is about Alex but even more about the aftermath of Alex's death and Max's near impossible task of reconciling his father/hero's death with the fact that he had left him and his family behind (his wife and two even younger brothers). 

Not trying to be gloomy here.  Torn just triggered memories and some sort of deep fascination in Ciwt which she hasn't quite shaken. And she's feeling fortunate to have come away from mountain living in one piece.  If you are drawn to such things yourself, Ciwt encourages you to see Torn.

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