Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Decision to Climb

Greg Mortenson is an avid rock climber who also has many years of medical training. He grew up in Africa with his family where his parents were teachers and he had 3 sisters. Of all of his family members he was closest with his youngest sister Christa. She became very sick as a toddler after a terrible reaction to a smallpox vaccine and then when she was 3 she contracted severe meningitis which then lead to her having frequent seizures that also damaged her mental capabilities. Mortenson was Christa's godfather and he took great care of her throughout her life.
In 1992, on the same day that Mortenson tripped and fell 800 feet down a glacier, his sister had passed away during a seizure. Christa was supposed to be going on a trip for her 23rd birthday with their mother, but when Jerene went to wake Christa up she was already dead.
Mortenson told Relin (the author of this book) that Dan Mazur asked him to accompany him on an expedition to K2 as the expedition medic. Relin writes, "Here was a path, a means which Mortenson could get himself back on course and, at the same time, properly honor his sister. He'd climb to the summit those of his avocation respected most, and he'd dedicate his climb to Christa's memory. He'd find a way to wring some meaning out of this meaningless loss."
I chose this quote because it finally explains why and how Mortenson decided to attempt to climb K2. The climb is not about him, it is about his sister and how he would do anything for her. Even put his life in danger by climbing this mountain. Mortenson is a person who genuinely cares for other people and that just makes you feel warm and cozy inside. This shows that he can connect with people and when he makes a connection he does whatever he can for them. When he meets the people of Korphe and they treat him like family, he becomes attached to them and wants to help them out by any means possible. This is something that started out with his sister and he is continuing it throughout his life. Finding "meaning out of this meaningless loss" can be done in many ways, and Mortenson is working towards that in every way he can imagine.

1 comment:

  1. I liked this qoute as well because it shows how dedicated and goal-minded Greg was to honor his sister in some way. To climb K2 and put a necklace on the top is something a lot of people woul not even imagine doing!