Reasons Why I Will Never Work Toward Being a Rock Climber

George Mallory
George Mallory

Say hello to George Mallory.

In 1924, a reporter asked a talented rock climber, George Leigh Mallory, "Why do you want to climb Mount Everest?" After a moment of contemplation, Mallory replied, "Because it's there."

While some dare-devil souls love Mallory's attitude, some do not. Namely, yours truly. I mean that I have a few important things to accomplish before my life ends, rather than walk up to a mountain that is not bothering anyone and have a sudden urge to climb it. Frankly it "can be there," for a few more thousand years and even if I were to live that long, I would still not want to climb it.

A rock climber attacks Castle Rock.
A rock climber attacks Castle Rock.
Chris Sharma
Chris Sharma
You won't believe this, but this rock climber is disabled.
You won't believe this, but this rock climber is disabled.

I am not bashing.

I have nothing against this dangerous sport, rock climbing, or the ones who love to climb rocks, it is just that mechanized part of my brain that dictates if I like or dislike something doing its work. That's all it is. So if there any of you who climb mountains and belong to HubPages, be my guess. Climb all of the mountains that you want and all with my blessings.

Actually, I do not think more or less of a rock climber, fire-eater or sword-swallower. If climbing rocks, eating fire or swallowing swords is your thing, go for it. I am not bashing the late Evel Knievel for jumping the Grand Canyon. Nor am I seeking a huge monetary grant from the Secretary of The Interior to erect a huge brass statue near the Grand Canyon in his honor. Man, right now I would bet that there are some of you thinking a few nasty thoughts about me. This is just how I am.

Rock climbing even got into a Seinfeld episode.

Success seems to be a matter of holding on while others are turning loose.
Success seems to be a matter of holding on while others are turning loose.
Climbing into a gorgeous sunset.
Climbing into a gorgeous sunset.
Some of the best rock climbers are women.
Some of the best rock climbers are women.
A gorgeous sunrise finds this rock climber already climbing his target rock.
A gorgeous sunrise finds this rock climber already climbing his target rock.
Ice climbing is another dangerous sport.
Ice climbing is another dangerous sport.
Michael Shumaker, competitive rock climber.
Michael Shumaker, competitive rock climber.
Facing the challenge.
Facing the challenge.
This is one confident rock climber.
This is one confident rock climber.
Matthew Vaughn, another competitive rock climber.
Matthew Vaughn, another competitive rock climber.
Going up.
Going up.
Team rock climbing.
Team rock climbing.
Going down.
Going down.

Special Notice:

It's true that David Letterman is retiring on Wednesday, May 20, which will be his last show, but to put down a silly myth, I am NOT joining Letterman and retiring myself. I plan on being around awhile.

Thank you, Kenneth


These are valid reasons.

I can say this with a clear conscience: You will never catch me scaling-up a tall mountain like a cat who has just been scared within an inch of his life. No, sir. I am very happy with my feet on the ground. Let me put things in a clear-perspective by sharing with you

Reasons Why I Will Never Work Toward Being a Rock Climber

  • The wardrobe I would have to wear, soft shorts and shoes would cause me to think myself as girlie. And that is just not going to happen. Question: Have you ever scraped your knees or bare feet against the rough surface of a rock? Remember how much that hurt? Case closed.
  • I am the world's most-profuse sweater. No, I am not a cardigan or turtle neck. I just prespire more than any horse that has ever ran the Kentucky Derby. And when my hands get sweaty several thousand feet up on a rock, the chances of my safety rope slipping through my soggy hands are high.
  • What would be my purpose for climbing a severely-high rock except to tell my friends that I had climbed the rock for it was there? None. And I am not risking my life for some personal satisfaction.
  • I get confused easily when it comes to remembering the various hardware needed to go rock climbing. Now for instance, take the carabiner. That is one of the strangest-sounding items I have ever heard. I think it's a hook on your belt that you run some ropes through so you will not fall. But when I say this word, "carabiner," I am put in mind of someone who parties all of the time in the Carribbean.
  • I have tender fingertips. And this came from my 23 + years running a computer in the newspaper business. I did very little manual labor in this industry, thus my fingertips are very tender. Everyone knows that a seasoned rock climber has to rely on their fingertips to get a secure hold on the rock to keep from falling.
  • Some mother birds build their nests behind certain rocks that are located on very high rock formations so they will be hidden from mankind. And if disturbed by, say an amateur rock climber such as myself, the mother bird would grow angry very quickly and attack me without any thought--and this concerns me. If I had a choice. I had rather be remembered as a man who tried to climb rocks and fell to his death than be remembered as a man who tried rock climbing and was attacked by an angry mother bird who caused him to fall to his death. Which one of these sounds more-manly?
  • One of my main fears about climbing rocks is the possibility of trying to grab ahold of a loose rock and plumetting to my death.
  • If I am climbing rocks with a group, "I" would be put dead-last because I am a "newbie" rock climber and I do not fare well in groups especially something as dangerous as rock climbing.
  • The fear of looking down would always be sitting on my shoulder and knowing me, I can be as curious as a cat sometimes and it is "these" times that I get into trouble. So if I am nearing the top of a super-high rock, and look down, I would start breathing heavy, sweating profusely, freezing-up unable to move and have to be rescued by more-experienced rock climbers who would use me for a laughingstock that night around the campfire.
  • Just what would I do if a buddy and I were mid-way up a rock formation and some ignorant person and his buddies who love to shoot their guns at people were to spot us and open fire? Believe me. I have viewed a lot of rock climbing documentaries and there are very few hiding places from gunfire while you are on the side of a rock.
  • What would I do if Mother Nature were to come-a calling and I had to relieve myself? Where would I relieve myself, on the side of the rock? What if some ya-hoo's are watching me through their high-powered telescope? Pretty embarassing, I'd say.
  • Then there is the legal side of rock climbing. If my buddies and I are out one Saturday climbing rocks and suddenly there appears in the air a police helicopter and a loud voice says over the loudspeakers, "Hey you there! Yes, you fools on the side of the rock! Get down NOW or face being arrested and possible jail time!"
  • And my last reason for not working toward being a rock climber is: I am afraid of heights.
    Nuff' said

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Comments 2 comments

Marie Flint profile image

Marie Flint 19 months ago from Jacksonville, FL

As usual, Kenneth, you express an opinion with openness and humor.

I read the book BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE by Aaron Ralson. The irony of his downfall was that his accident did not occur on an extremely difficult climb, but while galavanting through some canyons. So, if an experienced climber has a life-changing catastrophe, certainly a newbie should expect no special favors, but then maybe a newbie wouldn't feel overconfident and make actions with caution. (Aaron admitted he could have kicked himself for his dumb mistake!)

Personally, I have very little interest in rocky places, except on rare occasions to go fossil hunting. Tight-fighting caverns give me the creeps, and perhaps that's another subject you can cover.

Anyway, I promised myself I would never go rock climbing until I had mastered the art of levitation. Trees, now--that's different. I've loved climbing trees as a child and still occasionally find myself having to tackle a limb or two to get down a child's hula-hoop or, lately, to take several strings of Christmas tree lights out of that poor Magnolia young-un growing in front of my residence.

So, you've got agreement on this one! Voted Funny.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 18 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Dear Marie,

Thank you for stopping by and sharing a part of your childhood that appealed to me. I did climb some rocky places when I was kid, but my love was climbing trees. The higher the better.

Now at my age you could not pay me to get off the ground.

Thanks again for your remarks and please keep in touch.

NOTE: watch your hubs. A gang of low lifes have hacked into my hubs and leaving bogus comments. I wanted to let you know.

Your Friend for Life,

Kenneth

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