Climbing a mountain, even one that isn’t nearly as large as you find in the Himalaya, can be a frustrating, nerve wracking affair. If you happen to be on a two-month long expedition, those feelings can be heightened even further. Being able to get along with your teammates is of vital importance of course, but probably even more vital is the ability to get along with your mountain guide. In his latest blog post, Alan Arnette gives us the perspective of both the client and the guide, with the hope that it will bring a bit more understanding between both parties and make any climb much more enjoyable all around.
Alan has been on more than 35 expeditions, many of which have taken him to the Himalaya and lasted for weeks on end. During that time, he has seen just about everything you can imagine. On top of that, his years of reporting on the mountaineering scene, particularly on Everest, lends him a unique perspective of the relationship between clients and guides. In this blog post, he discusses the characteristics of both the “nightmare client” and “nightmare guide,” both of which he has witnessed in action.
The point of this article isn’t to shame either the guides or climbers. On the contrary, it is meant to foster a little understanding of the perspective of both parties, giving them pause to consider each other’s viewpoints on future expeditions. If they each have a little more insight into what the other is thinking or feeling, perhaps they’ll be able to work more cohesively with one another moving forward.
If you’re planning a big expedition in your future, the article is definitely worth a read. But even if you’re just an an armchair mountaineer, the story offers some genuine perspective of what happens on a big climb. As usual, Alan does a great job of setting the scene and giving his readers good insights into an expedition to the Himalaya.
This is another of Alan’s pre-Everest 2014 blog posts. Last week he also broke down the costs of a climb on the highest mountain on the planet. If you missed that one, it is worth a read as well. You’ll find it here.
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