Is Mountain “climbing” only about the stunning view it offers? That could be true for a lot of people, but it is my opinion that people wouldn’t risk their lives and go through the immense physical effort, braving the associated discomforts of living in the mountains, merely for the view.
There are roads built right into mountainous regions around the world. The Srinagar – Leh highway, which continues to the Leh – Manali highway, for example, offers spectacular a view of the mountains at a fraction of the effort needed to scale peaks.
What Do Mountaineers Find In “Climbing”?
Besides, a lot of mountaineers don’t scale any random mountain in a region – which would be the case if they were after the view. Mountains such as Baintha Brakk and Latok peaks in the Karakoram are notorious for the technical challenge they offer, and only elite mountaineers attempt those; the view from those isn’t notably different from neighboring peaks which are much easier to the summit.
Mountaineering can be as much about the challenge present to them as other factors that make people wish to climb. Routes routinely names after the first team to create an ascent along with them. My personal favorites for a technical challenge in the Himalayas are Dhaulagiri South Face, Jannu North Face, K2, Annapurna South Face, Baintha Brakk, Gasherbrum IV, etc.
In this age, where satellite imagery has made the traditional exploration of mountains obsolete, it’s hard to call one an explorer of unknown ranges. Yet, due to factors like inaccessibility or mere apathy towards certain regions, many mountains see very few summit attempts. I draw to the Mt. Brahma and Mt. Arjuna, near Kishtwar in Jammu and Kashmir, simply because they aren’t as explored as mountains in other regions. Big Himalayan glaciers also strike my fancy. To the East of Siachen lie the Rimo Kangris, which are the source for two immensely extensive glaciers – the Rimo glacier, and the other unnamed glacier. Photographs of the other glacier are few – I found some in Chris Bonington’s archive. I would love to renew interest in these gorgeous mountains with a few photographs of my own.
When are Professional
For many, their career as a sponsored climber doesn’t begin unless they carry out the near-obligatory Everest climb. The elite climbers, it can be about summiting all fourteen of the 8000m+ peaks that exist. For some, it’s about doing a route solo. And for the braver still, it can be about making a winter ascent on a hard mountain. Being the first person in the world to get to the top of a hill can be a big draw for some. And challenges that didn’t meet, like the winter ascent of K2, remain on the to-do list. It is for dreamers like myself. This particular one is suicidal, to say the least, but I know I’ll attempt it if I have the physical capability to – that, despite me being sure there’s not much of a view from K2 in the dead of winter.