In a race, swimming wins

Swimming’s better than walking. Being in the water beats being on land. Interviewed John Muenzer the other night about his English Channel swim. He said, “The English Channel is to swimming what Everest is to climbing.”

Yes, but swimming the English Channel makes sense. Climbing Mt. Everest is just plain stupid. Even the best climbers in the world have to walk around Scott Fischer’s body up there — and he was a great climber, too.

I used to read about all the great climbers back in the 70s. Dougal Haston, the sherpas, Willie Unsoeld. In the mid-seventies, I was told I had a natural talent for scaling rock walls. So, I get climbing.

But I have never understood — and will never agree with — the decision made by an otherwise rational person to climb Mt. Everest. To me, it’s hugely disrespectful of that mountain and can be chalked right up handily to H-U-B-R-I-S.

The water enfolds, envelopes while the rock has to be subdued. Different elements.

Respect the rock. Work with the water.


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