Openning the Big Door!
Is Everest’s summit your ultimate goal?
This is the question that would always pop up whenever I talk to people. What will I do then after I’ve climbed it (if ever I climb it successfully) ? Settle down and die? Hahaha!
Folks always think that there’s nothing more to do after that… well, they’re wrong..
I actually see Everest as a barrier, a big stumbling block, but at the same time, a huge door leading to a realm of endless opportunities. With its ‘unclimbed’ status (Filipino-wise), it will prevent us from seeing and exploring the beauty and awe of other magical places. But if we are able to put our flag on top of its summit, then we’ll start looking at the bigger horizon of adventure challenges, not just mountaineering – but other areas as well. There’s so much to do and a little number of people trying to do them. The North Pole, the South Pole, crossing the Atacama or Sahara desserts, paddling the rivers of the Amazon, exploring the abyss, or even traversing the great tundra of Siberia – but we can’t do any of that until we complete Everest. It’s logical to do most visible and popular challenge first before the others. Somebody has to top that so we can move on with our adventure lives =)
So what’s the final and ultimate goal?
There’s really no such thing. You open 1 door, and you’ll see 3 or more doors, then more doors after that. Opportunities are endless, you just keep on going in whatever direction you feel suits you best. I can’t say I’ll stop when I reach Everest’s summit, or the North Pole, or when I’m done w/ the seven summits, I don’t know that today. I guess I’m a pretty process-oriented person, the next door (goal) is just there as a guide-path, not really a final destination. The question really is, “when do you quit? Umm, perhaps kapag kinuha ka na ni Lord? hehe.” Well really, no plans. For now, follow Dory Principle - “just keep swimming, just keep swimming…” “
And what’s the long-term vision for this sport?
One of my realizations while I am into this sport is that, my role is evolving to that of a promoter, an usher, or a door opener. I can’t climb all the highest peaks in the world, nor do I have enough time to experiment on other adventure daring dos. We need more athletes, we need to summon the next generations of adventure freaks.
And that’s why I have this silent-commitment to put in a structure of continuity to make sure the sports continue to progress, so that we continue to hear more great news in the future.
Specifically, in the area of alpine and high-altitude mountaineering, I’ve started setting up training climb trips for would-be climbers, to promote and introduce the sport to other enthusiasts. I plan to do this every year or every time I have a scheduled trip abroad. It may not produce immediate results, but it will surely keep the wheel spinning, and hopefully – thru some act of magic, will give the sport a chance to peak up, and reach a broader audience. It was unfortunate that when I started with this, the Filipino alpinists before me retired quietly without ‘transitioning’ know-how’s to my generation. It is my intent now to make sure we don’t lose continuity, and likewise, to make sure that the support structure that is now slowly creeping in, will grow fully and be able to support a bigger group of athletes, and a wider array of sports adventure.