Risk and reward

If you take risk out of climbing, it’s not climbing anymore.

~ Yvon Chouinard from, https://www.rockandice.com/people/yvon-chouinard-what-ive-learned/

Just checking: Be sure you know who Yvon Chouinard is.

Risk is everywhere. If you’re not a climber, I’d venture to guess that you regularly ride in automobiles, which is the most dangerous thing you regularly do. It’s not particularly risky—the chances of catastrophe are low. And it’s a risk I’m comfortable with. Comfortable in both senses: I’ve rationally assessed the risk and do what I can to reduce that risk, and I’ve been exposed to the risk so often that it no longer evinces a visceral reaction.

Certainly, in climbing the objective hazards loom larger; when you’re looking down on large birds cruising the ridge-lift, your physical perspective shifts your mental perspective on life. But there are objective hazards everywhere. For me, I like to do everything reasonable to reduce all of the risks, but knowing that the risks exist— spending some time each day sitting with those risks, knowing I cannot fully eliminate all of them— that’s living.