1840 on June 13, 2014 

“I don’t care about what I climb, only how it affects me. Success merely punctuates the experience.” – Mark Twight

If that isn’t a perfect summary of my heart towards alpinism, then I don’t know how to improve it. Those words – and that desire to be so purist in my motives – cries out to me, screams for my attention, and loudly proclaims the truth and validity of such lofty ideals. I read those two sentences and I hate myself for not being that strong. How easy and continually tempting it is to climb with and for lesser reasons and motivations! Someday I will be that strong…

I will continue to cut and burn away those parts of me – and everyone and everything around me – that drag me from the pursuit of my ideal self. Not a look or visible image; nothing so fleeting or banal. No, the “me” I so earnestly strive for can be barely glimpsed in the physical. Alpinism and training for it will be my fire, my furnace where I will melt away all that is weak and shameful and emerge time after time an evolved and purified man. Introspection, discipline, and honesty with myself will be my only ways. I will not hold onto that which gives me pleasure but detracts from progress.

This is war.

The strong survive and watch with pitiless eyes as the weak perish. Personally, I don’t give a fuck if I live or die. Dying just means I was playing the game on and with the edge, and the edge won. At least I was a participant. Living means the cycle can continue; evolution can continue internally and externally. Pain, shit, and blood will drive and lubricate the gears of the machine called life. There is no great personal gain or loss either way; why be so arrogant to presume that my flickering life-light really represents any significant social consequence?

My responsibility is to flare up and burn brightly while I remain on this ugly ball of mud – but for me, not for anyone else. And when it’s time to snuff that light out, I hope I’m fully cognizant and aware of every last second. I hope it hurts. And I fucking hope I go supernova.