I recently read Blair Fyffes blog post and his thoughts on whether climbing is worth its inherent costs, you can read it here... http://blairfyffe.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/is-it-worth-it.html .I found it very interesting and it made me think quite a bit, strange for me! Up until very recently I'd asked myself the same question a few times but never delved too far into it. Even if I wanted to question its worth anymore these days its not worth it for me to do so. I've invested too heavily in the life and when I look back on all that I've willingly given up for example financial security, 'comfortable relationships', friendships or my left pinkie digit. Or on the other hand (pardon the pun) the things I've had to give up against my will, ankle, knee and hip health, trying to switch axes, my Astra SRI or trying to make a particular relationship work, even mental health at one point.
Nearing being mentally broken above The Hurting-Pic- Steve Gordon
In gearing myself up mentally to attempt The Hurting XI/11 in the Gorms I thought I'd have to be in a very dark place. The vital life saving bit of gear on the route was out to the left and I couldn't get to it so if I committed to the route I knew it was top out or fall and likely die. I purposefully depressed myself and got to the stage I thought I was ready and looking back now shockingly selfish enough to go for it. I spent a while scoping the route and the moves before realising it was guaranteed death. As I sat at the top of the ridge before walking out I knew I'd went a bit too far, escaping that depression without success on The Hurting was hard work. I questioned how far I'd been willing to go for a route after that.
Broken ankle after falling trying a new route
Even after falling and breaking my ankle and near skewering myself on my axe I only questioned the mistakes I made, never once questioning climbing and the dominating control it has on my life, should I have? No.
After the 1st ascent of a new bold E6 6b, the smile answers whether its worth the cost-Pic Glenda Anderson
Of course climbing at your own personal limits has its costs, as Blair says even the time training for it is tough on relationships let alone all that goes along with it. I think we all question it a wee bit sometimes but I doubt any of us would change what we do. When we look honestly at what climbing and being in the mountains in general gives us and truly ask ourselves "Is it worth it??" whats your answer? Mines is without doubt yes!