I see Facebook posts mourning children. And the immediate response from those who side with killers. I grow weary of these men. Bearded and begutted, bellies hanging low over the belt with the weight of years conforming to stereotype. Words, so meaningless, thrown into the wind of social media. Rights. Constitution. Patriotism. Men whose identities have become so wrapped around a constructed narrative they can no longer question it.
So what do we do, climbers? Do we abandon the temples of rock climbing to the hordes? Do we focus on education? Do we enforce regulations? Do we tell bereaved families that their son or daughter should have known better? Do we limit what is considered grounds for lawsuits? Do we avoid the Fifty Classics? Do we stop writing guidebooks? Do we seek ever further adventures, necessitating going harder? Do we give over to the guides leading folks from Maryland up Forbidden Peak? Do we adopt the pernicious attitude of "I was here first, and I can't share?"
"Of all the questions which can come before this nation, short of the actual preservation of its existence in a great war, there is none which compares in importance with the great central task of leaving this land even a better land for our descendants than it is for us."
What debt do we owe to other nations? Not in specific objective numbers that bounce around balance sheets, transferring wealth from elite to elite, but those amorphous calculations that never quite coalesce. Informal and black markets. Legacies of interference. Vagaries of chance.