The cost of true adventure is risk

Recently, Geoff Sigalet wrote this marvellous essay, “The Psyche of the Mountains.”

It’s partly a review of the new documentary “The Alpinist” about Canadian mountaineer Marc-Andre Leclerc and partly a broader meditation on the nature of the sport.

Go read Geoff’s essay and then check out the two-minute trailer for the film below:

I’ve probably re-watched the trailer five times. I find it completely mesmerizing— not only for Marc-Andre’s feats but also for his attitude and approach as well as the impressions it has on his community.

Beneath the YouTube trailer, Geoff wrote: “This is an astonishing film. You start out questioning Mark-André’s choices in life; by the end you are questioning your own.”

When I shared the trailer with a priest friend of mine, he replied: “I’m normally inclined to think this kind of stuff is mad, especially for those who have faith and so have a purpose beyond this world, but something in me lately seems to think that this kind of attitude towards life may not be altogether contrary to Christian hope, but may even, in fact, aid it. I don’t know, but that was pretty exciting!”

Marc-Andre died on a climb at age 25. In a sense his life was short but in another it was so exhilaratingly intense that there was undoubtedly a certain kind of commendable fullness to it.

The cost of true adventure is risk. There is more to living than survival. And there is more to flourishing than health.

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