“You can’t choose when you die, you can only choose how you die.”

16 Mar


In the summer hiking to the top of Mt. Washington is a challenge. In the winter hiking to the summit can be deadly. I found this on rockandice.com

James Watts, 24, of New York, died on March 1 while soloing Pinnacle Gully  on Mount Washington in New Hampshire. Watts was swept off the route by an avalanche and fell approximately 1,000 feet down the WI 3 route. His body was found by a hiker around 3 p.m. The Pinnacle Gully area including Huntington Ravine has been the scene of numerous avalanches and accidents. In late January, three climbers were injured when they triggered an avalanche and were swept down central gully.

Next winter I’d like to get up to Mt. Washington to solo one of the alpine routes. I continue to train my vertical rope skills and have started ice climbing. All summer long much to the chagrin of the rock humpers at High Rocks Vista, I’ll be dry tool climbing the rock routes training for next winters ice climbing season. Even if Watts was not swept 1,000 feet to his death there is virtually nothing he could have done if he was buried alive in an avalanche. It’s like being entombed in wet cement. I’ve climbed Mt. Washington three times. Once with a guide in December (fun climb), once solo in February (a horrible sufferfest) and once with a partner in early June (fun-beautiful climb). Each of those climbs/hikes were up the traditional hiking routes. Next year I’d like to push the envelope a bit and try the Pinnacle Gully route that Watts attempted.

I was listening to Howard Stern this week and heard that Sam Simon the creator of the Simpson’s has terminal cancer. Simon is  very wealthy to say the least and he’s been dealt the cancer card. What’s he to do now? Sit around and wait for the inevitable end? I’d rather go out like James Watts did…on my terms.  I’ve head it said that “you can’t choose when you die, you can only choose how you die.” 

Climbers approaching Pinnacle Gully Photo by Brian Post.

Climbers approaching Pinnacle Gully
Photo by Brian Post.

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