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7 summits and other mountain stuff => Gear & stuff => Topic started by: 7summits on Aug 12 2002, 20:14

Title: Cowboy boots on Acon; about being ready..
Post by: 7summits on Aug 12 2002, 20:14
On cowboy boots to Aconcagua...

Mark Jenkins wrote a good piece about getting prepared before you head out into the wild.

Read the full story here. (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/chronicle/archive/2002/08/01/SP145633.DTL)


Global wanderer, adventurer and author Mark Jenkins tells a tale of an extremely chilling time in the wild. But on that day, he didn't happen to be cold himself.

While at 17,500 feet on Argentina's Aconcaqua, Jenkins observed three Japanese "climbers," seeking the 22,841-foot summit of the tallest peak in the Western Hemisphere while wearing cotton jeans and cowboy boots.

Jenkins, shaking his head, descended to the peak's base camp. There he met two American neophytes who didn't even know how to light their stove. The sole mountain training this intrepid duo had given itself consisted of spending one night in a Chicago meat locker. Luckily, Jenkins says, he was able to dissuade this pair from following that meandering trail of cowboy bootprints up the mountain.

Jenkins' anecdote illustrates a tiny piece of a big problem: people heading out into the wild with scant preparation, little experience and, consequently, very poor judgment. He and other experts blame a current trend to regard outdoor experience as just another consumer item.

The popular thinking seems to be: Buy top label gear, pay an outfitter, then success should be assured -- even if you've spent zero time augmenting your skills. The old notion of putting years into garnering an ability to meet nature on its terms is being supplanted. The new mode: Score a "trophy outing" by any means necessary, in such spare time as you happen to have.



Read the full story here. (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/chronicle/archive/2002/08/01/SP145633.DTL)