Climbing is definitely not the cheapest thing to do. For those who wonder, climbing Denali will cost you over 10.000 euro including the trip, flights, gear and everything. Most of the 7 summits are a little less expensive. Notable exceptions are Everest and Vinsion. Both are much more expensive; over 40.000 euro each. But that’s only money.. and in the end not the biggest price I pay.
The real price cannot be written down in any amount of cash.
I demand myself to be in an excellent physical condition for all summits. My training sessions are pretty intense, hard and long. I train about about twice as hard as Alpine Ascents recommends for Denali. Why? Because this is one thing I can control to increase my chance of summitting.
The real price
Like most men of about 40 years old, I have a family and a full time job. And there is the real price. Time is limited and, like most people, I cannot buy any extra. This forces me to prioritize. Working less is not an option, since there is a mortgage to pay and there are mouths to feed.
This is where I have to prioritize and choose. I have a wife and two young kids. I often choose between either bringing my kids to bed or go out for my daily suffer-session. Choose between spending a Saturday with my wife and kids in the park and have fun with them. Or choose to spend an evening with my wife in some fancy restaurant.
And guess what I choose most of the time? Indeed, training!
Some time ago, I spoke to a colleague of mine who was surprised by the strength of my intrinsic motivation. I strongly believe this is the only true working motivation for someone to be successful. Almost every day I choose between my wife and kids, whom of course I love very much, and the training I need to be in a good shape. It’s never easy to say no to my son who’s asking me to play a game with me.
But there’s always this voice in my head, this focus demanding me to be successful on Denali. And the only one who is pushing me to do this is … me.
So is this price too high?
No, definitely not! While it’s definitely not always easy. I am very aware of the choices I make and the things I miss because of them. But to me, the are rewards that are huge. Of course summiting Denali, or any other challenging mountain, is one of those rewards. But maybe even better are the lessons I learn about myself; my mind, my body and how I react to the things I do. And hopefully I can share some of that knowledge with my family and the world.