Why I Climb - Robby Hipp

Why I Climb – Robby Hipp

There are things I take for granted when constantly exposed to them. As I make my way up this mammoth mountain, each step takes me further from comfort—from my wife, my kids, my friends. From my bed, my shower, my beloved Chipotle burrito. From everything, serious or trivial, we live with and cherish every day. In these moments, however, I believe we can discover more about life.

I endure the hardship of mountaineering and climbing because the journey always produces a discovery of self, a keen awareness that makes life more meaningful, more beautiful. What I lose the weekend we climb, I will value on the other side of the summit more and more. More importantly, as my personal comforts are stripped away for a brief time, it’s all to free girls enslaved in the sex trade, girls who are not only stripped of every comfort I have, but of all dignity, freedom, and hope.

The climb itself accomplishes little. But, what’s below the surface—or at that next peak—is beyond us. I could never say it so poignantly, but a quote I ran across recently (at the Fred Meyer checkout, no less) sums up what we do best:
We solved none of life’s problems, but I believe all of us returned with a new awareness of some of its realities. Each of us may have realized in his own way, if only for a moment, what Saint Exupery spoke of as “…that new vision of the world won through hardship.”