The climbing community of Ottawa gathered at Carleton University this evening to meet Legendary climber Simon Yates.
As an explorer, he has travel far and wide seeking new adventures. His climbing skills were honed in the harsh and remote mountains of Pakistan. As he ventured to more distant locations pursuing his dream, he has had his share of challenges; skipping airplane off glaciers to gain elevation, to rescue swims in perilous water, all are but small parts of the journey to get in and out of remote locations. He has climbed with many leading mountaineers including Andy Cave, Mick Fowler, Andy Parkin, Paul Pritchard, Doug Scott, and Joe Simpson, establishing many first ascents in the process.
The evening provided a well balanced view of the man, his accomplishments, and the challenges he has faced along the way, including the struggle to balance the need to push the limits and his commitment to home and family.
Listening to him was a privilege. The opportunity to meet and converse with Mr. Yates for the second time was an honour. If you have the opportunity, you should do the same, or at the very least, read his books. His latest, The Wild Within describes expeditions to the Cordillera Darwin in Tierra del Fuego, the Wrangell St-Elias ranges on the Alaskan-Yukon border, and Eastern Greenland as he seeks to climb into unchartered territory.
“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is necessity; that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life.”
― John Muir