Several years ago, we noted the increasing interest in mountaineering moving up from a specialized recreation to a mainstream activity. These past few years, we are seeing a growing interest and participation in adventure races. Races are regular features on major cable networks. Competitions are staged almost monthly. This 8 Nov, the AXN Challenge drew 250 participants with about 900 supporting the one-day 50 km event. The ofoto site “Snapshot of AXN Challenge” I put up registered almost a 100 hits within the 24 hours it was put online. To think I only released invitation to the MFPI community last Sunday.
Original mountaineers influenced by the international interest and the competitive spirit have picked up the sports here. This validates all along the statement made by the then MFPI President AC Sebastian that the base of the adventure sports is the mountaineer. To excel in this field, they have enhanced their skills adding to the Basic Mountaineering Training technical proficiencies as: rappelling, wall climbing, biking, orienteering, navigation and even sound thinking. Only the spiritual has been left out.
With increased competency supplemented with high tech gears, the adventurers can go to places no one dares go, faster. Competitiveness drives one to fulfillment and also to exhaustion. This quote I picked up from the contributor in the AXN Adventure forum ably captures his spirit, “There will never be another you, make the most of yourself . . . there will never be another now . . .make the most of it.”
Adventure challenge like mountain climbing extols the values of drive, determination, teamwork and passion to survive and to complete. Why does the outdoor man do it in the urban jungle? Perhaps it is here where he needs it most to survive.
11 November 2003