While in the company of newbies and oldies at the base camp in Subic, it made me ask which of the 7 deadly sins is the mountaineer mostly guilty of? Has it changed in the past 25 years?
To cite the deadly 7:
- Pride is excessive belief in one's own abilities that interferes with the individual's recognition of the grace of God. It has been called the sin from which all others arise. Pride is also known as Vanity.
- Envy is the desire for others' traits, status, abilities, or situation.
- Gluttony is an inordinate desire to consume more than that which one requires.
- Lust is an inordinate craving for the pleasures of the body.
- Anger is manifested in the individual who spurns love and opts instead for fury. It is also known as Wrath.
- Greed is the desire for material wealth or gain, ignoring the realm of the spiritual. It is also called Avarice or Covetousness.
- Sloth is the avoidance of physical or spiritual work.
Envy is most evident. “Have you climbed this mountain?” volunteered a club member. Do you have this equipment that can protect you in the cold and from the elements?
No, it is gluttony. What with all the drinking happening before, during and after the climb. What about the climbers’ inherent belief in one’s self-making him the most proud who ever existed in this world. Yes I have gone through this training, am capable of the rigors of this adventure and in the elite company of this club. Anger also seems a common occurrence especially among the Els. It recurs also during post climb.
If you have been keeping track of the posting for the past month, sex in the mountain is a hot topic. That well qualifies it for lust. Recognition and accumulation of equipment. Is that greed?
For those who just climb for the sake of climbing at the expense of his buddy, we say he is palamunin. A lawin. Which is sloth. Sundays are spent on climbing so surely services are missed.
Asking Romy Antonio a veteran climber which one ranks first. To him it is pride. To the rest like Rene De Guzman and Joan, Mark Murcia, Art Guanlao, Eugenio Jose, it is pride and envy. Nothing has changed between then and now.
I like best what Kerwin Nicolas of UPM said, kaya ang saya saya sa impierno, kasi lahat kayo kasama ni Satanas.
Running down the list, it made us conclude that the mountaineer before and now is the same. Who has not demonstrated pride, envy and anger? Who has not abused and committed gluttony, greed and lust? Who did not manifest sloth at one point?
Mountain climbing a short cut to hell? Not if we counter the sins with the Contrary Virtues: humility against pride, kindness against envy, abstinence against gluttony, chastity against lust, patience against anger, liberality against greed, and diligence against sloth. Mountaineers get these at high doses too. We say we are humbled by a mountain a lot of times. In the company of climbers we like, we become too kind. Poor planning and under estimation leads to abstinence. No food, no water; diet. Too tired from the climb is your excuse to practice chastity. Climbing is a test of patience, a lot of patience. An abundant climber is a liberal buddy. Faced with danger, we are diligent, sharply diligent.
What am I most guilty of? In indulgence, excessive compliance and weakness to one’s desire. It is enjoying a mountaineers’ company, a delight that drives one to get the most out of life.
Chito Razon 2 March 2004