Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Amadablam, Himalayas - information, beauty, music, love and saying thanks

Amadablam, Himalayas about 23000ft
one of the steepest peaks known
First climbed by Dr Mike Gill of Auckland

Dr Mike Gill was the first human in record who has climbed Amadablam, one of the steepest peaks known. Why did he do that risking his life? The standard answer is, of course, "because it is there". But there is more to this story.

As a medical doctor he understands science very well and could have climbed the peak to observe and document its geomorphological features. He could have carried a hammer to pick possible fossils from the Roberston Bay greywackes rock lifted to such heights by the movement of Indian continental plate. The speed of this young formation is formidable - the plate moves 2 centimeters a year and make the Himalayas 5 mm higher. Or he might have carried some instruments to measure the reaction of his own system to the dizzying heights, changes in oxygen levels in his blood, heart beat and symptoms that might signal danger to the climbers health.

All this would be scientific exploration, search for information and data about the conditions up there in the Himalayas, the environment and people challenging these highest mountains in the world.

Without knowing Dr Gill personally I suspect that the neither the challenge "it is there and nobody has climbed it" nor the curiosity for scientific information and data about Amadablam is all there is to this achievement.

There is more to life than just information, science and data.

For one, there is the beauty of it.

This is something that easily escapes hard exact sciences and is more in the realm of aesthetics. In reality, some top scientists such as Albert Einstein, talk about the beauty of a theory, the beauty of a mathematical formulation that is in itself satisfying and indicates that the theory or formula is correct.

It may be difficult with even the highest resolution IMAX movies to share the experience Dr Gill must have had when finally reaching that top of the top and the breath taking panoramic scenery - unless, of course, all was shrouded in thick clouds. Because the beauty is not only in the visual sight, it is in the adventure, in the bones at risk and aching muscles that were stretched to their limits in order to climb almost vertical rock. It is in the humming of the blood in the brain, in the shaking knees, in the utterly amazing feeling of great achievement. And all this crowned with the most wonderful mountain scenery.

Information, physical skill, achievement, beauty of the nature, beauty of the feeling. But there is more to it.

Sherpa riding a donkey
There is Music.

Again, I do not know if Dr. Mike Gill is a music lover or not and it is not my business. But somehow I find it difficult to believe that a climber who has reached the top of one of the toughest peaks in the world would not hear some sort of music in his heart. That a sherpa guiding the expedition through the majestic valleys of Himalaya mountains would not from time to time feel like singing or whistling regardless of the expected tip. Or even on the top of Kilimandjaro!

New SIRC center, Jorpati, Kathmandu

And there is Love.

Dr Mike Gill is a loving person. Sincere care for others is love. We can see it from his interest in the Spinal Injury Rehabilitation Centre SIRC in Jorpati, Kathmandu, Nepal. There are currently 31 beds. Sherpas and others whose spine has been seriously injured by a fall are getting there rare medical help and physiotherapy. Dr Gill participated in the operation so that the Sir Edmund Hillary Foundation in Canada would take funding for the Kunde Hospital. His own Himalayan Trust of New Zealand could then start to support Phaflu Hospital. Both are helping the sherpas and their families in their medical needs in a country where even little help can be much.

It may not have been so altruistic but the overall feeling is love and willingness to help other human beings.

Love! While on that deadly peak Dr Gill surely carried quite a number of loved ones in his heart. How is she doing? What will happen to him if I fall and die? Oh how they will rejoice with me! And like that.

And there is prayer and thanks
All people pray regardless of race, religion, belief system, age or other things. I assume that there may have been a moment when Dr Gill said on that awesome and awful slope "let this peg hold, please" or "one more step only, Lord" and that his heart was filled with thanks and praise to the Lord after coming safely back to the base camp.

I do not know. I just assume. But I do know for sure that all people pray for we are built so that we pray. This cannot be washed away from our being humans, created to the image of God.

This is all just my reasoning and without known Dr Gill personally I probably miss the important points. Maybe his sense of humor - he introduced himself to Sir Edmund Hilary "I have an ape-like build peculiarly suited to climbing" - and was accepted to the team. You can read his own genuine views and feelings about climbing the mountains both in his beloved Darrana Mountains in New Zealand and in Nepal, North Wales, France and Antarctica.

Gill, Michael. MOUNTAIN MIDSUMMER - Climbing in Four Continents.
Forward by Sir Edmund Hillary.
Auckland, Hodder & Stoughton. 1969

The peak you are trying to reach

Perhaps the peak you are trying to reach is not Amadablam in the Himalayas. Perhaps you try to find Higgs boson. Or maybe all your effort is concentrated on explaining how Orexins affect appetite and sleep. Maybe you are trying to make that sale of the century to a difficult but important client. Perhaps you are in Nepal to help those lovely girls to learn English. Or maybe you are practicing day and night to get that kick correct that will make you the striker of the day on the football field.

But there are these elements, information, beauty, music and love, in your efforts because you are a human being. There is no such thing as "cold science" and best scientists are not emotionally cold brain machines. They are human beings with sense of humor, humility, pride of their mental capacity and achievements, creativity and writer's blogs, love and hatred, ambitions and goals and deep disappointments, from time to time they also find themselves humming a tune when sun is shining and the world of creation is smiling. Many are found to be praising the Lord for His immeasurable gifts. and Love.


Creation is information. But not only information.

It also is love.

For God of Israel, the creator of the universe, does not only love. He is love.

"God is love".
1 John 4:8

1 comment:

  1. Really beautiful way of seeing Dr Gill's efforts - real food for thought.