Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Summit Strategies, by Gary P. Scott

Gary P. Scott helps you climb your personal Everest in his Summit Strategies. The book is one of a number of books in the genre I have heretofore ignored in my Mount Everest reading, that of the self-help or inspirational reading. (No excuses---most of them are not expensive or hard to find!) Scott breaks down his advice into ten lessons, framed around the story of his experiences as a member of the 1991 American Everest Expedition that scaled the South Col-Southeast Ridge route. Each of the lessons, with titles like "Overcome Your Fear" or "Believe in Yourself," is explained through the climbing experiences of Scott and others. At the beginning of each section, there is an inspirational quote, and at the end, Scott provides bullet-points of advice on how to apply the lessons to your own life and efforts.

Scott believes that people must follow their passions. Each of the lessons provides advice that intends to get you closer to your life goals, beginning with choosing appropriate objectives and ending with seeking the peace of mind to enjoy your accomplishment. I appreciated his section, "Lighten Your Load," in which he discusses the potential of material possessions to hold you back from your goals, as well as his ending discussion of achieving the state of mind to enjoy what you have accomplished, rather than needing to jump immediately on another goal. For my personal Everest, the reading of and writing about all published Everest books, I took to heart his advice on finding my pace. I find that my relatively rigid credo of having a book read and a post ready every two days (except during illness or vacation) fits my need for order and reliability, but that I sometimes set aside a book I would like to read that is relatively long in favor of shorter material that will allow me to keep up the pace. In the future, I will aim to follow my reading instincts (another lesson in the book) rather than stress out about an artificial schedule.

1 comment:

  1. Gary P. Scott claims to be the record-holder for the fastest ascent of Mount McKinley in 18.5 hours via the West Buttress in 1986. Anatoli Boukreev claims an ascent of the West Rib Route in 10.5 hours in 1990. Both made their climbs solo. I'll let you decide.