This weekend I will be climbing a new mountain. I don’t know the trail and I read that there is a scramble on top. So what is a scramble? It is a rock face that typically doesn’t need ropes and carabiners. I have climbed Haystack on the top of Mt Si and they say this one is easier than that. However, they also say that a slip could be fatal. Although there is no poison ivy there is another poison.
What? I had never heard that term until the other day when I was talking to a former mountain rescue team member. He said that more people had been killed in the mountains from testosterone poisoning than any thing else. He meant that when someone gets themselves all worked up and thinks they can do anything they take ill considered risks. He calls this testosterone poisoning.
It can happen to any of us if we are not careful. If I get to that scramble and the rocks are wet I won’t do it even if it means I didn’t get to the official summit. In fact even if they are dry, I will carefully consider the risk before I attempt the climb.
There have been plenty of fatalities in the northwest mountains over the years. Recently a 46 year old man slipped on the Snow Lake trail and fell to his death. A couple kids were taking selfies and backed up too close to the edge of a cliff and fell to their deaths.
That same mountain rescuer was telling me that he lost a fellow rescue team member on the mountain I am going to climb this weekend and another on the one I climbed two weeks ago. Possible injury or death are not confined to places like Mt Everest. It can happen anywhere.
When you go hiking this weekend leave the testosterone at home. There is just too much of a chance you will be poisoned.
So be smart, consider the risk and go hiking!