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a blog by Chris Barrow

Beware of altitude

Back in the early 90’s I had the opportunity to trek up to Everest Base Camp (and raise a bit of money for charity along the way) - an amazing experience that I would recommend.

Along the way we visited The Everest View Hotel, built in 1971 to accommodate Japanese tourists who didn’t want to be bothered walking up.

The hotel occupies a wooded hilltop, with a spectacular view of the world’s highest mountain.

Nowadays at has been fully restored but in 1993 it was abandoned (used as a tea house) for two reasons:

  1. The trekkers of the time couldn’t afford and didn’t want to stay in luxury accommodation and

  2. The first party of Japanese helicoptered in suffered fatalities, strokes and seizures as they didn’t spend any time acclimatising.

Therein rests the moral of my story this morning.

You cannot get to the top in anything by hitching a ride on a passing helicopter. You might well arrive but you will not be ready to deal with the requirements of life at high altitude.

Consider the number of big lottery winners who burn out, the teenage superstars who fall to pieces, the instant celebrity who can’t cope.

You get to the top through careful planning, meticulous attention to detail, teamwork and communication.

Just like altitude, success is something that your mind, body and spirit have to adapt to.

God forbid getting rich quick - slow and steady, one step at a time, pause for breath and slowly climb.

That way, when you do get to the top, you’ll be able to enjoy the view.

p.s. Always a good idea to walk back down to a more normal altitude as soon as you can.

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