Adventurers Live Life on Their Terms Despite Risks


The news out of Peru regarding two Americans, Gil Weiss and Ben Horne found dead is indeed sad and unfortunate.  The two had scaled the south face of Palcarajou in Peru which is a 20,000 foot peak, 275 miles from Lima.  From all of the facts that were gathered, it appears they reached the summit only to plunge to their deaths on the decent.  There are so many stories of adventurers paying the ultimate price doing what they love.  The first person that comes to mind is Amelia Earhart who has been in the news recently because it was thought there may be some new clues as to what happened to her and her navigator on their fateful flight in 1937.  As it turns out there was no conclusive evidence, so until more is found, their disappearance remains a mystery.  Then there was Steve Fossett, an American businessman who was an aviator, sailor, balloonist, and overall adventurer.  He lost his life in a plane crash in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California in 2007.  John Denver, the country singer, political activist and humanitarian was an aviator interested in flying experimental aircraft.  He was flying a Rutan Long E-Z aircraft when he crashed in to the Pacific near Pacific Grove, California in 1997.  Of course there are also examples of entrepreneur, adventurers who are alive and well.  The man who most obviously comes to mind is Sir Richard Branson, who is in the process of building a spacecraft named Virgin Gallactic that will take him, two grown children and 120 other people in to space next year.  What all of these people have in common is the need for adventure.  They live life to the fullest and are hungry to excel.  The same drive that makes them successful in their professional lives is what drives them in their personal lives.  But with adventure comes risk.  If you are a mountain climber, or an aviator of experimental aircraft, there is a chance you may be injured or killed.  As a skier you hear tragic stories every season.  But as the saying goes, “no risk, no reward”.  I am sure Weiss, Horne, Denver and Fossett, if they were able to, would say they would have done nothing differently.  They lived life on their terms and ultimately died doing what they loved.  You can’t argue with that.

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