On the last day of guiding a weeklong mountaineering trip, the plan was to hike along a ridge that would lead down a relatively easy trail back to our boat pick up. Unfortunately, the route was blocked by an unexpected large amount of snow making it dangerous for the inexperienced. We had a choice to make.
The alternative was to stay one more night up high, then go back the way we came – doing in one day what had taken four coming up. We decided on safety. A five hour hike became a 17 hour last day odyssey. It has since been nicknamed “the Zion Death March”.
I was informed by experience and training, and yet I was questioned by both the kids and the chaperones that were with them. The thing is, we were fortunate, no matter how tough the outcome.
In my experience, deciding between easier and harder, less or more, better or best – means I’m dealing in far more grey than black and white. The answers aren’t obvious, or at least not to me. Sometimes, my greatest challenge is having the option in the first place – especially when the right decision is the harder one.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t naturally gravitate to the difficult. I tend much more towards the easy, the warm, the comfortable. Want can put up quite the fight with need.
The thing is, I get to choose. That is a luxury that many don’t have. To whom much has been given, much is expected – as they say. If I am to take my advantage seriously, I best pay attention and take responsibility. No matter how long the hike.