Re: afraid of risk

james nolan (
Fri, 20 Aug 1999 16:26:59 -0600

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West Wight Potter Website at URL
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I haven't quit climbing, I love it very much and look forward to many more
adventures. I still take risks but now I more carefully weigh the return on
the risks. I personally think mountain climbing is safer than sailing. Most
of the accidents in mountaineering (besides getting crushed by falling
rocks, ice or snow) can be avoided with solid judgement. I would rather be
on a mountain in a thunderstorm than in my sailboat. Mountaineers don't go
around with 30 foot lightning rods on their heads. I've gone out climbing
with wind gusts in the 100 mph range, but sailing in those winds might be a
bit testy. Mountaineers dont walk on their ropes or leave them laying in the
sun. Also with sailing there is a great reliance on technology and the boat,
mountaineering depends more on the individuals constitution (physical and
mental condition). I don't mean to knock sailing or sailors. Mountaineers
can usually run and hide under a rock, sailors are stuck in their boats. I
think it is the stuck part that makes it dangerous.
Jim Nolan
-----Original Message-----
From: <>
To: james nolan <>
Cc: West Wight Potter - Post <>
Date: Friday, August 20, 1999 3:03 PM
Subject: Re: afraid of risk

>Hey Jim, are you really that afraid of any risk now? I certainly agree wth
you in part, especially as I quit climbing for much the same reasons. But
maybe the root of the reason differs enough to explain our different
> In climbing, I decided the margin between life and death was too thin,
with virtually no buffer for accident survival (that's overstated, but bear
with me). Consequently, I now prefer other sports where the chance of
surviving a blunder is greater.
> If I get washed overboard, there is time for rescue, provided I am
wearing proper cold-water clothes and my pfd, among other issues. If my boat
sinks, there is the life-