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Embracing risk and suppressing fear in the mountains

“I love hearing a lawyer embracing risk.”

Those affirmative words came from professional climbing guide Dallas Glass, speaking with climber Darrell Smart, whose day job is as a litigator.

The two were indoors along with Bill Radke to discuss why someone would brave crevasses, miserable weather and dangerous conditions in the great outdoors.

“I think sometimes in modern life we try to insulate ourselves to such a degree that we've removed the joy of life,” Smart said.

Smart said it’s in our DNA to climb – just look at toddlers: crawl, walk, run, climb.

“That is the progression of man. And people who climb understand that’s really where we need to be,” he said.

And the miserable parts? Well, that’s just what comes with summits and places most people don’t get to experience.

“You probably suffered a little bit. You might have suffered a lot. And that’s part of the joy,” Glass said.

As for Seattle’s new arrivals who are eyeing the adventures available in our nearby mountains, Glass recommended seeking out mentorship, someone to take you out in the woods, show you the ropes and teach you the ethics of being outside.

“You don't have to climb anything big. Just go get outside and have fun,” he said.

And if things get too risky, that’s when you turn around and opt for hot cocoa in the tent. 

Produced for the Web by Kara McDermott.

Year started with KUOW: 1985 – 1986, 1991 – 2004, 2012
Year started with KUOW: 2015