It was the early 20s, long before mountain climbing was a popular norm. Mount Everest (officially known as Chomolungma) had yet to be climbed. The British attempted one expedition and failed. Two years later, they were back to attempt the climb again. Before departing for Nepal, George Mallory was asked why he wanted to climb the highest peak in the world. He replied with what can arguably be considered one of the most well known quotes about climbing: “Because it’s there.” Some people simply wrote off his answer as being asinine, mocking the interviewer. I believe, however, that it is more than that. While it is an amazing endeavor to attempt Chomolungma, Mallory’s quote transcends the 29,029-foot peak. And, with regards to this brilliant quote, I suggest that we, as a collective whole, use it for more common and frequent uses. Let me present: the Mallory Mindset.
While Mallory stated “Because it’s there” regarding to the conquest of Everest, a huge and remarkably difficult endeavor, this quote, or lifestyle, can be used as a beneficial approach for all marks of life. For skiing, it can be used to answer the question, “Why ski Bridger Bowl?” Because it’s there. Should I huck this cornice, while doing a spread eagle backflip? Why yes, I should, because it’s there and it’s possible. For all walks of life, this mindset can lead to a life full of adventure. For example, take the Whole Enchilada Challenge at Karmadillo’s Southwestern Café in Helena. Prior to having the Mallory Mindset, one might inquire, “Why take part in a challenge to eat a four-pound, spicy enchilada in 30 minutes?” Through Mallory’s sage advice, one would accept the challenge, step up, and eat the wonderful Mexican behemoth. The payoff, regardless, will be monumentally worth taking the challenge.
This quote, this mindset, this lifestyle is a gateway into an adventure of the unknown. We, the Mallory Mindset followers, will step forward into a daring life. More than a quote, this mindset allows one to stop being hesitant to the challenges in life. Stepping down from a challenge, giving up, is not the way Mallory would have wanted it. Start saying yes, to whatever the task may be. Go forth in life and reap all possible benefits. If a decision is questioned, remember to answer, “Because it’s there.”
Note: The Exponent does not support rash, dimwitted decisions that can end in very bad, potentially dangerous, outcomes. Just because something is there does not mean that it should be done. A four-pound enchilada, for example, probably should not be eaten in 30 minutes.