Style and ethics

from "Climbing Ice" by Yvon Chouinard
Sierra Club Books, 1978
We are Homo sapiens, the tool users. We earn the name by developing tools to increase our leverage on the world around us, and with this increased technological leverage comes a growing sense of power. This position of advantage which protects us from wild nature we call civilization. Our security increases as we apply more leverage, but along with it we notice a growing isolation from the earth. We crowd into cities which shut out the rhythms of the planet--daybreak, high tide, wispy cirrus high overhead yelling storm tomorrow, moonrise, Orion going south for the winter. Perceptions dull and we come to accept a blunting of feeling in the shadow of security. Drunk with power, I find that I am out of my senses. I, tool man, long for the immediacy of contact to brighten my senses again, to bring me nearer the world once more; in security I have forgotten how to dance.
wrs@paschen.Stanford.EDU
created 6 Mar 1995
Ed on th ice in Ophir CO, 1/96


E.G.Sauer, Ophir, CO, 1/18/1996,
9000ft, -9 degrees, 80ft icefall in the valley of the Ophir Wall,
Guide: Antione Savelli, Syndicat Des Guides de Chamonix.