I hear & read constantly about how those of us considered ‘Millennials’ (born roughly 1980-2000) are spoilt, entitled, lazy narcissistic & lacking direction (as found on the cover of Time magazine). That description has also been used countless times in articles on the topic of Justin Bieber.. This criticism is nothing new of course, a message likely conveyed by the earliest of neanderthal elders to the bunch of misfits running around climbing trees instead of hunting for dinner. It’s a ridiculous complaint for starters, we are all the products of our environment. These set of traits are not randomly bestowed upon us at birth.
I believe it’s a misunderstanding of the Millennials however. We live in a time vastly more complex than any that have come before. We are only just trying to make sense of the world we have inherited and I strongly believe we will leave it in better condition than we found it (which let’s be honest, was not the best).
We are inheriting a world that is polluted, in a state of constant economic uncertainty and where humans are treated differently due to their race, gender or sexual preferences. Where a different species of animal goes extinct every single day, forests are becoming a fable of the past & where the prospect of owning our own home enslaves us with a debt burden that lasts an entire working life. And why is the world in such a condition? It’s due to the greed of those who came before us; an obsession with wealth, material possessions and a focus on self-interest at the expense of all-else. How else could we have reached the point where the world is home to over 3 billion people who go to bed hungry each night? By the way, those 3 billion people have as much wealth between them as the richest 62. Let that sink in for a moment. We are the ones left wondering how the hell all this could happen..
I believe the Millennials are different. Call me optimistic but I have high hopes for this generation and what we can achieve in the world. I think optimism is a necessity, we have a hell of a lot to overcome.
We are more accepting and tolerant of each other than any generation that has come before. We are more multicultural; people of every race, colour and creed intermixing without the racism and bigotry present for so much of humanities modern history. We value human rights; marriage equality and the acceptance of refugees being prime examples of issues long neglected that we are willing to stand up and fight for. The majority of us also realise there’s more to life than going to the grave with more toys than our neighbour and we want to give back more than we want to take.
While I agree we certainly spend too much time on our phones & tablets, they have opened up communication & information sharing that is vital in promoting equality & giving all of the world’s citizens a voice. (On second thought, perhaps giving everyone a voice is not always a positive.. i.e Mr Donald Trump & Jimmy Fallon)
I believe our heart and our minds are in the right place, we just need to ensure we take action. Let’s leave the world in a better state than we found it. If we all work towards a cause we believe in, the generation of the ‘Millenials’ will be remembered as the turning point to an improved world society.
If you need a little inspiration, check out this list of 100 Millennials who are “redefining the world as we know it”.
Whether you consider yourself an avid mountaineer or simply enjoy observing humans pushing themselves beyond the limits of what was considered possible, the below films are for you. This list of must watch mountaineering documentaries covers a range of different environments, climbers and a mix of triumph and tragedy, tackling peaks in some of the most inhospitable places on earth. 3 are available for viewing free on YouTube, the other 3 will cost you around $3 each (also available on YouTube). Enjoy.
“Reinhold Messner, the world’s greatest mountain climber, looks back over his career with surprising candor and self-revelation. It is the career of a man who began climbing with his father in the exquisite Italian Dolomites, but whose restless quest for self-knowledge through extreme adventures made him the most accomplished climber of modern times. MESSNER includes rare film of his astonishing climbs of the world’s highest mountains – without using bottled oxygen and often alone.”
“Touching the Void is a 2003 documentary based on the book of the same name by Joe Simpson about Simpson’s and Simon Yates’ disastrous and near fatal attempt to climb Siula Grande (6,344 m) in the Cordillera Huayhuash in the Peruvian Andes in 1985.”
“Blur the lines between dream state and reality, as you perceive the world through the minds of many. Into the Mind contemplates the experiences passed between mentors and peers to paint a philosophical portrait of human kind. What drives us to overcome challenge? How do we justify risk? What forces are at the core of a mountain addiction? Unique athlete segments over a multitude of mountain sport genres depict the connectivity of Earth, and window into never seen before moments. Explore how we begin our perception of self, construct the foundations of confidence, and are ultimately led up the path of self-actualization.”
“In August of 2008, 22 climbers from several international expeditions converged on High Camp of K2, the last stop before the summit of the most dangerous mountain on Earth. 48 hours later, eleven had been killed or simply vanished into thin air. Like a horror movie come-to-life, it was as if the mountain began stealing lives, one climber at a time.
One such climber was the fun-loving, friendly Ger McDonnell, the first Irishman to summit K2. Faced with a moral dilemma after finding three climbers tangled and struggling in K2’s perilous “death zone”, Ger defied the climber’s code and attempted to help his fellow climbers descend. This is as much Ger’s story as it is an homage to the fearsome power of nature”
In the high-stakes pursuit of big-wall climbing, the Shark’s Fin on Mount Meru may be the ultimate prize. Sitting 21,000 feet above the sacred Ganges River in Northern India, the mountain’s perversely stacked obstacles make it both a nightmare and an irresistible calling for some of the world’s toughest climbers. In October 2008, renowned alpinists Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin and Renan Ozturk arrived in India to tackle Meru. Their planned seven-day trip quickly declined into a 20-day odyssey in sub-zero temperatures with quickly depleting food rations. Despite making it to within 100 meters of the elusive summit, their journey, like everyone before them, was not a successful one.
“This critically acclaimed six-part mini-series… Shot between March and June 2004, Ultimate Survival: Everest chronicles the Everest efforts of Team Discovery, which included two Canadian climbers – producer and experienced adventure guide Ben Webster, and his girlfriend, rookie climber and PhD candidate in Sports Psychology, Shauna Burke – plus Australian Andrew Lock and Hector Ponce De Leon from Mexico, both veterans of Everest and the world’s most intimidating peaks.”
Another terrible tragedy in Paris this week has captured the worlds attention and resulted in an outpouring of grief and sympathy. It’s completely understandable and truly touching that demonstrates humanity hasn’t lost it’s empathy and we do still truly care about one another in times of crises. The problem I’ve seen, over and over again, is that social media may actually be detrimental to action taken in response to these crises.
Updating your status with a message of support or adopting a flag as your profile pic may make you feel as though you’ve contributed to helping the victims where in actual fact, they are not actually privvy to any of your well wishes and sympathy.
This quote from the Art of Manliness perfectly captures my thoughts..
“Whenever there is a tragedy somewhere in the world, people tend to react with an outpouring of emotion and sympathy. This a healthy and excellent thing, but oftentimes the sympathetic impulse rises and extinguishes all within the confines of a person’s chest and without producing any external effect. Too often we compulsively consume the news the way we consume a book or a movie: as removed spectators who enjoy the drama — the emotions it elicits — for its own sake. (Most people do not think of horror and sympathy as pleasurable, but all intense emotions, when experienced in a situation of safety, offer a certain gratification.) This passivity is understandable — we feel powerless to do anything beyond broadcasting support on social media. But in this we think too narrowly. While it may not be possible to turn our sympathetic feelings into actions that will directly help the victims of tragedies, we should not let this noble impulse — an affirmation of our best humanity — pass by unutilized either.”
Don’t let that status update be your defining moment of action. It may let you feel like you’ve done something to help but at the end of the day, you haven’t contributed anything. If you truly feel that strongly, take action and do something to contribute to either the victims or to ensuring the tragedy doesn’t occur in future.
Anyone in Perth reading this, be sure to head down to the National Hotel in Fremantle on November 14th.
We’ll be hosting an event on the 2nd floor and would love to have you there!
The National have offered a 10% discount on food and drinks for anyone attending, just be sure to grab a wristband on the night.
It’s $10 entry which scores you a free Wonders of Perth Calendar. There’ll be a raffle full of great prizes and some artwork and photgraphy to check out on the night.
The best part? It’s all for a great cause. All proceeds will be put towards the 7 Summits Project and the education projects I’m working towards in Nepal.
Hope to see you down there!
For those that regularly follow my adventure here at 7 Summits, you’ll know I have big ambitions. I’m taking on the tallest mountains on each and every continent. All before 2018. I have a deep connection with these fearsome structures, and it all comes from a love of adventure. But, what do I love most about the mountains around me? Here are some of the things that make these regions so special.
For lack of a better word, the mountains bring a sense of zen. They’re a place to clear the mind, relax, and escape from the stresses of everyday life. It’s a form of meditation that lets you find some alone time with your own thoughts. I think everyone needs that once in awhile, and it’s the one thing that keeps me going up on the mountains. There’s nothing else on the planet that gives you a sense of perspective like being in this vast space!
Some of the mountains on my 7 Summits challenge are notoriously difficult. Everest, in the Himalayas, is the hardest of them all. The altitude difficulty will make this one especially hard. However, some of the other peaks involve long stretches of beautiful hiking. That’s what the journey is all about. Hiking through beautiful landscapes, and getting closer to nature. Even if you’re not planning an epic adventure, you can get out in the wilderness, and just keep hiking!
The art of rock climbing still fascinates me, and I have the utmost respect for fellow rock climbers. The precision, bravery, and endurance needed to stay sharp on the mountain is phenomenal. Most of my challenges involve some form of climbing whether it’s a scramble, or a fully bolted climb. Aside from this challenge, I also love bouldering. It’s a shorter form of rock climbing, done without ropes or harnesses. The challenge is completing incredibly hard, short routes.
As much as I love going up the mountains and conquering the summits, I have a similar love for coming down. Speeding down the white slopes is a completely different thrill to going up. I was lucky enough to take the Alltracks snowboard instructor course, and spend an entire season on the slopes.
Alongside my journey to each of the 7 summits, I’m focusing my time and effort on Save the Children. The aim is to raise over $250,000 for children in Nepal, many of whom live on less than a dollar a day. It’s the chance to do something good while pursuing the challenge. The mountains certainly help put your own problems in perspective to others!
Overall, I love the feeling of awe and wonder you get from climbing. There’s an immense amount of respect involved when conquering a mountain. You learn to respect the weather, and you put your own abilities and ego in perspective.
I’d love to hear from any readers out there. What do you love about the mountains, and what keeps you going?
The Wonders of Perth calendar is now available! You can order yours here: Buy Your Wonders of Perth Calendar or if you live in Perth, get in touch and we can organise a drop-off or pickup.
We started this project in November 2014, before I’d even done my first summit and when I was still off gallivanting through India. The reason it was possible at all was thanks to 2 people; Mr Abid Imam, the producer and brains behind the project, and Lisa Klifunis (check out her work on Insta:_lisk), the photographer. These 2 have sacrificed a lot of their time and energy to make this possible so I just want to say a heartfelt thank you.
Also to the models who came out and gave life to the locations we wanted to photograph. Some we knew previously, some we didn’t and I want to say a big thank you to you guys as well. We looked for local girls, not professional talent to give the calendar a more natural and ‘homely’ feel. Hopefully this becomes part of a very successful portfolio for you all!
Finally to Crazy Domains who have once again put up the funding for one of my crazy ideas.. Appreciate all your support throughout the 7 Summits Project so far and will be forever grateful. Particularly to my good mate Tim who has made the partnership possible.
I’m overjoyed with how well the calendar has turned out, it looks incredible. I think you all need to get one and see for yourself what a beautiful city Perth really is.
The real reason to make the purchase of course, is to help out a few children who are in desperate need of an opportunity in life. This calendar will play a small part in the bigger fundraising picture, in which I’ll need every bit of help I can get if it’s going to succeed. I want to provide a ray of light to highlight the dark poverty cycle a number of Nepalese kids are currently trapped in. Through education, I know we can bring a few out of that world and into one filled with opportunity for a brighter future.