Another climber once asked if I knew the definition of mountaineering. I could have said a million things, I guess, but nothing came to mind. “What is it?” I asked.
“Moving slowly uphill while not feeling very well,” he replied.
Such moments of clarity tell me two things about climbers as a group: first, our chosen activity and its inherent unpleasantness, at least on paper, indicate a slight imbalance in our collective brain function. Second, and perhaps more importantly, we are aware of the first fact, and we have a sense of humor about ourselves.