AMCI basic mountaineering course 2009

it's recruitment time for the AMCI mountaineering club once again, and 2 years ago i was hugely involved in the annual practice. this year, i have a far less defined participation in the basic mountaineering course, despite my desire to be of use. nevertheless, here's my effort at goading people to join the club.

8 things i got from mountaineering

  1. cooking. a lot of people recognize me as one of AMCI’s better mountain chefs, who balks at the idea of lunch or dinner consisting of nothing but opened tin cans, and who would pull out cheese and onion quesadillas or a creamy tuna carbonara from his bush hat with less effort than most people might think. but i was never good at the kitchen prior to taking up the sport, primarily because in my family (with the exception of my dad, who once turned instant pancit canton to instant soup), everyone cooks pretty well. but perhaps because of the fact that i am used to good food that i view dinnertime at campsites to be no different, regardless of the fact that we have to lug around complicated cooksets and too many ingredients. besides, a difficult hike becomes a great experience when rounded off with great food.

  2. patriotism. i’ve developed a love for country long before i imagined mountains, but my experience climbing mountains has reinforced my affection for the endearing beauty of our archipelago. climbing has endowed in me an almost rabid love of my philippines, and has fuelled my wanderlust even more.

  3. environmentalism. i walk on mountain trails and there are times when i am not happy. in fact, there are times that i am livid: when you see signs of ignorance and neglect scattered on what would otherwise be pristine surroundings, you cannot afford to be happy. and that sadness is a good thing, in a way, because it reminds me that i hate ugly things, that i have a sincere love for nature, and that i resolve to do something about it. when we are down in the plains, we tend to be complacent about our habits and our ways. but in the mountains, we see just how destructive these can be. mountaineering has taught me values in approaching the environment, and i have happily carried these with me even when i’m surrounded by an urban landscape.

  4. crisis management and leadership. after having submitted myself willingly to the many perils associated with mountaineering, i have had to make quick and often tough decisions. there really is no end to learning life’s lessons, but climbing mountains accelerates the curve.

  5. friends. i have made more “true” friends in AMCI than i have from a lifetime of meeting people at school, in the neighborhood, at the office, at the gym, on the street. our bonds are based on shared experiences: and fantastic experiences too. there are people in the club whom i have trusted with my life. there could be no stronger foundation for lifelong friends: they’ve been with you during your darkest moments, and they will certainly be there when the skies are less gloomy.

  6. weekend warrior. my exposure to the club and the many crazy ideas of its members has widened my horizons. there are many things i would not have achieved if i didn’t join. what began with mountaineering has branched out to mountain biking, outdoor photography, swimming for fitness, scuba diving, backpacking locally and abroad, walking tours, gastronomic orgies and all things bacchanalian, middle distance road running, adventure racing, trail running, pursuit of the voluptuary, and maybe even competitive triathlon. the possibilities are endless, and anyone not desiring the sedentary life will find himself or herself kept busy by the club.

  7. patience. when you’ve endured hours on a trail, under cover of night, wet from perspiration or soaked by sheets of rain, you tend to view the little inconveniences of life to be what they are: little inconveniences. you always tell yourself: i’ve been through worse. and survived.

  8. good health. all these activities have ultimately improved my state of health. weight gain is still an issue, but i am certainly in much better shape than most lawyers i know.

the title might tend to suggest that these are the things you'd learn from taking up mountaineering in general, but to be honest, many of these might be specific to AMCI. so do join the club. i would pepper this post with enticing pictures, but my blog has been rather heavy on the images lately. besides, anyone who has been following the blog would know what i am talking about. and you could track back all my entries if you need photos.

joining AMCI is not really a decision one makes lightly. the training demands dedication and focus. but it is an investment for a lifetime of great experiences. i may not agree with some of the details about how the training will be conducted, but combined, they are not even enough to distract from the totality of the experience. so do yourself a favor and take up the sport. and who better to share the values of mountaineering than AMCI?
well said Alman! p2k6
salamat p2k6! ang subtle ko mang-away di ba? di bale, the subtlety will continue. haha.
Riding on your story Dave, I've added mine. Thanks for the article. -tochs