We would summit Markhor Peak, then traverse along a dramatic ridge to the summit of Needle Peak. There was no trail, and we fought our way through dense forest on the way to Markhor Peak. Within minutes, we were attacked by a swarm of angry hornets. We decided to continue, and reached the summit of Markhor Peak a couple hours later. The sky was full of dark storm clouds in the distance. If it started to rain, retreat could prove just as risky as finishing the climb. We decided to continue. We moved quickly along the narrow ridge towards Needle Peak. The storm engulfed us. The fog limited our visibility to thirty feet, the rock was incredibly slippery in places, and the wind threatened to blow us off the ridge at any moment. How could we climb in these conditions? We had no choice but to continue. We quickened the pace to the limit of our skills, but there was no margin for error. The wind gusted even harder when we finally reached the summit of Needle Peak, forcing us to take cover. Then, out of nowhere, the storm evaporated. We were finally able to relax after the stress of several long hours of sustained vigilance.
This is Type II fun. Type II fun is actually not ‘fun’ at all. Type II fun is usually downright miserable the entire time you’re doing it. Any activity where you are freezing cold, terrified, starving, or incredibly fatigued would usually qualify as Type II fun. Most of us don’t plan to participate in Type II fun, although there are always exceptions. Why do we put ourselves in situations that can ‘devolve’ into Type II fun? These are the experiences that I learn the most from and that help me become a better person. These are the experiences that test who I am as a person and how prepared I am to handle real challenges. These are the experiences I will remember for a long, long time. Thinking about our experience on the Markhor-Needle traverse, I’m no longer overcome with feelings of terror and dread. I’m now left only with the joy and satisfaction of knowing we overcame countless challenges and won countless victories during that amazing day.