It’s difficult to comprehend navigating a blistering Antarctic snowstorm without another living soul in sight. Or to journey into the unknown and make the first ascent of a rugged mountain in the Himalayas entirely alone. For many of us, a solo adventure of this nature is the sort of fear-inducing, sphincter-clenching type of situation to avoid at all costs. Yet, there’s a rare breed of explorers who are drawn to and take pleasure in these high stakes—who turn fear into power.
While the physical challenge of their exploits, like rope-soloing a 1,000-foot rock wall in Afghanistan, is certainly daunting, it’s perhaps the mental challenge of doing it alone that’s even more formidable. After all, few of us really know how we’d react in a situation where the slightest err in judgement has life-altering, if not life-ending, repercussions.
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