the north face base camp Is Richard Hammond a fool or just braver than the rest of us
So, it is really up to other people how they choose to live their lives, isn’t it?
When I saw that Richard Hammond had crashed yet another supercar, I couldn’t help thinking that maybe there does come a point in life when you have to question how far you are prepared to travel down Selfishness Road.
And yet, there is something quite magnificent about a person who knows exactly what they want to do with their life, knowing the risks, and potential pain it will cause, yet doing it anyway. How many of the rest of us have that courage?
Hammond’s accident reminded me of Alison Hargreaves, the Derbyshire climber and mother of two who conquered Everest alone and was the first solo climber to conquer all six north faces of the Alps in a single season in 1993.
When she scaled the north face of the Eiger, she was pregnant with her son, Tom.
I have always remembered Alison, who died on K2, because many said that, as a mother, she should not have carried on climbing and putting her family life at risk.
She crosses my mind every time I go off and run a marathon; every time I take time out of weekends with my children to run through the fields near my home, even though I find a peace there that is denied me anywhere else.
Does a parent, particularly a working parent, have a right to something for themselves? It is a question I can never answer comfortably. In fact, when Alison Hargreaves died, I was one of those who felt she shouldn’t have climbed. How ludicrous that seems to me now; we never know what other people are running from, the complicated reasons they seek to be free.