Where there is white, there will be black. Where there is cold, there will be hot. Where there is joy, there will always be pain. The Chinese call it yin and yang; one cannot appreciate or understand one without the other.

The reasons why people attempt to climb to the 11,239 foot summit of Mount Hood may vary, but the mountain really never changes. The mountain is always beautiful, majestic, and welcoming for your adventures. What is many times forgotten is that it can be an extremely dangerous place.

With two accidents already in January, Oregon dreamers have sadly been reminded again how quickly the mountains can humble even the best of us.

So why is it that we love the excitement of the mountains so much? Maybe we go to find this place we see in our dreams at night. It might be to fulfill our never ending desire to push past our mental and physical limits. It might be for man’s burning desire to explore the unknown. It might be in the need to live heroically. It might be for our quest of personal or spiritual enlightenment. It might be to find a simple sense of connection to this earth. It might be for the pure aesthetic beauty and solitude found in the mountains. Hopefully it will always be a combination of all these things.

When a fellow climber pays the ultimate price in the mountains the reason why no longer matters. What matters is that the memory of that person is immortalized in the hearts of all those who venture into the mountains in search of their perfect moment.

Keep dreaming…and climb safe.

Editor’s Note: Asit Rathod is from Hood River and is lucky to have reached the summit of Mt. Hood nearly 100 times. Read about his adventures here. For more information on climbing Mt. Hood, please visit Mazamas, a non-profit mountaineering education organization based in Portland. Photo Credits: Richard Hallman / FreelanceImaging.com.

About the Author: Asit Rathod

Asit Rathod was born in Portland, Oregon and started skiing x-country at the age of five on Oregon's very own Mount Hood. Asit lived and skied between Chamonix, France for five seasons and Las Lenas, Argentina for four summers. He has more than 140 ski descents from the 11,239ft summit of Mount Hood, is an Ambassador for Mount Hood Meadows and contributor to 50 Classic Ski Descents of North America. Asit is a suit and tie by day but big mountain skier at heart.

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  1. ALIA MARIE HAZEN says…

    As a non-climber the quest for the climb is hard to understand but the loss of a loved one is always sad. The mountain is a beautiful but very scary place. Be safe up there!

    Written on January 25th, 2009 / Flag this Comment
  2. Peter says…

    Thank you for the very poignant article Asit. We enojoy your climbing and skiing articles, and your funny jokes, most of which I cannot share with my puritan family.

    Written on January 26th, 2009 / Flag this Comment
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