Fisching wrote:So tell me, please, because I don't see it, what are you "learning" from this "analysis"?
I always try to learn from something like this by actually putting myself into the situation being described. Sometimes that's difficult, because maybe it's a type of terrain that I've never dealt with, but I usually feel like I can relate to a reasonable degree. As you and others have mentioned, there's no way to know what mitigating circumstances someone might face high up on a mountain. Most of the 14ers I've done have been very mundane experiences, but every now and then, a circumstance comes up where I've needed to make a very quick, and firm, decision. You never know when something like that will pop up, but you have to be ready for it when it happens.
Some people refer to looking into someone else's experience "armchair analyzing", that's fine. But I think that looking deeply into a first-hand account like this, putting myself up on that mountain, living the same experience, and analyzing how I would handle it, I do think that it's mental practice for the real thing. It's certainly not the waste of time that the term "armchair analyst" implies. In reading their account, I can tell exactly what my feelings would have been upon starting out, when I would have begun to become uneasy, and the precise point where I would have said "that's enough". And even though I couldn't really relate to camping on the rock ledge, analyzing their decision-making there (ie, head down as soon as the rain melted the ice coating) was still helpful. It's all information that could be useful sometime for me in the future. I have no idea when, or if, I will ever need to use it. But again, when an unexpected situation occurs in the mountains, decisions often need to be made very quickly, with no hemming and hawing. That requires a lot on the sub-conscious level, without a lot of thinking, and trusting your instincts. Gaining information, analyzing, processing, even judging - it's all adding to the database that might help me to deal with some future, unknown, situation, and that's a good thing.