It’s great to be here.
How many of you guys thinkthese extreme skiers are crazy?
Most of you, the stuffyou see in movies, right?
Yeah, it certainly looks that way.
I’m going to do my best todayto dispel that myth.
When I heard that the theme of this talk was risk versus reward,
I was really excited,
because I live in a world
that is pretty much defined by risk and reward.
事实上 它定义了我的生活 我的职业
In fact, I would say it defines my life, my profession.
I’m out there doing dangerous things all the time.
Some time ago,
as I started getting older, maybe ten years ago,
I started thinking more about how to manage risk.
And we all want to get to a ripe old age in life,
and be skiing with our grandchildren,and make it through.
So I started taking a bit of an analytical approach
to what I do as a skier,
so that I can hopefully make it through.
So I’m going to talk a little bit about mastering the art of risk management
as we deal with the mountains,
and I’m going to use a trip that I did,
that I guided on Mount Everest last year,
just about a year ago,
to sort of frame the structure for this conversation.
So what is risk?
We all know the word.
You probably use it,
you know what a risky thing is,
but really, what is the definition of risk?
For me it’s an action or an activity
that has the potential to go wrong.
It can be so many different things.
It could be a ski run, could be a mountain climb,
it could be a business deal,
could be an investment, could be a relationship.
There’s so many different thingsthat can be risky.
It’s kind of risky standing up here on the stage right now.
I could totally blow it.
But you know, what’s the worst that could happen?
Maybe I’d be embarrassed.
So once we know what risk really is,
we can think about why we, as humans, take risks.
It’s sort of illogical;
we should want to preserve ourselves
so we get to that ripe old age,
but no, humans love taking risks.
It’s fun to blast down a mountain
and feel the powder snow in your face.
It’s fun that climb a fourteener.
It’s fun, it’s a thrill,
it’s adrenaline to be out doing these kind of sports.
We take risks to make money,
we take risks to bolster our reputation or our image.
All sorts of reasons out there that we would take risks,
but again it’s very illogical.
Why sit at a gambling table and waste money?
Well because the time you win,
your brain goes,”Oh, I really like that!”
Even though the other nine times out of ten you lost.
But this is the quick and easy of why we go out and take risks.
On Mount Everest, I chose to go there
for pretty much all of those reasons.
Yes,I was being paid as a guide,
so there was the financial incentive.
It was really fun, even though it’s long and hard,
it’s really fun and exciting.
There was the possibility
that it would enhance my reputation as a guide
if we were successful.
But on the opposite side of that,
if you aren’t successful,
the risk of failure, coming back,not getting the summit,
is great and there’s a lot of other potential risks
that I’ll talk about in just a second.
So how do we identify these things
when we go up on a Colorado fourteener,
we go up on Mount Everest,
we look at the mountains and we have to open our eyes and ears,
and all of our senses to soak up
what we see, what we feel, and look around us.
On Mount Everest, the risks are crevasses,
like this big crack that I skid by here.
You don’t want to fall in that;
you’ll never come out.
Avalanches, of course.
I mean just two weeks ago,
the media was full of Mount Everest stories
because there were a lot of accidents.
People were getting hit by rockfall,
people were falling,
there were medical emergencies,
all sorts of bad stuff happening.
A lot of that comes from people
that probably shouldn’t be there in the first place.
That’s a risk that they choose to take,
perhaps stepping outside of their comfort zone
or over the boundaries of what they’re capable of
to go up to Mount Everest.
Estimating the risk is really just an assessment
of the probability of something happening.
Now we know bad things can happen.
Lighting can strike, your car can crash,
you can fall, an avalanche can happen,
but will it happen?
That’s the important thing to understand.
We know all this bad stuff,
we’ve seen the risks in front of us,
we’ve identified them,
but will theses things happen?
This is where your experience is huge.
If you’ve climbed all of the Colorado fourteeners,
you’ve gained a wealth of knowledge
that you can use to make good decisions.
If you’ve been in the banking business for 30 years,
you have a wealth of knowledgeand experience
which you use to inform your decisions.
For me, I’ve grown up as a skier in the mountains,
so that’s like the most comfortable place.
I’m much more comfortable on top of a fourteener
than I am walking down a city street,
where I feel like I have less control.
So in estimating the risk,
we’re looking at
what’s the probability of something bad happening?
Now we want to manage these things.
We know what the risks are,
we know what the probability is,
or at least we hope we know.
We have to remember that we, as human beings,
are not as smart as we like to think we are.
Humans are capable of doing incredibly stupid things,
and we never seem to learn from each others’ mistakes.
You can go back in history
and everybody has done things wrong.
Everybody’s done everything wrong.
We just haven’t always learned from it,
so we tend to repeat these mistakes.
So there’s an art to managing the risk,
and I’m going to teach you,
or give you a tool, that I created.
It’s sort of a methodology that I created;
I call it The M.E.A.T Method.
I wanted to put up a slide of a steak,
just because I thought it would be funny,
but I didn’t get around to doing that.
I’m actually a vegetarian,
so it’s even funnier for me.
But it’s just an acronym.
I could’ve called it the T.E.A.M. method,
but meat was in the right orderthat I wanted.
This is a picture of the South Col of Mount Everest,
the high camp, and that’s the summit in the distance.
So we’re going to talk about what it was like to go
from that high camp up to the summit,
and how we managed the risks that day.
So the first thing you can do in the M.E.A.T method is mitigate.
Mitigate just means reducing the risk,
it means tweaking the situation.
So for instance,
ski patrols on the ski area will throw bombs
in the morning after a big snow fall
to try to get avalanches to come down to steeper terrain
so they can safely open for the public.
The Colorado Department of Transportationwill go up on the highways
and shoot their guns, like on Loveland and Berthoud Pass,
to try to bring avalanches downbefore they open the highway
if it’s a dangerous scenario.
They’re trying to tweak the situation,
reduce the hazard,
so that it is safer.
The second thing,
and this is actually a picture of the world’s fourth highest mountain
taken at sunrise from about 28,000 feet on Everest,
and this is Lhotse,
which by the way, has never been skied
if anyone is looking for a really cool project.
It’s very risky though.
So the second thing we can do is eliminate the risk all together.
What does that mean?
Don’t go. Don’t do it.
On May 19th last year,
we got up at about 8 PM at the South Col,
走出帐篷 穿好衣服 喝了些热茶
we got out of our tents, got dressed, drank some hot tea.
It’s about all you could stomach up there.
About 10 PM, we started walkingtoward the summit.
It was a snowy night, it was windy,
it wasn’t good conditions.
We walked for about an hour,
about 700 vertical feet,
about 27,000 feet,
I looked at my client and one of the other guys and said,
“This doesn’t feel good. I’m not liking the weather.”
It was really cold and windy
and it was going to be a long, hard climb.
And I decided, along with one of the other guides to take a chance,
and it was a risky decision,
to turn around and to go back to the South Col.
And we had one chance to go the next night,
we had enough oxygen to go the next night.
If we missed that opportunity, we were done,
we were going back down.
So we made the call to eliminate the hazard that night,
go back down,
safely sleep in our tents, try it again the next day.
Fortunately, we woke up the next day,
and it was absolutely gorgeous out,
the sun was shining, we just relaxed all day long,
and did the same thing:
晚上8点起床 做饭 穿衣
we got up at 8 PM, cooked, got dressed,
were out of the tent by 10 PM, climbing.
Gorgeous starry night with the Moon out.
It was the right call.
So in this case, we were accepting of the risk.
We felt good about the situation.
Our bodies felt good, the conditions looked great,
and we said,”You know what?” This feels good.”
Our intuition, our gut instincts,
those things that we’ve learned over all those years out in the mountains
were telling us,”Game on, let’s go.”
So here’s a picture of my friend and another guide,
many of you might know.
他是科罗拉多人 是乔恩·克拉考尔著作《巅峰》中 1996年珠穆朗玛峰事故的经历者
He’s a Coloradoan who was involvedin Jon Krakauer’s”Into Thin Air” book the disaster in 1996.
He was back on Everest with me for the first time in 15 years.
Very different circumstances, we had great weather and great conditions.
This is him on the South summitof Mount Everest.
and then the final acronym the final letter in the acronym
as I climb up over the Hillary Step here,
towards the summit of Everest, is transferring the risk.
Transferring the risk is really justa fancy way of saying,”You go first.”
Somebody else can take the risk.
It makes perfect sense.
Let’s go see what will happento someone else.
Do you guys remember being kids,
maybe you’re standing up on a bridge over the water,
and you’re waiting for someone to jump in first
so that you can see how hard it really was, or perhaps skiing,
you’re waiting for someone to jump off that little corners and cliff
to see what the landing looks like?
Transferring the risk is a good way to go.
Alright, I’m going to leave you with two quotes,
one from the World OlympicChampion Skier Jean-Claude Killy.
He said,”To win you have to risk losing.”
Another one that came to my mindlast night actually
was from the American poet T.S. Elliot.
He said,” Only those that are willing to go too far will understand how far they can possibly go.”
Thanks a lot, Denver.
I appreciate it!