A Man's Life
Live To Fight Another Day
By Mark Jenkins
We went out for breakfast, a great heap of eggs and bacon, and talked about kids and guilt and climbing and Asia. About loss and lessons. We talked straight into the afternoon. We left the cafe and went to his house in the country and sat for hours drinking tea in a living room filled with mementos from Nepal. I told him about my own shadows of Everest. And Guy told me how, in 1995, he guided a client up, Doug Hansen, to the south summit of Everest before making the decision to pull the plug. Hansen died with Hall the following year.
It was a painful subject, and we quickly moved on. But the conversation circled back. It had to. Guy Cotter had spent his entire adulthood trying to determine when to push on and when to turn around. One of his best friends had died on the crux of the dilemma. His wisdom was hard won.