Since I am a novice mountain climber, I am not sure if there are people who climb mountains alone. But if they are out there, that must be one hard task! What I have learned instead is that mountain climbing takes a team and each team member is valuable in their own right.
The mountain team consists of the climbing party and I suppose people choose their parties differently. When I decided that climbing Rwenzori was one of the things I wanted to do this year, I shared this goal with some friends and a few of them agreed to climb with me. We then got down to preparing together as a team. Climbing Muhabura was part of the preparation for our goal of climbing Rwenzori.
On the mountain itself, one is given a lead guide and a rear guide and porters to help with carrying the heavy loads. The lead guide knows the way and shows the way and he also provides information about the mountain. He ensures that the team is keeping the right pace, and he keeps in contact with the base camp from time to time, to let them know about the progress of the climb and to relay any issues that may arise.
The rear guide keeps watch at the back of the team, making sure that all is well from that end.
As we climbed Muhabura last Saturday, my teammates kept me going through conversation and encouragement. We shared food together, we shared water together. The rear guide helped me navigate the difficult parts on the journey to the peak and through the perilous descent. We all made it together as a team.
In the same way, many of the mountains we face take teamwork. What team have you assembled to help you get through the mountain? What roles have you assigned? Are the tasks clear? Do you need someone to pray with you, to talk with you, to listen, to cry with you, to give you advice, to help you carry that heavy load?
A mountain can be a lonely place, so don’t climb alone. Don’t be too afraid or too proud to ask for help.