How Did They Do That?

It's misc. posting day, and this is kind of random, but in the past two days I read two entirely different accounts which made me respond: "How did they do that?"

The first was the account of Peter Schoening's "Miracle Belay" on K2 in 1953. The team of 8 american men were heading off the mountain, having failed to summit, in order to try to save the life of Art Gilkey who had thrombophlebitis and a pulmonary edema (I had to look those up to). On a steep glacier slope one man slipped, pulling his partner down with him. These two slide into the rope tying the next two men together and pulled both of them down. These four men hit yet another rope, joining Peter Schoening to his partner, but Schoening managed to wrap the rope around his shoulder and set his ax behind a rock, while also bearing the weight of the gurney Gilkey was on. 

So, five men are plummeting down a glacier and one man is holding on to a rope and an ax and somehow Schoening managed to stop all five men. And you already know how I reacted to this story. 

Time for the second account. A short time ago I hiked up Mt. Seymour with a friend and we saw a memorial to Tim Jones. We were curious who this man was and my friend looked him up later. It turns out he was a paramedic and unit chief as well as heavily involved with North Shore Rescue. With a family and a job he somehow managed to volunteer for 50 hours a week with the rescue services. Same reaction. 

This post has no real point, except to say that I suppose people do things every day which I find nearly unimaginable. 

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