Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Mark Twight: Kiss or Kill

Last Thursday I departed for a week-long (not to be confused with the "furlong") visit to my parents house in Newark, Delaware or NeDe I suppose it would be called if anyone here had any pride for their place. Prior to my flight my buddy Rob lent me his copy of Mark Twights Kiss or Kill. I knew very little about Mark Twight and held no preconceptions. By the time I was descending into Philadelphia I had finished half of the book. This auto-biography is a unique collection of old and sometimes re-written passages that recounts the most influential climbs of Mark Twight's career.
Twight lead a rather runout lifestyle cutting away from him anyone or anything that got to close and/or prevented him from concentrating on climbing. He was able to disolve relationships faster than snow melts when held under warm rushing water. His passion, or more appropriatly, his obsession for the craggy peaks of the Alps or the illusive summits of the Himalayas smothered the first half if not three-quarters of Kiss or Kill. His journal entries are obsessive, filled with emotion, and at first-thought seem to balance pracariously on the ridge of self-masochism and suicide. However, at a little over half way through the book, there is a subtle change in his writing. Mark's most profound changes occur in his climbing style and his personal life. Ironically, he seems to lighten up a bit. The reader is left to decide whether it is indeed a true change in Twights soul or simply just him giving into the majority. A majority who practice a form of alpinism which Mark claims is lightened by technology and a lack of ethics. Either way you sway, if you are a climber, a boulderer, or an alpinist, his stories are highly inspirational and also get the reader to asses the past, present, and future of their sport.

1 comment:

David said...

I've seen that book around the house. Sounds applicable to all four of us.