I started thinking the other day about objectives.
I have always thought that the objective is the goal and motivation of any endeavor, and reaching it is the difference between success and failure. However, since my job these days give time for plenty of introspection, I have come to reevaluate this definition.
Let me start from the beginning and bear with me, hopefully this will all make sense before the end of this post. A few weeks ago I, Mattias and Erik woke up in Hunddalshyttan, a small hut at 68°N, strategically placed in an alpine valley guarded by peaks and glaciers.
Once the tedious flat bit was disposed of, we had a bit of elevation to gain.
Luckily, after a while we got a few distractions.
Unfortunately, just a little bit ahead, by the big bare rock in the picture above, the snow was too rotten to be passed in a safe way, despite all our climbing gear.
To come back at least somewhat to where I started, this was an epic day. It was the only day of the trip with good weather, and the snow was great to boot. We spent probably seven or eight hours on skins, a couple of hours faffing around with anchors and ropes, a few minutes climbing and precious few seconds skiing, which would otherwise be the sensible activity given the conditions. To top it off, we did not reach our objective, not even close. We managed to travel awfully few meters of that ridge before we called it quits. And still I count it as a great day, probably the best of the season (which this year for me unfortunately does not really say much).
That makes me think, maybe the actual reaching of the objective is not that important.
Maybe the important thing is to go out there, be with friends, push the limits, see the views, get scared and tired and most importantly, make it back home? If an objective is needed for me to do those things, then it is an important part of the equation for sure. But if the objective is reached or not does not define if a day is good or bad. Good friends do, and getting home does even more so.