1Why Mountain Climbers Make Lousy Mountain Guides

The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been.

—Henry Kissinger

The meeting lasted only a few minutes. When you are perched on the side of a mountain at 20,000 feet above sea level, it’s not a good idea to sit around. We had been steadily making our way up the southwest side of Mt. Sajama, the highest peak in Bolivia and one of the highest in the western hemisphere. We still had over 1,500 vertical feet to go before reaching the summit, and it was almost noon. As tired as we were, it looked like this was as high as we would get. Osvaldo, our guide, radioed base camp, informing the people there that we had stopped in order to make a decision. The choices ...

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