They were mostly inexperienced campers, “raising their hands” to take a big risk, exchanging their comfortable lives for a difficult week of mountaineering. Over 135 college students and alumni tell stories and share memories of teamwork and testing, disappointment and triumph. They pushed their limits, believed in themselves, and took time for personal reflection. Sometimes pain — sore muscles, altitude sickness, and frozen toes — seemed insurmountable. Yet in memory, overcoming physical challenges remains a source of great satisfaction.
Persisting when they most want to quit teaches young people to think big. Exhaustion and discomfort can be dispelled by camaraderie and humility. In their futures, finding solutions to tough problems will require truly exceptional leadership. Whether they are called to lead, asked to lead, or forced to lead, all who dared those summits will be better prepared to meet any challenge they will face.