Are You a Good Friend?

In a dangerous mountain hike, I discovered what real friendship is.

Musings during a quiet evening: Three years ago I traveled with three close men-friends to Switzerland and spent eight days walking the "wanderwegs" of the Alps. One of those walks was high above Grindelwald. It was a beautiful day, and our spirits soared in response to the alpine grandeur. And so did our self-confidence. Rather than take a pathway that was realistic in terms of length and difficulty for three men in their sixties and one in his seventies, we chose one requiring much greater exertion. Not smart.

Three miles into the walk, my friend Al (the man in his seventies) became exhausted. Seriously so. Turning back was not an option. I proposed to the other men that they walk on ahead to the end of the trail and secure rooms for us in a berghaus (mountain hotel) since it would be impossible for us to return to our regular lodgings for the night. Al and I then sat down to plot our strategy.

I suggested that we take 100 steps and rest for three minutes, another 100 steps and rest for ...

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