Alpine Style


via the founder of Clif Bar (on the back of their product packaging):

While trekking in Nepal, I met up with an expedition about to climb Dhaulagiri, one of the world’s highest peaks. With more than 200 porters, the expedition must have been traveling with at least 20,000 pounds of stuff. Expeditionary climbing takes an enormous amount of energy, equipment, and people to put just a handful of individuals on top of a mountain.
My friends and I prefer to climb alpine style; we move quickly, carry light packs, and leave no waste behind. I don’t believe in reaching the top at any cost — in climbing or in business.

I really dig that. I like the idea of staying lean, leaving no waste behind as we build products and companies and so many other things. Wikipedia states it as such:

Alpine style refers to mountaineering in a self-sufficient manner, thereby carrying all of one’s food, shelter, equipment, etc. as one climbs, as opposed to expedition style(or siege style) mountaineering which involves setting up a fixed line of stocked camps on the mountain which can be accessed at one’s leisure.

There are about 1,000 applications and correlations between this and elements in business practice(s). I clearly appreciate and love alpine much more than “siege style” which creates imagery in my head about large-scale (and slow-moving) war machines and rows of soldiers:

Castle siege
Castle siege

But better to be a super-small, tactical team finding opportunities to strike that no one is quite aware of, yet.

Besides, discovering the opportunities is more than half of the fun.

Originally published at John Saddington.