Fail fast during adventures

Greger Wikstrand wrote a blogpost about fail fast and if it’s a good approach. I would compare fail fast mentality with outdoor activities and the consequences of failure. There is a fine line between fail fast and Darwin Awards in IRL.

I like trekking in the summer and skiing during winter period in the Swedish mountains.  It’s a nice outdoor adventure and the mountains are not that high, albeit over the tree limit.

However, you could fail and you could fail badly up there, if you not are careful. More than a third of the times, I had to abort the trip due to illness or unforeseen weather changes.

My question is if this is a good example of fail fast approach or not?

I’m used to outdoor activities since a child, and got my first tent as birthday present when I was seven years old. I have a reasonable health condition and training for being a middle-aged man working in offices all days. I prepared the trip with the right type of equipments for normal conditions and tried it before going to the mountains.

But, the weather conditions can change very fast. The forecast could say +10 and gentle winds and the reality would be below zero, windy and snow. If you not prepared with right equipment, it’s wise to go back. It could be even worse, a sudden change in the weather and the temperature will fall below -25 and there will be a snowstorm. If not going back, you risk not to survive. 

When you prepare and plan for trips like this, you know that things could go wrong. I wouldn’t count this as a failure, as we survived without any injuries. Perhaps the trial to reach the top of Kebnekajse should be counted as a failure as I lost a lot of equipment during a hurricane.

Why do I continue to go to the mountains as I don’t succeed every time? The answer is simple, the reward is so great so it's worth the challange.