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Research is showing that high-risk sport can serve many other personal goals beyond thrill seeking. For example Castanier et al. found that 'escape self-awareness' was a key motivation in their study of high-risk sportsmen. Escape self-awareness means, as the term suggests, turning your thinking away from yourself by engaging in high-risk activities that absorb all concentration.
I had already been enjoying the relaxed pace of rural Patagonia for a couple weeks and I'd decided to settle down in El Chalten, the trekking capital of Argentina, for a week. We set out for Cerro Fitz Roy base camp, a 26 kilometre round trip. This granite spear peaks at 3,375 metres and attracts hardcore climbers from the world over. From here the real work began.