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Understanding Risk

Risky Business: Life Insurance for Climbers

Posted by Steve Graepel on National Geographic Adventure Blog December 4, 2012

 

Nothing shouts middle age quite like shopping for life insurance. But there I was, answering questions about my height, weight, smoking … and then came the dreaded question: "Have you climbed in the last three years…?”

 

I quickly try to run the numbers. "In the last three years…?” Stalling, I ask for clarification. "Can you define climbing”?

 

Clearly I wasn’t selling my low-risk persona and a week later I was sent a questionnaire to parse out my extracurricular vitae—which raised a whole string of red prayer flags.

 

A few calls later put me in touch with Doug Colwell from HD Insurance. I entered his office I find myself face-to-face with an oil painting of K2’s Abruzzi Ridge … clearly this was my guy. Doug manages risk during the week, but plays in it on the weekend. An active climber, he’s set over 150 new technical routes in Idaho. As a sitting board member for the American Alpine Club (AAC), he’s volunteered countless hours helping the AAC navigate member insurance options. Doug has experience with folks like us—responsible individuals who carefully manage risk. I sat down with Doug to get a top-down perspective of life insurance for those pursuing the vertical life.

 

To read the full article on the National Geographic website - click here.