My rules for peak bagging

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Jon Frohlich
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Re: My rules for peak bagging

Postby Jon Frohlich » Tue May 14, 2013 8:13 am

inthemtns wrote:Regarding rule 2, I cringe at seeing people leave the harder peaks for last. When it comes to lists, it’s not how many, it’s which ones you’ve climbed that’s important. If you’ve climbed 97 centennials and have Jagged, Dallas, and Teakettle left to climb, what have you proved? So, inherent in rule 2 is don’t start a list unless you know you can finish it. And if you can finish it, don’t leave the harder ones for last. If you leave the hard ones for last, are you going to push through the peak with threatening weather? Or are you going to try to finish the list with a hard peak in October when it’s covered in snow? If you’re climbing a harder peak and you’re not that close to finishing, psychologically it’s probably easier to turn back and leave it for another day.


I disagree with everything you posted but I'm going to focus on this one in particular. This is .....ridiculous. My last 14ers were in order: Little Bear, El Diente, Mount Wilson, Wilson Peak, Capitol Peak, Crestone Peak, North Maroon, and Evans (which was so people could drive up to celebrate with us). Climbing is a personal thing. You prove what you want to prove. If someone climbs 50 14ers and decides they don't want to finish because the rest are beyond their ability that is their choice and it doesn't impact anyone else. If you push through threatening weather to do your remaining peaks that is a personal issue and a sign of bad decision making. You should always be willing to turn back.

I have climbed 84 centennials. I have some hard ones left and some easy ones left. Does it matter what I've proved to anyone else? No, it only matters to me. I can choose to finish or not finish at this point. It's up to me and whether I'm happy.

Rules like this are just plain stupid. Leave them at home and do it the way you want and have fun doing it. Come home safe at the end of the day. That's it.
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Re: My rules for peak bagging

Postby GeezerClimber » Tue May 14, 2013 8:24 am

Too much analysis and too much opinion---in my opinion.

It's a hobby. People should be allowed to pursue it in their own way without being judged.

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Re: My rules for peak bagging

Postby SuperiorTrailHiker » Tue May 14, 2013 8:40 am

I gotta roll with what Ranger Walt McNairy told me when we were going up Longs - "If you do the best you can, stay safe and use good judgment, no matter how far you get up the mountain, we feel you'll be a better human being when you come back."

That's all. Be safe and have fun.

They oughtta clone Walt and post him everywhere, in my opinion.
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Re: My rules for peak bagging

Postby SolarAlex » Tue May 14, 2013 9:40 am

my rules are have fun and dont die.

been working pretty well for me so far
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Re: My rules for peak bagging

Postby SchralpTheGnar » Tue May 14, 2013 9:50 am

Well it's not far down to paradise, at least it's not for me. If the wind is right you can sail away, find tranquility.

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Re: My rules for peak bagging

Postby ameristrat » Tue May 14, 2013 10:00 am

SilverLynx wrote:
I would say my rules are:

1) Don't fall.
2) Don't let anything fall on you.


Seconded.

Also:

1) Have Fun
2) Above All, COME HOME SAFE!
You cannot stay on the summit forever; you have to come down again. So why bother in the first place? Just this: What is above knows what is below, but what is below does not know what is above. One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer, but one has seen. There is an art of conducting oneself in the lower regions by the memory of what one saw higher up. When one can no longer see, one can at least still know. - Rene Daumal
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Re: My rules for peak bagging

Postby ChrisinAZ » Tue May 14, 2013 10:43 am

Another hardcore peakbagger here, and yeah, even among our type there are few absolutes. Do whatever the hell makes you happy--nobody has a gun to your head telling you which peaks to climb, and how. My personal rules, FWIW:

1. First and foremost--get back safely, and live to climb another day. Excepting the major Cascade volcanoes, the mountains will still be there!
2. If I don't touch the true summit, I don't count it. But that doesn't preclude having a great time and fond memories...
3. It should be fun! If you're not having fun anymore, slow down, think about other more novel ways to do the list, take a bit of a sabbatical. If those don't change things, consider whether you really want to keep doing something you don't actually enjoy.
"If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason."
— Jack Handy


Mah peaks
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Re: My rules for peak bagging

Postby GregMiller » Tue May 14, 2013 11:00 am

There's a quote of a mountaineer, and I can never remember who it was. Someone on here has it in their signature, feel free to correct me as I butcher it below:

"There's three rules for mountaineering:
1) Come back safe
2) Come back friends
3) Come back with a summit"

Personally, I like the challenge of it all. Yes, that involves the challenge of completing a list. But it also includes the challenges on the mountains themselves. I wouldn't be surprised if it takes me another 5 years to finish, because I'll be either repeating fun routes (Kelso ridge), or trying new routes on fun mountains (Longs, Sneffels, etc.). Also, I think I'm aiming for the centennials, as I find it personally hypocritical to advocate for the metric system, then climb a list of peaks based on the imperial system. But that's entirely personal.
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Re: My rules for peak bagging

Postby MonGoose » Tue May 14, 2013 12:05 pm

inthemtns wrote:The first thing you need to do is to determine whether you are a peak bagger or a mountaineer.

Why? If you have a desire to climb a mountain, go climb a mountain. The moment you start to worry about how to classify yourself, you stop being yourself.

inthemtns wrote:Most people aren’t purely a peak bagger or a mountaineer – a continuum exists between the two extremes.

Peak baggers often develop into mountaineers and mountaineers can also become peak baggers. I guess I don't understand why this is relevant to climbing mountains.

inthemtns wrote:2) Do not avoid climbing the hardest peaks and leave them for last. First gain experience on the easier 14ers, and then do the hard peaks, but just don’t leave Capital, the Bells, Pyramid, and Mt. Wilson for last.

Why? Every peak you hike / climb adds to your experience. It makes sense to me to save the hardest peaks until you have the most experience. I would strongly advise the opposite, waiting to do the top 5 peaks until you have a lot of experience (or at least attempt them with experienced people).


inthemtns wrote:If you’ve climbed 97 centennials and have Jagged, Dallas, and Teakettle left to climb, what have you proved?


What do you prove by climbing anything?

inthemtns wrote:So, inherent in rule 2 is don’t start a list unless you know you can finish it.

This might be the worst life advise you can give to a person. You don't know what you can do unless you try.

inthemtns wrote:3) Climb the peaks with class 3 or harder climbing in July and August and finish with walkups in the fall months. This has an element of safety – you won’t be tempted to climb harder peaks that are best done without snow on them.

I completely disagree. July and early August are the months most likely to experience thunderstorms and risk of lightning. In general, late August and early September provide longer days with less risk of thunderstorms. I believe it's best to attempt the harder peaks during this time because 1) often on the harder peaks you are exposed on a ridge and cannot easily escape a storm and 2) you will be in physically better shape towards the end of the climbing season than the beginning.
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Re: My rules for peak bagging

Postby FCSquid » Tue May 14, 2013 12:26 pm

Rule No. 5: Avoid Indian food the night before a big climb.
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Re: My rules for peak bagging

Postby MountainHiker » Tue May 14, 2013 12:34 pm

I climbed Canada’s lowest high point. Canadian high points are a list I certainly won’t complete. But doing this one allowed me to share a “summit” with my brother, who will never climb a mountain because of a heart condition. There’s always a reason to climb the mountain and screw the rules! Don’t tell anyone. We did that one guided!
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Re: My rules for peak bagging

Postby DArcyS » Tue May 14, 2013 2:24 pm

Yikes! A few slings and arrows here. :)

I've edited the original post to indicate this was intended for peak baggers with a strong desire to finish a list. I think that would help place the post in the proper context for many of you based upon your responses. My apologies for not being more clear.

Finally, I agree with many of your "rules," as my "rules" are not intended to be exclusive. Above all else, my suggestions are really not much more than a way to help list-seeking peak baggers a means to see the glass as half full and not half empty.

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