1 ) Have you been into hiking and mountaineering all your life? Or has it been a more recent interest?
I have been raised around the mountains but within the past two years I've gotten much more into the outdoors than I have ever been before.
2 ) Are you avid about hiking/mountaineering? Or is it just something you may do every once in a while with a couple of buddies?
I'd say I'm pretty avid. My climbing buddy and I try to do at least one every week during the season.
3 ) Do you find yourself thinking about and wishing to be on the mountain or on the trails often?
Oh yea, there's nothing like the fresh mountain air and the beautiful landscapes to make you forget about every problem that lies back home.
4 ) Do you believe in Ed Viesturs' motto of "Getting to the top is optional, but getting down is mandatory", or are you willing to take the risk?
For sure, it's a great quote.
5 ) Have you ever wanted to simply quit your job and just climb for the rest of your life?
Oh I would love to make a career out of it but that's just something that isn't an option as of now.
6 ) Is it all about gaining the summit? Or do you cherish every moment of the ascent and descent, whether you summit or not?
Of course it's nice to say you've climbed that mountain but for me, it's more about the person I become when I'm on the mountain. Everything seems so tribule, which in all reality it is. It really helps me put things into perspective and know that no matter what may be causing me problems in my life that there are so many greater things out there.
7 ) Do you prefer going solo? With a group? Both?
I like being in the wilderness alone but going with a group is always fun too. Idealy I would have to say going with one friend and keeping about a quarter mile between each other during the climb that way you're 'alone' but still have someone if something goes wrong.
8 ) Do you enjoy running into climbers who are new to the sport on the trails or not? Why or why not?
Yes, it's always nice to share your knowledge of the sport. Plus, it's nice to warn them about things that have happened to you so that they may not have to have the same rough experiences.
9 ) If you were talking to someone who simply doesn't understand why we put ourselves in such harsh conditions to hike brutal distances just for the chance to reach the summit, what would you tell them?
I just tell them that there isn't any way to explain the feeling you get when you reach the summit and you can't even begin to understand it unless you've done it. Then I usually go on to say that it humbles you and in my opinion, that form of humbling is the best feeling.
10 ) Describe what you feel when you finally gain the summit...
As I've said, humbled, overwhelmed, accomplished, and most of all; thankful. Thankful that I can do this sport and experience these amazing mountains and make them a part of my life.
Do what you like. Like what you do. Optimism can take you anywhere.
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 to conducting oneself in the lower region by the memory of what one saw higher up. When one can see no longer, one can at least know.