inthemtns wrote:1) Set a goal to climb a reasonable number of peaks in a year. There are a number of factors to consider when setting the number, such as your age, job, family, the size of the list, and the number of lists you are climbing simultaneously.
2) Do not avoid climbing the hardest peaks and leave them for last. This rule makes sense for the 13ers and top 100, but for the 14ers, it needs to be modified.
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.
4) Have fun – don’t forget why you started climbing in the first place.
I suppose I am in the minority, but I think that the OP offers some helpful guidelines here. Maybe he should have used that word “guidelines” instead of “rules”; that probably wasn’t the best choice of words. Very few people want to be ordered around in that fashion; maybe that’s what has caused a backlash. While I agree with everyone else that point 2, about saving the difficult ones until the end, is very odd (I don’t know what he is trying to say here), his other 3 points are sound, in my opinion. This is what I perceive (subjective of course):
His first point pertains to pace, and priorities. Nothing wrong with that. I think that he’s just saying “don’t become addicted to the list”. I actually think that’s helpful advice. It’s sometimes tempting for me to plan a mountain trip for every day that I have off during the summer and early fall, but I know that if I did that, I would come to despise the mountains in a very deep way. Balance is important. I think maybe he’s just trying to suggest setting a yearly plan, balance it with the rest of your priorities, don’t let it take over your life and control you.
His last point, about having fun, seems to tie into his first point. And again, to me, very sound advice. If you engage in an activity out of routine, and find yourself not having any fun or enjoying it at all, whether it’s going out to a bar with friends every Saturday, a weekly round of golf, or climbing mountains, chances are, there are better ways you could be spending your time. There have been a couple of instances where I did reach a 14er summit (always satisfying), but with a bad hiking partner, spending an entire day with someone whose company I didn’t enjoy, and really, did not have any fun, despite the summit. That’s terrible. I think he’s just saying that the top priority is for the mountain experience to be enjoyable, and if for whatever reason, you’re finding that it’s not any fun, it may be time to analyze why you are doing this in the first place. Again, advice that I agree with.
Finally, his third point seems safety-related, and makes sense to me. As somewhat of a “checklister” (I would probably be defined as a “peak-bagger” under his rules), and someone who is ready to move into the realm of Class 3, I admit to be chomping at the bit to try Longs or Kelso Ridge. But as someone who has never set foot on Class 3, no way should I be up there in less than ideal conditions. If, for some reason, I don’t get around to it until September, and there is a bit of snow up there, it would be very tempting for me to still go up there, since I had set Class 3 as a goal for this summer, and I know that 9 long months of winter is ahead. In situations like this, it’s extremely important to resist that temptation, save it for another day. I think that’s all he’s saying.
The original post is a bit wordy, and long (I’m often guilty of the same thing), and “these are my rules” definitely isn’t the best way to present an opinion. But sifting through all that, most of this seems like sound advice to me.