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Why do you love mountaineering?

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Why do you love mountaineering?

Postby wsharber » Mon Jan 26, 2009 7:38 pm

My name is Will Sharber. I am on here quite a bit and am finally getting my chance to head out there this March. I was assigned a paper for English class that could have anything to do with the outdoors. I am going to ask a few short answer questions followed by a couple of open ended questions. It will help a whole lot if you are completely honest with this survey, and I want to go ahead and thank everybody in advance! I know it is a little long, but I hope you enjoy thinking about your answers.

Survey:

1 ) Have you been into hiking and mountaineering all your life? Or has it been a more recent interest?
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?
3 ) Do you find yourself thinking about and wishing to be on the mountain or on the trails often?
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?
5 ) Have you ever wanted to simply quit your job and just climb for the rest of your life?
6 ) Is it all about gaining the summit? Or do you cherish every moment of the ascent and descent, whether you summit or not?
7 ) Do you prefer going solo? With a group? Both?
8 ) Do you enjoy running into climbers who are new to the sport on the trails or not? Why or why not?
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?
10 ) Describe what you feel when you finally gain the summit...

Again, thanks a whole lot!
"The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say."

- J.R.R. Tolkien

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Re: Why do you love mountaineering?

Postby DHatfield » Mon Jan 26, 2009 7:55 pm

1 ) Have you been into hiking and mountaineering all your life? Or has it been a more recent interest? I've started doing mountaineering as soon as I moved to Colorado 5 years ago
2 ) Are you avid about hiking/mountaineering? I get out as much as possible which is pretty much every weekend all year long
3 ) Do you find yourself thinking about and wishing to be on the mountain or on the trails often?I think about them quite a bit, however being there anymore no since I need my rest
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? Definitely believe in this
5 ) Have you ever wanted to simply quit your job and just climb for the rest of your life?Nope, need to pay for the addiction somehow
6 ) Is it all about gaining the summit?Mostly, but not always Or do you cherish every moment of the ascent and descent, whether you summit or not?This is part of the reason I climb is for the solitude and enjoyment of being in the mountains
7 ) Do you prefer going solo? With a group? Both? I climb mostly with my partner and when she can't (which is not very often) then I go solo
8 ) Do you enjoy running into climbers who are new to the sport on the trails or not? Why or why not?I don't mind running into people at all along the trail
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? Given up trying mostly to my co-workers that wonder why I do such a crazy thing
10 ) Describe what you feel when you finally gain the summit... AHHHH I finally made it :D and a great since of accomplishment as usually it was a great struggle to get there
Last edited by DHatfield on Mon Jan 26, 2009 8:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Why do you love mountaineering?

Postby Kevin8020 » Mon Jan 26, 2009 8:04 pm

1 ) Have you been into hiking and mountaineering all your life? Or has it been a more recent interest?
In between... I'm 17 and I've been doing this for 5 years now...
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?
AVID. As much as time alows
3 ) Do you find yourself thinking about and wishing to be on the mountain or on the trails often?
Every single day...
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?
I do agree with this. My life is more important to me than a summit. HOWEVER, I'm willing to challenge myself and take chances, as long as they don't have a high ( ;) ) risk of death.
5 ) Have you ever wanted to simply quit your job and just climb for the rest of your life?
Yep. I actually said this to someone yesterday... although I know that this isn't an option
6 ) Is it all about gaining the summit? Or do you cherish every moment of the ascent and descent, whether you summit or not?
I cherish every moment - from the car ride up to grabbing a late lunch on the way down. Though gaining the summit is a goal and, of course, the climax, the rest of the story is pretty darn good too.
7 ) Do you prefer going solo? With a group? Both?
I prefer a group. At least one other person, for safety sake. Big groups lately have been a lot of fun too
8 ) Do you enjoy running into climbers who are new to the sport on the trails or not? Why or why not?
I enjoy meeting new climbers as long as they are respectful and friendly. It is good to see people interested in getting outdoors and such. It's the disrespectful and downright unpleasant people that annoy me.
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'd ask them if they've ever experienced what it's like to stand on a summit - and know you accomplished it under your own power. Seeing God's creation is amazing enough. Knowing I was capable of getting to that view just adds to it.
10 ) Describe what you feel when you finally gain the summit...
Relief, hunger, and always, WOW
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. --Proverbs 3:5-6

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Re: Why do you love mountaineering?

Postby thespoonybard » Mon Jan 26, 2009 8:13 pm

1 ) I have been a backpacker since I can remember going on long treks, however, not until recently (past two years) have I concentrated on expanding my experience and pushing it in the "vertical" direction, striving to reach higher and higher amonst the lovely peaks.
2 ) I am an avid camper (on weekends) when I am here in Nebraska. But every opportunity I get for extended days off from work, you won't find me in this state. Off to Colorado baby.
3 ) My mind always seems to float back to the mountains. My heart belongs to a red-headed girl :D , but my soul lies in the mountains (don't tell her I said that).
4 ) Ed Viesturs is an incredible man and a model for all. For all pratical purposes this motto is gold. Although, I haven't been tested with one of the seven summits 200' away when a storm was blowing in (the macho side might kick in).
5 ) YES, AND I WISH I COULD. If I could get paid to climb and still have an incredible family life, I wouldn't hesitate quiting and doing it. Sadly, I am not that lucky :(
6 ) Every damn moment is cherished, but when you do get the summit, it is more than a cherry on top, it truly is a spiritual experience.
7 ) I like both, however, I have to have the right group of people within my skill level, or I will get frustrated :evil: .
8 ) Small talk on the trails is great is small doses. I support people that support our environment.
9 ) There comes a time in your life when you have to make a decision, to take a risk, embrace the danger, and take on the challenge in front of you, or sit tomorrow or 40 years from now with your dreams unrealized, your passions unrecognized, and wondering what might have done and what could have been. I choose the challenge.
10 ) With the cool mountain air gusting across my face and the adrenaline pumping through my body, I feel so alive. I don't envy anyone else on the planet when I am up there. Not one single person.
"The mountains are calling...and I must go" - John Muir
"all your base are belong to us"

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Re: Why do you love mountaineering?

Postby Athos791 » Mon Jan 26, 2009 8:16 pm

Well, in general why I love mountaineering is summed up by this article I wrote on SP http://www.summitpost.org/article/467752/Homecoming.html

1 ) Have you been into hiking and mountaineering all your life? Or has it been a more recent interest?
Been hiking all my life, but gotten into mountaineering in the past two years.
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 climb/mountaineer every weekend especially in the winter.
3 ) Do you find yourself thinking about and wishing to be on the mountain or on the trails often?
I think about the mountains every day, usually about my next big trip planned.
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?
Absolutely! Just turned around on Orizaba at over 16k due to HAPE.. there's no climbing again, ever, if I would not have turned around
5 ) Have you ever wanted to simply quit your job and just climb for the rest of your life?
Don't have a job (Student) but ya, if it was actually a feasible thing...
6 ) Is it all about gaining the summit? Or do you cherish every moment of the ascent and descent, whether you summit or not?
The summit is nice, but the experience of the entire trip and the climb as a whole are the memories I remember forever.
7 ) Do you prefer going solo? With a group? Both?
Both, group more in winter, for safety reasons..
8 ) Do you enjoy running into climbers who are new to the sport on the trails or not? Why or why not?
Sure, I was new to it myself a while ago, so enjoy hearing what people who do not do it often think of the experience.
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?
See article linked at the top :D
10 ) Describe what you feel when you finally gain the summit...
See article linked at the top :D
Last edited by Athos791 on Mon Jan 26, 2009 8:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"We go to the mountains to satisfy our own ambitions, not because others evaluate what we are doing." -Anatoli Boukreev

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Re: Why do you love mountaineering?

Postby zacob » Mon Jan 26, 2009 8:18 pm

Survey:

1 ) Have you been into hiking and mountaineering all your life? Or has it been a more recent interest?
since college almost 20years
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?
not as avid as I once was, however it is still my favorite pastime
3 ) Do you find yourself thinking about and wishing to be on the mountain or on the trails often?
often
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?
I have and will likely always take risks. however it has always been my motto
5 ) Have you ever wanted to simply quit your job and just climb for the rest of your life?
not since getting married and having kids.
6 ) Is it all about gaining the summit? Or do you cherish every moment of the ascent and descent, whether you summit or not?
It is all about the time spent outdoors with friends a safe but bad day in the mountains is better than a great day at work
7 ) Do you prefer going solo? With a group? Both?group
8 ) Do you enjoy running into climbers who are new to the sport on the trails or not? Why or why not?typically no becuase i'm not on something they should be climbing. otherwise i enjoy meeting people new to sport
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 have given up trying to explain it. You either get it or you don't
10 ) Describe what you feel when you finally gain the summit...Typically I ask myself why the heck I climbed up here to have to turn around and go back down. Also look for a good place to take a photo and have a smoke.

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Re: Why do you love mountaineering?

Postby summitridge » Mon Jan 26, 2009 8:27 pm

1 ) Have you been into hiking and mountaineering all your life? Or has it been a more recent interest?
My interest did not really hit until my mid 20s. I was living in Ohio and decided to take a 6-day mountaineering course in the Cascades. I was hooked after that for good!
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 am fairly avid. Job demands slow me from time to time, but generally, I get out whenever I can==with our without buddies.
3 ) Do you find yourself thinking about and wishing to be on the mountain or on the trails often?
I think a lot about the great summits I have been on, and I think about the ones I really am dying to stand on. Not all the time, but a few times a week for sure.
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?
I fully follow Ed. We turned back 400 feet from the summit of Denali last June for fear of frostbite and whiteout conditions. I wish I could have made the summit, but I am much happier knowing that I am alive and fully intact to go back.
5 ) Have you ever wanted to simply quit your job and just climb for the rest of your life?
Oh yeah . . . I should have married a brain surgeon wife! :D
6 ) Is it all about gaining the summit? Or do you cherish every moment of the ascent and descent, whether you summit or not?
I do get summit fever from time to time, so I try to stop and take pictures often and enjoy the trip. For me, I try to slow down on the ascent and really enjoy it. But, the summit sure is sweet!
7 ) Do you prefer going solo? With a group? Both?
I prefer two or three total in a climbing group. Solo is not fun for me, and larger groups are just plain irritating to me.
8 ) Do you enjoy running into climbers who are new to the sport on the trails or not? Why or why not?
Yes, they remind me of myself just a few short years ago. It helps me put into perspective just how much I have learned and when I meet someone much more experienced than I, it reminds me how much more I have to learn. The mountains will always teach us new things.
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 actually wrote about this in my smalltown Ohio newspaper before my Denali trip. I try to list all of the hobbies and activities other people dedicate themselves to, and compare mountaineering to them. Sitting in front of a piano two hours a day every day from age 5 until age 21 would be brutally painful for me, but for others it would be pure bliss--like mountaineering is for me.
10 ) Describe what you feel when you finally gain the summit...
It really depends on the challenges of the climb, but to varying degrees I feel elation. Standing on a summit is comparable for me to flying a small plane. I never want to land when I am flying. Most of the time, I don't want to come back down.
"What an odd sport we inhabit, where bits of obscure rock in remote locations are recognizable." — Richard Pawlowicz.

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Re: Why do you love mountaineering?

Postby skiwall » Mon Jan 26, 2009 8:43 pm

Survey:

1 ) Have you been into hiking and mountaineering all your life? Or has it been a more recent interest?
I liked hiking easy stuff when I was in high school, but it wasn't something that my parents did, so I didn't get into it until 2 years ago when I moved to Utah.
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?
Yes. I go as often as possible.
3 ) Do you find yourself thinking about and wishing to be on the mountain or on the trails often?
Every single day when I look out my window and see the mountains.
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?
I totally agree with that. It's hard at times, but I've turned around literally 100 feet from the summit when I felt conditions were unsafe.
5 ) Have you ever wanted to simply quit your job and just climb for the rest of your life?
I'm thinking about it right now, actually!
6 ) Is it all about gaining the summit? Or do you cherish every moment of the ascent and descent, whether you summit or not?
I love the entire experience. I think the summit views are amazing, so typically I try to plan my trip to where I gain a summit, but if that doesn't work out, it's all good because I'm in the mountains where I love to be. :D
7 ) Do you prefer going solo? With a group? Both?
Depends on the trip. I really like shorter solo day trips to clear my head, but for longer/more difficult trips I go with a few people. Typically mountaineering/skiing I prefer no more than 4 people, but in the summer sometimes it's fun to bag peaks with a bunch of people.
8 ) Do you enjoy running into climbers who are new to the sport on the trails or not? Why or why not?
Not really, because usually the only way I know they're new to the sport is because they need help (i.e. they're overheating, or they have hypothermia)
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?
It's not about reaching the summit. It's about putting yourself out there in nature and becoming a part of it in a way that's not possible in our society today. It's about challenging yourself. I find peace in the mountains. Plus you can choose how harsh and brutal you make it. Attitude is everything.
10 ) Describe what you feel when you finally gain the summit...
Peaceful. That's just the best word. Energized, too, I guess by the mountains, the view, the weather... everything about the experience.
"A good woman knows her place is in the backcountry." - PW '08

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Re: Why do you love mountaineering?

Postby lubbocktexan » Mon Jan 26, 2009 8:56 pm

themuffinknight wrote:9 ) There comes a time in your life when you have to make a decision, to take a risk, embrace the danger, and take on the challenge in front of you, or sit tomorrow or 40 years from now with your dreams unrealized, your passions unrecognized, and wondering what might have done and what could have been. I choose the challenge.
10 ) With the cool mountain air gusting across my face and the adrenaline pumping through my body, I feel so alive. I don't envy anyone else on the planet when I am up there. Not one single person.



wow, well said man
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Re: Why do you love mountaineering?

Postby TomPierce » Mon Jan 26, 2009 9:05 pm

wsharber wrote:
1 ) Have you been into hiking and mountaineering all your life? Or has it been a more recent interest?
I've been camping off & on since age 4, but I mark the start of my mountaineering passion 35 years ago. It's not been completely continuous but pretty steady in the last 20 years.
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?
Yeah, pretty avid. I try to get out every 10 days or so.
3 ) Do you find yourself thinking about and wishing to be on the mountain or on the trails often?
Yep. Always making plans. Some get off the ground, some don't.
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?
I agree with the Viesturs motto, but I also accept some level of risk.
5 ) Have you ever wanted to simply quit your job and just climb for the rest of your life?
Not really. Don't want to make climbing my job, and I like balance in life.
6 ) Is it all about gaining the summit? Or do you cherish every moment of the ascent and descent, whether you summit or not?
No, sometimes I get out with no plan of a summit at all. Even when I try for a summit I will back off due to conditions, a bad vibe, just not into it that day, etc.
7 ) Do you prefer going solo? With a group? Both?
Both. Really 50/50. Often depends on scheduling or the route. If it's a hard route (technically or with exposure) I don't go alone. But if it's hard conditions (distance, weather) I may go out alone.
8 ) Do you enjoy running into climbers who are new to the sport on the trails or not? Why or why not?
Sure, I like talking about the sport and enjoy their enthusiasm.
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 like being in wild places, places where I can test myself, either alone or with friends. It's also a sport that's both art and science and 30+ years later I never tire of trying to get better and learn more. Besides, you earn your beer!
10 ) Describe what you feel when you finally gain the summit...

Some sense of satisfaction, relief that it's mostly downhill now! But my analytical side also kicks in, so I'm also checking my pace, the weather, etc. etc.

Good luck with your survey.
Last edited by TomPierce on Tue Jan 27, 2009 7:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Why do you love mountaineering?

Postby wildlobo71 » Mon Jan 26, 2009 9:19 pm

1 ) Have you been into hiking and mountaineering all your life? Or has it been a more recent interest? More recent - about the past 8 years.
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? Semi-avid. I am not young enough, and without responsibility enough, to just go out and do it as frequently as some.
3 ) Do you find yourself thinking about and wishing to be on the mountain or on the trails often? Yes, all the time.
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? Is there another option but come down?
5 ) Have you ever wanted to simply quit your job and just climb for the rest of your life? No, because as soon as I did that, I'd lose a great appreciation for the escape hiking provides me.
6 ) Is it all about gaining the summit? Or do you cherish every moment of the ascent and descent, whether you summit or not? A bit of both; I set out for the summit, particularrly because I don't know all the nooks and crannies in the rockies to be able to say that I want to takae this trailhead to this trail, cross to that trail, etc... I need a point to aim for, and if I learn about the world around me as I do it, that's my bonus.
7 ) Do you prefer going solo? With a group? Both? I like a group, but I end up being solo no matter what because I am a trail sloth.
8 ) Do you enjoy running into climbers who are new to the sport on the trails or not? Why or why not? Sure, until the lap me on the trail, then I hope for a humbling, non-painful yard-sale on some unexpected scree... No, I love chatting with hikers who want to chat - it gives me more chances to catch my breath.
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? Because they are there? I need something to be my master, and they call me to stretch my limits.
10 ) Describe what you feel when you finally gain the summit... It's just another rest stop with pictures; savor the breath-catching time and magnificent vistas - the tough part is about to begin.
Bill W.
Yes, I have my Scotch.

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Re: Why do you love mountaineering?

Postby Bullwinkle » Mon Jan 26, 2009 9:33 pm

wsharber wrote:My name is Will Sharber. I am on here quite a bit and am finally getting my chance to head out there this March. I was assigned a paper for English class that could have anything to do with the outdoors. I am going to ask a few short answer questions followed by a couple of open ended questions. It will help a whole lot if you are completely honest with this survey, and I want to go ahead and thank everybody in advance! I know it is a little long, but I hope you enjoy thinking about your answers.

Survey:

1 ) Have you been into hiking and mountaineering all your life? Or has it been a more recent interest? 30 years
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? Selected summer weeks only due to job demands, but EVERY summer. Otherwise it would put me in a real funk.
3 ) Do you find yourself thinking about and wishing to be on the mountain or on the trails often? All the time
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? Yes, but risk is relative to many factors--both internal and external. The risks I take are reasonable relative to these factors.
5 ) Have you ever wanted to simply quit your job and just climb for the rest of your life? Quit, no. But have more time off for climbing, absolutely. Too much leisure is just as bad as not enough.
6 ) Is it all about gaining the summit? Or do you cherish every moment of the ascent and descent, whether you summit or not? If the goal is the summit and it can be safely attained, that is foremost in my mind. But I wouldn't do it at all if I didn't enjoy the journey.
7 ) Do you prefer going solo? With a group? Both? I have learned to enjoy it either way, but company is always nice if skills are generally comparable. With higher risk outings, I would always seek out a partner.
8 ) Do you enjoy running into climbers who are new to the sport on the trails or not? Why or why not? I frequently run into some really nice people while hiking, and I find that to be one of life's great rewards.
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? One cannot comprehend the context of the question without first personally engaging this activity.
10 ) Describe what you feel when you finally gain the summit. We don't really "conquer" mountains. We conquer our own limitations--whether real or perceived. We test our limits with no one other than ourselves in the way of a high achievement. And on that journey we learn a lot about ourselves and all creation.

Again, thanks a whole lot!
As a mountain more fully reveals itself to a man, so the true nature of the man will be more fully revealed

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