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Why do you love mountaineering?

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Re: Why do you love mountaineering?

Postby timf » Mon Jan 26, 2009 10:40 pm

1 ) Have you been into hiking and mountaineering all your life? Or has it been a more recent interest?
Past 13 years since moving to Colorado from N.Y.
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 was when I started. My life changed having since married and have 3 kids. I hope 2009 will be a "comeback year"
3 ) Do you find yourself thinking about and wishing to be on the mountain or on the trails often?
Absolutely. Some people partake in fantasy football. I have fantasy mountain trips.
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?
It's been my mantra as well. It's all about getting out and UP.
5 ) Have you ever wanted to simply quit your job and just climb for the rest of your life?
If I could afford it, I would.
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 summit is the gift. The route is the wrapping paper and ribbon. It's about both unwrapping and enjoying the gift.
7 ) Do you prefer going solo? With a group? Both?
Both. I use to solo more then I do now. I feel I need to get that edge back that soloing gives you.
8 ) Do you enjoy running into climbers who are new to the sport on the trails or not? Why or why not?
I do. I like hearing and feeling their newly found passion. It rejuvenates and brings back the same energy.
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?
You forgot weekend sleep deprivation. Seriously its similar to try and convince people that soloing a peak has less risk (or rather more calculated risk) then driving to work. I would just tell them that the alternative is to work on sitting around doing nothing and besides, you build up a tolerance to the elements and harsh conditions. Everyone has their limits. No them and stretch them as far as you wish.
10 ) Describe what you feel when you finally gain the summit...
Pure joy and euphoria! Then I realize how fortunate and blessed I am in my life and I want to rush back down to those at home that made the day/weekend possible!

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Re: Why do you love mountaineering?

Postby ktimm » Mon Jan 26, 2009 10:40 pm

1 ) Have you been into hiking and mountaineering all your life? Or has it been a more recent interest?
Past 5 yrs or so , and as a kid, big gap in between
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?
Every weekend, as often as possible
3 ) Do you find yourself thinking about and wishing to be on the mountain or on the trails often?
daily
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, especially having kids, taking undo risk is silly, I turn around a lot, sometimes It's weather, a feeling, or not into it(not often).
5 ) Have you ever wanted to simply quit your job and just climb for the rest of your life?
I have a great job, but the freedom would be great, I wouldn't just climb though, i would mix it up a bit, fish some , bike some, maybe do some sort of volounteer work. I would still work at some level, I would just pick my days adn have more of them. I would hike / climb more than I do now, or be able to pick the best weather days but I wouldn't do it 7 days a week. In July last year I think I did 16 or 17 summits, in August I just did hikes and exploration with no focus on the summit, even turned around close on occasion.
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's all good but big Vistas are sweet, I prefer going up and the top, going down is ...so so
7 ) Do you prefer going solo? With a group? Both?
By myself and dogs on easy stuff, if there is any real danger with someone else or a group

8 ) Do you enjoy running into climbers who are new to the sport on the trails or not? Why or why not?
Sure, I don't see many people though except on a couple popular peaks, I consider myself new really, although within the mountains near my house I have a pretty good feel of all the drainages, and stuff
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?
If you don't get it's ok, I mean I don't get walmart and I'm sure some people don't understand that. I'd say I think I get loaded up with some sort of endorphins, a major dosage of "Stress relief" , some awesome scenery to marvel at, combine it and I just love getting high.
10 ) Describe what you feel when you finally gain the summit...
I used to be more physically exhausted than I am now, now it's just awesome scenery and freedom. I think freedom is a big key. There is not much like it that you can sort of repeat on a regular basis.

Last edited by ktimm on Tue Jan 27, 2009 1:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Why do you love mountaineering?

Postby San Juan Ron » Mon Jan 26, 2009 11:04 pm

Good luck in the English class....

1 ) Have you been into hiking and mountaineering all your life? YES Or has it been a more recent interest?
2 ) Are you avid about hiking/mountaineering? YES 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? YES
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? AGREE WITH ED V.
5 ) Have you ever wanted to simply quit your job and just climb for the rest of your life? YES, AND I DID, I RETIRE AND CLIMB
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 IT'S NOT JUST ABOUT THE SUMMIT, MANY OF THE BEST HIKES/ADVENTURES DON'T NECESSARILY HAVE A SUMMIT
7 ) Do you prefer going solo? With a group? Both? BOTH
8 ) Do you enjoy running into climbers who are new to the sport on the trails or not? YES Why or why not? WE NEED TO GET MORE PEOPLE INTO HIKING, THE NUMBERS ARE DECREASING
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 ALSO DON'T PUT MYSELF IN BRUTAL CONDITIONS OR HIKES, SO I WOULD ASK THE SAME QUESTION
10 ) Describe what you feel when you finally gain the summit...ADRENALINE HIGH, AND RELIEF

SJ Ron
"The mountains are calling and I must go" -- Muir

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Re: Why do you love mountaineering?

Postby sand man » Mon Jan 26, 2009 11:46 pm

1 ) Have you been into hiking and mountaineering all your life? Or has it been a more recent interest?
About 12 years, ever since I moved to CO.
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?
Pretty avid. I get up to the hills about every other week.
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?
That quote pretty much sums it up for me.
5 ) Have you ever wanted to simply quit your job and just climb for the rest of your life?
Yup!
6 ) Is it all about gaining the summit? Or do you cherish every moment of the ascent and descent, whether you summit or not?
Hiking with my family helped me learn to enjoy every moment.
7 ) Do you prefer going solo? With a group? Both? Groups.
8 ) Do you enjoy running into climbers who are new to the sport on the trails or not? Why or why not?
Yes.
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 haven't had to much success explaining, however if I can take someone on a hike there is a good chance they will understand
10 ) Describe what you feel when you finally gain the summit...
WOW! :shock:
"Unto the hills around do I lift up my longing eyes" - Psalm 121:1

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Re: Why do you love mountaineering?

Postby mtgirl » Tue Jan 27, 2009 8:08 am

1 ) Have you been into hiking and mountaineering all your life? Or has it been a more recent interest?
Nope, I was a fat couch potato when I lived in NY. Got hooked on the mountains when I moved to Colorado 10 years ago.
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'm infatuated with the mountains. Can't seem to get enough of them. Also have a bunch of other hobbies that I try to juggle around (mountain biking, kayaking, running, etc.).
3 ) Do you find yourself thinking about and wishing to be on the mountain or on the trails often?
Constantly ! Daydreaming while I'm at work is about the only thing that makes this job tolerable ! :D
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?
There's so much truth in that statement. The mountain will always be there for another day and another attempt if things aren't going right.
5 ) Have you ever wanted to simply quit your job and just climb for the rest of your life?
I'd quit tomorrow if I could afford it. I'm getting closer and closer to enjoying my days with my 20-year federal law enforcement retirement. Can't come soon 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?
I really do cherish every moment I'm in the mountains. Sometimes you just gotta stop to smell the pine, listen to the creek flowing, feeling the cool breeze on your face. A summit is nice...but some of my best times in the mountains don't involve a summit at all.
7 ) Do you prefer going solo? With a group? Both?
I think my preference is with one or two others who have similar abilities. I also enjoy my alone time too and often go solo.
8 ) Do you enjoy running into climbers who are new to the sport on the trails or not? Why or why not?
Sure. We were ALL new to the sport at one time or another.
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 run into this situation often with both my mountain adventures and running marathons. Most of my friends and family think I'm nuts and just don't understand - so I've stopped trying to explain myself. That's OK though. I don't understand spending Sundays sitting on the couch watching Nascar or football games either.
10 ) Describe what you feel when you finally gain the summit...
ACCOMPLISHMENT......FORTUNATE TO LIVE IN THIS GORGEOUS STATE........AND GRATEFUL FOR MY GOOD HEALTH !
"Life is not measured by the breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away."

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Re: Why do you love mountaineering?

Postby Duffus Kentucky Climber » Tue Jan 27, 2009 8:39 am

1. ....all your life.....
Being born in the mountains, I've done hiking/camping off and on all my life, yes, but my first 14er at age 45. (15 years ago and I still have goals)
2.....once in a while with buddies......
Always with my wife and rarely with others and only on vacation once or twice a year.
3....thinking and wishing?
Every day.
4.....getting down is mandatory.
I'd like a penny for every time I've used that quote!
5.....no job and climb.....
I can dream can't I?
6....summit or not?
I wish I could skip the pain and just have the climax, but, "it's the journey, not the destination."
7....solo?
It is sure nice to have someone to share the moment. It's hard to explain later!
8...new climbers.....?
I like to share what little knowledge I have, and I can always learn something from others, no matter what their background.
9......what would you tell them?
Nothing worth having is easy to obtain.
10.....feeling on summit........
I am generally speechless (believe it or not).......there are no words to describe the elation!
It looks like the ridge is just right up there!

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Re: Why do you love mountaineering?

Postby catbus-x » Tue Jan 27, 2009 8:47 am

1 ) Have you been into hiking and mountaineering all your life? Or has it been a more recent interest?
About 2 years, after a car accident, doctors told me you cannot do this and this, so I climb for motivation and as a hobby.
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?
Around 3 times a year, I live in Kansas so is very hard to me.
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?
So much true, but a little frustrating when I can't reach the summit.
5 ) Have you ever wanted to simply quit your job and just climb for the rest of your life?
100%
6 ) Is it all about gaining the summit? Or do you cherish every moment of the ascent and descent, whether you summit or not?
My adrenaline is going up when I'm very close to the summit, then the opposite.
7 ) Do you prefer going solo? With a group? Both?
80% solo / 20% groups.
8 ) Do you enjoy running into climbers who are new to the sport on the trails or not? Why or why not?
Yes.
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?
Very hard to explain, many people think is not a sport, just for crazy people. But I believe is more than sports, is go to places where nobody can go.
10 ) Describe what you feel when you finally gain the summit...
Success and tell that experience to others.

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Re: Why do you love mountaineering?

Postby Bodhi » Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:38 am

1 ) Have you been into hiking and mountaineering all your life? Or has it been a more recent interest?
I've been into being outdoors all of my life but wasn't fortunate enough to experience Colorado's mountains until I was 12. I moved from the Eastern Plains of Colorado to Durango when I was 17...it's been a love affair ever since.

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. I'm doing something almost every weekend.

3 ) Do you find yourself thinking about and wishing to be on the mountain or on the trails often?
Mtngirl said it...yep, 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?
Wholeheartedly.

5 ) Have you ever wanted to simply quit your job and just climb for the rest of your life?
I have too many interests to say that I would quit my job to climb the rest of my life, but exploring new lands would certainly be one of those interests I would entertain.

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 don't think it's either-or. There have been times in my past where the summit was the goal, and I sacrificed much of the journey up as a price to pay for a quick ascent. I've also began hikes and just stopped....stopped and said, "This is enough...right here." Now, I enjoy the moments in which I'm present...the summit is just one of those moments.

7 ) Do you prefer going solo? With a group? Both?
I'm rather reclusive naturally, so I most certainly enjoy the serenity of going solo, but will occasionally hike with others (particularly in the winter, for reasons already mentioned). I also enjoy sharing the experience with other like-minded people.

8 ) Do you enjoy running into climbers who are new to the sport on the trails or not? Why or why not?
Look at the faces of the people you run into when you're hiking/climbing. What do you see? That says it all.

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?
How did Bierstadt explain his painting, "In the Mountains" ? Seriously, if you don't get it, you don't get it. There is a metaphysical quality to what we do that is simply beyond words. It doesn't require explanation...only acceptance.

10 ) Describe what you feel when you finally gain the summit...
See #9.
Peace is every step. ~Thich Nhat Hanh

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Re: Why do you love mountaineering?

Postby Presto » Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:48 am

1 ) Have you been into hiking and mountaineering all your life? Or has it been a more recent interest?
Unfortunately, never did go hiking or mountaineering as a kid ... been at it for 28 years now with no end in sight!
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.
3 ) Do you find yourself thinking about and wishing to be on the mountain or on the trails often?
Always.
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?
Both, getting down is mandatory and I'm willing to take the risk.
5 ) Have you ever wanted to simply quit your job and just climb for the rest of your life?
Yes, but then reality sets in.
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, but it's more enjoyable when I make the summit.
7 ) Do you prefer going solo? With a group? Both?
With my hubby ... don't mind friends going along as long as they don't whine. :wink:
8 ) Do you enjoy running into climbers who are new to the sport on the trails or not? Why or why not?
Sure ... it's fun to see people just bit with the climbing bug and it's a joy to share stories of past adventures.
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?
That it's my lifeblood ... being in the mountains, staring a big vistas, broadening my own limits, sharing the task at hand, making me a stronger person (both mentally and physically), putting it all in perspective (i.e., what seems like a big deal in your daily work or personal life can be greatly reduced when in a challenging climbing situation).
10 ) Describe what you feel when you finally gain the summit...
Satisfaction and joy.
As if none of us have ever come back with a cool, quasi-epic story instead of being victim to tragic rockfall, a fatal stumble, a heart attack, an embolism, a lightning strike, a bear attack, collapsing cornice, some psycho with an axe, a falling tree, carbon monoxide, even falling asleep at the wheel getting to a mountain. If you can't accept the fact that sometimes "s**t happens", then you live with the illusion that your epic genius and profound wilderness intelligence has put you in total and complete control of yourself, your partners, and the mountain. How mystified you'll be when "s**t happens" to you! - FM

Re: Why do you love mountaineering?

Postby Chicago Transplant » Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:00 am

Survey:

1 ) Have you been into hiking and mountaineering all your life? Or has it been a more recent interest?
I think there has been an allure to mountaineering longer than the actual practice. I started skiing when I was 12, but never really did anything in the summers other than "look" at the mountains. I was living in upstate NY at the time and we would go to mountain communities a lot on the weekends, I definitely enjoyed being in those towns. As I got better at skiing I started hiking up the expert terrain an finally came back in the summer to hike and climb in 2002. I always went for long walks though, I would walk for miles around Chicago when I lived there, sometimes from my house near Wrigley Field all the way downtown. I guess the mountains gave me a "goal" to my aimless wandering, the summit.
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?
Since I moved here in 2004 I have increasing become more avid, each year I have climbed more peaks that the year previous. A lot of that is because I am stronger now and have a lot of multi-peak days. In the winter I am an avid skiier and pretty much ski every weekend.
3 ) Do you find yourself thinking about and wishing to be on the mountain or on the trails often?
Yes, I often find myself planning for the next jaunt throughout the week through maps, guidebooks, trip reports, or even my own photos from earlier trips that I now want to come back for neighboring peaks. I give back a bit too as a volunteer with the Forest Service.
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, however with proper planning and training the risk is mitigated. By starting early and climbing fast, I rarely have had to be concerned with weather and I plan my winter ascents around the more "blue bird" days.
5 ) Have you ever wanted to simply quit your job and just climb for the rest of your life?
Not exactly, I wouldn't want to climb everyday, and I also love to ski. I wouldn't mind having the freedom to climb, ski or work on whatever days and whatever hours I want. I have climbed on the weekends before coming into work when we have been on deadlines, and I think no matter what I would still be working on some level.
6 ) Is it all about gaining the summit? Or do you cherish every moment of the ascent and descent, whether you summit or not?
Its not all about the summit but for me that is the goal, as I said before I used to just wander long distances, having the summit gives me a goal. I do cherish the other moments, on ascent I am pushing myself physically and on descent I stop and take in the sights along the trail. I don't like turning around before the summit, but I don't think its really "summit fever", unless its a really freak weather day, I have my routine down so that I summit most peaks before 9am, well ahead of any "monsoon" storms and with plenty of time to connect a few more on the ridge if things look good.
7 ) Do you prefer going solo? With a group? Both?
I prefer solo, I like to be in control of my own destiny so to speak, but enjoy hiking with others under the right conditions. I am more apt to climb with partners in spring and in fall when the weather is more stable, but in summer I would rather be solo because I know I can "beat the weather" if I stick with my routine.
8 ) Do you enjoy running into climbers who are new to the sport on the trails or not? Why or why not?
I do, but honestly rarely do run into them anymore. If I do its usually on descent, which makes me more apt to talk to people and share my experience as I have already reached my goal and am now just taking in the sights. I also volunteer with the Forest Service and those days I hike leisurely and am very "chatty" with other hikers, I will talk to everyone on the trail and see how they are doing and try and help educate them in Leave No Trace and our local Wilderness regulations.
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 think the pictures always help, show someone a picture from your climb and they always seem to say "wow". I also try and say that I do this all the time, so I don't really see it as brutal anymore.

10 ) Describe what you feel when you finally gain the summit...
Initially I feel inspired by all that I see around me, and just generally at peace. I take some photos, drink some water, eat a snack. After a little bit of relaxing I start to wonder "what's next?" and gauge the weather, look at the routes to connecting peaks and my maps and usually go on to the next summit. I typically summit at least 2 peaks every outing, but sometimes as many as 5 or 6. Its ironically usually back at the car that I really feel the sense of accomplishment, as you quoted earlier, "getting down is mandatory", the summit may be the goal, but it is ultimately a way point on the journey.

Again, thanks a whole lot!
"We want the unpopular challenge. We want to test our intellect!" - Snapcase
"You are not what you own" - Fugazi
"Life's a mountain not a beach" - Fortune Cookie I got at lunch the other day

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Re: Why do you love mountaineering?

Postby frankboal » Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:57 am

#1..
more recent interest...in 2005 my wife decided to challenge herself and run the pike's peak ascent...i trained a lot with her here in the 'flatands' and a month before the race she needed a challenge..i found 14ers.com and decided mt. bierstadt might do the trick...it was our introduction to altitude training...and we were hooked from there..

#2...
i'm no mountaineer but i am hooked on hiking....i usually spend at least one week of my vacation 'peaking'..11 so far and counting...

#3...
i'm on 14ers.com at least once a day..call me a '14er stalker'..it motivates me to get out the door in winters worst weather to workout...and keeps me motivated to stay in shape until i'm in the mountains again....

#4...
i'm married with 5 children and one grandchild...you can look at that one of two ways...either go up and never come down...or go up...be safe and return in one piece...i've done the latter..so far...but there are days!!

#5.....
i've got a great job...so no....but i'd love to be closer to the mountains and be able, on the spur of the moment..,.to jump in the car and hit a trail....it's funny...i can't wait to get out there to hike and yet i never travel around this area (kansas city metro) and hike the many trails that are here...i have no explanation for that...

#6.....
i must confess it's gaining the summit...i think it's easier to just get out and enjoy it if you have a lot of opportunity to do so..since i don't...my whole motivation is getting to 14,000+....getting back down...having a beer and moving on to the next challenge...but i'm going to try and change that this summer...take my time and 'smell the marmot poop'

#7...
since my wife has done the pike's peak ascent and tow pike's peak marathons..she's 'done with it'..so i always hit the trailhead alone....but i've only summited once (mt. sherman) by myself....i always run into people at the th and i prefer to have company...it's fun meeting new people from all over the country and world (70 year old from england hiking in english boots and long coat on quandry)...

#8...
i was a 'newbie' once...so i enjoy it....i know a lot of people on this forum don't like the big crowds on various trails over the weekends...but they also know where to go to avoid them...bottom line..everyone up there is helping the colorado economy by just being there...and everyone can use a little help in that department..

#9...
you can't explain it..and until i did it...i didn't understand either...you've got to get out there and try it..i tell everyone i talk to about it to put it on their 'bucket list'...summit a 14er..that's the only way they'll understand..and i've talked to lots of people who have...and they still don't understand....they were 'one and done'...and a lot of them are colorado natives!!

#10.....
in some cases it's a feeling of accomplishment...in some it's a feeling of relief....overall it feels good..really good...but it's an individual thing...everyone has there own motivation to 'get up there'....i take a deep breath...check the weather...sign the log..sit down...eat a pb&j...drink some water...take some pics......head down..anticipate that first beer...and what's on tap for tomorrow.....plus... i consider how lucky i am to have discovered this form of recreation.....you can have the beach, a sand chair and umbrella drink..i'll take the mountains anytime....
good luck with your paper!!

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Re: Why do you love mountaineering?

Postby gurlyclimber » Tue Jan 27, 2009 12:02 pm

1 ) Have you been into hiking and mountaineering all your life? Or has it been a more recent interest?
I have been hiking for about 8 years and have been mountaineering for about 6 of those years. The mountains have always captivated me but I was really sick up until I was about 21. I never thought I could do the things I do 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?
I'm pretty avid about it. Climbing is my passion but if I can combine it with the mountains I am content.

3 ) Do you find yourself thinking about and wishing to be on the mountain or on the trails often?
Yes, every day of my life.

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?
Being on the mountain can be a risk but yeah, I agree with Ed.

5 ) Have you ever wanted to simply quit your job and just climb for the rest of your life?
Heck yes! If I'm not married or tied down when my sons are in college or if I have a hubby who would like that kind of lifestyle, I'll be doing it eventually.

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 about gaining the summit safely. It doesn't always have to be fun for me to make it to the top. It can even completely suck. It just has to be done with care.

7 ) Do you prefer going solo? With a group? Both?
All of the above. I prefer to have a friend with me but have had amazing days in the mountains solo. I often feel like Talus Monkey is with me though when I'm solo. :-)

8 ) Do you enjoy running into climbers who are new to the sport on the trails or not? Why or why not?
I like meeting new people and I really enjoy meeting passionate people regardless of how long they have been mountaineering.

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?
Its not really something I can explain or convince people of. I would just encourage them to give it a shot. They'll know it if it is there thing. Showing them photos and getting them excited helps. I would never put anyone in a position they wouldn't want to be in.

10 ) Describe what you feel when you finally gain the summit...
Sometimes nothing, sometime happy, sometimes tired, sometimes I just want to hug my partner, take a nap, eat or just get the heck out of there.
There are some trips you never fully come back from.

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