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Why do you love mountaineering?

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Re: Why do you love mountaineering?

Postby CO Native » Tue Jan 27, 2009 11:05 am

wsharber wrote:1 ) Have you been into hiking and mountaineering all your life? Or has it been a more recent interest?

I grew up in the Puma Mountains and was exploring them since I was a child. I climbed Mount Elbert at age 7. I've been doing it my whole live.

wsharber wrote: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 would consider myself avid though other interests compete for my time. I don't get out as much as I'd like to, but life is about finding balance. Part of my mountaineering experience is being a member of SAR. This demands a lot of training time and takes away from some hikes, but I get to be a part of making mountaineering safer and more enjoyable for others.

wsharber wrote:3 ) Do you find yourself thinking about and wishing to be on the mountain or on the trails often?
Too much. I always have plans for the next adventure, and I'm constantly helping others decide where to go and what to take on a trip. Planning trips helps curb the addiction between trips. I have my own website that I post trip reports and try to write helpful info for other hikers. I'm constantly reading new articles on new gear, techniques, practices, routes, etc.

wsharber wrote: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. I find the true measure of the quality of a mountaineer is in the times he/she has had to turn back, not just in the ones they succeeded. I greatly respect Ed Viesturs. He has done some amazing mountains and has managed to do it without those trips costing him much. He has a healthy fear of the mountains. Many people who climb those mountains loose toes, fingers, and much more simply because they didn't wait for the right time. "There are old climbers, and bold climbers, but there are no old bold climbers."

wsharber wrote:5 ) Have you ever wanted to simply quit your job and just climb for the rest of your life?
Not really. Life is not about living selfishly. Happiness is found in giving of yourself to others. I work at a job that allows me to help a lot of people. The money I earn at that job enables my wife and I to do foster care for kids who wouldn't have a family otherwise. It also buys the equipment I use for Search and Rescue. Sometimes I hike to enjoy the mountain myself, but more and more I am taking groups and sharing my love of the mountains with them. I agree with Chris McCandless when he wrote "happiness isn't real unless it's shared." I love taking people into the mountains for the first time in their lives. Even people who have lived near the mountains their whole lives are amazed at the beauty that can be found in the mountains.

wsharber wrote: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 certainly hasn't been all about the summit. Undeniably making the summit is the goal and a great part of a trip. However, I have had failed attempts that I have enjoyed far more than many of my successful ones. I think the real goal is learning to overcome. Sometimes making the summit is the challenge to overcome. Sometimes learning to make smart decisions that go against or desires is the challenge. Sometimes just surviving the trip is the challenge.

wsharber wrote:7 ) Do you prefer going solo? With a group? Both?
As I stated earlier I prefer to share the experience with others. I also prefer not to go solo because it is much safer with at least one partner. "A cord of three strands is not easily broken." Also, if you really want to get to know someone, take them on a backpacking trip. My strongest friendships have been forged after days on a trail working together to achieve a goal. It's also ended some friendships as well, but I think that's been for the better as well.

wsharber wrote: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 and hiking with new climbers so that I can also enjoy their enthusiasm and I can share the places I've been and loved. Yeah sometimes new mountaineers can be obnoxious with being overzealous, posturing, attitude, and disrespect; but those things have a way of working themselves out. Either with experience they'll lose it, they'll just give up on the sport, or the mountain will take care of it. We have all gone through that phase and continue to go through it really. I enjoy helping get them started on the right foot. I benefited from others taking the time to teach me, so I try to do the same for others. I also always try to remember that the guy to be most scared of is the one that claims to be an expert. There are no experts in the mountains. Part of giving advice is being open to taking advice and potentially changing your stance when a better alternative is presented.

wsharber wrote: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 show them the pictures and don't expect them to understand. I can't expect everyone to get it or agree with it. Some guys work on cars and get really enthusiastic about it. I can appreciate their love of what they do, but spending a weekend under a car replacing a transmission would be a horrible time in my mind.

wsharber wrote:10 ) Describe what you feel when you finally gain the summit...

Different things every time. Some of the more common are:
Accomplishment. Reaching the summits of the 14ers requires putting forth a lot of effort and fighting a mental battle the whole way. The harder the summit the greater the sense of accomplishment.

Relief. Getting to the top generally means the hardest part is over. Of course for a number of 14ers this isn't true.

Unburdened. I find getting away from the daily grind and spending several hours hiking and putting your mind into such a basic but enjoyable task helps you regain proper perspective on life. The worrys of the world tend to fade when put into the perspective of the creation of God, and when all but the essential for life are left behind.
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Re: Why do you love mountaineering?

Postby Mountain Minister » Tue Jan 27, 2009 12:33 pm

1 ) Have you been into hiking and mountaineering all your life? Or has it been a more recent interest?
-- I suppose its been pretty recent. When i was a little boy, i can remember looking up at them and thinking of them as something magical. Finally, when i was 19, i decided to climb to the top of one.

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?
-- For the most part i am pretty avid. Not so much at the moment. I have been pretty sick, but i am planning an easy climb in a week or so! I CANT WAIT!

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

5 ) Have you ever wanted to simply quit your job and just climb for the rest of your life?
--Every day! I wish i could get paid for my hobby...but i'm sure everyone with a hobby wishs the same 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?
--Every moment is wonderful! Every moment feels like paradise. The summit is like the cherry on top of my sunday.

7 ) Do you prefer going solo? With a group? Both?
--Most of the time i prefer solo(just God and I), but having a friend or family member with me to enjoy the experience is also very fun.

8 ) Do you enjoy running into climbers who are new to the sport on the trails or not? Why or why not?
--It does not matter to 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?
-- What i tell people when they ask me this question is as follows: "I do it because(for some reason) i feel closer with God. I feel like he is with and i am his guest. The mountains being his home. Its hard to explain, but when i am above treeline, i feel like i am in God's living room.

10 ) Describe what you feel when you finally gain the summit...
--ENLIGHTENMENT(of some sort)

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Re: Why do you love mountaineering?

Postby cheeseburglar » Tue Jan 27, 2009 12:55 pm

Survey:

1 ) Have you been into hiking and mountaineering all your life? Or has it been a more recent interest?
All my life. My parents took me on a week long backpacking trip when I was 3 months old.
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?
It varies. Some years it's obsessive. Others just once in a while.
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?
The motto is valid, but risk can never be reduced to zero. There is risk in every activity, especially mountaineering.
5 ) Have you ever wanted to simply quit your job and just climb for the rest of your life?
I might quit my job, but I would do more than just 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?
The summit is just part of the adventure.
7 ) Do you prefer going solo? With a group? Both?
Both, it depends on the mountain.
8 ) Do you enjoy running into climbers who are new to the sport on the trails or not? Why or why not?
Yes, they are often very fun to talk to.
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 a lot of free time and the other options for wasting it are boring.
10 ) Describe what you feel when you finally gain the summit...
It varies from satisfaction, to relief, to natural highs that are better than any drug.

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Re: Why do you love mountaineering?

Postby MountainHiker » Tue Jan 27, 2009 2:50 pm

I made it a point not to read through the other answers first, so I might be repeating some of what others say or going off into completely different directions.

1 ) Have you been into hiking and mountaineering all your life? Or has it been a more recent interest?
I moved to Colorado in 1983 and found myself drawn to the mountains. Before moving here I was into working-out for fitness but hadn’t gotten into hiking.

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 avid about it. More weekends than not year round I make it to the mountains. Climbing a mountain has been the reason for most of my foreign trips.

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?
I think it is a good motto to live by. Although there can be a reluctance to turn back when the goal is near and a lot has been invested to get that close.

5 ) Have you ever wanted to simply quit your job and just climb for the rest of your life?
Realistically I value financial security too much to do that. It would be great if I didn’t have this severe inconvenience of having to work to pay for things.

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 rare for me not to summit. Most of my enjoyable memories are at points along the way. The summit is more of a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment. Much of that feeling is afterward.

7 ) Do you prefer going solo? With a group? Both?
2 to 4 people is ideal. I have gone solo but prefer a partner. The trouble with large groups is they rarely stay together and they are a challenge to organize. On a nice day in the summer on an easy mountain is a better time for groups.

8 ) Do you enjoy running into climbers who are new to the sport on the trails or not? Why or why not?
I enjoy talking to other people along the way. Usually they don’t have as much Colorado experience as me, but often have more experience from another mountain area or another activity they can tell me about.

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 would tell them that we are all part of an ancient secret cult whose rituals have been passed down through the generations. If they really want to know more it will be necessary for them to submit to a secret initiation rite that will be a life changing event.
Alternate answer: If I have to explain it to them, they probably wouldn’t understand. “It is there”


10 ) Describe what you feel when you finally gain the summit...
Usually not much. It’s after I get back down I might feel a sense of accomplishment.
Red, Rugged, and Rotten: The Elk Range - Borneman & Lampert

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Re: Why do you love mountaineering?

Postby 4HClimber » Tue Jan 27, 2009 3:49 pm

1 ) Have you been into hiking and mountaineering all your life? Or has it been a more recent interest?
At the age of 51, I got the mountain climbing bug in June of 2008 and made it t the summit of 18 14ers in six months.
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?
From my response to #1 I'd classify myself as avid.
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?
Sometimes you have to decide to live to climb another day!
5 ) Have you ever wanted to simply quit your job and just climb for the rest of your life?
No. Variety is the spice of 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?
Both
7 ) Do you prefer going solo? With a group? Both?
Solo.
8 ) Do you enjoy running into climbers who are new to the sport on the trails or not? Why or why not?
Yes. We all have to learn from someone.
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 tell them that it is something you cannot describe--You have to experience it.
10 ) Describe what you feel when you finally gain the summit...
a. Grateful for my health (3 years ago I could barely walk across the room), b. appreciate life
"Everybody's got a mountain to climb" The Allman Brothers

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Re: Why do you love mountaineering?

Postby ClimbandMine » Tue Jan 27, 2009 6:08 pm

1 ) Have you been into hiking and mountaineering all your life? Or has it been a more recent interest?
I started hiking when I was 6 with my dad, and kept backpacking with scouts and on my own through HS. Started rock climbing my senior year, and mountaineering just before college. Started technical mountaineering by my sophomore year.

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, though its one of many things I do with free time.

3 ) Do you find yourself thinking about and wishing to be on the mountain or on the trails often?
mountains and climbing, 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?
Yes. friends and family are more important than a summit.

5 ) Have you ever wanted to simply quit your job and just climb for the rest of your life?
Definitely. Too many routes, never enough time.

6 ) Is it all about gaining the summit? Or do you cherish every moment of the ascent and descent, whether you summit or not?
Summit? No. The line, the day, and the company are to be cherished. The summit is a bonus.

7 ) Do you prefer going solo? With a group? Both?
Generally solo, especially on loose ground.

8 ) Do you enjoy running into climbers who are new to the sport on the trails or not? Why or why not?
Always glad to lend a teaching hand, though once the terrain is serious I'd rather blow and go and not worry about someone else's safety if I don't have to.

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?
What's brutal about it? Take 'em ice climbing. Plus, it ain't about the summit. Its all about the journey, not the destination, as they say.

10 ) Describe what you feel when you finally gain the summit...
Up is only half way. Ya still have to get down in one piece.
I don't care that you Tele.

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Re: Why do you love mountaineering?

Postby Aubrey » Tue Jan 27, 2009 8:29 pm

1 ) Have you been into hiking and mountaineering all your life? Or has it been a more recent interest?
Since I can remember, I've always been attracted to mountains. Started really getting into hiking in my late teens and early 20s. After moving to Colorado almost 7 years ago, I became infatuated with the alpine environment and that naturally progressed into a drive to gain summits.

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 do it as often as I can. I have my dry spells, but mountains never leave my mind for long.

3 ) Do you find yourself thinking about and wishing to be on the mountain or on the trails often?
Yes, especially at work. I often find myself gazing across the cube farm while dreaming of higher places.

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. The quote is great because it breaks down a complex concept with just a handful of understandable words.

5 ) Have you ever wanted to simply quit your job and just climb for the rest of your life?
I just want to quit my job. But I'd definitely climb with my newly freed-up time.

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 surely enjoy every moment and the "journey," but it's always disappointing when you don't gain the summit for one reason or another -- or many. Especially if you've exerted a lot of energy, time and money to get the opportunity in the first place. It's easy for people to say, "the mountain will always be there," which is true, but I won't always be here!

7 ) Do you prefer going solo? With a group? Both?
Ideally, I like to climb with one to three other people. Sometimes it's fun with a few more, and sometimes it's nice to hike alone on something easy/safe.

8 ) Do you enjoy running into climbers who are new to the sport on the trails or not? Why or why not?
Yes, but only if they show respect for the mountain and other climbers. And for the newbies* I meet that have a lot of passion, I will go out of my way to offer advice and help in any way I can. [*Climbers with less experience than I have.]

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?
To each his own, I say. I've actually talked to many people that didn't understand why I spent thousands of dollars to spend a week of hiking into cold, oxygen-deprived air, sleeping on the ground in a tent and squatting to take craps on piss-soaked floors (Kili). Some of the swankiest all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean are less than half that for a week of pampering, fine dining and unlimited drinks.

10 ) Describe what you feel when you finally gain the summit...
A lot. But it really depends on the summit. Like sex, some times are better than others, but it's always at least good. It's more difficult to explain the internal/spiritual feelings ...

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Re: Why do you love mountaineering?

Postby MtnHub » Tue Jan 27, 2009 8:47 pm

1 ) Have you been into hiking and mountaineering all your life? Or has it been a more recent interest?
Although I've always been fascinated by the mountains ever since I first saw a picture of the Tetons in grade school, I never had the chance to actually visit CO and WY until after I was married. Have always been a hiker, but only recently have really gotten into climbing to 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?
I would have to say "avid" but I only get the chance once a year when I'm on vacation.
3 ) Do you find yourself thinking about and wishing to be on the mountain or on the trails often?
More often than not. If fact I usually compare almost everything by my experiences in 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?
Yes, but at the same time I am willing to take a certain amount of calculated risk. If I wasn't married, I probably would take a little more calculated risk than I have, but I do want to make it back home to my beloved wife.[/color]
5 ) Have you ever wanted to simply quit your job and just climb for the rest of your life?
Yes, but I would certainly do other things besides only climbing. I hope I can still climb after I'm retired.
6 ) Is it all about gaining the summit? Or do you cherish every moment of the ascent and descent, whether you summit or not?
Gaining the summit is important, but certainly is not the only thing. I cherish the entire experience, although the last couple of miles on easy trail back to the car is sometimes the hardest.
7 ) Do you prefer going solo? With a group? Both?
I do love to go solo and climb at my own pace, but I also really enjoy sharing the experience with another person of fairly equal ability. Don't think I would want to climb with more than 2-3 others however, unless they were really close friends or of very equal abilities.
8 ) Do you enjoy running into climbers who are new to the sport on the trails or not?
I actually enjoy meeting other climbers on the trails and discovering their levels of abilities, answering some of their questions, or giving me insight on things I'm unfamiliar with.
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 don't think there is anything you can say to those individuals. If they have to ask, it's nearly impossible to give them an adequate answer.
10 ) Describe what you feel when you finally gain the summit...
It is Nirvana! It is the ultimate "high" in every sense!

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Re: Why do you love mountaineering?

Postby Gary Brady » Wed Jan 28, 2009 9:40 pm

First of all: Thanks for the survey. I have really enjoyed reading the answers and sharing my own.

Survey:

1 ) Have you been into hiking and mountaineering all your life? Or has it been a more recent interest?
No question. I was blessed by growing up near a wooden area with many trails and we spent a lot of time in the woods growing up. We also made it a point to spend at least a week each year camping and hiking in Colorado. Since I've got older the trips have grown in frequency.

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 have been absolutely obsessed since high school.

3 ) Do you find yourself thinking about and wishing to be on the mountain or on the trails often?
I can't get enough of the outdoors. If I'm not outdoors, I'm either reading about, thinking about it or dreaming it.

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 me it is really about being on the mountain. I don't really care if I get to the top. I usually do. If I don't it will be there tomorrow. I do often take risks. Mountaineering is a sport full of risks. The risks do concern me, but I do everything I can to mitigate those risks. Of course getting down is manadatory. But, I certainly would not mind spending the night on a peak if I needed to. I try to always be prepared for such an event.

5 ) Have you ever wanted to simply quit your job and just climb for the rest of your life?
Another one of my obessions. I wish it was possible. Of course it is, but my wife would have a difficult time adjusting to the spartan life style. I don't see it happening. Unfortuately, we have to realize we live with other people that may not share our interests any where near the same level. We really have to have a balance of work and play.

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 seriously love every second of being outdoors. It doesn't matter where. Mountains are the best. Ofcourse the ascent and the summit have their own special characteristics. The ascent has that special sense of anticapation, but I also enjoy studying the trees, rocks, and animals on the way up. The summit is magical. You have that sense of accomplishment, the view, and just being alive. The decent has its charm to. You get to see everything you enjoyed on the ascent in reverse.

7 ) Do you prefer going solo? With a group? Both?
I enjoy both. I would mostly prefer a small group. But, the reality is it is difficult to get other people's schedules to line up. Rather than hassle through it, I mostly go alone.
8 ) Do you enjoy running into climbers who are new to the sport on the trails or not? Why or why not?
Absolutely. I never pass up a chance to share my passion for mountains with others.

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?
Most people have passion for something. It might be cars, golf, hunting, family, or any of a hundred other things. We all have to do something other than work. For me its hiking. There is no better way to go through life than experiencing nature. If I thought I could get away with it, I would just load up my pack and walk out the door right now and never return. Its not that I hate my life, but I really can't understand why people have to work in fabric covered cattle pens 8 hours a day.

10 ) Describe what you feel when you finally gain the summit...
Reaching the summit, is great way to crown the achievement of the hike.
You guys have fun climbing this weekend. I can't go. Lumbergh's gonna have me come in on Saturday, I just know it.

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Re: Why do you love mountaineering?

Postby Scott P » Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:02 pm

1) Have you been into hiking and mountaineering all your life?


Guess so. I used to be carried since I was 2 weeks old on backpacks and I started climbing peaks at a young age.

2 ) Are you avid about hiking/mountaineering?


I hike or climb on about 100 days a year, so I guess that could be considered to be "avid", but I don't consider myself an expert mountaineer, at least on the really technical climbing.

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?


I believe in Ed Viesturs motto. It isn't worth leaving my children fatherless or my wife a widow.

5 ) Have you ever wanted to simply quit your job and just climb for the rest of your life?


Every day of my life, but it is not practical.

6 ) Is it all about gaining the summit?


No. Last year I attempted 65 peaks, but only summitted 57. I fail to reach the summits on a lot of trips. If I feel in danger or if my partners (kids, friends, wife) feel in danger or if I feel they are I turn back.

Or do you cherish every moment of the ascent and descent, whether you summit or not?


Some of my best climbs were when we didn't summit.

7 ) Do you prefer going solo? With a group? Both?


Both. For winter climbs I like groups and do not like to go alone (though I end up going alone on many occasions). For technical trips I don't like going solo. On day climbs or evening climbs I don't like going alone, but I like to take the kids whenever I can. I also like to go with my wife whenever we can.

8 ) Do you enjoy running into climbers who are new to the sport on the trails or not? Why or why not?


Sure. I almost always have positive experiences with othes while in the mountains.

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 would tell them that it's safer than being a couch potato and the couch potatoes are the ones living dangerously and that hiking and climbing is overall very healthy.

10 ) Describe what you feel when you finally gain the summit...


Depends. Sometimes I want to take in the view and relax. Sometime I am happy to reach the summit. Sometimes I've felt disappointed, though not often. Sometimes I am sad that it means after I go down I will have to return to work. Sometimes I'm glad the climb is over (though not often). Sometimes I feel pride my my son or daughter is glowing with the accomplishment. Sometimes I savor the summit and have spent hours up there and sometime (i.e. when the weather is extremely cold) I only spend a few seconds or touch the top and immediately head down. If my wife isn't with me I always miss her and think of her on every mountain I've climbed when we weren't together. I think of the kids too. I've felt lots of different things while on the summits of various mountains.
I'm slow and fat. Unfortunately, those are my good qualities.

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Re: Why do you love mountaineering?

Postby Haliku » Thu Jan 29, 2009 8:21 am

1 ) Have you been into hiking and mountaineering all your life? Or has it been a more recent interest?
Hikiing since my folks moved to the country when I was 7. Rock climbing since I was 15. Mountaineering since 2001.
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 might be too tame of a word. I try to get out hiking a few times a month an climb as much as possible--alpine, ice or rock.
3 ) Do you find yourself thinking about and wishing to be on the mountain or on the trails often?
Every day. Thankfully sites like this one and summitpost.org help.
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. The mountain will always be there to return to. There are also more mountains than I can climb so why push it.
5 ) Have you ever wanted to simply quit your job and just climb for the rest of your life?
See #3 above.
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 the journey not the destination. Some of my best memories are along the way not just the summit.
7 ) Do you prefer going solo? With a group? Both?
Depends on the objective, weather, difficulty, etc. I climb/hike fast so the larger the group the slower the group.
8 ) Do you enjoy running into climbers who are new to the sport on the trails or not? Why or why not?
Sure. Sometimes its hard not to give unsolicited advice, ex. Why are you in jeans without a jacket? Do you know a storm is about to break out? Other times I just shake my head and figure they will learn via the 'on the job' 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?
I used to think I could convey the 'logic' of this pursuit to someone who doesn't understand. I realized that unless they try it they still don't understand. Sometimes I'll just say "Because its there."
10 ) Describe what you feel when you finally gain the summit...
Accomplishment, calmness, 'spiritually' refreshed.
"You step onto the Road, and if you don't keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to."

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Location: Colorado Springs

Re: Why do you love mountaineering?

Postby susanjoypaul » Thu Jan 29, 2009 6:57 pm

wsharber wrote:5 ) Have you ever wanted to simply quit your job

YES!

Again, thanks a whole lot!

Sure. Anytime.

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