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Finishing vs. not finishing - why?

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Re: Finishing vs. not finishing - why?

Postby sunny1 » Sun May 19, 2013 11:18 am

Aspiring 14er finisher here. Why? Because it's taken me on a journey far beyond what I expected. Because I can :-D \:D/

Before I first started climbing 14ers several years ago, I didn't think I could do it, for several reasons.
I'd been hiking for years in the state, exploring lakes, wilderness areas, etc., but never 14ers.
That was, until a friend visited from Italy and I spent time pointing out various 14ers as we saw them while driving by.
He asked me, "Why do you talk about all these 14ers and yet you do not climb them??" #-o
Gave me something to think about, and I started climbing that year with Mt Massive.
I was hooked, but it wasn't until I was in the double-digit summit count that I thought I'd like to climb all of them at some point.

There have been times when I became TOO focused on "THE LIST" and it wasn't fun. It felt like another job. Something I go to the hills to escape!
I noticed this phenomena once I was above 40 14er summits - felt burned out for awhile.
I learned, over time, to back off and go climb something fun or just take time off. I no longer have the same tunnel vision, hence I'm a slower paced finisher than many.

Finishing isn't the be all, end all. I see it as a launching point for continued backcountry explorations and adventures.
There isn't an urgency to finish, but it is getting closer for me.
I'm doing it for my satisfaction and sense of accomplishment.
I think the motivation needs to come from within - I don't think anybody is going to be nearly as impressed with me when I finish the 14ers as I will be with myself! :mrgreen:

So, to the OP, climb whatever makes you happy, at a pace you enjoy. You may find you eventually complete the 14ers, anyway!
The older you get, the better you get, unless you're a banana.

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Re: Finishing vs. not finishing - why?

Postby KeithK » Sun May 19, 2013 3:39 pm

Chicago Transplant wrote:To me North Maroon is just a false summit, albeit a pretty cool looking one.


Mike, I gotta challenge you on this one... North Maroon by itself is a really BIG day, a big, dangerous day. Maroon Peak is a huge, dangerous day. To traverse from one to the other is technically more challenging, more dangerous, and much more strenuous than most traverses between a "false summit" and a ranked peak.

I hate El Diente, and keep hoping a gust of wind knocks it off of that ridge someday so it just goes away. Still, it, by itself, is a really challenging peak. The traverse to Wilson is a mile long, that's no false summit, no way, no how.

Anyway, just thought I'd chime in. I climbed all of the 14ers because it was the most ambitious, most accomplishing goal I ever set in my life. It was much more than a list, or a job, or a burden. It was tiring, to be sure, and there were a few times that I felt like I was letting down some friends when I would have to decline invitations to climb with them. In the end, though, I will never forget the journey, and I can describe just about every single one like it was yesterday.
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Re: Finishing vs. not finishing - why?

Postby Chicago Transplant » Sun May 19, 2013 9:27 pm

The 14ers are a funny group of peaks, there seems to be any number of peaks from 53 to 73 on people's "lists", which of those lists you pursue is up to you. My goal was always the highest 100, there are 53 14ers and 47 13ers on that list, which is based on 300' of prominence. North Maroon has 234' of prominence, so its not on that list. I could probably come up with a list of all sorts of unranked peaks I want to climb, and North Maroon would be on that list. When I get back to climb the Bells Traverse I will climb it, but in the meantime there are so many other peaks that interest me I just haven't gotten around to it yet.

There are a lot of unranked peaks that by themselves are big days (or dangerous). There are a lot of unranked peaks that are worthwhile outings, and often are more fun than a lot of the ranked peaks I have done. There are plenty of unranked peaks I have climbed, and will climb. It doesn't have to be on a list to climb it, but a list needs some sort of criteria, and mine is 300' of prominence. I climbed all the 14ers on that particular list.

So to sort of bring this back to the original post - to finish or not to finish? Its up to you, and its up to you which list you choose. Finishing a list does not mean finishing climbing, there are always other peaks or repeats. Don't let all this list talk and "to count or not to count" a peak or whats on one persons list vs anothers get in the way of having fun out there. If you enjoy this sport/hobby, you will never be finished anyway. Just think of finishing a list as a milestone. Sometimes reaching a milestone feels good and helps refocus your energy. Good luck whatever you choose!
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Re: Finishing vs. not finishing - why?

Postby TallGrass » Sun May 19, 2013 11:24 pm

painless4u2 wrote:Image North Maroon Peak.
If that's the peak, where was the photo shot from??? Looking down??? That's not the peak, that's the end of the plank that you're atop after climbing the Chimney.
Chicago Transplant wrote:...North Maroon would be on that list. When I get back to climb the Bells Traverse I will climb it,
So traverse from N to S? If N. Maroon isn't on your list, then starting from S. Maroon (as it was originally called) would make it more of a downclimb, no?
Not sure if I'll do more 14ers. The trip reports are too tiring. :wink:

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Re: Finishing vs. not finishing - why?

Postby DArcyS » Mon May 20, 2013 12:05 am

North Maroon and El Diente are like Fenway Park and Wrigley Field. It's the tradition associated with them that leads to their stature. Because North Maroon and El Diente have the tradition of being included on the 14er list as recognized by the CMC for many decades (if not close to a century), it's this tradtion that keeps them relevant. The relatively recent development of the 300' rule has not been enough to disturb this traditional view of the 14er list. Sometimes tradition trumps objective logic, and I think that's the case for including North Maroon and El Diente on the 14er list.

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Re: Finishing vs. not finishing - why?

Postby BillMiddlebrook » Mon May 20, 2013 6:22 am

inthemtns wrote:North Maroon and El Diente are like Fenway Park and Wrigley Field. It's the tradition associated with them that leads to their stature. Because North Maroon and El Diente have the tradition of being included on the 14er list as recognized by the CMC for many decades (if not close to a century), it's this tradtion that keeps them relevant. The relatively recent development of the 300' rule has not been enough to disturb this traditional view of the 14er list. Sometimes tradition trumps objective logic, and I think that's the case for including North Maroon and El Diente on the 14er list.

Well put.

300-foot thing aside, these "peaks" were relevant enough to become named and seen as individual summits for many, many years. Sure, N Maroon is just a spur attached to Maroon but it's appearance and public acceptance as a mountain towering over Maroon Lakes means something.

When approaching El Diente from Kilpacker, it's seen as a vast, singular mountain.

I don't think it matters if people include them on their list or not but I do understand how tradition and beauty have put them on our lists and made them important to climbing groups such as the CMC.
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Re: Finishing vs. not finishing - why?

Postby gb » Mon May 20, 2013 8:34 am

Well, I guess someone else would have to tell me if I'm a finisher or not since I've never bothered to climb one of Kit Carson's many subpeaks. Maybe I'm just keeping that one in my back pocket so I can claim to finish or not depending on my mood. But that's not the point I want to make...

I've always contended that the "secondary" experiences of climbing the 14ers equal or even exceed the actual climbing. Take Culebra. It's easy to skip, with the fee and everything. But to me, climbing in that huge land grant, seeing all the spanish influence and CO's oldest town in San Luis made the effort worthwhile. That's one example. I take a lot out of the 14ers other than just the peaks themselves. Maybe that's just me. The list more or less forces you to have some of those experiences. Yes, you can certainly have a lot of experiences following your fancy and climbing whatever moves you, but in general you won't cast as wide of a net that way.

Like anything, what you put into the 14ers is what you'll get out of them. Which means that you can climb all of them in July and August by the standard routes with lots of other people and that's great if that's what you're into. But you could also decide to climb some of them in winter. You could navigate your way to one of the summits from a direction you don't know if anyone else has done before, off-trail. You could climb Little Bear more safely in a spring snowpack. You could get into rockclimbing and end up climbing Kit Carson via the Prow, or the Needle by Ellingwood. The 14ers can be as much or as little of an introduction to mountaincraft as you want them to be.

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Re: Finishing vs. not finishing - why?

Postby painless4u2 » Mon May 20, 2013 3:41 pm

Tallgrass said:
If that's the peak, where was the photo shot from??? Looking down??? That's not the peak, that's the end of the plank that you're atop after climbing the Chimney


Yes, I know that's not the summit of N. Maroon. That's why I said you can get perspectives from a mountain that are unique, such as looking down on that cool ramp from the summit of N. Maroon. Can't do that from S. Maroon.
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Re: Finishing vs. not finishing - why?

Postby TallGrass » Mon May 20, 2013 8:23 pm

painless4u2 wrote:Image ... Yes, I know that's not the summit of N. Maroon. That's why I said you can get perspectives from a mountain that are unique, such as looking down on that cool ramp from the summit of N. Maroon. Can't do that from S. Maroon.


Hmm... :-k no.
Positively no way that was shot from the summit.
From the summit ridge close to the precipice, maybe, but still far from the summit and not as high on the ridge as I was, but downhill to the left.
Even looking at the 14ers.com N. Maroon summit panorama it's clear there's absolutely no way you could line up the precipice/plank tip (nice composition on that shot you took, BTW :wink: \:D/ ) with Pyramid like that from over 14,000.
Even this subsequent photo from your own TR shows it the one above can not be from the summit.

I took a lot of photos and video up there (yes, the perspectives ARE interesting). The angle and background don't match anything from the summit, but it does match those taken near plank or precipice.
Panoramic of precipice below the summit of North Maroon.
Image <-- click large full screen Image <-- click for larger Image <-- click for larger
Image <-- Video on end of precipice looking up N. Maroon, which makes me wonder if the precipice/plank/"ramp" is even visible from the peak w/o taking some chances on loose rock.
Video panorama on N. Maroon summit.
Last edited by TallGrass on Mon May 20, 2013 8:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Not sure if I'll do more 14ers. The trip reports are too tiring. :wink:

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Re: Finishing vs. not finishing - why?

Postby d_baker » Mon May 20, 2013 8:30 pm

TallGrass. Beat it some more....your point hasn't come through yet.
Painless, I know what you mean, regardless if you were on top or not.

Mr. OP (B-Thom),

Have you made a decision yet? You should start a poll asking the masses to make the decision for you. I remember another member posted a question of what his 1000th post should be, so you should be ok with a poll like that. ;)

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Re: Finishing vs. not finishing - why?

Postby painless4u2 » Mon May 20, 2013 8:46 pm

OK, OK. I get it. The photo was taken as we descended the summit of N. Maroon, not actually from the summit proper. My point was we were on N. Maroon Peak, where you have the opportunity to see such sights along the way, unique to that mountain.

Whew! ](*,)
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Re: Finishing vs. not finishing - why?

Postby BillMiddlebrook » Mon May 20, 2013 8:51 pm

Brutal. rustic-like
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