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My rules for peak bagging

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Re: My rules for peak bagging

Postby CorduroyCalves » Wed May 15, 2013 9:06 am

SingleSpeed wrote:Granted not many of us are not in favor of “rules” for climbing. If we were rule followers we would be playing football, baseball or cycling (well maybe not cycling.. Thanks Lance!) However, what about the 3000’ foot elevation rule? Or the 300 feet (??) elevation drop between summits? Many of us feel the need to follow these, to make it count.

I think the spirit and thought of the OP’s #2 rule is sound advice. If you save the hardest summits for last, are you willing to take chances that you would not have if you would have tried earlier. After all, you have much more experience than you did earlier in your climbing endeavors, so surely it is not a problem. Can/does success on easier peaks lead to a false sense of ability and skill. I suppose this is an individual question we must each ask ourselves and evaluate.

And besides if I wait to do the hardest ones last, it is going to be a B**** to get my walker over Columbia's knife edge


Climb On!


And there are many of us who don't. The 3000' rule isn't a rule, it's just a number that Gerry Roach put in his guidebook that sounds good to a lot of people. What if he had decided on 2500' or 3500'? Would the masses be using either of those numbers instead?

With that being said, I wouldn't count Evans if I parked at Summit Lake, but the TH for Sherman is close enough.
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Re: My rules for peak bagging

Postby spiderman » Wed May 15, 2013 9:21 am

The only rule that I follow for drive-up peak bagging is that I must come to a full stop and fully exit the car with both feet on the ground.

If you really want to be "fair" when peak bagging, hike naked and barefoot with no gear at all. It would really make for an unpleasant butt scootch crossing of the knife edge on Capital, but it would stop all of the bickering of what is allowed and what is not allowed.

CorduroyCalves wrote:I wouldn't count Evans if I parked at Summit Lake, but the TH for Sherman is close enough.

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Re: My rules for peak bagging

Postby GeezerClimber » Wed May 15, 2013 9:33 am

inthemtns wrote:
Steve Knapp wrote:Looks like you got into some deep water with this one D'Arcy. Nothing wrong with that, makes for an interesting discussion. I'm glad you have rules, more power to you. But I head to the peaks to get away from rules. I don't need to define mountaineer versus peakbagger. Its all about doing what you like, spending time outside, getting some great exercise, challenging yourself, spending time with others, I could go on. Its the old quality versus quantity argument, and I have just as much fun on quantity days as I do on quality days, if that can even be defined. I've climbed all the 14ers and over half the 13ers so far and have a great time doing it. But I also enjoy a 10-peak day of 8ers and 9ers, and have even climbed 4ers (ranked peaks far below the elevation I live at). If mountaineering is climbing Jagged, Dallas, the Grand Teton, etc then I love that. Some of the hardest peaks in the state are peaks far below the mountaineer's radar. Try something like Big Rock Candy Mountain, Chair Rocks, the Palisade. Get the skills to do it, and you can have as much fun as you would on Lizard Head. Just do what you love and don't worry about classifying it.

Peakbagging is not a bad word, embrace it.


Ah, Steve, the deep water doesn't bother me. And all of what you said -- which supports a balanced approach -- isn't that consistent with setting a reasonable goal on a list so you have time to do other things?

There are people who get so obsessed with a list, well I've heard of marriages being destroyed. I heard a story of a peak bagger who HAD to squeeze one more peak in at the end of the day, but that peak was at the expense of the spouse -- and soon to be ex-spouse -- waiting back in town. Another peak bagger admitted to me that the pursuit came at the expense of his or her job. If you get too caught up in this game of chasing peaks, you can loose a lot. Would setting a reasonable number of peaks to climb in a year help in these cases? "Oh, I've climbed 50 peaks this year, I guess I can go home to my spouse" versus "I still have hundreds of peaks to climb, I need the whole weekend to climb. Too bad for my love."


Some people are obsessive types. If mountains weren't the objects of the obsession, something else would be. In the case of marriages, it is extremely likely there were other issues. Perhaps the obsessed one was actually escaping a bad marriage to begin with. Obsessive people often have train wrecks for personal lives but they are also the ones to push the envelope, develop new ideas for business and pursue them, take risks and set records we all admire, etc. In other words, they often improve the lot of mankind in general even as their personal lives may be a mess or lacking entirely. Mountains aren't the problem nor the lack of rules or guidelines. You can try to spin your words but they still come off as very opinionated and judgmental. Even non obsessed people find that offensive. You can choose to learn from the reactions and reassess your attitudes. Ask yourself why so many find your post condescending.

Dave

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Re: My rules for peak bagging

Postby Steve Knapp » Wed May 15, 2013 9:35 am

inthemtns wrote:

There are people who get so obsessed with a list, well I've heard of marriages being destroyed. I heard a story of a peak bagger who HAD to squeeze one more peak in at the end of the day, but that peak was at the expense of the spouse -- and soon to be ex-spouse -- waiting back in town. Another peak bagger admitted to me that the pursuit came at the expense of his or her job. If you get too caught up in this game of chasing peaks, you can loose a lot. Would setting a reasonable number of peaks to climb in a year help in these cases? "Oh, I've climbed 50 peaks this year, I guess I can go home to my spouse" versus "I still have hundreds of peaks to climb, I need the whole weekend to climb. Too bad for my love."


Now this is true. I have also seen damaged relationships, and have to be very careful with mine. As you say it is all about balance, making the most of the time you have with your family and when you do get time to hike go all out. I only get a few days a month to get out, which is why I try and climb as many peaks I can on those few days. Ideally one would find a spouse/significant other that shares your climbing goals and interests, but that is extremely rare. It takes an understanding person to comprehend what we do and why we do it. I would say if someone has obsessive compulsive behavior, it's much better to be climbing peaks than channeling that behavior into more unhealthy endeavors.

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Re: My rules for peak bagging

Postby crossfitter » Wed May 15, 2013 9:38 am

The title of this post really should have been. "My rules for peak bagging in order to avoid becoming a mountain hermit"

The target audience is clearly for those who strive for balance in their lives - not the hardcore bagger who can't/won't step away from the mountains for a weekend. To that end his rules/guidelines/suggestions are actually fairly reasonable. For those of you in the latter category - chill. The 'gubmet is not coming to take your mountains away from you, he's just offering friendly albeit unsolicited advice.
- A mountain is not a checkbox to be ticked
- Alpinism and mountaineering are not restricted to 14,000 foot mountains
- Judgment and experience are the two most important pieces of gear you own
- Being honest to yourself and others about your abilities is a characteristic of experienced climbers
- Courage cannot be bought at REI or carried with you in your rucksack


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Re: My rules for peak bagging

Postby nkan02 » Wed May 15, 2013 9:54 am

inthemtns wrote:There are people who get so obsessed with a list, well I've heard of marriages being destroyed. I heard a story of a peak bagger who HAD to squeeze one more peak in at the end of the day, but that peak was at the expense of the spouse -- and soon to be ex-spouse -- waiting back in town. Another peak bagger admitted to me that the pursuit came at the expense of his or her job. If you get too caught up in this game of chasing peaks, you can loose a lot. Would setting a reasonable number of peaks to climb in a year help in these cases? "Oh, I've climbed 50 peaks this year, I guess I can go home to my spouse" versus "I still have hundreds of peaks to climb, I need the whole weekend to climb. Too bad for my love."

Dude, it is called life. Many things can destroy the marriage. As for the job situation, my incessant peak bagging (or is it mountaineering :? ) *might* have been a contributing factor, as I spent my weekends in the hills while golf-playing co-workers did some face time in the office. It was a crappy job for me, but I did not have time to look for another one. Guess what - I found another one which is a much better fit for me and I don't have an unreasonable boss to deal with. So it is not the end of the world. It really depends on the perspective what you lose and what you gain. Oh and yeah, your rules are beyond silly. ](*,)

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Re: My rules for peak bagging

Postby ChrisRoberts » Wed May 15, 2013 10:15 am

anna wrote:
forbins_mtn wrote:
on that note: the people i see as "peak baggers" really seem to miss out on a lot of wonderful things that the wilderness represents


Fortunately, not everything is not always as it seems to be. I'd make the case that often (but not always) the opposite is true.

Yep, I'd be quite unaware of many places without having seen them on a list. And that's just the destinations, the journey to them often offers more than I'd expected
Some rise, some fall, some climb to get to terrapin
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Re: My rules for peak bagging

Postby SilverLynx » Wed May 15, 2013 10:16 am

inthemtns wrote:My Rules for Peak Bagging
The first thing you need to do is to determine whether you are a peak bagger or a mountaineer. While a peak bagger and mountaineer have many different traits, I generally view a peak bagger as one who is primarily interested in climbing a peak to complete a list, while a mountaineer is more concerned with climbing challenging routes on a peak. A peak bagger is more likely never to reclimb a difficult peak once completed, while a mountaineer is more likely to reclimb a difficult peak again to experience the challenges of climbing. Some peak baggers are also driven by an obsessive compulsive personality. They get themselves on a list and I suspect some of these people actually don’t like to climb, but they need to finish the list to satisfy this deep desire to finish it.

Most people aren’t purely a peak bagger or a mountaineer – a continuum exists between the two extremes. My rules apply to people who are primarily peak baggers that are trying to complete a list. The rules are as follows:
1) Set a goal to climb a reasonable number of peaks in a year. There are a number of factors to consider when setting the number, such as your age, job, family, the size of the list, and the number of lists you are climbing simultaneously.
2) Do not avoid climbing the hardest peaks and leave them for last. This rule makes sense for the 13ers and top 100, but for the 14ers, it needs to be modified. First gain experience on the easier 14ers, and then do the hard peaks, but just don’t leave Capital, the Bells, Pyramid, and Mt. Wilson for last.
3) Climb the peaks with class 3 or harder climbing in July and August and finish with walkups in the fall months. This has an element of safety – you won’t be tempted to climb harder peaks that are best done without snow on them.
4) Have fun – don’t forget why you started climbing in the first place.

My initial post was meant to be more humorous but I'd like to be serious for a second, because I think you have some excellent points. However, I think the term "guidelines" would be more appropriate than "rules" since rules are generally not flexible or subject to interpretation by the individual.

First of all I will shamelessly admit that I am a peak bagger. I see nothing wrong with it. I am not working toward a goal of the Seven Summits (at least not at this point in my life), I don't anticipate climbing Rainier, I am not trying to write a book, or become the best, or intentionally choose more difficult routes to gain a summit. That's not to say I don't like repeating mountains, but I'm not there to put myself into dire situations in order to prepare for taller and more exotic mountain ranges. I simply like to hike to the highest point in the area, see the sights, hear the birds, enjoy my day and make it safely back to the comfort of my home with my family and my pets (right after I stick another pin in my wall map of the 14ers, upload my photos to Facebook and update my peak checklist on this website). :wink: Like a mountaineer, I like adventure and and finding my limits; I like stepping out of my comfort zone; but I would still call myself a peak bagger. Of course, these are only words; concepts. A way for us to understand what makes me different than the next person when in fact it is probably a very blurred line.

Regarding Guideline #1, I agree that it is important to balance your "the rest of your life" with climbing and be realistic. Sure, we are all out there yearning for new experiences and risk but there are people outside of the mountains who need our attention too (hopefully). I also think it's important to not kick yourself for not climbing as much as someone with more skill, more free time, more money or fewer responsibilities. Do what you can and be happy with what you can achieve.

Regarding Guideline #2, you might be the first person to say what I have always thought. While it is a good idea to step up the difficulty in a logical way, that doesn't mean saving the hardest for last. At some point you have to realize no other mountain will completely prepare you for the next, and there is an uncertainty and mystery that comes with the territory of mountain climbing. While preparation is important, don't put yourself into a crunch where everything left on your list is Class 4.

Regarding Guideline #3, I don't completely agree only because I feel that September is often the safest month with regards to weather. I'm sure anyone here is well aware that storms can occur at any time between May and October, but they seem to be less likely in September. Also, the summer is often a useful time to get yourself in shape for the more challenging peaks. I would not start this summer off by doing Class 4 when I've been doing Class 2 and below all winter. I do understand what you mean by people feeling the pressure to do all they can before winter sets in, so I'm not dismissing this entirely. This one is really about being honest with yourself. Are you climbing a Class 4 at the end of the season because you feel you are ready for it? Or are you just trying to get one more check mark in before the snow comes?

Regarding Guideline #4, yes definitely. If you're not having fun anymore with this activity it is time to reassess what is important to you and why you are peak bagging in the first place. Though I always have fun when I'm in the mountains, I do tend to have to ask/remind myself "Why did you start climbing 14ers? What was the reason and what was most important to you?" in order to avoid getting carried away with lists and check marks and beating myself up over missed opportunities.

One last thing I would like to add - if you put people and safety before glory and ego, I think you are climbing for the right reasons. Whether you are a peak bagger, mountaineer, skier, rock climber, ice climber, 13er hipster, thru hiker or any other kind of person in the hills, we are all in this together. You don't have to agree with me, but that's how I see it. I thought the original post was thought-provoking enough to deserve a longer response than my usual post, so there you go.
"I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear."
~Nelson Mandela

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition."
~Steve Jobs

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Re: My rules for peak bagging

Postby Jim Davies » Wed May 15, 2013 11:06 am

Jeff Valliere wrote:A few "rules" that I live by:

Come home safe.
Have fun.
Do no harm.
Leave no trace.
Respect others.

I really like this list. No need to overstate every detail. :)
Some people are afraid of heights. Not me, I'm afraid of widths. -- Steven Wright

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Re: My rules for peak bagging

Postby highpilgrim » Wed May 15, 2013 11:47 am

illusion7il wrote:
Oh, I do exist. And to prove it to you, I was just a little bit more than disappointed when the Cardinals' pitching sent the Rockies into an 0-50 funk. Now, that's hard to believe . . .


GO CARDINALS !!!!


Go BIRDS!!!!

Rules are overdone. My lucky seven:

1) Have fun.
2) Hike with good friends.
3) Stay dry.
4) Get off route whenever possible.
5) Start early.
6) Avoid trade routes.
7) Don't take yourself too seriously

And of course the obvious: Drink good beer.
Call on God, but row away from the rocks.
Hunter S Thompson

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Re: My rules for peak bagging

Postby Aug_Dog » Wed May 15, 2013 11:55 am

Such a strange thread, OP.
Go get it

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