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How did your passion for the mountains begin?

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How did your passion for the mountains begin?

Postby MtnHub » Wed Oct 30, 2013 2:23 pm

For those lucky people growing up in CO, or anyone who lives in close proximity to the mountains, I can understand how you may have developed a love for them; and families that did a lot of outdoors stuff with camping or traveling.

But I must have a loose innate gene or something, because I’m the only one in my family who is so obsessed with them. My wife has tons of relatives in CO, but NONE of them hike or climb! (Is that weird, or what!?) :o

I grew up and have lived in the Midwest all my life. My father was in the War and because he survived in a foxhole for months, he vowed to never camp again! As a result our family vacations were usually spent in a cabin at a remote lake in the Boundary Waters of MN. Nice, but it was not the mountains. :(

In the third grade when I was 8yo, my Social Studies textbook had a picture of the Cathedral Group in the Tetons. I was stunned! :shock: I vaguely remember reading about mountains etc. in books and fairy tales, but it wasn’t until I saw this picture that I realized it was an actual place I could visit and experience for myself.

It wasn’t until after I was married and my wife and I took one of our first vacations together that I finally reached the mountains themselves! It was my first visit to RMNP. I was in heaven! :-D I LOVE the fresh outdoors! I LOVE the trees! I LOVE the rocks! I LOVE the rivers and streams! I LOVE the winding paths and trails! Ever since then it is all I can think about and make plans for my next trip.

So I’m just curious what caused or prompted your love for the mountains? (for anybody, natives or not)

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Re: How did your passion for the mountains begin?

Postby hop2it » Wed Oct 30, 2013 2:40 pm

I wish I had a exciting story to share on this subject, but it was really just this guy that I *liked* planted the seed in my mind about getting in the mountains, hiking, and 14ers(as he had traveled to CO & many others states to do this). I had done local smaller hikes here in WV, but once I went to CO, I thought....wow this is so gorgeous and challenging! What could be better?! And thus, it began :).

Funny thing is, he doesn't even know he did that for me! I guess most of us influence people from time to time, and have no idea we are doing so.

Re: How did your passion for the mountains begin?

Postby Steve Climber » Wed Oct 30, 2013 2:45 pm

Born and raised in them.
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Re: How did your passion for the mountains begin?

Postby I Man » Wed Oct 30, 2013 2:52 pm

Saw "Everest:Beyond the Limit," quit my job on the East Coast and drove to Colorado.

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Re: How did your passion for the mountains begin?

Postby Rambler » Wed Oct 30, 2013 2:54 pm

As a freshmen in college 12 or so years ago my uncles (7 in all ages ranging from 50-32 back then) started an annual guys trip for some male bonding dubbed the "Rocky Ramble". They'd go camping/fishing/hiking but it was always in the area of some 14ers, with a 14er summit the goal. After 3 unsuccessful years (2 weather related one just poor planning) hikes I finally got my first on Castle and have been doing my own trips now since they are getting older. Plan on keeping the tradition going.

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Re: How did your passion for the mountains begin?

Postby SilverLynx » Wed Oct 30, 2013 2:54 pm

I was born in Upstate New York, so I've always had an appreciation for nature and the outdoors; especially the woods because I grew up with a huge forest behind my home. When I was very young I went to Montana and Alaska during different summers, and I have pictures of me with mountains in the background and pictures of me on hikes but I never became passionate about climbing them until much later.

I moved to Colorado when I was 11 and knew nothing of climbing mountains. During my preteen and early teen years I attended church camps and retreats in Winter Park, Allenspark and Colorado Springs. There was a connection made between God and the mountains for me... On one retreat specifically, Mount Meeker caught my attention during a silent prayer session. It was amazing to me; something about it captivated me, made me feel insignificant but excited. Maybe that's when my curiosity started. But for a long time, going to the mountains for me meant long drives and short hikes. One summer, for my grandmother's 90th birthday, my mom, grandma and me went on a road trip to Aspen, Vail and Leadville. I can remember standing next to Maroon Lake.

In college I stayed at Pingree Park for a month and learned all about the alpine ecosytem and the flora and fauna at each elevation. I became familiar with the names of the trees, the grasses, the animals and the flowers... We hiked almost every day. For our last project we hiked up almost to the top of Mummy Pass. It was the highest elevation I had reached by walking before - about 11,500 feet. My camera was not with me that day but I was in complete awe of the wildflowers I saw way up high on the alpine meadows. I continued to hike low-elevation Front Range peaks for the next few summers but nothing crazy.

Four years later, I had to take another class for CSU involving camping in Estes Park. During that week we explored a cave, snowshoed (though I protested the snowshoes) to Emerald Lake, hiked almost to the top of Twin Sisters, and did some rock climbing and rappelling. I think the passion had finally hit me then... because I realized how much I could do if I pushed my boundaries a little, and I was guided by people who made it a blast. That summer is when I decided I wanted to explore more on my own, which led me to the 14ers. My passion was really ignited with Longs Peak, on a hike when I had initially set out to do Lady Washington.

I think this pic is from 1999 or 2000.
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Re: How did your passion for the mountains begin?

Postby d_baker » Wed Oct 30, 2013 3:03 pm

I grew up in Vermont, and every summer my parents would take us camping several times during the season. On those camping trips, we would play in the woods or near a lake or down by the river. I'm sure those times influenced my life. As did my time as a hunter, going out in the woods (without trails -gasp!-) and trying to down a buck. I would get bored sitting on a deer run, so I would just walk around in the forest instead, which probably helped me gain a sense of direction that would come in handy years later as I started hiking up mountains.

These days while being away from the mountains, this damn website helps me cope. :)

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Re: How did your passion for the mountains begin?

Postby apasquel » Wed Oct 30, 2013 3:26 pm

I'm from Dallas...one day, as a young teenager, I just looked up and said..."Nope, this is all wrong." And thus, my search began...

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Re: How did your passion for the mountains begin?

Postby RobertKay » Wed Oct 30, 2013 3:28 pm

I have always had a passion for the mountains. As a young kid, my family lived in Bangladesh but visited Nepal. I suppose that may have been the beginning, but I was only six so I don't remember much. We moved from the beaches of Australia to Colorado just before I turned 12, intending to spend three months there. However we loved it so much we never went back to Australia - that was 1973 - and I grew up there. I vividly remember my first time on skis. My dad took us to Hidden Valley (an old ski area in RMNP) and rented skis for us after the lifts closed so we'd be ready for our first lesson the next morning. My brother and I were so excited we hiked up and skied down. I was 100% smitten from the first moment gravity took over! I'd found my love.

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Re: How did your passion for the mountains begin?

Postby Jay521 » Wed Oct 30, 2013 3:28 pm

When I was a kid in the 1950's, my grandparents had a cabin in Red Feather Lakes and we spent a lot of weekends there so my exposure to mountains started pretty early. Walked up Mount Audubon in probably 1960 when I was in Boy Scouts and I think I knew then that I would always need to live near the mountains. Can't imagine living anywhere else.
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Re: How did your passion for the mountains begin?

Postby Mtn Geek » Wed Oct 30, 2013 3:31 pm

I was raised in Flagstaff AZ. My parents would take us camping in the desert along the Verde River and in Lockett Meadow. I was in the 4th grade when I first wanted to hike Humphreys Peak and my dad took me to Lockett Meadow where we started, which is one of the longer ways to go. I made it to about 12,000 feet before altitude sickness got me.

My dad took me to Colorado for the first time when I was 15 to hike Handies Peak. That was the beginning of my love for the mountains.

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Re: How did your passion for the mountains begin?

Postby pbakwin » Wed Oct 30, 2013 3:34 pm


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