First Timer Rituals

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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Postby cftbq » Tue May 15, 2007 12:57 pm

Well, as you can see, there is no one universal ritual. Everyone just does whatever seems most significant to him/her. Nothing wrong with imbibing a bit (not too much...) of whatever you like most, but, unfortunately, the usual celebratory favorite, bubbly, doesn't really work well at high altitude--tends to sort of explode. Ditto for beer, although some people stick with it all the same. A decent substitute, IMHO, is a small bottle of non-bubbly wine, perhaps of a slightly higher quality than you might normally drink.
On another plane, topping out on one's first 14er is probably a good time and place just to sit and think deeply a bit. Take in the amazing view (which you worked hard to earn), and meditate a little on your place in this amazing world, what led you there, and where you're going. Also, remember that you could get hurt on the way down, just as much as on the way up, and consider how your loved ones might feel if that were to happen. Enjoy life!
I have been to the mountaintop, and I have seen the force
and the power that animates the universe. That may not
match up with your anthropomorphic or teleological idea of
what "god" is, but it's good enough for me.
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Postby jwproulx » Tue May 15, 2007 2:56 pm

When I reach a summit, I go back down. :D
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Postby montysep » Tue May 15, 2007 5:19 pm

Surprised nobody said this already.....

Take a few photos and sign the summit register.

No beer for me on the summit. The lighter the pack the better. Besides I need to concentrate on the way down to avoid rolling an ankle.
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Postby Dozer » Wed May 16, 2007 9:15 am

Some good suggestions here so far.

This is a summary of what I'm seeing here:
Take it all in.
Take some pics.
Maybe a small celebratory toast.
Get down in one piece.
Climb another.
Repeat as often as possible.

Pretty much sum it up?
"How can you keep them down on the farm once they've seen Carl Hungus?" --The Dude

"In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is." --Yogi Berra
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Postby Van McDaniel » Wed May 16, 2007 6:02 pm

Dozer, After you get a few 14ers knocked off you are going to have be initiated into The Order. Once you learn the proper rituals such as the "high signs" and "handshakes" you should be able to recognize a fellow climbing bum/site member from across the street in any mountain town or pizza/beer joint and they should recognize you also. Now none of this will work for you if you happen to be one of those bedwetting, twinkle toed yuppies....You know the type...Leased BMWs, pavement only SUVs, pinky food and flip-flops on their manicured feet walking around Gunnison.

From the way that you summed it all up, you appear to have a handle on The Truth. Giterdone!
Eat Dessert First!
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Postby Mtn Geek » Wed May 16, 2007 7:36 pm

My ritual is usually eating my lunch. I'm normally starving by the time I reach the top.

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