Mountains, Gandalf, Mountains!



I feel the pull of mountains.  I love being outdoors, and I especially love being in the mountains.  I love the air, the smells, and the natural beauty.  I love to hike, fish, camp, and to explore.  I love watching outdoor shows, survival shows, and reading stories of exploration and adventure, especially those that involve climbing mountains, and exploring the North (in particular).  Something about these stories and accounts captivates my imagination and my wanderlust in unique and powerful ways.

I’ve been thinking about this lately, and I’ve come to the realization that while I’ve climbed several mountains, I have not climbed any “real” mountains.  By “real” I’m talking “Fourteeners.”  Fourteeners are mountains whose elevations are 14,000+ feet.  There are loads of them in Colorado, as well as California, and Alaska, for example.

I’ve also come to the realization that I’m not getting any younger.  Unfortunately, this is simply the case.  I now pay for it when I eat late at night, and the day after an evening spent playing basketball is rough!  These aches, though, are merely signs of life.  They are not, and will not be, signs of defeat.  Rather, they will serve as motivation.

I want to climb big mountains.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about Mt. Everest, or K2, or anything like that, but rather, the sorts of big mountains that I can realistically and affordably climb.

This is not based upon the arrogant, world-conquering spirit, that much of mountaineering is based upon (though I confess I’m prone to that sort of thinking…) but rather it is about adventure, about pushing myself and my body beyond certain limits, about staying in shape, and, did I mention, adventure?

So, I suppose I’d better get cracking!  Josh Sweeden, if you read this, I’m counting on your help (and your hiking companionship!).  Maybe there will be others too?

I should probably set a goal…so how about 2 years.  I need to at least have climbed one Fourteener before the end of the summer in 2014.

Well, I guess that’s settled…

8 responses to “Mountains, Gandalf, Mountains!

  1. Do it Rusty! Even I’ve climbed a fourteener. Although it was in Colorado and I think we started at about 9,000 ft so maybe it doesn’t really count? I do look back on it and think “I was much braver then”. Good luck!

  2. I’m seriously considering climbing Long’s Peak (14’er in Rocky Mtn National Park) this Aug-Sept timeframe and would love the company! If you aren’t familiar with it, it’s the most climbed 14’er in Colorado, and a good place to start.

    Oh, and I might be returning to KC from Oregon this Fall — long story, but things aren’t working out like I thought they would — so you might have another friendly face in Trinity!


    • Dave,
      I would love to welcome you back to Trinity!!! As for the climbing, I don’t think I’ll be able to get away from work for this September, but maybe we could try another time. I do think you should go for it though!

  3. Count me in! The Collegiate Peaks are filled with 14ners. We can climb Princeton, Yale, Oxford, Columbia and Harvard by day and fish the Taylor and Arkansas by night.

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