|See the mountain top back there? WAY back there...|
The experience itself was fantastic, and as I tromped along, and reminisced about the experience afterward, a few things came to mind as to why climbing a mountain - any mountain - is so freaking awesome.
The Inspiration. Looking at a mountain peak - massive, unrelenting, unfathomable from down below and saying I climbed that! is pretty darn cool. Showing the mountain you climbed to your 6 YO daughter and having her say Mommy, I want to climb a mountain with you - well, that takes the cake.
The Comradery. Sharing a life story as you climb, a snack along the way, and a yoga pose photo at the summit just brings you that much closer to the people you are sharing this fairly epic experience with. Showing someone else the view can make it even more transformative, and tandem glissading is just that much more fun. It is often better to hike with someone for safety reasons. With the right people there is no better way to solidify a friendship.
The Physicality. I am all for doing things that are hard, sometimes even punishingly hard, and climbing a mountain can certainly be extremely difficult. It can also be one of those stealth workouts that sneaks up on you 12-24 hours later when you suddenly discover a new level of soreness in your quads that is going to stick around for several days such that you will no longer be able to walk up or down stars without wincing. aaaahhh... the good stuff.
The Perspective. The right pace, the right gear, and the right amount of grit can get you many places in life, including the top of a tall mountain. Learning this about yourself - that you can overcome many obstacles and literally come out on top is an invaluable life lesson. So is the perspective gained from seeing how small things seem when you get some distance from them. There are many benefits, both physical and mental, to be gained from summiting a peak - renewed self-confidence and a revised outlook being among them.
The Challenge. We had not been at the summit for 5 minutes before one of the group, keenly eyeing the neighboring peaks of Middle and North Sister mused out loud I wonder if people climb all three peaks in one day. And the gauntlet was thrown...
|Looks doable, right?|