Now what? After the big climb/hike/adventure

5:00 a.m. on September 15, 2010 (EDT)
848 reviewer rep
3,890 forum posts

This thread is for comments on the article "Now what? After the big climb/hike/adventure"

In August, I climbed Mount Rainier. I'd trained for months, the climb was fantastic, the group of women I climbed with was wonderful, the whole experience was a lot of fun. I was so happy I nearly cried walking across the crater to that summit marker (seriously, and I'm no crier). To top it off, thanks to family and friends I raised more than $6,600 for Big City Mountaineers. Next summer eight un...

Full article at

6:52 a.m. on September 15, 2010 (EDT)
102 reviewer rep
2,973 forum posts

I was going to suggest the next objective should be taking time to smell the flowers, but apparently you have been there and done that:)

Rainer, and the other PNW volcanoes, were my stepping stones to the bigger Alaskan peaks and beyond. I was young then, full of testosterone, and approached climbing as a physical and spiritual discipline, similar to a martial art. My life was uncomplicated; I had no spouse to widow or children to orphan. It is amazing what one can do, but at some point the objective risks must be reconciled. Eventually my list started to include going to funerals of mountaineering companions who met their fate on adventures similar to the ones we once enjoyed together. I decided to focus more on a challenge they failed to accomplish, and prioritize the goal of living to a ripe old age on my list. Thus the wanna-do gonzo peaks were stricken from my to-do list. And that is the main dilemma with these action lists; you reach a point where luck, age, money, or obligations top you out. And then what?

I am old now, and have little need to prove something to myself or anyone else. Over the years I also came to realize a lot of what used to populate my to-do list was there in part because I was preoccupied with personal development, versus personal experience. What is the point in achieving Zen mastery if you don’t experience the flower?

I do my outdoor stuff nowadays out of love for the experience of just being there. If I were to suggest things to put on your list I would include the A winter ski trk in the Sierras, hiking the Olympic Rain Forest, boating the coast line of southern British Columbia, anything involving Zion Canyon or the Na Pali Coast, all of which are very sublime, and can be as easy or difficult a challenge as you desire.

8:51 p.m. on September 21, 2010 (EDT)
848 reviewer rep
3,890 forum posts

Thanks for the thoughts, Ed. You raise some good and important points.

As a parent, my goals and objectives have changed dramatically over the last years. I think it's important to find a balance between doing the things that challenge and fulfill you, but at an acceptable and responsible risk level.

No, I can't give an easy answer of what that is for anyone else, but I tend to fall on the cautious side myself.

Lots of interesting food for thought....

April 21, 2018
Quick Reply

Please sign in to reply

More Topics
This forum: Older: Google Maps: "Kayak across the Pacific Ocean" Newer: Man to run from North to South Poles
All forums: Older: Critters seen on a dayhike Newer: sleeping bag