Mountain Peaks-The Summit-Why

“Mountain Peaks – The Summit – Why”

Summit

Mount Shasta, California – Majestic upon approach

There are so many reasons why?
To most it makes no sense. Or at least no common sense.

On the other hand: Does it have to make sense?

It is hard work to get to the top. And often times dangerous!

The rocks roll as your feet scramble to get their placement in the scurry.

Pebbles feel like bullets when they hit your helmet.

As you watch a boulder pass through the narrow throat that is only passable by one person…you give thanks for grace, and the opportunity to safely take passage back down.

The snow falls, you lose your sense of space and time due to the lack of oxygen.

If I could only see my hands in front of my face. Keep moving!

Stopping is a last resort.

Sun cups, popcorn snow, whiteout, blistering sun, crevasses, a wind that bites at your innermost bones.

Snow blind, dehydrated

The horrifying sound of an avalanche across the ravine or the wonder of a cracking sound or ping!

The glacier is alive and moving!

The colour’s are many as you look into the prism of  light from the glacier melt.

No rainbow and no words for such magnificent colour’s.

Along the ridge to the summit

And the summit?

You will have to make the journey yourself.

Author: Bob Patchin

Mount Shasta

The Summit

There are many thoughts after many climbs and here are but a few. Remember your last climb or challenge in life and enjoy these as a reminder or encouragement.

“Because it’s there.”
George Mallory

“Climb if you will, but remember that courage and strength are nought without prudence, and that a momentary negligence may destroy the happiness of a lifetime. Do nothing in haste; look well to each step; and from the beginning think what may be the end.”
Edward Whymper, Scrambles Amongst the Alps

“You cannot stay on the mountain forever. You have to come down again. So why bother in the first place? Just this: What is above knows what is below, but what is below does not know what is above. One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer, but one has seen. There is an art of conducting oneself in the lower regions by the memory of what one saw higher up. When one can no longer see, one can at least still know.”
Rene Daumel, Mont Analogue

“But risks must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing. The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he cannot learn, feel, change, grow or live. Chained by his servitude he is a slave who has forfeited all freedom. Only a person who risks is free. The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; and the realist adjusts the sails.”
William Arthur Ward

“We do not deceive ourselves that we are engaging in an activity that is anything but debilitating, dangerous, euphoric, kinesthetic, expensive, frivolously essential, economically useless and totally without redeeming social significance. One should not probe for deeper meanings.”
Allen Steck

“O cold ! O shivery ! It was your ambrosial beauty. Forget, forgive. Kismet. Let me off this once.”
James Joyce

“Talkers are no good doers.”
William Shakespeare

Mount Shast

On the way to the summit

“Live with me, and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove
That hills and valleys, dales and fields,
And all the craggy mountains yields.”
Christopher Marlowe

“A dwarf can stand on a mountain, he’s no taller.”
Seneca, Latin Philosopher

“Man of the plains, why do you climb the mountain ? So I can see the plain better…”
Chinese saying

“The only zen thoughts you can find on a mountain summit are those you brought yourself.”
Robert Pisig

“Faith can move mountains.”
The Apostle Matthew

“On the mountains of truth you can never climb in vain: either you will reach a point higher up today, or you will be training your powers so that you will be able to climb higher tomorrow.”
Friedrich Nietzsche

“Courage is grace under pressure.”
Ernest Hemingway

“After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.”
Nelson Mandela

Mount Shasta

You are almost to the summit

“Today is your day ! Your mountain is waiting. So… get on your way.”
Dr. Seuss

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out where the strong man stumbled or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred with dust and sweat and blood. At best, he knows the triumph of high achievement; if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”
Theodore Roosevelt

“But risks must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing. The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he cannot learn, feel, change, grow or live. Chained by his servitude he is a slave who has forfeited all freedom. Only a person who risks is free. The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; and the realist adjusts the sails.”
William Arthur Ward

“It’s a round trip. Getting to the summit is optional, getting down is mandatory.”
Ed Viesturs

Mount Hood

Mount Hood – Oregon; Just one vista from the summit

“It’s always further than it looks.”
“It’s always taller than it looks.”
“And it’s always harder than it looks.”
“Your first mistake can be your last one.”
“Take only pictures; leave only footprints.”
“As long as there is an open mind there will always be a frontier.”
“Walking: the most ancient exercise and still the best modern exercise.”
Author’s Unknown

“Mountains are not fair or unfair, they are just dangerous.”
Reinhold Messner

“True greatness comes not when things go always good for you; but true greatness comes when you are really tested, when you have taken some knocks, faced some disappointments, when sadness comes. Because only if you have been in the deepest valley, can you ever know how magnificent it is to be atop the highest mountain.”
Richard Nixon

“Security is mostly a superstition. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run that outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”
Helen Keller

Mount Hood

Mount Hood – Going into a crevasse, willingly

You have now come to the end of this post. The last photo’s are of my favorite climb. It is not difficult and I have not been there for over twenty years. It is Mount Baldy in the Los Angeles Mountains of California. Going up to the summit is fun, with only a couple of moderately challenging area’s. Once you reach the summit you can see out to Catalina Island past the city. On the other side, you look out over the High Desert towards Barstow, and to  the south end of the High Sierras. In the winter at night it is quite a sight to be seen overlooking the city of Los Angels. This requires a bivouac and can be quite cold depending on the snow and windchill factor. The trip down is fast, and you can have loads of fun playing with the wind. Especially when the Santa Anna wind is coming up from the hot desert in the summer. The cool humid coastal air creates a draft over the summit by which you can stand at almost 45 degrees and not do a face plant into the rocks.

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