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How did you start? Your first climbs??

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Postby kamil » Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:45 pm

Chocolate is my fuel in the mountains, without it i'm dead :) Tastes best at the summit.

I started with hiking with my parents since I was 8, in Beskidy, then Tatry. Always been a natural born climbing kid, climbed trees, fences, monuments, so rocks naturally came next.
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Re: How did you start? Your first climbs??

Postby MountainMan38 » Tue Oct 12, 2010 12:44 pm

I grew up in the small mountain community of Wrightwood, Ca. My family relocated to the East Coast when I was very young but, I always kept the memories of the mountains with me. Now, over thirty years later driving as a long haul truck driver, I get to see some very beautiful mountains around the country. I always wondered and dreamed what it would be like to climb to the top of one of those beautiful mountains. At 39 years old, I finally get to live that dream I've had since I was a young kid.
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Re: How did you start? Your first climbs??

Postby Palisades79 » Thu May 24, 2012 3:01 pm

In 1948 when I at the Boy Scout Camp Harvey West at Upper Echo Lake we hiked to the summit of Ralston Peak in Desolation Valley in the Sierra Nevada. In 1976 my wife gave me a week at the Palisades School of Mountaineering (PSOM) for my 39th birthday . TM Herbert taught me how to tie on a rope and we climbed the U-Notch to the summit of North Palisade .I loved technnical climbing from day one and have since climbed rock,ice & snow in the U.S.A ,Canada, & Nepal . In 1996 I climbed Zodiac on El Capitan in 4 1/2 days with two friends at age 59 and in two weeks I'm climbing the Lost Arrow Spire in Yosemite Valley for my 75th birthday . I was going to climb Everest on my 80th but I think K2 will be more fun & less crowded.
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Re: How did you start? Your first climbs??

Postby mountainhare » Thu May 24, 2012 6:30 pm

I always admired rocks and mountains growing up, but I had never acted upon this until a side trip to drive through the Smokies in Tennessee a few years ago. While driving, I passed the Chimney Tops trailhead, turned around, parked and made an unprepared hike to the summit. The scramble was so enjoyable, I wondered why wasn't I doing more of it. So my hobby has grown from there, though it is still in its infancy. Maybe someday I can do half of what Palisades has done in the post before me. That's some good stuff!
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Re: How did you start? Your first climbs??

Postby Noondueler » Fri May 25, 2012 3:56 am

A friend took me to the Yosemite high country in late summer '93 and we hiked Clouds Rest then Gaylor Peak the next day. Both popular summits with great overall views of the park. That launched me on a peak bagging quest up and down the Sierra, Death Valley and around California over the years.
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Re: How did you start? Your first climbs??

Postby Trevers89 » Fri May 25, 2012 11:48 am

My first ever mountain trip was last year. My housemate was planning a three week trek across the Alps with some summit bagging, asked if I wanted to come along and I said why not. I didn't even do any training hikes before I went and I had no idea what I was letting myself in for and the first day was a real eye opener. Looking back it was the best thing I've ever done and I'm really excited about where climbing will take me.

My parents had taken me on numerous 'mountain trips' when I was younger. These always involved us driving there, getting out, having a look at the mountains, taking some photos and them commenting on how glad they were that they weren't climbing them. It always filled me with an immense sense of sadness, I ended up with the idea that climbing mountains was for a special breed of superhumans who had been training for it since they were born. Life's been better since I stopped listening to my parents advice!
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Re: How did you start? Your first climbs??

Postby mvs » Fri May 25, 2012 12:14 pm

Trevers89 wrote:My parents had taken me on numerous 'mountain trips' when I was younger. These always involved us driving there, getting out, having a look at the mountains, taking some photos and them commenting on how glad they were that they weren't climbing them. It always filled me with an immense sense of sadness, I ended up with the idea that climbing mountains was for a special breed of superhumans who had been training for it since they were born. Life's been better since I stopped listening to my parents advice!


Wow, that is tragic/awesome! Maybe your parents lived some "hard years" on the cutting edge of alpinism before you were born. I can imagine piling up a certain number of trips and running, not walking, to the golf course for the rest of your life. :shock:
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Re: How did you start? Your first climbs??

Postby Trevers89 » Fri May 25, 2012 12:46 pm

mvs wrote:
Trevers89 wrote:My parents had taken me on numerous 'mountain trips' when I was younger. These always involved us driving there, getting out, having a look at the mountains, taking some photos and them commenting on how glad they were that they weren't climbing them. It always filled me with an immense sense of sadness, I ended up with the idea that climbing mountains was for a special breed of superhumans who had been training for it since they were born. Life's been better since I stopped listening to my parents advice!


Wow, that is tragic/awesome! Maybe your parents lived some "hard years" on the cutting edge of alpinism before you were born. I can imagine piling up a certain number of trips and running, not walking, to the golf course for the rest of your life. :shock:


My mum did show me a photo of her on the Grossglockner glacier, but judging from her clothing and footwear I have to conclude that she wasn't gearing up for a summit attempt!

If you find me on a golf course, you have permission to shoot me. Not dead but somewhere painful to get the message across :lol:
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Re: How did you start? Your first climbs??

Postby desainme » Fri May 25, 2012 1:59 pm

Recall at age 6 asking why Nickerson lake which is not so big was so deep. Answer the top of the mountain fell into it years ago. Took a trip to Matagamon and Shin Pond a year later saw Mt. Chase and Horse Mountain cliffs.
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Re: How did you start? Your first climbs??

Postby Kerstin » Sat Jun 09, 2012 10:36 pm

I grew up in Southern California. I was in Brownies when I was eight years old. We went on a winter weekend trip to Mt. San Gorgonio. I remember having a wonderful time sliding down hills in the snow while sitting on a trash bag. I have strong memories of the deep blue sky, the huge trees, and the fresh air.

Around the same time in my life, my dad took my brother and me on the aerial tramway on Mt. San Jacinto. It was also wintertime. The change in the environment from the desert to mountains was fascinating to me. I was also transfixed by how beautiful the granite rocks were. I would think about our tramway trips quite a lot. For a few weeks each summer, I also spent time at a girl's horse camp in Fish Camp, just south of Yosemite. We'd ride to Fresno Dome or the Mariposa Grove on our horses.

When I turned fifteen, I was sent to a boarding school in Idyllwild. I remember writing in my journal how excited I was that they had "mountain climbing". It's funny, because at that time I had never read any books about the mountains. My parents were competitive swimmers, surfers, and pianists, not hikers or mountaineers. My earlier experiences in the mountains must have had an impact on me.

Once at the boarding school, I chose rock climbing for my physical education course. We climbed a lot at Suicide Rock, and sometimes Tahquitz. My first climb was Surprise on the Weeping Wall at Suicide. I was really nervous, but when I got back down I wanted to go right back up and do it again. Our teachers put us on the more challenging climbs right away. We also climbed a lot at Joshua Tree. I remember thrashing my way up Quick Draw McGraw 5.10a within my first few months of climbing. We went on a winter mountaineering trip to Mt. San Gorgonio in January of 1984. I didn't make it to the top due to severe blisters and shin bang from my Koflach Vivas, but the experience was still something I'll never forget. The winter environment seemed so alien yet enticing to someone who had grown up in LA.
Last edited by Kerstin on Tue Jun 12, 2012 1:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How did you start? Your first climbs??

Postby Andinistaloco » Sun Jun 10, 2012 4:54 am

Good topic. Far as mountains go, my folks used to take us to Rocky Mtn. Nat'l Park as kids... the first one I made it up was a peak (a hill, really), near the Y camp there. Rock would be tougher to pinpoint because we climbed without realizing there were ratings or gear that should be used for a long time... though the one which comes to mind is a neat little 5.4 corner at Great Falls, VA... great memories!
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Re: How did you start? Your first climbs??

Postby jesu, joy of man's desiring » Sun Jun 10, 2012 8:44 pm

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my father introduced my brother and I to "backpacking" in the early 1970s. I loved it and as a 15-year-old my bro and I did San Gorgonio and San Jacinto as great multi-night backpacks. Back then a lot of rock climbers came into climbing from the 70s "backpacking craze"; a perfect way to approach technical climbing because by then you have learned to appreciate and respect the beauty of Nature.

bought RR's Basic Rockcraft, mowed lawns and painted fences to buy gear, and took off for Idyllwild and Josh with various high school kids, doing all the obvious gully routes 5.0 to 5.6...remember getting in over my head at Josh and having some Stonemasters lower a rope down to me (I was climbing in goofy vibram-soled Pivettas)

as soon as I discovered bouldering, EBs and chalk...I quickly went from being a 5.6 climber to a 5.10+ leader...pushing yourself and practicing A LOT on high difficult boulder problems is the key...I also started climbing only with similarly motivated climbers, and returned to Josh and Idyllwild to focus on 5.10 and 5.11 routes...by the time I was nineteen I had done a grade V in Yosemite and later that fall I did the NW face on Half Dome--1979.


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Re: How did you start? Your first climbs??

Postby Stu Brandel » Sun Jun 10, 2012 9:34 pm

I heard a fellow named Tim Hansel speak in the early 1980s. Tim ran an organization called Summit Expedition, and he spoke of his long recovery from a mountaineering accident. His down to earth description of the pain and disapointment he was going through, and the fact that 'you gotta keep dancing' emotionally and spiritually, fascinated me. I had been looking for a chance to 'get outdoors' and I eventually booked a 3 week backbacking trip with his organization through the Yosemite backcountry. Well, we hiked over 100 miles, learning to rock climb along the way. We summited Banner Peak, my first mountain, and later Cathedral Peak. I was blown away, and hooked for life.
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Re: How did you start? Your first climbs??

Postby Wastral » Mon Jun 11, 2012 12:16 pm

My first peak was Wright Mountain(above snow lake) at the age of 3. Well... I "hiked," my dad claims, 5 of the 11 miles. =) Before that I was just a lump in the carrier.

We went car camping, rock skipping, backpacking, San Juans, Broughton Sound Boating, every weekend all summer long or at least as many as we could. So, I guess I pretty much learned "rock climbing" on the barnacle, slick as snot coastal rocks of the Pacific North West. At least I didn't break my arm like my cousin did climbing a tree on Sucia Island. =) Anytime we went backpacking we would always summit... Something. It might not have been the biggest and badest, but we summited something. At the age of 12 life took over and we quit going essentially(Grandparents health declined, building house at that time in the middle of the forest with awesome creek and a swamp right next to our house, dad busy at work). My brother and I still had great memories and maps! of all of this and at age of 17 started going again. So, first peak I officially climbed myself was Iron Cap, Goat, and Big Snow in the Middle Fork of the Snoqualamie river valley. Great views, easy summits, steep snow, cliffs, route finding decision making, LOTS of lakes, Horrible mosquitos at said lakes, RUN AWAY RUN!, quickly learned to camp on the ridge tops, as 1 get no bugs and 2) no people(different kind of bug), and 3) get morning and late evening light.
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