Add Heading HereThis was the prelude section of the above title and a few people recommended I post this part as an article, "to get some interesting feedback." LET THE RIDICULE BEGIN...
So if you've read the trip report dont bother reading this.
After looking through some pictures I again found myself wondering
about the misconceptions people have. Not in a argumentative way but in a
curiosity sense. Being a native of the enchantment of the New England
countryside the allure of "the bigger" mountains of Colorado, The High
Sierras and Tetons always gripped my curiosity. However much to my
disappointment I realized the difference to be miniscule in the grand
scheme of things.
How is it that these montains always made those of New England pale
in comparison?** After traveling and climbing in/at all these areas mentioned
is it the opinion of the non-climber that had created the mirage that is
The Western Peaks? Im NOT saying they're small but the starting points
are much higher as well. The sea level variations and height of land
starts don't allow for the true appreciation of these higher peaks.
One thing the higher elevations remind me of is lifeless masses of
rock, snow and ice -spare a stray marmot alerting others of my presence or
a nearby rockslide. Its an interesting parallel to the peril of mountain
climbing. Above 11K there is very little to remind me of the life I leave
behind every time I venture to such places. Except after technical
struggle do I learn to appreciate these higher places. Its only after
looking down do I realize my accomplishments and a finer appreciation for
life in general.
The antithesis to such places are the 4k peaks of New Hampshire of
which only four remain for me to experience. Aside of the 5's and The 6,
being above treeline is a rarity. The alpine zone is one of my favorite
places on earth. To see the vegetation and ecology, the struggle for
survival reminds me of certain aspects of my life and hardships. Yet being
so far away from those places physically, mentally and in time, I realize
the pettiness of my struggles in comparison to that of those less
fortunate. Something about hiking with tons of creatures great and small
all around reminds me incessantly of my love of, and for-LIFE.
The western summits and their technicality of ascent, their lack of
oxygen are in and of theirselves desolate places. The summits of eastern
peaks crackle with life. Yet the allure for me is to climb higher
mountains. Why? Is life to me a struggle that I am trying to overcome?
Or is it the lack of humility that make me want to defy death?
These questions may never be answered but one thing is for sure. I
feel a draw, like metal to magnet that calls me forth. The need for
challenge, for accomplishment and the high spiritual energy will forever be
** Clarification: The image of the western peaks that was created in 'my mind' by non-hikers/climbers descriptions.