you seem to have learned very early (thanks to your dad) that 'the greatest dare makes the smallest careers'. A very sound base to go quite far. You got to learn now that 'there are no bad rocks, there are just bad climbers'.
Keep the flame and never forget: 'better one more peg than one man less... particularly if that man is you!'
Thank you. I have read a number of your articles and I love the history of climbing. I long to go to Chamonix and climb. If so it would be a real honor to meet you. - John
I really enjoyed reading this article.
I was just a regular trail hiker back in my teenage days, and did not go rock climbing or peakbagging until much later. You have had experiences that a lot of people only dream about.
I agree with your comments regards Seneca Rocks. When I went to nearby Spruce Knob (the West Virginia highpoint) a few years ago, I stopped to take several photos of Seneca Rocks. It is a very impressive rocky feature/area of the Appalachians.
I'm glad you went back for Mount Olympus. That peak is worth it.
Thanks for your kind words. I have logged many trail miles in the Scouts.
At Seneca Rocks you should have stopped and climbed the north peak which is a 2 mile access trail and a 3rd class scramble up the north section of the finn. It takes less than 2 hours and gives you a sense of the vertical quartzite and the amazing exposure. Worth the time next time you get through.
Nice work, this story is similar to my own...
I started hiking with my dad when I was little, and we became more focused on peakbagging over time. We travel during the summer, and have climbed a dozen country highpoints over the years. My dad doesn't rock climb, but I do.
Right now I'm about to graduate high school, and then plan to spend a year climbing in Europe and Asia.
Thanks Andrew. I knew there were some other folks out there like me who learned young. I would have loved the climbing opportunities around Phoenix.
Have a great trip to Europe / Asia and some great climbing achieving the country highpoints in Europe. I wish I could come along for Mount Blanc and Mount Rosa. R U actually planning to climb Elbrus or is that on the Asia list not Europe? - John
Yeah, Phoenix is a nice place for rock, I guess I grew up a bit 'spoiled.'
I am probably not going to be able to do the country highpoints of Europe for lack of cash, so I am now thinking of spending June in the Czech Republic, heading out to some cheaper mountainous countries like Kyrgyzstan after, then in winter on to SE Asia. I doubt I'll get the chance to do Elbrus, Mont Blanc or Monte Rosa on this trip. One day...
If you ever head out to Phoenix, let me know.
Thanks on the invite to AZ, though I have no plans now to go to the Southwest. Dad tells me 20 years ago he did some bouldering at Pinnacle Peak Park(?)somewhere in Scottsdale.
I would love to try out some canyoneering. I understand that there are some remote canyons within an hours drive of Phoenix.
Pinnacle Peak, and the granite in the McDowells of North Scottsdale are some of the best areas in the state. Some areas in here have been closed since your dad climbed there.
Arizona has some excellent canyoneering, like the Salome Jug, West Clear Creek, and Wet Beaver Creek to name a few popular ones... It'll be nice in a couple months, the recent snow and unseasonable heat have led to a huge flow in the last couple weeks (campground floods, bunch of rescues, etc...).
Just checking in. Are you still headed to E Europe this summer?
Your enthusiasm and energy for the hills will repay you over and over. Thanks for sharing your journey thus far. Welcome to the tribe :).
Thanks for the support. Enjoyed your article on reflections on 3rd and 4th class climbing
Thanks. I am limited in my options for moutaineering because of our home location.
My folks are not too happy when I say I want to live in the northwest and be a climbing bum. Seems most of the really great mountaineers got started early eating beans out of a can for a few years.
I would love to consider schools somewhere out west or at least link up with some friends who are crazy like me and like sleeping on ice. Anyway, I hope in ten years to at least match your list.
BTW - love your article on crack climbing. I am still a bit intimidated by cracks and feel I am missing something very important. I figure I need to follow a good leader or find some top rope cracks somewhere in western NC. There are some good cracks at Seneca Rocks WV, but the exposure gives me pause on new ground. Plus as you said in your article, setting good pro in a crack requires some experience. Best not to screw up there. Anyway appreciate your comments - John