Climbing Long’s Peak 2014

longs peakI live at the base of the Rocky Mountains. Looking west from any point along my daily routine lets me see everything from the foothills to a 14 thousand foot peak.  Long’s Peak is visible from the highway on my way to the day job.  It’s distant, but not too far to see. Colorado has more than 50 “Fourteeners”: some people aspire to climb them all. Most of them, including Long’s Peak, can be done by a strong hiker and without using climbing equipment.

Depending, of course, on which route you’re taking.

longs peak routes

The end of the year is a time for reflection on what went well, what went less well, and what could be done differently. I think in a lot of ways, I’ve been intending to get to the top of the peak  by putting out the effort of a good strong hike, while standing at the base of the Notch Culoir without a rope or an ice axe.

Since I intend to enjoy the view from the top of the mountain, this involves choosing a different route, one that matches my skills and energy. A route that realistically reflects what I can put into the journey, which is probably more than I have been, but also probably less than I’ve been imagining I can.  There are things I can do, but not do as well as I want them to be done.  Obvious reroute: find someone who does them well and ask for help.

Getting where I’m going also requires knowing where that place is, and having a planned path to get there. I keep a lot of stuff in my head. And that’s where it often stays.  Items on lists get done; there’s something terribly empowering about wielding the pen in a giant tick-mark. Done!  Obvious reroute: make lists.

I used to do this a lot. I used to get more done. These things are connected. While I’m not sure how or why I got away from the habit, it served me well before and it will serve again. If lists are a map to my goal, then a scribbling cartographer I will be.

Assessing 2013 is rather hard, because I didn’t set my goals down in a concrete fashion. A lot of good happened: some not so good, and some of that would have been avoided or mitigated with better planning. Obvious reroute: know my goals.  Not in some wispy, dreamy way, but with names, destinations, and numbers attached.

Instead of just seeing Long’s Peak, I’m going to climb it this year, with a map, a plan, a companion, and some gusto. I will delegate, and I will make lists. Next year, I want to share the view from the summit.

longs peak summit


One response to “Climbing Long’s Peak 2014

  1. Thanks for sharing! I plan to finally climb it this year, and not just see it; a dream I’ve had for 25 years. I hope to see you at the summit – good luck!

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