Knowing when to turn back before reaching the summit
Re: “Peak wisdom; In mountaineering, the goal shouldn’t always be the summit,” Aug. 6 Steve Lipsher column.
Thanks to Steve Lipsher for his mountaineer’s wisdom. My experience was on a climb of Mount Yale some years back. Home from California, low on stamina, I fell behind as the family tried to slow their pace for me. On the meadow near the summit, the building thunderheads told me we would all have to turn back if I insisted on making it all the way. I told the kids to go ahead, and enjoyed the wildflowers and view from where I was.
A woman shared with me the same wisdom some years earlier on a climb of Uncompahgre Peak. Slogging up the long trail, I met her in the shade of a wall of rock.“we’re almost there,” I said encouragingly. “I’m a nurse,” she replied, “and I know where to stop.”
I’ve thought of writing a fourteeners guide titled “Fourteener Minus One,” giving acceptable minimum stopping points at which one can claim victory over each peak. Frances Rossi, Denver