Know­ing when to turn back be­fore reach­ing the sum­mit

The Denver Post - - PERSPECTIVE -

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

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