Mountain climbing is part of what it means to be a native of Colorado for me. There’s just something about the challenge of summiting a mountain that’s extremely satisfying and cathartic. So much of our time in today’s technology-driven world is spent in our heads, and it’s important to find ways to break the constant chain of thought whenever possible. When your legs are burning, your lungs are screaming for more oxygen, and your eyes are focused only on the next step, there’s not much room for thinking about that email you forgot to send or that big project you’re scrambling to finish. While you are suffering physically, your mind is at rest. It’s strangely therapeutic.
My childhood friend Brian and I have been climbing for many years, but recently we decided to up our game and start tackling the state’s many peaks that exceed 14,000 feet in elevation (14ers). To date, we’ve completed 6 peaks, and we’re not slowing down any time soon (except maybe the year or two we lost due to covid restrictions).
Another consequence of taking on such a challenge was that our friendship grew stronger. As I’ve grown older I’ve come to learn the importance of maintaining the friendships that I’m blessed with, and I’ve found that enduring adversity can deepen the roots of any relationship. Climbing mountains is one way to manufacture this adversity, and it’s only brought us closer together over the last few years. When we start planning a climb with a group of friends, I always know that Brian will be there, even if everyone else bails!
I have a long way to go to finish all the peaks (there are 58 14ers in Colorado), but I’m enjoying the journey. Luckily for me, I’ve met other climbers at Sherpa 6 with way more experience than myself, so I’m looking forward to expanding our crew and taking on even more challenging climbs, maybe even some with routes that require rope work or full-blown rock climbing!