The next person to summit is my brother, Rory. He always gives the best hugs and envelopes me in his lanky arms. I choke up but pretend its the altitude. The moment is one I will remember for life.
It’s the question on the tip of everyone’s tongue each time I conjure the courage to spit out the idea for my latest sufferfest. Why climb over 10,000 vertical feet in a day? Why push for a summit in 70mph winds? Why waste a perfectly good Saturday waking up at five in the morning to bloody my fingers on sharp granite crystals?
After a long day of trudging up and down switchbacks and mountain passes under the blazing sun, cool evening alpine air prompts me to search out an ideal spot to camp. Worn and weathered, I set up, wash up, and eat dinner while watching alpenglow fade off surrounding granite walls.