Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Seven Summits

For some reason I'm having a hard time sleeping, and I keep thinking about what the next mountain is that I should climb. I'm pretty set on trying to get up Rainier before long. Mount Rainier, at 14,410 feet, is the most extensively glaciated volcanic peak in the lower 48 States (and the 5th tallest mountain in the lower 48), so it is a great way to learn basic roped climbing and ice climbing techniques. These skills will serve me well if/when I take on Mount Elbrus and/or Aconcagua (2 of the "Seven Summits" - tallest mountains on each continent).

Carolina and I climbed Kilimanjaro, generally considered the easiest of the seven (at least technically - it is widely regarded as being pretty physically demanding). You can read about our Kilimanjaro adventure in more detail, with photos, if you're interested. We also hiked King's Peak, Utah's tallest mountain not too long ago (about that saga).

Since I want to learn ice axe skills, crampon skills, etc., Rainier seems like a logical next step. Anyone want to go with me?

Climbing mountains always excites me, but it's really, really cold. That's the worst part for me by far. I have pretty poor circulation in my toes, it seems, so they're nearly always freezing. It's also really hard to sleep at altitude in the cold. Other than that, I really love hiking trips - the physical challenge and the views inspire me.


  1. Rainier is a good choice. Another mountain that you might consider which can also offer ice axe and crampon experience is Mount Hood, just outside Portland. It isn't the several day climb like Rainier, but can offer some of the benefits. I climbed it when I was younger - one of the greatest things that I have done.

  2. One word: Aconcagua.

    Next December?

    Except what do we do with Alex?

  3. Carolina, I am impressed!

  4. I stared at Aconcagua every single day of my mission. I wanted to climb it from the first day I set my eyes on it. I'd love to do it one day, but it's not in the cards for now. Maybe some time in the 7 to 10 year range.