My mind is awash with possibility. A long week in the Alps, denied Mt Blanc by increased rockfall due to the heat, I had set out to find alternative summits. In doing so, I remembered that it’s not all about bagging the famous summits. I suddenly remembered that it should be about my personal accomplishments – sure my friends back home may not have heard of the mountain I’m ascending, but that wouldn’t matter.
I also started reading Steve House’s ‘Beyond the Mountain’. The man is a legend and I am in awe of his progression in becoming one of the world’s finest climbers. But I am also impressed by his dedication to climb mountain faces for himself, for pure Alpinism, for no one else. He went on to establish new routes on significant peaks.
Steve’s approach reminds me of my old approach to climbing mountains – find one that means something to you and structure your approach to tackling it. That may be a classic 6000/7000 metre peak, or more than likely for me, a much more modest hill where you spend a day finding new routes up and down it.
I suppose my takeaway from this is that I should be climbing for myself, racing for myself and finding challenges that inspire me. Sure, my next big mountain is Kilimanjaro in a few weeks – not exactly a first ascent, but there’s nothing to stop me from climbing it my way.