Friday three other guys joined me and we drove up to the starting point of climbing Mt Adams and we climbed it up to the 10,000 ft level carrying fairly heavy packs on our backs with tents, sleeping bags, and food. We pitched our tents and slept on the mountain last night and got up very early this morning to climb the remaining 3,000 feet to the top of the mountain. The other three guys with me all made it to the top, but I did not. About a 1,000 feet from the top I simply ran out of gas. On the ride home I began thinking of things to do and change so that I could make it next year. I heard that some old guys use little oxygen bottles to help out at the high altitudes where lack of oxygen is certainly an issue, I could try that. I could do some running in training for the climb instead of just bicycle riding. I could buy a super lightweight tent and sleeping bag so my pack wouldn’t be as heavy. I could plan on staying two nights on the mountain instead of just one, because the decision to turn around before reaching the top was influenced by the thought that I still had to take down my tent, pack my back pack and carry it off of the mountain. Then a thought popped into my mind, “is all that really worth getting to the top of Mt Adams one more time?” “Maybe you should just rejoice over the times you have made it to the top and consider that a chapter in your life that has passed.” Taking risks and doing hard things has been one of the goals of my life, but not just for the sake of saying I did a hard thing, but for the purpose of accomplishing something worthwhile while accomplishing the hard thing. The main goal of climbing Mt Adams in the past was to do something that required a great deal of will power to accomplish. Many of the barriers to summiting Adams are mental so overcoming and conquering those mental barriers was great training to accomplishing other things with my life that had very eternal significance. One of the things I need to consider as I contemplate retiring from climbing Mt Adams is the bad habit that many have of justifying and excusing failures of accomplishing something that is hard and difficult. I don’t want to do that. There certainly is wisdom required to being balanced in life as choices are made. Another added component is that I will be another year older and another year wimpier. I am going to start writing my goals for next year in a couple of months, we will see what happens.
You didn’t fail because you tried and did your best!