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Dex Fails
Old 05-18-2009, 10:29 AM   #1
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Dex Fails

I know what you're thinking - Say it ain't so!
Yes, I failed at getting to the top of the mountain. I started hiking at 7:30am and got back at 4pm. According to the book this mountain's peak is 7.0 miles round trip and 4,300ft elevation gain. Doesn't sound like much; does it.
Well it is the last mile or so that is the killer (I'm not good at judging distances and the pictures don't give you a good idea.
The first picture is from where I stopped and turned around - I'd guess at 13,500ft.

Now you're saying come on Dex it is only another 700ft of altitude gain to the top. Well time wise it would take me about 1.5hrs to get to the top. The air is thin, my waistline is thick and I'm a bit out of shape from waiting for my collar bone to heal.

The second photo is the goal. If there were people in the snow fields on the left; you could not see them - they are still far away.

So I failed. But then again The mountain isn't going anywhere and I have the time to make more attempts.
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Old 05-18-2009, 10:37 AM   #2
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You didn't fail, you're just taking it in stages.......
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This Thread is USELESS without pics.........:)
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Old 05-18-2009, 10:38 AM   #3
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I think you succeeded. I question whether I could do a hike that gains as much elevation as your's did.
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Old 05-18-2009, 11:08 AM   #4
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"Failing" would be falling off the mountain :-)

In this case, you live to climb another day, and you get to make all of us working stiffs jealous whilst we're sitting at our desks, so I think that qualifies as success - enjoy!
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Old 05-18-2009, 01:12 PM   #5
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Wow, 7m roundtrip with +4300'. Thats a 23% average grade up. The steepest I remember hiking is the side route up Mt Baldy, 20% for 4 miles (in my much younger days). Which peak is this ?

My first 2 failures (both in the Sierra) were Olancha Peak (too steep at the top) and Red Mountain (feet torn up on the approach), each less than 1/2 mile from the top.

My more typical hike nowadays is Beacon Rock 3 weeks ago 1.6m rt, 700'.
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Old 05-18-2009, 01:48 PM   #6
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Don't you mean that you sucessfully determined it was beyond your current physical abilities and smartly left the full attempt for another time ?
Some local wilderness rescue team is grateful for your common sense.

Congratulations for the altitude you reached !

Isn't it really the amateurs, and risk-takers who push beyond their limits, who fail ?
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Old 05-18-2009, 02:35 PM   #7
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I doubt I could make it with all my meds. Oh well.....

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Old 05-18-2009, 02:35 PM   #8
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That does not seem like a failure more like knowing your limitations . Congratulations !
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Old 05-18-2009, 04:23 PM   #9
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Seems to me you made a wise choice in turning around in time. I spent much time in the Aleutians hiking up miscellaneous mountains/volcanoes when weather was too bad for helicopter approach. With 90 to 120 lb equipment as ballast.

There is this little problem not known to inexperienced climbers, the optical illusion of foreshortening. It makes the goal of the mountaintop seem a LOT closer then it really is.

This is where a lot of the casual hikers get in trouble, big time. They think a little more time and will be there. Hours later too tired and disoriented, out of water, insufficient clothing etc. and often they are toast, or get rescued at taxpayer expense for their inexperience and or stupidity.

So congratulations, better luck next time, maybe after acclimating more to high altitudes. An other day of success at great vistas and coming back alive to tell about it.
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Old 05-18-2009, 07:32 PM   #10
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Failure is when you have to use a cell phone to call a helicopter to rescue you, because you did not prepare properly and/or carry enough gear to do an emergency overnight.
I admire people who purposely stop just before they reach any summit because they know there is no such thing as conquering a peak, it is merely a construction of ego.
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Old 05-18-2009, 08:49 PM   #11
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What mountain? It looks a little like White Mountain in California, but your description of the hike doesn't quite match. I assume it's in Colorado (Mt. Yale?).
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Old 05-18-2009, 10:26 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawn View Post
What mountain? It looks a little like White Mountain in California, but your description of the hike doesn't quite match. I assume it's in Colorado (Mt. Yale?).
That's right - what gave it away?
+++++++

Thanks for all the other posts. I'm resting today and tomorrow, then, if I have recovered and the weather is good; I'll give it another try.

I am cautious when I hike since I hike alone and on lightly traveled trails.
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Old 05-18-2009, 10:43 PM   #13
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Dex, take it easy, and remember, the journey is the real objective. Enjoy the hike, it you feel up to it, add a 100' or so of elevation the next time.. and the next...

And, we'd much rather see "Dex fails" as a FIRE thread topic than "Dex falls" in the Denver Post...
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Old 05-18-2009, 10:59 PM   #14
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I agree with those who have pronounced you wise for knowing when to turn back. It has been a long time since I climbed a mountain, in fact only twice in my life have I attempted serious mountains. Once was in Utah, at 17 y.o., 7 miles each way (except the springs ran dry towards the top so we had to hike back down to melt some water from a glacier), and once Mt Fuji in Japan.

For the one in Utah (Mt Timpanogos), with maybe 16-17 miles total including the backtracking, and nearly 5000ft in elevation gain to about 11,750feet, we left the apartment in the late afternoon and climbed by the light of a full moon and flashlights. There is a small 8'x10' hut at the top where we slept about 4 hrs until sunrise. My legs were like soggy noodles when I returned to the base. I had to lift them into the car with my arms. I was 17 and relatively fit. Vowed to never again make the same kind of attempt (night time, not fully prepared, on a whim...).

When I did Mt Fuji, we left in the early morning and started climbing when it got light. The sun was out for the first hour. It clouded up, got windy, and started to rain. We got out the ponchos and kept climbing. Then the rain started blowing sideways, and blew my hat away. We were one station from the top, but it was beginning to get dangerous, so we went back down. I was in my early 30s by then and not so fit. Glad I headed back down when I did, even though the sun came out when we got back to the base. I figured that someone was going to get hurt if we didn't turn around...and that the someone would be me.

Good luck on your next try Dex...and bring on the photos!

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Old 05-19-2009, 04:48 AM   #15
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Wow - that looks like the mountain I hiked in Liechtenstein....and I didn't finish - wanted to reach the point at which three countries met (kind of like 4 corners in US). However, the route was the consistency of the slag or slippery rocks as shown in your picture and there was slushy snow which was very slippery - I didn't feel confident enough to hike that in the boots I had, so I turned around - glad I did as it would have been a long fall/roll down to the bottom.

So as the others said, you didn't fail, you succeeded in living on this earth another day. Yellow streaks on our backs are good sometimes (like the time I decided not to fly back to Tucson from Blythe on my long-cross country flight for my private license- 2 hours after the decision, tornadoes had alighted on Phoenix - I would have been a goner - in any case, flew back the next morning on one of the most glorious flights I've ever had in my life).

Good luck on your next attempt!
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Old 05-19-2009, 07:49 AM   #16
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Dex - that was simply a failure of planning and estimating - not of execution. Next time, hopefully, you will be able to better judge the environment and your capabilities. Turning back was wise. Pushing too far in the wrong conditions can turn a disappointment into an emergency or worse.
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Old 05-19-2009, 11:01 AM   #17
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"This thing that we call 'failure' is not the falling down, but the staying down." -- Mary Pickford
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Old 05-21-2009, 06:35 AM   #18
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Great Job!

4300' elevation gain is a huge challenge. Keep trying - you'll do it.
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