I’m taking a class this semester called Mountaineering. It’s probably the most intimidating thing I’ve done in a long while. We are supposed to climb Mt. Hood at the end of the semester. If you’re not familiar with Hood, it’s the 2nd most climbed mountain in the word and 2 people die on average per year.
I didn’t really know what mountaineering was until I joined this class. Honestly, I thought it would just be a mixture of backpacking and wilderness survival at a beginners pace. It’s proving to be a lot more than that.
I stumbled onto an expensive sport. It’s like snowboarding but without the board. The teacher wants us all to have all our own equipment, the most important of which are “mountaineering boots.” Apparently, those exist. I’m not sure if he’s looked at boot prices lately, but I haven’t found anything in my size below $250 (and more so in the $300 range).
He says to be thrifty and look for deals, BUT also to make sure it’s a “partially insulated, 3 season, crampon compatible, ¾’ shank, mountaineering boot.” He also said that we don’t HAVE to buy any boots but that if one of us turns around on the mountain that the whole team has to turn around. In another words, don’t screw this up for the rest of us.
I’m a huge fan of challenge. One time, I used only chopsticks for two months.
On paper, this class looked amazing. What they don’t tell you is that everyone else who will be in this class is getting some sort of outdoor recreation degree. So they already have all the right equipment, more experience than you, and are also in better shape. (Don’t worry, I’ve been running.)
I’d love to continue but I’m not sure if I will be able to do it. My classes are a little harder this semester and Mountaineering was supposed to be my “easy” class. I’ve found that so far, it’s the class I worry most about.
In essence, I love the fact that I have been this intimidated. I haven’t felt scared enough to actually quit something in a while. I really did need a good push to get back in shape so I feel like I may be on the right path here.
At the same time, I’m just not sure if I can honestly afford it. Plus, my life is hectic enough without a giant mountain to worry about. I can barely fit in enough time for the wife, the church, the job, the music, and the school (not to mention a blog).
Does anybody have any advice? Should I just do it and get it over with? Should I quit now before I end up on CNN as a rescued climber? Should I not drink a 4-shot Americano before bed? What do you guys think?