Boys in da Mt. Hood?

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'll find mine in the thrift store any day now...


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?

Mt Hood



  1. You’re going to love this WHEN it’s over Kevin. My dad used to load us up before school….rocks in our backpacks and we’d hike up the hill to Nunes Market (whatever the heck it’s really called) for about two months before we’d hit the Sierra’s and we felt so out of shape even then so in addition to the running take on some stairs with some weights and things……breathe…pray…..sacrifice…..don’t think about chocolate!! 🙂

  2. honestly, as much fun as it’d probably be i say it’s not worth the extra stress. if it’s going to push you over the edge then it’s not worth it. ya it’d be fun and a cool experience, but if it makes your life more stressful than you’re not going to enjoy it and it’s not worth it. you can always do it later at a time that works better 🙂

  3. I dont think its worth it kevin. Your wife is more important than this and the other things come next. well, God first, of course. 🙂 I think you learned the lessons God wanted you to learn. And if you want a good hike and adventure me jared and john will be happy to have you along on some backpack trips. 🙂

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