Tuesday, July 01, 2008
A trip to remember
I lead a group of hikers from a gym in Fort Collins, CO every year. I pick three 14ers and I guide them up. I have climbed all the 14,000-foot mountains in Colorado, so I do it for the money and the chance to get paid while spending a day away from the demands of the kids. These are beginners, so the 14ers I have to do with this group really aren't worth repeating too often.
I have to admit, I was disappointed in the numbers from our first climb, up Mount Sherman, a 14,036-foot mountain. I get paid by the numbers and I thought maybe this hike was a waste of time, and time is precious at my house.
Then, right before the summit, one of my clients, a newbie, told me she was diagnosed with cancer a couple years ago, and that this was the first "big thing" she was doing after beating it.
The first picture you see is of Mount Sherman. The second is of her taking her last few steps up the summit. The last is her sliding down a snowfield, something I showed her how to do safely, which made her squeal like a schoolgirl.
The trip was special. It reminded me that what I do as a guide sometimes is more important than money.