In 2014 I took a trip out west with the aim of climbing three significant mountains with Northeast Mountaineering (the NH-based outfitter I guide for): Hood, Rainier, and Shuksan. The trip was a success and two of those peaks — Hood and Rainier — were climbed again less than a year later. We climbed in July last year, but in June this year. Changes were noted as a result of this and other factors. Some of the changes were significant. And that is the inspiration for this article.
On the trail I have time to think about all manner of things. One such thing is the psychological aspect of hiking — since it fascinates me, especially as it relates to my hike du jour. I have concluded that to realize and understand my own thoughts and emotions as my hike progresses, the easier it is to motivate myself and push on when suffering the lesser stages, so to speak. I’m cognizant of certain phases I progress though as the day wears on, and this knowledge helps me get maximum enjoyment out of the best parts.