Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Valley's Seven Summits

Here's something insanely cool I learned today.
So I'm sure you've heard about the seven summits in the world, a goal that only a few master hikers have ever accomplished.
Well it turns out that there are seven summits in Phoenix too! And here's the super cool part - I've already conquered three of them, Shaw Butte, Lookout Mountain and Piestewa Peak.
Just as I was started to wonder if physically I was getting any stronger from my training and just as I was worrying that just over one month may not be enough time to be fully ready for the intensity of the Canyon, this new revelation, my friends, is the glimmer of hope I needed.
But the joy of this accomplishment was short lived. After all, my competitive nature quickly reminded me that there are still four more to go.
Now I have to do all seven. It's a must.
But my knees tremble when I think about the feared, but immensely popular, Camelback, a mountain that one article calls, "the Mount Everest of the Valley." The article also said the footing in places is "dicey," a fact that really rubs me the wrong way. (Camelback is pictured above)
My first thought - dang it's on the list. Secretly I was hoping it wasn't. I've seen far too many helicopters circling that mountain to pick up stranded hikers in the last few years than I would like to remember.
So now I had a two-part internal struggle.
One, I want to hike all seven summits and there is no way I'm only hiking some. It's either none or all. Two, the Camelback hike and another one in South Mountain, which clocks in a 7 miles and is dubbed "one tough hike," have me shaking in my hiking boots.
The resolution: I came up with this plan.
This weekend, I will hit North Mountain's peak, the least scary of the remaining four. After that, Shadow Mountain will be next. And then South Mountain and then, last by not least, Camelback.
Okay fine so I'm scared and I put it last, but at least I'm going to do it right? That's gotta count for something.
To read more about the Valley's Seven Summits click here.

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