Page 5 of 7 FirstFirst 1234567 LastLast
Results 61 to 75 of 95

Thread: Freedom of the New England Hills

  1. #61
    Senior Member iagreewithjamie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Worcester, MA
    Posts
    189
    Quote Originally Posted by Billy View Post
    You also have to be willing to leave your family / loved ones for significant chunks of time.... When someone spends the weekend playing in the mountains, there's probably a good chance there's a person (or people) back at home feeling lonely and worried. Sure, some families climb/hike/backpack together, but let's face it, most don't. Freedom of the hills, like any freedom, comes with a price.
    Are you kidding? I'm 99% certain my wife loves every second that I'm not at home getting in her way.
    There is a pleasure in the pathless woods, There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
    There is society, where none intrudes, By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
    I love not man the less, but Nature more

  2. #62
    Senior Member hikerbrian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Sharon, MA
    Posts
    496
    Quote Originally Posted by Stan View Post
    I think the title is a misnomer and misleading to the topic. As nice a ring it has, it has nothing to do with freedom and nothing to do with hills... I do object to setting some sort of elitism to our sport and calling it a name associated with freedom combined with the quaint image of hills. Poetic yes, descriptive no.
    Hey Stan,
    If you read back to my post #15, you can see exactly where the title of this thread and list is derived from: Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills. If you have not read the book, then I expect you would not get the reference. But the title of this thread and list really is quite appropriate, considering the focus on skills contained within that book, and the geographic location this forum speaks to. On the other hand, if you've read the book, and having read it you think the book title is "elitist," has "nothing to do with hills," and lacks "wit," then feel free to write to The Mountaineers to complain.
    Sure. Why not.

  3. #63
    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    New hampshire
    Posts
    2,205
    Quote Originally Posted by Billy View Post
    You also have to be willing to leave your family / loved ones for significant chunks of time. I hate to point out the elephant in the room, but this hobby of ours can be an extremely selfish one. Most (all?) hobbies are by their very nature selfish. However if your hobby is piano, or reading, or woodworking, then your family is probably, at most, two rooms or two floors away. But playing in the mountains involves longs drives and a decent amount of risk. And looking at the outings listed in the first post, now you're talking some serious driving, risk, and multiples days away from home, in questionable weather. Not trying to get all Oprah on you, but it takes a certain amount of selfishness to do these things on a regular basis. Of course everyone's family situation and social situation is unique. But doing enough rock climbing and ice climbing to get somewhat good at it, and doing multi-day winter backpacks, etc....these things are not rocket science, most people could do them given the time. But there's a serious time commitment involved. When someone spends the weekend playing in the mountains, there's probably a good chance there's a person (or people) back at home feeling lonely and worried. Sure, some families climb/hike/backpack together, but let's face it, most don't. Freedom of the hills, like any freedom, comes with a price.
    Disclaimer, I'm not married and have no kids. I find this statement to be frankly hard to understand. Are you saying you have to be with your family all the time? That you cannot find the time away to pursue what you love? If this is true maybe its the people your leaving at home that are selfish.

  4. #64
    Senior Member hikerbrian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Sharon, MA
    Posts
    496
    Quote Originally Posted by Lawn Sale View Post
    What you're describing is attitude and confidence.
    Hey Lawn Sale,
    Glad you're enjoying the discussion. Anyway, NOT just attitude and confidence, but competance. I agree completely that one's ability to keep their head in a difficult situation can be the difference between life and death. But too many people head off on adventures big and small with too much confidence and not enough competance, with disastrous results. When I talk about completing an objective "in good style," I'm talking about putting in the requisite time and energy to gain the physical and psychological skills to do it safely. This may mean years of training for any one of the items on the list. And it's not about "proving [one]self" to others. Anyone who has been doing this for any length of time has most likely realized that no one else gives a crap. Anyone who thinks anyone else is going to care that they climbed Moby Grape is in for a rude awakening. The same can be said for each of the objectives I listed: a negligible number of people outside the extremely small mountaineering community have heard of any of the objectives on this list.
    Sure. Why not.

  5. #65
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Stamford, VT
    Posts
    1,147
    Quote Originally Posted by hikerbrian View Post
    Hey Stan,
    If you read back to my post #15, you can see exactly where the title of this thread and list is derived from: Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills. If you have not read the book, then I expect you would not get the reference. But the title of this thread and list really is quite appropriate, considering the focus on skills contained within that book, and the geographic location this forum speaks to.
    I'll agree 100%. I've read the book and knew from the start that the thread was not really about freedom, but about developing a list of New England classics that could be used by an individual to judge his or her proficiency as a mountaineer.

  6. #66
    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    New hampshire
    Posts
    2,205
    Quote Originally Posted by jfb View Post
    I'll agree 100%. I've read the book and knew from the start that the thread was not really about freedom, but about developing a list of New England classics that could be used by an individual to judge his or her proficiency as a mountaineer.
    You still don't get it, Freedom of the Hills is the all about having the skills to hike and climb freely in the hills. Basically learn everything in the book and you got it, that was the premis of both the book and this thread.

  7. #67
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Stamford, VT
    Posts
    1,147
    Quote Originally Posted by sierra View Post
    You still don't get it, Freedom of the Hills is the all about having the skills to hike and climb freely in the hills. Basically learn everything in the book and you got it, that was the premis of both the book and this thread.
    I agree that's what the book is about, but I still think that's not what this thread is about.

  8. #68
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Worcester, MA
    Posts
    294
    So which mountaineering skills can not be attained in New England? OR, conversely, which mountaineering skills are required for New England?

    Freedom of the New England Hills - a list of New England classics that test a person's proficiency as a mountaineer

    Mountaineering skills and knowledge
    Clothing and Equipment
    Camping and Food
    Physical Conditioning
    Navigation
    Wilderness Travel
    Leave No Trace
    Belaying
    Rappelling
    Alpine Rock Climbing Technique
    Rock Protection
    Leading on Rock
    Aid and Big Wall Climbing
    Snow Travel and Climbing
    Glacier Travel and Crevasse Rescue
    Alpine Ice Climbing
    Waterfall and Mixed Climbing
    Expedition Climbing
    Safety (I assume avalanche awareness falls into this category)
    First Aid
    Mountain Geology
    The Cycle of Snow
    Mountain Weather

    Classic New England Trips
    1. Three-day winter Presi traverse
    2. Summiting Washington via any of the ice routes in Huntington Ravine, having led at least one pitch.
    3. Whitney G or Moby Grape on Cannon Cliff, having led at least one pitch.
    4. Baxter Peak and the Knife's Edge ascent in winter conditions.
    5. Any backcountry loop or traverse that requires 5 days or more of winter travel.
    6. Bushwhacking the Captain or Vose Spur in winter
    Last edited by Tom_Murphy; 10-30-2013 at 11:03 AM.

  9. #69
    Senior Member Puma concolor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    North of Albany, NY
    Posts
    832
    Quote Originally Posted by iagreewithjamie View Post
    Are you kidding? I'm 99% certain my wife loves every second that I'm not at home getting in her way.
    This.

    I was gone 3.5 weeks last summer (2012) while out west and am planning 3 weeks on Denali in 2015. Quite sure I miss home more than home misses me.

  10. #70
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    5,238
    Home definitely misses me more than I miss home when I am on an (extended, or even a series of day) hiking, cycling or fishing trip. Likewise, when my wife takes the kids to her mom's, for example (leaving me home as I have to work), I enjoy the complete freedom of the remote control

    Tim
    Bike, Hike, Ski, Sleep. Eat, Fish, Repeat.

  11. #71
    Senior Member Lawn Sale's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Nobleboro, Maine Avatar: Even my shadow hikes!
    Posts
    900
    Quote Originally Posted by hikerbrian View Post
    Hey Lawn Sale,
    Glad you're enjoying the discussion. Anyway, NOT just attitude and confidence, but competance. I agree completely that one's ability to keep their head in a difficult situation can be the difference between life and death. But too many people head off on adventures big and small with too much confidence and not enough competance, with disastrous results. When I talk about completing an objective "in good style," I'm talking about putting in the requisite time and energy to gain the physical and psychological skills to do it safely. This may mean years of training for any one of the items on the list.
    I'm on board with this completely, and you're right. Competence is lacking in a lot of people leading to disaster.

    And it's not about "proving [one]self" to others. Anyone who has been doing this for any length of time has most likely realized that no one else gives a crap. Anyone who thinks anyone else is going to care that they climbed Moby Grape is in for a rude awakening. The same can be said for each of the objectives I listed: a negligible number of people outside the extremely small mountaineering community have heard of any of the objectives on this list.
    If this is the case, then why the references to any 'objectives' at all? Objectives establish an order, and to be in an order is to bend and conform to someone else's criteria, thus removing an aspect of the freedom discussed.

    I don't need to climb Huntington's to get to the top of Mt Washington, there are other routes, just as an example. If I encounter an obstacle, and I have on too many occasions, then I find a way to address the obstacle to reach my objective. I have bypassed climbing cliffs solo with a pack to reach the top, why would I needlessly risk damage by not seeking another avenue?

    But I agree the basic skillset needed to achieve the freedom of which you speak is necessary, just not sure it's as encompassing as described previously.
    Appearances are not everything, it just looks like they are.




  12. #72
    Senior Member hikerbrian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Sharon, MA
    Posts
    496
    Quote Originally Posted by Lawn Sale View Post
    Why the references to any 'objectives' at all? Objectives establish an order, and to be in an order is to bend and conform to someone else's criteria, thus removing an aspect of the freedom discussed.

    I don't need to climb Huntington's to get to the top of Mt Washington, there are other routes, just as an example.
    The 4k'ers in New England are unique in that there is a very well established and easy (class I) trail to the top of each of them. This is not true of many other mountain ranges, where varying degrees of technical skill are required to reach certain summits. Furthermore, in and out of New England, there is more than one route to each peak, and some routes require a high degree of mountaineering skill. The objectives I've identified are not meant to force a person to conform, but to identify weaknesses which, if overcome, would open up additional possibilities for mountains and routes all over the world.
    Sure. Why not.

  13. #73
    Senior Member hikerbrian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Sharon, MA
    Posts
    496
    Quote Originally Posted by Billy View Post
    You also have to be willing to leave your family / loved ones for significant chunks of time. I hate to point out the elephant in the room, but this hobby of ours can be an extremely selfish one. Most (all?) hobbies are by their very nature selfish. However if your hobby is piano, or reading, or woodworking, then your family is probably, at most, two rooms or two floors away. But playing in the mountains involves longs drives and a decent amount of risk. And looking at the outings listed in the first post, now you're talking some serious driving, risk, and multiples days away from home, in questionable weather. Not trying to get all Oprah on you, but it takes a certain amount of selfishness to do these things on a regular basis. Of course everyone's family situation and social situation is unique. But doing enough rock climbing and ice climbing to get somewhat good at it, and doing multi-day winter backpacks, etc....these things are not rocket science, most people could do them given the time. But there's a serious time commitment involved. When someone spends the weekend playing in the mountains, there's probably a good chance there's a person (or people) back at home feeling lonely and worried. Sure, some families climb/hike/backpack together, but let's face it, most don't. Freedom of the hills, like any freedom, comes with a price.
    A lot of interesting discussion points here. There are many reasons most people can't or won't commit to even a single item on this list: family commitments, money (arguably the blue whale in the room, and I didn't even include an aid/big wall objective), fear, physical limitations, psychological limitations, and many others. The same can be said of nearly any other endeavor that requires real time and effort. That doesn't make these endeavors less valid. The seven summits are the seven summits, regardless of one's family situation. (Not that I have ANY desire at all to work towards the seven summits. I don't.)

    But I disagree with your suggestion that "most people could do" all of the items on the list given time. An extremely small fraction of the population will ever have the physical and mental abilities required to lead several pitches of 5.8 with a full trad rack. An extremely small fraction will have the abilities required to haul a full pack over exposed peaks for several days in horrific weather. Whether it's risk tolerance, physical ability, whatever, most people simply will never do it, and it's disingenuous to suggest the only limiting factor is time. Does that make this list "elitist?" Yes, absolutely. In my opinion, anyone who completes this list is an elite mountaineer, at least by New England standards. But as I've said many times, this list isn't about establishing who is or isn't an elite mountaineer. Who cares, really. It's about gaining perspective, and sometimes moving out of your comfort zone.
    Sure. Why not.

  14. #74
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    591
    hikerbrian, in my previous post, when I said "most people could do them", I meant most people who hike. I should've been more precise. Besides that clarifying statement, I stand by every word of my post, as I'm sure you do of your post(s). You will not convince me otherwise, nor will I convince you otherwise. We'll shake cyber-hands and call it a day.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------

    Trip pictures

  15. #75
    Senior Member hikerbrian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Sharon, MA
    Posts
    496
    Hey Billy, I left some important items off my last post - hard to believe I'm sure, but I'm trying to keep my posts reasonably brief, which is hard because this topic is meaningful to me. Anyway, aside from your clarification - which I still disagree with, but am happy to shake cyber hands on and agree to disagree - your post is important and makes several good points. You're absolutely right, being competant in any of the listed items requires real commitment. You can't just roll into the mountains some February and knock of Pinnacle gully. You have to get after it week after week after week, in the rock gym, at the crags, and eventually in the ravine. Depending on your family situation, this may represent a HUGE opportunity cost. My kids are 3 and 5, and the truth is I may not get to some of these until they leave for college. And then who knows where my physical abilities and motivation will be. The reason I still like this list is, among other things, it keeps me humble and reminds me there is plenty still to learn in the Northeast.
    Sure. Why not.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •