Thursday, June 25, 2009

Hope For the Common Man


I love adventure. And, even though I am now a father and thus get little actual adventure, aside from the the emotional and physical highs & lows of raising a 2 year old, I still consider myself an adventure buff. Adventure movies: My favorite type. Adventure magazines: I read these and daydream. Adventure books: Have read more than I can remember.

Stories about braving rugged seas, traveling to remote and dangerous locations, and climbing far off peaks have always held an alure for me that is hard to describe. But, now that I am a father and tend to get worn out simply climbing the stairs after a long day at work, I have been content to let my adventure Jones be filled only vicariously through these mediums.

Until now perhaps. I say this because, last night while reading Wikipedia about Alaska's Mt. McKinnley(Denali as it know in climbing circles), Mrs. LIAYF came across and pointed out to me this little tidbit regarding the first sucessful attempt to climb that fabled peak:
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In 1910, four locals (Tom Lloyd, Peter Anderson, Billy Taylor, and Charles McGonagall), known as the Sourdough expedition, attempted McKinley, despite a complete lack of climbing experience. They spent approximately three months on the mountain. However, their purported summit day was impressive: carrying a bag of doughnuts, each a thermos of cocoa, and a 14-foot (4.2 m) spruce pole, two of them reached the North Summit, the lower of the two, and erected the pole near the top. According to them, they took a total of 18 hours — a record that has yet to be breached (as of 2006). No one believed their success (partly due to false claims that they had climbed both summits) until the true first ascent, in 1913. A later expedition confirmed the existence of the spruce pole at the summit.
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So if I am reading this correctly: A group of buddies back in 1910, with no previous climbing experience, grab some hot chocolate and a bag of doughnuts and head up Denali, one of the highest peaks in the world, only to reach the top in record time. A feat which still hasn't been bested to this day? Amazing.

This gives me hope that my goofy notions about someday climbing Washington's own Mt. Rainier may not be so far fetched after all. Of course, I will still have to train a bit beforehand just to be on the safe side. If anyone else is interested, you can meet me after work at the downtown Krispy Kreme for provisions.
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I'll be the one reading an Adventure magazine.

7 comments:

Dan said...

There's a wall on the border of england and scotland that's callign your name man.

Daddy Geek Boy said...

All I can offer is a small Swiss Army knife. Hopefully I can join your band of adventurers.

Petra a.k.a The Wise (*Young*) Mommy said...

Wow, that's amazing! I bet you could do it, especially with Krispy Kremes!

Captain Dumbass said...

I'm in.

Steve said...

Now, when I said you had some great locations for your first camping trip with Lukas, this is not exactly what I had in mind.

Eric said...

Comon man, lets head to Krispy Kreme and head up a mountain...

But can I suggest like a mountain in Gatlinburg? LOL!

But hey if you are gonna climb a mountain.. you gotta get some doughnuts... hot light! Holla!

James (SeattleDad) said...

@Dan - Are there any doughnut shops along the wall?

@Daddy Geek Boy - Perfect, I was wondering how we would cut the fritters.

@Petra - I will be saving the glazed for that final 'rush' to the summit. I will have to time it just right though.

@Steve - I think I'll leave Lukas home for this one. He's too young for Krispy Kremes.

@Eric - When you are going to climb a real mountain, you have to do it right. I think getting real sugary ones is the key here. Am currently in testing phase.