Here is a quick look at the 2016 by the numbers:
|***Only mountains w/2000 feet vertical gain or better are counted|
Total Mountain Summits (2,000+ vertical): 155
Mountain Summit Highlights of 2016 (this is only a fraction!):
|Nick and Brandon on the summit ridge of El Capitan in the Bitterroot Mountains.|
|Brandon and I on the summit of Gannett Peak.|
|Linds ascending the north ridge of Lolo Peak in a blizzard.|
|Snapshot of Picture Lake and Lucifer Lake from Mountaineer Peak.|
|Cory in the willows somewhere in the vicinity of Lucifer Lake.|
|Nick, as we near the summit of Sweeney Peak, with Lolo Peak in the background.|
|Summit self-portrait on the final summit of 2016. This proved to be|
the most arduous of the year on account of deeeep snow.
|Cory nearing the summit the Rocky Mountain after gaining the ridge.|
|On the summit of Ranger Point. Big Creek Lake - where we camped - is visible in the center.|
2017 and Fully Medicated:I entered 2017 fully medicated, that is, on the full regimen of RA drugs: Humira (injection) and Arava to suppress the ol' immune system; prednisone to control inflammation; and celexa to ward off the specter of depression. They are working! After some rough patches of 2016 - struggling to dress myself and use my hands in any meaningful ways - I finally acquiesced and joined the ranks of those on the battlefield, actively fighting rheumatoid arthritis.
For the first time in six years, I have opted not to set any weekly or monthly mountain goals: speed ascents, records, mountain frequency, etc. Instead, I have decided to take the year off. This does not mean that I will be inactive. On the contrary, I will continue to maintain a base level of fitness and embark on semi-regular forays into the mountains. The goal is to give my body a year of rest, to listen to and respect its desires irrespective of arbitrary standards.
Looking forward, I do have several objectives - body-willing - in 2017 that I am pumped about:
- McDonald Peak traverse (Mission Mountains, MT)
- Granite Peak (Beartooth Mountains, MT)
- Mount Hood (OR)
- Rattlesnake Wilderness Traverse (from Arlee to Missoula)
- High points of Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex - Great Northern Peak, Rocky Mountain and Red Mountain (in-a-day)
That's it. Nothing more, maybe less. If there is a goal in 2017, it is to slooooow down, focus on landscape photography and to enjoy feeling good.