The Grid has turned into The Grind. Last year I was busy with a high-pressure job, and every Catskills weekend was a chance to escape the office and leave behind the rigors of the corporate world. What I recall most about last year’s mountain adventures is exhilaration and joy. Now I’m between jobs and have all the time in the world. But hiking in the mountains is morphing into work.
This is partly because of the commitment I’ve made to completing the Grid’s remaining ~100 peaks in 2018, rather than letting even a handful slip to next year. The commitment is questionable, perhaps it’s insane, maybe I just haven’t freed myself of the sense of urgency and focus on results learned over a career in finance and before that the military. In this regard, I am my own worst enemy.
The winter is also my enemy. Someone inquired, if I was going to take some time off from the corporate world, why not do so during the summer, instead of the winter? (The timing of these things is often outside ones control.)
True, the Mountains served up a gift in February, with the last few days of the month featuring beautiful warm temperatures, as high as 60 F, enough to melt most of the snow and let me scamper unhindered across the ridges. But now it’s payback time: March opened with two serious nor’easters, three to four feet of accumulated snow, and a return to freezing temperatures.
Half-way through the month, I’ve endured some of the toughest and most miserable hikes of my Catskills career, and while I’ve completed seven peaks so far, there are nine left to go.
And as I write this post, it’s snowing yet again….
But the worst enemy you can meet will always be yourself; you ambush yourself in caverns and forests.
— Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra
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