June was another bountiful month for new peaks, with another 20 of them, bringing my half-year total to 80. This included a week of peakbagging in Colorado that brought my 13er/14er total to 93 (and additional new 12ers). The summer monsoon arrived in northern Arizona at the end of the month, so it will be more challenging to get new peaks here. But, I am also hoping to spend more time in Colorado before the end of August, although that is typically more challening during monsoon season, too. My goal now is to reach 100 peaks for the year by mid-August.
The month of May was amazingly productive in terms of number of peaks. Granted, I am making a special effort to go for clusters of easy peaks, but I converted 56 miles and 14000 feet of gain on 9 days into 27 new ranked peaks. That may very well permanently remain my calender month record. With 7 new peaks in April, I have climbed 60 new ranked peaks this year. I expect to be extremely busy from September through December, so I am trying to get to at least 90 peaks by the end of August to make it more likely that I reach 100 by the end of the year.
March was a very successful peakbagging month, thanks to having most of a week off from work. I picked up 10 ranked peaks in the Payson area in 2.5 days of hiking, and another 4 peaks scattered around the rest of the month. That gives me 26 new peaks in the first quarter of the year...you can perhaps guess where that is leading. My "fantasy goal" mentioned below is to pick up 100 new ranked peaks (at the 300-foot rise/prominence level) this year. This is an all-or-nothing deal, since you can't go back and count a peak twice. Also, I have to try to pick the most accessible peaks possible, even after picking off a lot of easier ones here already. But, I still have enough peaks fairly close to Prescott to bag on weekends, and plenty of peaks in other places when I have more time, particularly if I only work irregularly this summer. The most daunting thing about this goal is that I have to break my calender month records for new peaks pretty much every month! But, most of those records are pretty soft and I've made it through the first three months ahead of schedule. (My plan is most heavily weighted towards the summer months.)
So...it's another year. Last year I worked hard to reach a two numerical goals: 240,000ft of gain on foot (20,000ft per month on average), and 200,000ft of gain on actual hikes. I managed to get both of those in the last few days of the year. This was a very busy year for me at work and most of that gain was on 107 ascents of a local peak, nearly all of which had more than 1000ft of gain. At times it was about all I could do to manage the 15-minute drive and 1-hour hike of that peak two or three days a week as my only significant exercise. Thus, my tally of new peaks wasn't what it could have been, although I still bagged 54 new peaks, mostly fairly minor ones.
This year, it looks like my job will allow me the time and energy to actually spend most of a Saturday or Sunday for the extra effort to climb new peaks instead of waiting for longer workless periods. (Most of the local peaks are trailless and I've pretty much climbed all the ones that have trails. This leaves longer drives and potentially long and strenous bushwhacks.) I have a fantasy goal for the number of peaks that I want to climb, which I won't mention yet. I may have more free time this summer than usual, which will help, and I still plan to get at least 10 Colorado 13ers so I can finally reach the 100 mark for 13ers and 14ers. However, I'm not worrying as much about getting lots of elevation gain, which makes it easier to focus on new peaks that might have more difficulty than elevation gain.
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File last modified: 01 July 2008