Friday, December 21, 2007

Mountaineering at Midlife

Myron and Adele walk towards the LeConte Glacier on the Ptarmigan Traverse.

Husband and wife team, Myron Allen and Adele Aldrich (Laramie, WY), decided while in their 40's that they wanted to learn to be mountaineers. Avid backpackers and scramblers all their life, they felt like they wanted to "up the ante." Since 2004, they've climbed with AAI on several fantastic mountaineering trips, including the Ptarmigan Traverse and the remote Mt. Challenger in Washington's Picket Range. Recently, Myron put together an entertaining article that sums up their adventures and explains what it's like to start this sport at midlife:

"Among America’s great midlife diversions, mountaineering hardly competes with golf, sports cars, and Harleys, not to mention that ancient pastime, fretting over the irreducible love handles that lard your flanks after age 40. Yet my wife Adele and I — at ages 45 and 50, respectively — chose precisely this stage of life to ramp up our mountaineering skills. After three decades’ worth of backpacking and scrambling, mainly in the Rocky Mountains of Wyoming and Colorado, we wanted to up the ante. Three years later, after four sessions with professional mountain guides, we’ve acquired glacier savvy, sure-footed rock climbing technique, and solid rope skills. Let’s not exaggerate: we’ll never be certified
mountain guides. By the same token, we’ve also missed our chances to be major league shortstops and concert pianists. But I don’t think it’s a stretch to call us mountaineers, at long last." Download Myron's full article (pdf, 6 pages).

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