Yesterday was my 39th birthday, a natural point to reflect on the past year. It certainly has been an exciting one. At this time last year I was planning our holiday trip to Bend. During that trip, we decided that our 2016 goal would be to figure out our ‘exit plan’ from the Bay Area and relocate to Bend. Well, things went much faster than expected and here I sit in my cozy farmhouse overlooking the central Cascades to the West and the Oregon high Desert to the east.
Living in a new area, there is so much to explore it’s almost overwhelming. I haven’t gotten out too much since we moved here, mostly due to settling in and lots of work travel, but it’s time to stretch my legs again. I’ve done many of the popular trails, but as should be obvious from the content of this website, I have a strong desire to explore the less traveled regions. And there is a whole lot of that in Oregon.
In this context, I thought about goals for my 40th year on planet earth and wanted something that felt milestone-y (totally a word), but also would encourage me to explore outward from my new home base.
So, I have decided to set a challenge for myself in my 40th year: stand on top of 40 summits. Between November 7, 2016 and November 7, 2017, I want to stand on 40 summits. Some might be small easy climbs, some may be long strenuous ventures. But a peak is a peak, and I’m happy to reach the summit of any of them.
And while I’m sure this will be a personally fulfilling challenge, I wanted to up the stakes a bit and have decided that for every mile I hike in this quest, I’ll throw $1 into a donation fund that will be distributed at the end of the challenge. Given the current public lands controversy, I know I want it to go to an organization that is dedicated to protection and stewardship of the remote places where I love to explore. I’ll be paying particular attention to the organizations that work in the areas where I find myself spending the most time and decide by my birthday next year.
What Summits are On My List?
I don’t have a specific list that I am trying to complete. I use Peakbagger.com to track my climbs and explore routes. What peak I choose for a given day will depend on time of year, weather, accessibility, conditions, and if anyone else is going with me. I hope to get a good start on some of the Oregon peak lists, but I’ll also do small local buttes when I’m short on time. Dealing with winter conditions may keep things interesting, and I’m looking forward to busting out the snow shoes a lot more!
Some of the lists I’ll be using to choose peaks include:
Hey, my challenge, my rules.
- I can’t count a peak twice
- But I may include previously climbed peaks
- I’ll fill in this list as I complete peaks
- Start Date is November 7, 2016
- Finish Date is November 7, 2017
- I’ll put aside $1 for every mile hiked
- At the end of the year, the money will go to a TBD organization
- Regular updates!
Want to play along?
I’ve created a list for tracking my peaks on Peakbagger.com if you want to follow along. Even better if you want to match my donation at the end of the year! But better than tracking my peaks, why not create your own challenge and commitment and share in the comments below!
As for me, I took yesterday off work to start working on this challenge in Smith Rock State Park. 1 down, 39 to go!
|11.7.16||Peak 4230||7.6 miles||$7.60|
|11.21.16||Peak 3900 (Three Buttes)||3.74 miles||$18.36|
|11.27.16||Flatiron Rock||6.77 miles||$25.13|
|01.01.17||Pilot Butte||1.98 miles||$27.11|
|01.22.17||Horse Butte||2.10 miles||$28.21|
|02.05.17||Misery Ridge Summit||4.46 miles||$32.67|
|02.11.17||Lava Butte||3.65 miles||$36.32|