The People-Pleaser’s Plan For Climbing A Mountain

Hey, I was wondering if you might want to go climbing this weekend? I think it’ll be really fun—if you’re up for it.

I had this one route in mind, if you’re into it. It’s a decently long hike in, which I know a lot of people don’t like, so definitely tell me if that’s a deal-breaker—and then a bit of a scramble, and then five pitches of technical climbing to the summit. It’s not really a mega-classic route, but a couple of the pitches are supposed to be fun, so I think it at least won’t be crowded. I’ve been wanting to do it for a couple years, ever since I saw a photo of it. The timing is perfect for it on Saturday, and I’d love to head up there with you. Does that sound fun? Unless you have something else on your tick list that you’d like to do, in which case I am totally cool with that.

If it’s OK with you, I think we should plan to be up there really early, so we give ourselves enough time to get up and down before any weather moves in, if you agree that that’s a good idea? I figure if we meet at my place at 4:30 a.m., we’ll be at the trailhead by 6:00, and that’ll give us all morning to get up there and get up and down safely, which is sort of my thing but you know, everyone’s different.

I guess if you really need your sleep and feel like 4:30 is too early, I totally understand, so whatever you’re comfortable with is fine. Maybe 5 or 5:30 would be better? How about 4:45?

We can take my car—I think the last couple miles to the trailhead are pretty rough, but you don’t need high clearance to get up it. Unless you’d prefer to drive? I’m totally flexible. I am happy to drive, but if you’d rather drive your car, that’s totally cool. I can go either way.

It looks like there’s a 30 percent chance of thunderstorms after 2 p.m. on Saturday, so I think we should establish a fixed turnaround time that we both agree on to make sure we’re heading down and can get below treeline before any potential lightning starts—since it’s basically totally exposed to weather above 11,000 feet and being up there in any sort of weather is pretty unsafe. I think 11 a.m. is a good, safe time to turn around, even if we aren’t on the summit by then. But if you think that’s way too conservative, let’s discuss it.

We can take my rack and rope, unless you have some specific pieces of gear you want to bring, or prefer to use your rack, or twin ropes, or whatever. I’m not picky, just happy to get out and do some climbing. We can even ditch all the gear and free solo together if that’s your jam?

At the top, you can either do three rappels off to a descent gully, or scramble off the top and do about three hundred feet of downclimbing to the same descent gully. I think it’s way safer to do the rappels, since the downclimbing has quite a bit of loose rock and it’s pretty notorious for accidents, so I would definitely advocate for the rappel. Is that OK? If you’re uncomfortable rappelling or something, let me know and we can figure out what’s best. The rap stations are all bolted, just FYI. Again, I’m flexible.

Sound like a plan?

We can also not plan anything and just kind of wing it if that’s more your style.

Just one more thing: If we somehow have some sort of accident and I get injured, I’d love for you to basically do everything you can to save my life, including getting me stabilized and transported to medical treatment as soon as humanly possible. Does that work for you? If you have another take on it, I’m open to suggestions.

Also, we don’t have to go Saturday if you have other stuff going on. I am open Sunday as well, and the weather looks really similar, so if that works better for you, totally cool with me. My schedule is open, I’m just stoked to climb.

Or, if you’re not feeling it for some reason, we can just go to the climbing gym instead. Like I said, I’m flexible, just want to get in a few pitches. Even on plastic.

Of course, if you’re not up for climbing, we could just get a cup of coffee Saturday or Sunday morning, and plan a climb for later in the summer. Or not talk about climbing at all.

If you’re busy all weekend or something comes up, we don’t even have to get together this weekend. I have plenty of stuff to keep me busy, and don’t want to impose on your schedule.

I can also just leave you alone and never talk to you again if that’s more up your alley? Totally cool, just let me know.