As much as I don’t want to admit it, the cancellation of my Mt. Washington trip has kinda bummed me out.  Sure, we rallied and ended up having a fun weekend, but to be honest, it still didn’t quench my desire for adventure and a challenge.   It’s been really weighing heavily on me.

Mt. Washington is kaput for this year.  Scheduling conflicts will keep me and my friends from getting up there until mid April, and by that time the weather will have warmed to the point where it wouldn’t be the same sort of trip as we envisioned.  So at least until next winter, that mountain is tabled.

So that leaves me to look toward the rest of the year and decide what I want to try to do.   Like most people, I’m limited by a couple of factors:

1. Time – Even though I’m self employed, there’s only so much time I can spend away from the office.   Sure I can sneak away for a long weekend here or there, or even get in a week or so away once in a while, but if I’m gone for too long, it can really hurt business for me.  On top of that, I’m already committed to a week long beach trip with my siblings this June and, of course, that little thing at the end of summer called my honeymoon (I’ll write more about that later)!

2. Cash – Unfortunately, I’m not independently wealthy.  While I’m not exactly scraping to get by, I can’t afford to just drop thousands of dollars without thinking about it.  I have a home, I have car payment, I have obligations.

3. Skill – I’m not a veteran mountaineer, nor am I really qualified to do much of anything beyond backpacking and hiking.  Sure I’ve started doing some indoor climbing recently, but I wouldn’t want to rely on my meager skills to help me on any real outdoor climbing adventure.  I want adventures, not flirtations with death.

So that leaves  me with a few options:

1. Wait till next year. This is totally reasonable.  I mean, I’m already doing a lot of really fun and challenging stuff this year: running the marine corps marathon,sea kayaking, a trip to Hawaii that’ll involve surfing, hiking and exploring Hawaii’s tallest mountain, Mauna Kea.   On top of that there’ll be numerous weekend camping trips, hiking outings and maybe even some outdoor climbing out at Seneca Rocks.  All the other stuff like mountaineering can wait till next year, right?

2.   Half-Ironman.  I’ve only done Olympic distance triathlons in the past, and those are hard enough.  Doing a half-ironman would be a real challenge and would probably end up being a lot cheaper that any other option.  Plus, since I’m already going to be training for a marathon, I would already get a head start on the training for the run.

3.  Focus on weekend adventures. Sure, there’s lots of things to do that are far away, but there’s also some really cool stuff to do right around  here. Things I’ve always wanted to try, but haven’t gotten around to yet. Kayaking on the Potomac, horseback riding,  rope courses, etc.  While they may not be quite as epic as other adventures, they’re more accessible and they’re also things the fiancée can join me on.

4. Summer climb of Mt. Baker.  There’s a company that offers a 3-day climb of Mt. Baker in Washington state along with some basic Alpine mountaineering skills.  It’s not terribly expensive ($800 plus airfare) and it would give me the opportunity to not only climb a big mountain (over 11,000ft), it would give me some basic mountaineering skills – and give me the opportunity to actually camp out on the mountain!

So, there.  Maybe not climbing Mt. Washington isn’t such a tragedy afterall.  At least, it won’t seem that way if I get to enjoy this view from Mt. Baker: