(Hey, Beeeeee: nice placement, but at who's request?
I was actually going for the 'stern mom-like look' at the end of that sentence... )
There are a lot of considerations to make (or at least come to my twisted mind) after I read your story, Brent, and some that I really haven't totally taken into account myself before! Some have been superficially mentioned here, and others have popped into my head as I was sleeping. (Sometimes I wish I had the "off" switch to my brain...)
1) Reading weather reports is one thing. Taking a few moments to actually process the information (ie: wind? wind chill? gusting? calming? from what direction?) is something else entirely. I don't think people look much further than the little thumbnail at the top of the NOAA reports...
2) Health: only YOU can prevent altitude sickness. Honesty is always the best policy, and the warning signs are out there. And being honest actually means interpreting all the signals and allowing yourself the freedom to say, "Not today."
3) Group Think: oh, g-d help us all. Believe me, I've fallen prey to this much more often than I care to admit, most recently on my trip up the MR this past spring. And, unfortunately, I'd have to say that being a woman doesn't exactly help matters much, either. I still have people who don't believe I've done the little bit that I've done based solely on my body type! A group that doesn't consider and weigh all the opinions of the group isn't a group. And a group that isn't willing to support one of the members when they are struggling isn't a group. But the struggling member has to stand fast, which is REALLY REALLY hard.
I'm sure there are more perspectives, but I have to go to work...
Another angle of my favorite campsite ever:
But the next night wasn't so bad, either: