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#32308 - 07/22/13 10:52 PM One a Week for 26 Years
bobpickering Offline


Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 304
Loc: Reno, Nevada
Back in late 2011, Gary (Bulldog34) asked me whether I had averaged at least one 10,000 foot summit a week since I started climbing. I didnít know the answer, but I did have a list of every climb I had ever done. After doing some research and a little math, I got back to him with the answer: I had averaged one summit every 7.9 days for about 24Ĺ years.

Gary said I should get busy and bring my average to at least one summit a week. Moving the average from 7.9 to 7.0 sounded easy enough. All I would have to do was one summit a week plus over a hundred additional summits. Like a fool, I fell for Garyís suggestion.

Iíve always counted repeated summits, and Iíve tended to tag (and count) multiple summits in one outing, and thatís what I did. Iíve done some non-trivial trips in the last year and a half, but Iíve mostly focused on nearby Mt. Rose (10,776), Church Pk. (10,661), Mt. Houghton (10,483), and Relay Pk. (10,324). Relay and Houghton make a nice half-day twofer on skis in the winter, and itís not too hard to tag all four when the snow is gone.

As I closed in on my goal (or should I say Garyís goal), we realized that I was on schedule to hit the one-a-week average at about the time the Bulldog family was flying out west for another Sierra trip. I twisted Garyís arm and convinced him to bring the family through Reno on the way to Mt. Whitney. I also got to work making sure I would hit the average while they were here.

Gary, Barb, and Bri arrived at our house Saturday afternoon as planned. We had a great time socializing, playing with the horses, and eating homemade Thai and Indian food.

Sunday morning, the four of us headed up to the Mt. Rose trailhead for a pre-Whitney acclimatization hike for them and for at least two more summits for me.

The first two summits, Relay Pk. and Mt. Houghton, went pretty smoothly, though Bri had a bit of a headache. Mt. Houghton brought my average to exactly one summit a week, so there were plenty of high-fives to celebrate achieving the goal Gary set for me. The route from Houghton to the Mt. Rose trail involved descending a steep, loose slope that none of us enjoyed. Bri didnít feel like climbing any more peaks, so Dad stayed with her while Barb and I headed for Mt. Rose.

I let Barb lead and made her responsible for setting the pace. After a few minutes of going way too fast, she settled down to pace she could maintain all the way to the summit. We did 1,000 feet of gain in under an hour. I took a quick detour to Church Pk. on the way down, and then caught up with Barb a few minutes later. We met Gary and Bri at the waterfall and hiked back to the trailhead together.

Overall, it was a great day. I wish you guys the best on Whitney this week and I hope youíll swing through Reno whenever you come out west.

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#32309 - 07/22/13 11:02 PM Re: One a Week for 26 Years [Re: bobpickering]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7131
Loc: Fresno, CA
Congratulations, Bob! Sheesh, is that 1,352 peaks?!!!

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#32311 - 07/22/13 11:35 PM Re: One a Week for 26 Years [Re: Steve C]
bobpickering Offline


Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 304
Loc: Reno, Nevada
1,359 summits in 9,499 days (as of Sunday). Lifetime success rate is 98.76%.

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#32313 - 07/23/13 02:11 AM Re: One a Week for 26 Years [Re: bobpickering]
Bee Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1261
Loc: Northern California
I am always impressed/amazed to read about such described lists/statistics. I have hiked/summited in three different continents, but could only name one or two of the peaks abroad (if I could even pronounce them). Locally, I may have done a single training course 100, 200, or 50x...some days it felt like the 1000th. My buddies have Yosemite Park maps with all the trails hiked marked in red, whilst I may have repeated favourites too many times. I have a scientific background, but it seems to have failed me when it came time to recreate, so hats off to those who can actually recount where they have been and what they have done!
_________________________
The body betrays and the weather conspires, hopefully, not on the same day.

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#32315 - 07/23/13 07:01 AM Re: One a Week for 26 Years [Re: bobpickering]
Bulldog34 Offline


Registered: 11/12/09
Posts: 1254
Loc: Atlanta
First, let me thank Bob and his wife Dovie for the outstanding hospitality they showed us in Reno. We had a great time over the two days we spent there. Bri loved the horses in particular, especially Rooney!

A slight correction on Bob's take of how this came to pass. I was on SummitPost back in 2011 not long after Bob and I had spent a day on Cathedral Peak in Yosemite, and was reviewing his profile . Wow! And it only lists peaks of 10K' or higher. The next time I spoke to him I mentioned that those numbers over that period of time was just incredible, and that his lifetime average of summits over 10K' had to be an achievement few people could match. A bit of math later, the idea of one a week surfaced and it was off to the races!

Congratulations Bob! It's always a privilege to hit a mountain with you, and a very enjoyable experience. I always learn something new when we get together, and I value that tremendously. I appreciate your patience with Bri on Houghton - she was clearly out of her comfort range on that scramble down and I knew it was going to play hell with the time table for the rest of the day. I'm just glad it worked out that we were still able to get all 4 peaks for you, and especially the opportunity for Barb to finish Mt. Rose with you. It wore her out, but she enjoyed it greatly.

We're off to the Portal this morning and start up Whitney tomorrow if weather allows. Looking iffy right now, but we didn't come all this way to let a little rain stop us!

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#32318 - 07/23/13 11:11 AM Re: One a Week for 26 Years [Re: Bulldog34]
bobpickering Offline


Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 304
Loc: Reno, Nevada
Gary, I see that youíve changed your profile photo. Youíll need to change it again to one of the whole family on the Whitney summit.

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#32321 - 07/23/13 01:02 PM Re: One a Week for 26 Years [Re: bobpickering]
James Offline


Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 66
Loc: CA
Big congratulations Bob, that's amazing. And best of luck to Gary and family on Whitney!

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#32496 - 07/30/13 06:03 AM Re: One a Week for 26 Years [Re: bobpickering]
Bulldog34 Offline


Registered: 11/12/09
Posts: 1254
Loc: Atlanta
Well, the weather gods got us this trip. Couldn't have picked a worse summer week to try Whitney. When we arrived in LP last Tuesday, the mountain had been absolutely hammered the night before and people were streaming off the mountain with horror stories of massive flooding, slides, and rockfall. And snap-crackle-pop, of course. The Portal Road was closed most of the day Tuesday while some big boulders were being removed. The Portal itself was flooded badly - the pond and creek overflowed, and tons of sand and rock had washed down into the parking lots, trapping and damaging cars. There was a backhoe busily trying to clear the drainage culvert under the road near the store, with Doug and Crazy Jack shoveling away as well. It was a mess.

We headed up Wednesday with Carole Christianson (Mountain Ginger, AKA SanDi Carole) with Doug's firm advice in mind - dark clouds in the sky when you hit Outpost, STOP! There were and we did. Up at 4:00 Thursday, and the clouds were still there. By the time we hit Trail Camp Mt. Muir was completely socked in and we were getting reports of rain, snow, groppel, etc. from the very few who were returning from the summit (mostly JMT hikers). We also heard a long, massive rockfall occur while we were at TC. Discretion being the better part of valor, Trail Crest became the goal for the day for my girls. Disappointment was not that great since we felt lucky to be as high as we were - Outpost was the summit for a lot of folks the previous two days, including my buddy Kent Williams who had come out from Florida a few days before with his daughter, and got caught in the Monday storm.

Oh well - just another reason to come back. Like I need more. We added some wonderful new friends to our Sierra Family, got to spend great quality time with some old ones, and most particularly had a blast with Bob in Reno! We arrived back home last night with smiles on our faces and are looking forward to the next trip. I'll try to get a more thorough TR up in the next few days with photos.

Gary

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#32504 - 07/30/13 03:56 PM Re: One a Week for 26 Years [Re: Bulldog34]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7131
Loc: Fresno, CA
So Gary, it appears the Atlanta Monsoon weather followed you all the way to Calif! I'm really sorry it worked out that way. From the webcam views, it looks like it is still chancy weather in the Sierra.

Glad you made the best of it, though. Tell us... how is the weather in Atlanta? Has it decided to dry out yet?

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#32508 - 07/30/13 05:42 PM Re: One a Week for 26 Years [Re: Steve C]
Bulldog34 Offline


Registered: 11/12/09
Posts: 1254
Loc: Atlanta
Unbelievable, Steve - I just can't get away from the rain. Atlanta normally gets about 50 inches of rain per year, but we have 45 inches recorded already with 5 months to go. We've been back 24 hours and so far no rain, but t-storms forecasted tonight. And we're not even in the heart of hurricane season yet, where we can normally count on at least a couple of big drenches from systems moving up the coast or the Gulf.

Watching D Matt's forecasts, I knew that our chances for decent weather were diminishing, but I didn't expect this. There were some really miserable people streaming down off the mountain Tuesday and Wednesday, especially the JMT hikers. Stories about tents washing away on the other side of the crest, people in bivvies begging to be let into tents, rockfall and slides galore - it was apparently pretty ugly. Doug said this disturbance was way more than the typical monsoon, and all the moisture in the ground is just perpetuating repeating cycles. Early on Sunday morning, the day we left, the skies were blue and clear. By 10:00 am super-heavy clouds had formed and were darkening quickly. It was amazing to watch. And Death Valley looked just as bad much of the week.

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#32509 - 07/30/13 05:51 PM Re: One a Week for 26 Years [Re: Bulldog34]
Brent N Offline


Registered: 01/20/11
Posts: 277
Loc: Orange County, CA
What a bummer, Gary. I'm so sorry to hear this. Knowing you, you guys were well prepared for whatever came, but boy I would like to see your daughter's pictures from up top. So close. Maybe next time, Curtis and I will be able to join you guys on the trail.

As a side note, Curtis and I just got back from Havasupai where the normally gorgeous blue waterfalls were chocolate milk from all the recent floods. On our last night there, there was a soft-evacuation in effect from yet another flash flood warning. Mother nature demands attention, doesn't she?

Brent

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#32513 - 07/30/13 07:41 PM Re: One a Week for 26 Years [Re: Brent N]
Bulldog34 Offline


Registered: 11/12/09
Posts: 1254
Loc: Atlanta
Sounds like we all had weather-woes last week Brent. That's a shame about the "chocolate milk" - it's that azure water that makes Havasupai so special.

We were ready for cold and wet - we carried about 120 pounds up the mountain between the four of us (Bri hauling 25 without complaint at age 13, which impressed the hell out of me), but some of that weight was soaking wet tents, flys and footprints. We spent the night prior at Horseshoe Meadows and got drenched. When the time came to make the call about a summit, though, I once again erred on the side of safety with my girls. Those clouds covering the crest looked mean and angry, and we knew it had snowed on the summit the day before and was groppeling (is that a word?) that morning. After the horror show of Monday, I had no problem making Trail Crest the summit for their second trip up the mountain. Summit optional, parking lot mandatory. Period. The mountain will still be there for the next time.

So, summit or not, we'll be back out there next year. It's a given with us now. Hope we can manage to hook up like we did a couple of years ago. I know Curtis wants that summit as much as Bri! I'm even toying around with the idea of heading back out there solo this season before the big snows come.

Bob, sorry to hijack your thread! I'll get a separate one going when I get pix organized. Congrats again on your 7.00 summit - It was a privilege to bag it with you! I found the photo of the Houghton summit on my camera and will e-mail it to you tomorrow. Hope you're enjoying your week "off" . . .

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#32515 - 07/30/13 08:25 PM Re: One a Week for 26 Years [Re: Bulldog34]
happytrails Offline


Registered: 03/20/13
Posts: 29
Loc: West Covina, Ca
Bob, congratulations on your achievement. This list will continue to grow I'm sure. You're amazing.

Gary, I'm sure the trek up to TC was an adventure in itself made all the more special because it was with DAD. Your kids will appreciate this time, and the valuable practical lessons learned too.. Whitney will be there waiting when you return.

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#32525 - 07/31/13 03:44 PM Re: One a Week for 26 Years [Re: Bulldog34]
bobpickering Offline


Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 304
Loc: Reno, Nevada
Gary, you didnít hijack my thread. This really WAS your idea, and the Bulldog family was there when I hit 7.00. Itís your thread too.

I really thought this would be your year for the profile photo of the whole family on the summit. Even though you personally werenít at your all-time fitness peak, you did fine. Barb did really well on Mt. Rose, her third 10K peak of the day, and being 13 instead of 11 should have made Bri much stronger than two years ago. I donít see any comments about altitude issues on your way to Trail Crest, so I assume everyone is keeping that demon at bay. I would count Trail Crest as a victory under the circumstances. Next time!

Iím always teasing you about how you should transfer to the Reno Marriot to be closer to the mountains, and being here really makes a difference. Itís pretty easy to run up the statistics when itís just over 4 hours to Bishop, 3.5 hours to Mt. Shasta City, 3 hours to Yosemite, and 40 minutes to a trailhead where I can tag four 10K peaks in around six hours. The other advantage is that I can pounce on the more ambitious goals when the conditions are just right and do something easier the rest of the time.

Carine, if you keep saying stuff like that, my head is going to explode. I already need a bigger helmet. ďPersistentĒ would be a better word. I just wish women had called me amazing when I was young and single, but that was years before you were born.

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#32557 - 08/02/13 04:39 AM Re: One a Week for 26 Years [Re: bobpickering]
Bulldog34 Offline


Registered: 11/12/09
Posts: 1254
Loc: Atlanta
No Bob, no altitude issues. Three nights at 10K' and a quarter-tab of Diamox each twice a day pretty much took care of that. We did have a gastro bug of some kind circulating among us, though. At various points I, Barb and Carole each had episodes that were no fun. Murphy's Law was certainly with us this trip.

Carole was a blast to backpack with. She's been up high a lot this year on some tough routes, and she's an extremely strong and knowledgeable hiker. In fact she christened Bri with a new trail name: "Tornado - because she's more than a little breeze". Her presence made an otherwise disappointing climb a ton of fun. The woman has more energy and personality than the law should allow. By the time we parted ways in LP a few days later, we felt like we'd known her for years. Now Bri has another "Sierra Aunt" to go with Laura and Betsy, and I feel fortunate that she's had so much quality time with these strong female role models over the past few years.

Keep rubbing it in about the geographical proximity to all the fun - it may actually work some day . . .

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#49854 - 05/18/17 09:45 PM Re: One Every Six Days for 30 years [Re: Bulldog34]
bobpickering Offline


Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 304
Loc: Reno, Nevada
Originally Posted By: Bulldog34
Keep rubbing it in about the geographical proximity to all the fun - it may actually work some day . . .

Gary, once you got me started doing lots of twofers and fourfers to bring the average down, I couldnít stop. Todayís twofer ski trip brought the average to one peak (10K or higher) every six days, for almost 30 years. 1816 summits in 10895 days, to be exact. And, no, Iím not going to try for one every five days.


Edited by bobpickering (05/18/17 09:46 PM)

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#49860 - 05/19/17 11:51 AM Re: One a Week for 26 Years [Re: bobpickering]
fusial Offline


Registered: 05/18/15
Posts: 23
Loc: Los Angeles Area
Wow. What an inspiration!

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#49895 - 05/23/17 03:30 AM Re: One Every Six Days for 30 years [Re: bobpickering]
Bulldog34 Offline


Registered: 11/12/09
Posts: 1254
Loc: Atlanta
Bob, what's the old saying about fine wine? You just keep getting better with age, my friend. We all need to stop and think exactly what those numbers represent, and the determination and perseverance that has gone into achieving them. Thirty years is a long, long time. Interests, tastes, life priorities - they all change for most of us over such an extended period, but to stay focused on bagging peaks at such a prodigious rate is really mind boggling. I'm very proud of what little impact I may have had in helping you re-define this goal, and was truly honored to be with you for the 7.0 summits.

If 5.0 is out of the question, then I guess the next goal would be "Summit 2K"? That would be a tee shirt kind of event - late 2018 or early 2019 perhaps? I'll be there for it, even if this Georgia boy has to learn how to ski . . . ;-)

Hope to catch up with you in late August or early September. Planning on a couple of weeks in the Sierra if I can manage to find the time in my hectic, way-too-young, post-retirement life.

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#49912 - 05/23/17 06:41 PM Re: One Every Six Days for 30 years [Re: Bulldog34]
happytrails Offline


Registered: 03/20/13
Posts: 29
Loc: West Covina, Ca
Like I've said before, everyone needs an 'Insanity Bob' in their life.

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#49914 - 05/23/17 11:06 PM Re: One Every Six Days for 30 years [Re: happytrails]
bobpickering Offline


Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 304
Loc: Reno, Nevada
Originally Posted By: happytrails
Like I've said before, everyone needs an 'Insanity Bob' in their life.

...says the girl who is doing a 100-mile run in Southern California in August!

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