2021 in Review: The Year of Climbing

This past year has been a thrilling ride full of anxiety. On one hand, I’ve never lived more. On the other hand, I’ve never been so stressed living. Every time I headed out into the mountains, I felt like I was losing years of my life with all the stress and anxiety, but also gaining years of life with the experience.

Here’s a list of my accomplishments/ climbs this year – it’s more for myself but if anyone is curious too. I did have an experienced partner through it all and no climbing experience before this so if I can do it… anyone with the right mindset, training, dedication, and most importantly – partner, can do it too. Most of these peaks are technical to some degree.

This was also the year I completed all 14ers (I did 14/15 of them this year – I hiked Whitney & White Mtn previously). I haven’t set a hiking goal for myself in a long time… not since I first started hiking and did Mount Whitney for the first time actually. I had no intentions of setting any goals this year either – I honestly just wanted to get outside and hike and climb everything… until halfway through the summer, I realized I was on path to complete the CA 14ers if I could work up the courage to attempt the Sill-Thunderbolt Palisade Traverse.

PeakRouteSummit ElevationMountain RegionDate
Matterhorn PeakEast Couloir12,285 ft / 3,744 mSierra NevadaFeb 28, 2021
Mount BaldyBaldy Bowl10,064 ft / 3,067 mAngeles National ForestMar 23, 2021
Mount ShastaAvalanche Gulch14,179 ft / 4,321 mCascadesApr 16, 2021
Mount WhitneyMountaineers Route14,505 ft / 4,421 mSierrra NevadaApr 24, 2021
Mount SillNorth Couloir14,153 ft / 4,313 mPalisades, Sierra NevadaMay 7, 2021
Mount GouldKearsarge Pass13,005 ft / 3,963 mSierrra NevadaMay 15, 2021
Mount HoodPearly Gates11,250 ft / 3,429 mCascadesMay 22, 2021
Tenaya PeakYosemiteJun 7, 2021
Crystal CragNorth Arete10,257 ft / 3,126 mMammothJun 10, 2021
Mount GilbertEngram (North) Couloir13,106 ft / 3,994 mSierra NevadaJun 11, 2021
Mount AgassizWest Slope13,893 ft / 4,234 mPalisades, Sierra NevadaJun 13, 2021
Bear Creek SpireNortheast Ridge13,726 ft / 4,183 mSierra NevadaJun 20, 2021
CloudripperEast Ridge13,524 ft / 4,122 mSierra NevadaJun 26, 2021
North PeakNorth Ridge 5.312,242 ft / 3,731 mSierra NevadaJul 4, 2021
Mount ConnessNorth Ridge12,561 ft / 3,828 mSierra NevadaJul 5, 2021
Volcanic Ridge11,495 ft / 3,503 mSierra NevadaJul 11, 2021
Split MountainNorth Slope14,058 ft / 4,285 mSierra NevadaJul 18, 2021
Middle PalisadeRed Rock Route?14,019 ft / 4,272 mSierra NevadaJul 25, 2021
Mount HumphreysEast Arete 5.5, grade 313,993 ft / 4,263 mSierra NevadaJul 27, 2021
Mount RussellEast Ridge14,086 ft / 4,294 mSierra NevadaAug 8, 2021
Mount WhitneyWhitney Trail14,505 ft / 4,421 mSierra NevadaAug 15, 2021
Mount MuirWhitney Trail14,018 ft / 4,272 mSierra NevadaAug 15, 2021
Mount LangleySouth Slope14,032 ft / 4,276 mSierra NevadaAug 21, 2021
Laurel MountainNortheast Gully to NE Ridge11,824 ft / 3,603 mSierra NevadaAug 22, 2021
Clouds RestSunrise Lakes TrailYosemiteSep 14, 2021
Cathedral PeakSoutheast Buttress 5.610,927 ft / 3,330 mYosemiteSep 18, 2021
Matthes CrestSouth RidgeYosemiteSep 29, 2021
Mount SillSwiss Arete14,153 ft / 4,313 mPalisades, Sierra NevadaOct 2, 2021
Polemonium PeakPalisade Traverse14,080 ft / 4,291 mPalisades, Sierra NevadaOct 3, 2021
North PalisadePalisade Traverse14,242 ft / 4,340 mPalisades, Sierra NevadaOct 3, 2021
Starlight PeakPalisade Traverse14,200 ft / 4,328 mPalisades, Sierra NevadaOct 3, 2021
Thunderbolt PeakPalisade Traverse14,003 ft / 4,268 mPalisades, Sierra NevadaOct 4, 2021
Mount TyndallNorth Rib14,026 ft / 4,275 mSierra NevadaOct 16, 2021
Mount WilliamsonWest Face14,380 ft / 4,383 mSierra NevadaOct 17, 2021
Renjo La Pass17,585 ft / 5,360 mHimalayas, NepalOct 30, 2021
Gokyo Ri17,575 ft / 5,357 mHimalayas, NepalOct 31, 2021

A little background as to why I chose each peak / notable distinctions for that climb:
(I did have a mentor/ climbing partner who is knowledgeable and able to recommend peaks that may be of interest to me… so I wasn’t completely shooting in the dark with my objective choices)

  • Mount Hood: I’ve always wanted to stand on top of a mountain on my birthday, and although the weather early morning was horrendous, climbing the Pearly Gates to the top of the highest peak in Oregon seemed cool
  • Tenaya Peak: my first alpine rock climb
  • Mount Gilbert: One of the most classic and steepest climbs in my favorite mountain range. I learned ice climbing earlier this year, it’s the activity that kicked off the rest of the year for me, and wanted to take a stab at it in the great outdoors. The steepest slope was 63 degrees
  • Agassiz: easiest major peak in the Palisades
  • Bear Creek Spire: 1400 ft alpine rock ridgeline
  • Cloudripper: highest peak in the Inconsolable Range. First 13er I ever tried several years ago and failed.
  • North Peak & Mount Conness: my first alpine rock link up
  • Volcanic Ridge: this was the only permit I booked 6 months prior.. and it was supposed to be a chill backpacking trip through Ansel Adams Wilderness… but then I got addicted to climbing and seeked out a short peak en route… which ended up being class 2-3 with a touch of class 4 at the end to the best view of the Minarets
  • Mt. Humphreys: hit a second 13er on the ridge, fun knifeedge ridge, reached 14k on the summit fully stretched out on my tippy toes!
  • Mount Russell: said to be one of the finest class 3 scrambles in the Eastern Sierra… and I can 100% vouch for that rock quality!
  • Laurel Mtn: My first free solo climb!!! 5.2 and one of the longest climbs in the Eastern Sierra
  • Clouds Rest – probably the only regular hiking trail that I’ve done this yr to an unfamiliar peak

Thank you all for following along on my journey into mountaineering and climbing this year! I can’t wait to show you guys what I’m up to in 2022!

HAPPY NEW YEAR

2 thoughts on “2021 in Review: The Year of Climbing”

  1. Wow, this is so impressive to hike those 39 peaks, what a great learning experience, beautiful journey and testament to your personal growth and fitness. I’m sure nobody knows the Sierra Nevada peaks better than you by now.
    I also love your journey to travel to the best hot springs. Do you have a ranking of your favorite ones there or do you rather want to keep them secret?
    After learning climbing and fulfilling your dream of doing all those 14K peaks what’s next for you? Have you thought about the Alps in Europe or Mt. Rainier in WA state or a peak in Alaska?
    I also love your handstand challenge and how you resiliently improved on that.
    Please share your dreams and ambition for 2022. Maybe there’s even a chance for more community involvement via a hike people can join you on or you think about opening a Patreon page.

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