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.
|Peak||Route||Summit Elevation||Mountain Region||Date|
|Matterhorn Peak||East Couloir||12,285 ft / 3,744 m||Sierra Nevada||Feb 28, 2021|
|Mount Baldy||Baldy Bowl||10,064 ft / 3,067 m||Angeles National Forest||Mar 23, 2021|
|Mount Shasta||Avalanche Gulch||14,179 ft / 4,321 m||Cascades||Apr 16, 2021|
|Mount Whitney||Mountaineers Route||14,505 ft / 4,421 m||Sierrra Nevada||Apr 24, 2021|
|Mount Sill||North Couloir||14,153 ft / 4,313 m||Palisades, Sierra Nevada||May 7, 2021|
|Mount Gould||Kearsarge Pass||13,005 ft / 3,963 m||Sierrra Nevada||May 15, 2021|
|Mount Hood||Pearly Gates||11,250 ft / 3,429 m||Cascades||May 22, 2021|
|Tenaya Peak||Yosemite||Jun 7, 2021|
|Crystal Crag||North Arete||10,257 ft / 3,126 m||Mammoth||Jun 10, 2021|
|Mount Gilbert||Engram (North) Couloir||13,106 ft / 3,994 m||Sierra Nevada||Jun 11, 2021|
|Mount Agassiz||West Slope||13,893 ft / 4,234 m||Palisades, Sierra Nevada||Jun 13, 2021|
|Bear Creek Spire||Northeast Ridge||13,726 ft / 4,183 m||Sierra Nevada||Jun 20, 2021|
|Cloudripper||East Ridge||13,524 ft / 4,122 m||Sierra Nevada||Jun 26, 2021|
|North Peak||North Ridge 5.3||12,242 ft / 3,731 m||Sierra Nevada||Jul 4, 2021|
|Mount Conness||North Ridge||12,561 ft / 3,828 m||Sierra Nevada||Jul 5, 2021|
|Volcanic Ridge||11,495 ft / 3,503 m||Sierra Nevada||Jul 11, 2021|
|Split Mountain||North Slope||14,058 ft / 4,285 m||Sierra Nevada||Jul 18, 2021|
|Middle Palisade||Red Rock Route?||14,019 ft / 4,272 m||Sierra Nevada||Jul 25, 2021|
|Mount Humphreys||East Arete 5.5, grade 3||13,993 ft / 4,263 m||Sierra Nevada||Jul 27, 2021|
|Mount Russell||East Ridge||14,086 ft / 4,294 m||Sierra Nevada||Aug 8, 2021|
|Mount Whitney||Whitney Trail||14,505 ft / 4,421 m||Sierra Nevada||Aug 15, 2021|
|Mount Muir||Whitney Trail||14,018 ft / 4,272 m||Sierra Nevada||Aug 15, 2021|
|Mount Langley||South Slope||14,032 ft / 4,276 m||Sierra Nevada||Aug 21, 2021|
|Laurel Mountain||Northeast Gully to NE Ridge||11,824 ft / 3,603 m||Sierra Nevada||Aug 22, 2021|
|Clouds Rest||Sunrise Lakes Trail||Yosemite||Sep 14, 2021|
|Cathedral Peak||Southeast Buttress 5.6||10,927 ft / 3,330 m||Yosemite||Sep 18, 2021|
|Matthes Crest||South Ridge||Yosemite||Sep 29, 2021|
|Mount Sill||Swiss Arete||14,153 ft / 4,313 m||Palisades, Sierra Nevada||Oct 2, 2021|
|Polemonium Peak||Palisade Traverse||14,080 ft / 4,291 m||Palisades, Sierra Nevada||Oct 3, 2021|
|North Palisade||Palisade Traverse||14,242 ft / 4,340 m||Palisades, Sierra Nevada||Oct 3, 2021|
|Starlight Peak||Palisade Traverse||14,200 ft / 4,328 m||Palisades, Sierra Nevada||Oct 3, 2021|
|Thunderbolt Peak||Palisade Traverse||14,003 ft / 4,268 m||Palisades, Sierra Nevada||Oct 4, 2021|
|Mount Tyndall||North Rib||14,026 ft / 4,275 m||Sierra Nevada||Oct 16, 2021|
|Mount Williamson||West Face||14,380 ft / 4,383 m||Sierra Nevada||Oct 17, 2021|
|Renjo La Pass||17,585 ft / 5,360 m||Himalayas, Nepal||Oct 30, 2021|
|Gokyo Ri||17,575 ft / 5,357 m||Himalayas, Nepal||Oct 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”
Absolutely incredible! You certainly got busy living 🙌🏼
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.