Haystack Trip Report (#12463)

  • Signed By: Jeremy Shakun of binghamton, ny, usa
  • Date submitted: February 18, 2001

my summer of '95 trip was my first climbing experience. i first ascended mount marcy with my father and having done so so quickly we decided, after lounging around on the top of new york for quite a while, to head over and conquer haystack, my dad's favorite peak. the climb proved to be longer and more arduous than it had originally seemed and when we reached little haystack on the summit ridge of the larger peak with the same name, my father decided we were running out of time and that it wouldn't be wise to push the last 20 or 30 minutes to the summit. i was very upset and really wanted to finish the climb, especially since we were so close, and this attitude of what i call "summit fever" still lies deep inside me. reluctantly i agreed and we ended up running down the mountain back to our base camp with two more hours of daylight left, which really irked me because those were two hours i could have spent in the place where (my) heaven actually exists on the earth. anyway, i never fully recovered from not summiting haystack and it was inevitable that i should return...and returning is what the mountains are all about - they are the one thing that is sturdier than all else in this life; they will always be there to return to; they will always be just as beautiful as the first time you saw them from having earned your way above treeline; your parallel existence, the one that is deeply entwined with perfection and the flowing poetry of light, water, wind, and your body, will always reside there as will those unique memories they have given you. all experiences are heightened in the mountains, because they take away all of the blinders of our culture, the artificial world we have created, and all of the people we are surrounded by who distort our perception of things, and so we are left with nothing... nothing but ourselves, our experiences, those remarkably special people we would bring with us into our secret world, and, of course, beautiful and awesome nature herself staring us back in the face not letting us see anything other than the truth in ourselves and the world around us...and this is why we will return again and again - because getting to the summit of haystack doesn't end the climb, it only ignites the desire to return to a place that doesn't obey the law of diminishing marginal utility.

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