In such a life there is, of course, a good deal of adventure, some romance, and a certain amount of hardship. The more one learns to take care of himself, however, the less hardship there is!
~Norman Clyde (1885-1972)
I am always excited to find motivators to exercise, and to get outdoors and move more. Twelve years ago on my first big multi-day off-trail backpacking trip with the Sierra Club I climbed Mt. Henry. This was my first peak climb that included route finding, bouldering, navigating loose talus, a few hand holds, and a peak register at the top. At the summit of this peak I looked around at the sea of High Sierra peaks and was hooked. All I could think was “I want to climb them all”.
Also on this trip, a now dear friend told me about Norman Clyde a late, famous mountaineer and explorer in the early 20th century. After the trip I read “Close Ups of the High Sierra” by Norman Clyde. I learned that this tough, determined man had completed over 130 first ascents (the first person to climb a peak) in the Western North America and helped save many a lost climber and hiker. This I might add was at a time when there were no organized search and rescue teams, helicopters, or cell phones.
Norman Clyde was nicknamed “A pack that walked like a man” because he often hauled a 90 pound pack that might include items like guns, hard back books in Greek and Latin, a cast iron frying pan, and an anvil for boot repair. This was particularly interesting to me at the time, because I was just entering the world of lightweight backpacking! I immediately was inspired to go further, ignore small discomforts while hiking, plan those trips, climb, and actually go.
I am not a technical rock climber, but love those Class 2 and 3 peaks especially ones without a lot of exposure. I have since climbed many of the peaks I viewed from the top of Mount Henry and have many more to climb. Thank you Norman Clyde.