[Originally published in the Monroe News on January 15, 2021]
In July of 2015 my father, my brother and I climbed Capitol Peak in Colorado. It is arguably the most difficult of the high peaks in the state. This mountain is full of loose rock, knife edges, and steep drop-offs that line the route. We spent a great deal of time preparing ourselves for such a climb. We also built up quite a bit of anxiety during the process.
High on the mountain is a particularly dangerous area that has led to several lost lives in recent years. It is an area where climbers frequently get off route and into terrain that cliffs out. Climbers get lost here while looking for an easy shortcut off the mountain. The shortcut they take looks deceptively easy at first, beckoning the unsuspecting climber in, and then quickly turns treacherous and deadly. In mythical terms, one might compare this to the sirens found in Homer’s The Odyssey. We were aware of this danger and had heeded previous warnings in our research to steer clear.