A wide shot of the Andes Mountains with a snow covered Mt. Ausangate in the center. The 2020 team of eleven are hiking in the foreground on a beautiful day.

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When The Right Choice is Disappointing
27 Jun
By 2020
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by Randy Pierce

As you can imagine, we’re a pretty enthusiastic bunch, with a can-do attitude. But sometimes there are situations where you have to make a tough call, and not be mislead by your own eagerness — especially when safety is the issue. From the begining I’ve been concerned that we’d be able to make those kind of tough calls, and today I got my first proof that yes, we can, even though the result is disappointing to me.  We cancelled our Cannon Mountain hike today and it was absolutely the right choice. For an assortment of reasonable reasons, we had a collection of our hiking folks cancel and were left with a late night before the hike and only three of us prepared to make the trip. Three may be a fine number for many mountain hikers but, on the risk-management side of hiking blind, it is not optimum. Rather than unnecessarily risk  a problem on the trail – should one occur – growing into something significant , we decided to have a restful Sunday on our last weekend before the Mt. Washington climb instead.

I’m disappointed and of course a little frustrated.  I’m also proud of the fact we don’t put ego or any other factors before the primary consideration of being safe.  I didn’t want to disappoint anyone with whom we’d shared the hike plans.  I didn’t want to miss the last chance to test our various pieces of equipment before the first official hike next week. I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to escape to a beautiful mountain on a near ideal weather day. I know it’s the right choice, I support the decision and by the time we are headed to the next hike I hope my emotions will fully accept the decision as well.

Old Man April 26, 2003 – before the fall

One other consolation… We’ll be back to Cannon soon enough…


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