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[at-l] Katahdin Question
> So, okay, I'm jumping ahead here, but it's a rainy fall day
> and suitable for dreaming...
> What is appropriate summit wear?
Ah, a day suitable for dreaming indeed... When I think of 'appropriate
summit wear', I think back on other mountains I have summited, and from
those places wondered what other places I would cross in the brief journey
of a man's lifetime. Sometimes I think back to other summiteers, both known
and unknown. Every time I think of this, I think that God commanded even
Moses to strike off his sandals because he was standing on Holy Ground. An
experience that seems rare to those timid souls that never bother to walk
more than a few miles from their cars...
There is an interesting experience to be found on top of a mountain, and not
being a professional writer myself, I shall have to quote Robert Pirsig, " .
. . And now he began to see for the first time the unbelievable magnitude of
what man, when he gained power to understand and rule the world in terms of
dialectic truths, had lost. Man had built empires of scientific capability
to manipulate the phenomena of nature into enormous manifestations of his
own dreams of power and wealth but for this he had exchanged an empire of
understanding of equal magnitude - an understanding of what it is to be a
part of the world, and not an enemy of it."
Standing there, in that place, this vision is easy, but one a little harder
is Ralph Waldo Emerson's, "Every man's condition is a solution in
hieroglyphic to the inquiries he would put. He acts it as life, before he
apprehends it as truth."
While some may think that this is not entirely proper attire for the summit,
I would direct those few to the wisdom of someone who had walked this way
before: Henry Thoreau, in a letter to H. G. O. Blake, "...our garments are
typical of our conformity to the ways of the world, i.e. of the devil, and
to some extent react on us and poison us, like that shirt which Hercules put
So, knowing these things, I would wear just that - the same thing I have
worn on several summits.
Although, I will admit, that if the Ice Giants are stalking about on the
North Wind, that a down parka and sturdy hat are greatly to be desired.
If this doesn't help anyone in any way, then I am truly sorry.