This was my 21st summit above 14,000 feet in Colorado. Three years in makes me older and wiser. I find myself giving advice to strangers on the trail when it wasn’t that long ago I was eagerly taking advice. 

Three years ago if I had attempted a snowy traverse with a steep drop, I would have done so without microspikes and without knowing how to self arrest should I find myself careening down the mountain. Three years ago I didn’t own trekking poles or an adequate pack. Despite all that, my calves still burn on an arduous ascent, I hit a wall as I close in on 14,000 feet of elevation, and I’m still in awe at the majesty of the mountains. Every view is breath-taking (or maybe it’s just the thin air). Those views and the physical accomplishment never feel old hat.