Don’t get me wrong—roadside cragging is easy and convenient. It's great if you want to hit multiple crags in a day or if you’re on a time constraint. But we all already knew that. I’m here to tell you why on your next outing, you may want to forgo the roadside crag for a true backcountry adventure.
I’ll be honest, I was never much of a hiker. In my mind, hiking had always been a small price to pay for climbing. Why spend so much of the day hiking just to make myself tired and cut into my climbing time? Over the last couple years, these sentiments have shifted dramatically.
Many of the places I’ve travelled can require quite a hike (I’m talking camp at the base so you can get an alpine start). One thing you start to notice in these remote areas is how incredibly beautiful and untouched everything is. A two or three hour approach doesn’t seem like a big deal when you're one of only a few climbers actually committed to hiking to the wall. Another thing I have begun to appreciate about hiking is the fact that it allows you to see other walls in the area—potential routes you may want to climb in the future.
You’d be surprised too—a lot of backcountry climbs don’t have second (or even first) ascents. Being the first to summit a cliff is one of the most liberating feelings in the world. To walk where no one has before. To soak in a view that no one else has seen.
Sure, maybe you only get to climb a handful of pitches. But hey, they might be some of the best you ever get on. So at the end of the day, I’d say it’s totally worth the effort.
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