It's All In The Planning
July 3, 2012
By this time next month, we will have returned from the summit.
Ten years ago this month, my son, two friends and I braved the elements and hiked to the top of the mountain during our seven-day vacation in the wilderness. I have a picture of my son as he stood at the top of the mountain with his fists in the air. He learned for himself, at age 10, that anything is possible with the right planning and effort.
THE RETURN TO THE SUMMIT
This year, my son is 20 years old, has a summer job home from college and can't make the trek, but the first picture I will send from the summit will be the spot where he stood on the granite at that windswept plain, marked by nothing more than a pile of rocks and elevation markers. Only the ones making it to the top get to see it. When we made the first hike, technology was year 2002, and it was far more difficult to navigate.
Think about it. The days before Facebook ... no Twitter, no texting. There was no sending pictures from a cell phone. We were strapped with heavy packs, satellite phones and the early handheld GPS unit to show us the way. We used an early digital still camera, a video camera that took 8mm tapes (tape ... what is that?). This time, our equipment is quite different and far more efficient. Everything from what we carry, to what we wear has all changed from 10 years ago. Also, those going on the hike are no longer 40-ish. Now they are 50-ish. I hope I can still do this when I am in the 70-ish group.
Ten years ago, we left an engraved brass plaque at the top which we hid under the pile of rocks on one side of the summit. Will we be able to locate the plaque? It's on a checklist of things we want to accomplish during our short time at the top. We are going back to photograph the plaque if we can find it. I know the exact location where we left it in the year 2002. It was well placed, and not that many have been there across the past 10 years.
PLAN TO SUCCEED
There are many parallels to career success. It's hiking at its best, at some of the highest points on the coast. To get there requires a lot of effort, planning, and then a flawless and a perfect execution. If one thing goes wrong, it can jeopardize the entire hike, your safety, and can be deadly. Just like a career climb, this real mountain climb is full of challenge.
The strangest thing to realize is that once you step onto the trail, you are ON YOUR OWN. You can only rely on your friend next to you. Anything (and everything) you need you have to be carrying with you. That means an exhaustive checklist of items, first aid, food, equipment, etc. Once we are underway, we use water filtration, drinking spring water along the route, as there would be no way to physically carry the amount of water that you need for the entire trip to the top and back down. We collect water and use multiple filters to remove any bacteria prior to drinking. Water is just one part of a big spectrum of planning required.
THE CAREER CLIMB
All of the planning and training that go into a large hike is the same as what goes into planning a successful career. For your career climb, you would do the same ... you will want to be fully prepared, think about anything and everything you would ever need, and collect what you need along the way.
Once we return to the base after the ascent, we'll give you the story of how it all turned out. We are in search of the original brass plate we left on the summit all those years ago. Is it still there? Until then, it's back to planning for the upcoming event. Wish us luck!