It’s Highland Bowl, not the Super Bowl

I was hiking the Highland Bowl the other day and was thinking about something that Lorenzo Semple mentioned to me in passing — “I don’t miss the docu-drama.” What I interpreted that to mean was how people get this head trip on just how fast they can hike the up to the peak.

It seems like they are only satisfied when they are ahead of the next person in line — kind of like driving down the highway. Also, you see them checking their watch when getting to the top to see what their time is, so they can make it known to their buddies just how fast they were today.

We live in a town of athletes and super-achievers, so you can’t really get a head trip on just how fast you are compared to the next guy. He or she is probably training for their next event marathon of like 100 miles. After doing the hike hundreds of times in all different ways and being a former boot-packer, I feel the need to pass my insights on to you — the average person who wants to ski the “Bowl.”

Highland Bowl climbing protocol: Pay attention to whom is approaching from behind and move aside when the terrain allows. Just take one step off to the upper side of the path and then continue at your own pace when clear.

The real goal is to make it to the top and ski the thing with style and speed — not who can get there first. Any fool can punch it up the climb, but then can you jump into full curl right away or do you need to catch your breath for 10 minutes? My old boss at the Cliffhouse, Nick, told me once: “If I look back and they are older than me, then I speed up.”

In my usual fashion, I have penned the following: “Greatness”

You should always strive for greatness, but unless you are number one in all things, be humble. If you go through life always comparing yourself to others, you shall live a life of constant disappointment. Do your best in whatever you do with honesty and perseverance, and be patient for the rewards that will inevitably come your way. Have fun in your adventures — be they large or small — for happiness is fleeting and often difficult to achieve.

Prentice Boyd Billings