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Mountain Point of Reference

September 6, 2011

Point of Reference, Mt. Rainier National Park. Photo by Colin Stapp.

Reference Markers were originally placed in strategic locations as a part of triangulation surveys for map making across the country.  Thanks to very simple markers like these, we have topographical maps. With a compass, these maps help guide us when we are in the back country.

Climber and NaLa Seattle owner Nancy Cirillo, ascends 14,411 ft. Mt. Rainier toward the summit's point of reference. Photo by Colin Stapp.

When out alone, sometimes it is easy to lose our way, and sometimes we don’t even know it at first.  The surroundings stop looking familiar and you realize you are off-course.  Having a reference marker as a means to guide you is usually helpful but often overlooked. So think about what you use as your markers, and make a point to use one as a guide for your journey.

When ascending a peak with the Climb to Fight Breast Cancer, our leaders take care of selecting our markers. Mountain guides, such as those with Alpine Ascents International, have already planned your footsteps, memorized every mountain crevasse and reviewed all possible safety considerations with their guiding teams.

When on your training hikes, walking in a new neighborhood, or running on an unfamiliar trail, use this beautiful week (80+ degrees ~ W-O-W) to take stock of your own markers and perhaps review your own personal points of reference.


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