Hedonistic Hiking

May 2005

For the record: I have not always been a wuss. I have endured a blizzard on a tiny ledge 2,000 feet up a granite cliff; I once passed an entire summer without sleeping indoors; I could tell you stories of the roughest days in the mountains that you could imagine.

This is not one of those stories.

On this summer day, at the start of a three-day trek through the Colorado mountains, my wife, Christine, and I will hike nearly 15 miles and traverse a 12,000-foot pass. But we also will dine on scallops and lamb and sip Courvoisier before resting our heads on goose-down pillows for the night.


This is a story about the softer side of mountain adventure—a style, I confess, that grows on me every year. It’s an approach that, if you enjoy day hiking at all, makes for a pleasant and easy way to string multiple hiking days together with pampered evenings in between, resulting in a full-on weekend getaway.