On July 8th 2017 I climbed Mt Washington. Turns out the easier part was the climb up, the really hard part for me was the climb down.
Mt Washington is located in New Hampshire in the Presidential range of the White Mountains. This was my second trip to Mt Washington and the first time reaching the summit and then hiking back down. It was truly an amazing day. Knowing that thunderstorms were likely we began our day early at the suggestion of our Team Leader Beau Decourcy. I felt strong going into. Enjoying that challenge and friendships made with our team members. The climb up was great. The weather was fine until we got above the tree line. At that point we had much heavier clouds both above and below us. An odd feeling when you consider the highest peak on Long Island is 400 ft. and the clouds are always above, unless we have fog. The Summit was the weather we expected, no visibility and a heavy rain. Hearing thunder while on the highest peak in the northeast also made you wonder if lightening was far behind and if we wee too close. After about 15 minutes during our decent the risks of lightening disappeared but the challenge of walking 5 miles downhill over rocks began.
Beau Knows. Beau utilized his leadership listening skills as he became my walking partner for the next few hours. As we began I did tell him that walking down may be tougher for me than hiking up. I was right. He was watching my body language as much as my words. His help grew from suggesting a walking stick, then a stabilizing rope, then helping me carry my pack. That is what a leader does.
A leader listens to body language as much as words. Listen and watch what you do and what your team does. By paying careful attention to them it makes the entire effort more enjoyable and successful for all.
Beau did that for me, You can do that for your team. I will train more also. Maybe next months newsletters we can focus on how to prepare.