By: Zach Hartman
It was a chilly Sunday afternoon when I decided I would join the select few who had reached the highest point on Pitt’s campus. It wouldn’t be an easy journey, but after hiking up to Chevron at 8 AM 3 times a week, I knew I was ready. As I collected my things into my rucksack, I made sure not to forget my Panther Card lest I get locked out of Tower C again on my way back down. Leaving my beloved home, the towers lobby, I started the hike. The beginning of the trek was only a gentle slope, with a quick break at the intersection of De Soto and O’Hara. The incline was getting steeper though, and conditions were getting rough, and there was still a lot of climbing to go before I reached the base camp at 1040 ft, the Petersen Events Center. Luckily there were moving stair devices and a climate-controlled environment there to assist the climbers.
It was here where I met up with my Sherpa. Sarah, a native of Sutherland Hall had already been acclimated to these conditions. I only got called a wimp twice as I started to fall behind. Through even more stairs I persevered. The air was getting very cold and the oxygen running thin. Finally, the second camp at 1120 ft, Sutherland Hall, emerged over the horizon. We were almost there! As I climbed the final stairs inside Sutherland, I felt a rush of relief! Finally, after long last, I had reached the glorious summit! The Perch! Planting my flag and ready to feast in celebration of my achievement, I handed my card to the cashier, and she quickly swiped it. The last thing I heard before I passed out from dehydration was to the person behind me: “Thank you, next!”