Why You Should Embrace the Alpine Start

Summiting peaks sometimes forces early morning starts, and sometimes starting as early as the night before and hiking through the dark a.m. hours. This is partly because you want to be off the peak before the afternoon storms roll in. High elevation, whipping winds, precipitation, and lightning, are a terrible mix. More casual pursuits, however, don’t require that same early alpine start.

But that doesn’t mean you should wait to get the show on the road until after sunup.

Many would rather hit snooze 30 times, ooze out of bed, and piddle around while slowly slurping a pot of coffee before heading out to the crag or trail, but it pays to embrace the alpine start. Here’s why.

Beat the crowds

It’s especially beneficial to get an early start when you’re headed to popular areas. You’re not the only person who wants to see the tallest waterfall in the state after a nice big rain. It can be fun to meet new people and share the experience with them, but there’s something to be said for solitude in nature.

Watch the world wake up

Hitting the road early and getting outside before the sun is up lets you watch the world come to life. Not only are your rewarded with a nice, tasty sunrise, but you get to witness wildlife start their daily routines.

Oodles of time

Alpine starts allow you to take it slow, rest, and enjoy your time out in nature. You don’t have to feel rushed, and you can take advantage of maximum daylight hours. Starting early also allows time to deal with unexpected occurrences, such as getting lost or forgetting gear.

Beat the sun

Beating the sun in the morning lets you watch a sunrise, but it also means you don’t have to race nightfall. Early starts mean that you have daylight to do other things, or peace of mind knowing you won’t have to stumbled your way through the darkness. Finding your way after dark can be inconvenient or downright dangerous, especially if you’re not well prepared.


It’s good to get an early start, even if your trip doesn’t require one. Just make sure you’re prepared for your time outdoors! Uncle Sam’s Safari Outfitters in Northwest Arkansas has everything you need for your next outdoor adventure.

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