An exciting couple months of expeditions are on the horizon with 4 back to back polar adventures between April and May. - Polar Shakedown Training
- North Pole Last Degree Ski
- Svalbard Ski Expedition
- Greenland Icecap Crossing
September 11, 2011 - The crow sits as if he awaits me to continue on my journey. Alone. Motionless. He then flies off as soon as he greets me with a "squawwwww". The crow is visualized in Tibetan Buddhism as an incarnation of Mahakala, whose name literally means the ‘Great Black One.’ Mahakala is the protector of the tents of nomadic Tibetans, and of monasteries, and of all Tibetan Buddhism. He is charged with the tasks of pacifying hindrances; enriching life, virtue and wisdom; attracting people to Buddhism; and destroying confusion and ignorance.
At this point I was beginning to have difficulty keeping my head straight and hallucinations began to set in. The next morning, waiting out a hail storm, I would fall in and out of consciousness with the first, and only, vision of my life.
A vision of dying and crows picking my body apart on the open plateau. As if I was watching a film, I was neither frightened or sad. It was a calm, like nothing I've felt before.
It was the comfort of actualizing my death and return to the heavens, that made me realize I had to get out. I had finally made peace with who I was, where I was, and what I found. It was my rebirth. This is my reincarnation.
That was after I had been examining my body in the tent...every tendon, muscle, vein protruding. I became so aware of my physical being, and the tent protecting me felt as if it was a coffin...buried alive.
I had...to keep...going...I was going to die.
Coming back is always difficult.
I am not asking for pity. I understand that it is a privilege to have the opportunity to travel in the capacity that I do. Please do not misunderstand me, I am incredibly grateful both for the experiences I have had abroad and for the life I get to come home to.
I have had my life idealized by countless people. I am sure that I don’t help the misconceptions with the photos that I share. My life on instagram looks pretty damn great, and honestly most days I would agree. At the same time, I am still human. And right now I am a human who feels a bit lost.
It’s hard to live in extremes. One day I am standing on top of the most beautiful summit, with amazing partners surrounded by a lifetime of inspiration - four days later I am sitting in rainy Bellingham alone, staring at my computer trying to find the motivation to work. I can do anything I want right now, but I have no idea what to do. Sometimes I think that climbing has ruined me, like it’s some kind of drug that has destroyed my dopamine intakes.
I wish that I could find joy in playing video games or watching football games. But I just don’t. I feel like I need ridiculous adventures and physical challenges to be happy. What am I going to do when life has to slow down?
Has anyone else struggled with this after coming home from a climbing trip? Or after returning from any wild adventure? Any advice on how you handled it? I tried to do some research today but couldn’t find much. Maybe just time. Time always helps
I hopped into @elliot.whitehead ’s car at 2am and the drive to Rocky Mountain National Park flew by as we made our introductions. When we pulled into the near empty Bear Lake parking lot at 9,500 ft, we could already hear the wind just utterly whipping against Elliot’s 4Runner. I laid back in the car with my eyes closed trying to enjoy the warmth of artificial heating for a few last moments, and then we threw the doors open and hit the trail...or lack of it.
With the recent snowfall and relative unpopularity of our destination during the winter, the snowpack began to fade away before the first mile was up. By the time we hit our first alpine lake, the Loch, we were in two feet of untouched snow, breaking trail. We got lost and backtracked too many times to count, and honestly the only reason we actually made it was because Elliot had the path programmed onto his @suunto GPS watch.
I’ll go into more of the story as I post more from the trip - but the reason I drag on about this, is to say we frickin’ earned this view.
This weekend is the 23rd annual Ouray Ice Festival. When I made the decision to learn how to ice climb with Chcks with Picks, I had no idea that I was embarking on a life changing adventure. I met some of the most amazing, fearless, inspiring (and not just the guides) people. I left feeling stronger and more empowered than I had in years. I am so fortunate to have made some true friends--I found my tribe. #girlsthatclimb#climber#climbsomething#climblikeagirl#sheclimbs#natgeoadventure#unrulydreamers