Climbing a windy cold mountain & how it changed a part of me

Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.
Helen Keller 
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Today I returned to LA on a plane. This plane flight concluded my latest but most definetly not last adventure, The summiting of Mount Rainier.

With new friends and old friends (8 in total) we accended Mount Rainier on Thursday Morning. After 6 Hours of hiking and 6000 feet later we spent the night at Camp Muir. We went to bed at 7:00pm due to wind chill and absolute freezing temperatures.

Wake up was at 7:00am, Breakfast at 8:00am and training was at 9:00am. Needless to say it was still cold, but the sun was out and wearing crampons and helmets is always a good time. We were feeling good about our adventure thus far. Our guides proved to be great, the guide team consisted of 3 people for our 8 climbers, one of the guides is the world record holder for fastest accent of Mount Everest (4.5 hours from base camp to summit…. I know…. crazy… I know)

After training we hiked to Ingram Flats about 1500ft vertical. We slept is small tents for the night.. This night we went to bed at 5pm… why? Because once again it was too cold and windy to be anywhere but in your tent trying to sleep. Image

The schedule called for a 1am wake up and a 2am to start our final accent to the summit of Mount Rainier. No need for a wake up, when you can’t sleep. The winds were so strong I was surprised we did not get blown into the giant crevass that was only 50 feet away from our tents. We packed our packs and off we went.. Day 3 and we are embarking on the final 4000 feet at 2am.

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Day 3 was the final accent day and by far the most difficult part of the journey. We crossed the glacier, went under seracs, rock fall areas, and other very dangerous things. Image

After climbing the glacier from 2am-8:30am.. we summited. We stood atop Mount Rainier and shouted down to her!! As we stayed up at 14,400 feet for about 30 minutes and explored her peaks. It was at this moment, when I looked down and saw how small we were on this giant mountain, above the clouds, away from anything that could be construed as “secure” or “a sure thing”  something inside me happened. A sense of achievment? perhaps? a yearning for the next adventure? more likely. But maybe a decision was made at that moment…. a decision that will shape the future of my time here on this planet. Image

Things I decided:

I will not avoid the so called danger of this world, everything we do daily has the possibility of danger. I will live everyday with an adventurous spirit, saying yes and opening up for experiences. I will seek out more adventures to share the adventure with, if they are yes people, they are my kind of people. I will start thinking “Bigger picture” more consistently, we are so small on this huge piece of the universe. And last but not least, I will trust myself more to achieve the seemingly difficult or impossible tasks of my journey every time.

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If you would like to know how to climb Mount Rainier, or at least my tips on “how to” please visit my “Hard or Not” part of the writings.

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M O U N T R A I N I E R

“The danger of an adventure is worth a thousand days of ease and comfort” ― Paulo CoelhoVeronika Decides to Die

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This is the newest adventure I plan to embark on.  A short adventure, but an adventure nontheless. When a person looks back on their life will it be a collection of stories about other people who lived with a certain special passion, or will it be stories of their own?

I challenge those who feel a certain lack of adventure in their lives to seek a circumstance, an experience, a challenge, and when you encounter it, hold onto every second and be present in every moment. This can be your story.

My story gets better everyday. Yours should do the same.