One of those brief moments in nature that can prove so much.
An impromptu road trip led me here this week. It’s good to pass by these gentle giants. Rambling on now, heading south, perhaps the coast is calling? Keeping it open, we’ll see where things end up. ✌🏼
These days weather windows in the mountains are narrow and infrequent. There have been too many times to count when I’m driving to the trailhead to hike, climb, or ski, and there’s a thick, ominous blanket of clouds overhead. There’s tension – I wonder once we ascend up the mountain whether we’ll be engulfed in the clouds, unable to see a damn thing. But sometimes it all works out and that tension melts away to euphoria as we break through and look down upon the cloud layer. To me, moments like this are as special as they are rare.
Today is international mountain day. The world's mountain ecosystems are crucial to so many as a source of freshwater, life support, biodiversity, among other things. And to me personally, they are a driving force of inspiration and motivation, guiding my direction in both life and work. As I experienced firsthand when I traveled to the Seven Continents in 2017, mountains are found on every continent. Here I’m sharing a favorite mountain image from each continent – take a guess at the order! (Answers upside down, below).
(ɐᴉuoƃɐʇɐԀ) ɐɔᴉɹǝɯ∀˙S ;(ZN) ɐᴉuɐǝɔO ;(uɐdɐſ) ɐᴉs∀ ; (ᴉlɐuǝp) ɐɔᴉɹǝɯ∀˙N ;ɐɔᴉʇɔɹɐʇu∀ ;(ᴉlᴉʞ) ɐɔᴉɹɟ∀ ;(sdl∀) ǝdoɹnƎ :ɹǝʍsu∀
Antarctica. One year ago I was living on a boat crossing the Drake Passage, the infamous waterway between South America’s Cape Horn and the Antarctic peninsula. For others on the boat, it was a marathon of sea sickness and nausea. For me? I lucked out, and was taking in the journey through photos, reading, and rest. After 3 days and over 500 miles of nothing but endless sea, I woke to see the very first solo iceberg. And then another. Then several more. Before I knew it we were navigating along the peninsula’s islands and between glacial lagoons on zodiacs. Spotting some of the continent’s inhabitants for the first time, a raft of penguins floated by on this massive iceberg. I don’t remember every detail from this expedition, but this initial encounter has stuck with me. It was a good realization to have: we were visiting these creatures’ home, all while we had never been farther from our own.
After climbing 50 peaks inside the nat’l park this past season, you’d think I had gotten my fix of the North Cascades for the year – but the truth is: that’s not possible. Since standing on 50/50 in late October, I’ve already returned to the range several times, including two separate trips this past week. It appears these peaks have a gravitational pull on me, and their force is only getting stronger. Pictured, the north face of Goode with a fresh winter coat (and a much anticipated climb for next season).
🙏🏼 for Alaska. Today’s 7.0-magnitude earthquake brought chaos to the greater Anchorage area and beyond. This state is near and dear to my heart for so many reasons, not the least of which is having family members living there. Sending thoughts/prayers that all comes out well. #alaska
Note to self: take a chance on unfamiliar roads. You just might love where they take you.