In the summer of 2011, my friend Sarah (@travelzazz) invited my roommate and me on a trip to the mountains as part of a film opportunity for her. I loved backpacking and was stoked to get out into the mountains again. I had no idea that this trip would completely change my perspective on life. The goal was to climb a 14,000 ft peak in the rugged California Sierras. I had no idea what this meant and rented strange spikes that strap to your feet called crampons. I remember thinking it was funny because the name sounded like tampons. We hiked in and trudged up a steep snow face before setting up camp on a flat slab of granite. I was confused when we woke up at 4am to start hiking. “Why?” But I followed the group passed alpine lakes and across a large snowfield. I wondered what I was getting myself into when we took turns jumping rope-less across a large bergschrund. I questioned if I should turn back as we scrambled up a choss gully where we were hammered by falling rock that sliced my roommates leg open. I fought back panic as I experienced exposed 4th class terrain for the first time, wedging my body into a chimney and closing my eyes pretending I was somewhere else and trying to forget that I’d have to climb back down this face. Somehow, I pulled myself from this chimney and continued to the knife-edge summit. I can’t say that I enjoyed being on the top. I was so sure that I was going die that I had kind of just accepted my fate and sat numbly looking out across the gnarled mountains... After 17 hours I stumbled back into our camp and laid in my sleeping bag. I woke the next morning and my eyes were swollen shut from snow blindness. I don’t really remember the hike out... but for days, maybe weeks I told myself I would never do anything like that again. This probably sounds dramatic, but Climbing, for me, has always been really hard. I was once really afraid of heights and have slowly overcome that fear, but that is why I enjoy it so much. I see people approach Climbing with no fear and I envy them, but I don’t think I’d enjoy it as much if I wasn’t initially terrified by it. Hopefully this explains my overstoke. Thanks for following along!