In less than one day I depart to climb Mt. Whitney with a pack of 10 super rad girls! I’m counting the hours. My pack is ready and waiting to hit the trail.
I’ve been on a serious hiking kick lately. I can’t get enough. I’ve also been dying to go backpacking. This will be the beginning of many backpacking trips to come I know.
Everyone has something that brings them to their happy place. Now, of course, wine does that for me after 2 sips. And there’s family, a good book, live music and chocolate. But then there’s the huge rush of nature. Walking amongst creeks, trees, rocks, mountains and relying on so little is so dang refreshing. It puts everything into perspective. Oh yeah and then there’s REI – turns out I’m pretty stoked in there too.
Last week, I summited the Pfiefferhorn at 11,326 feet. This Utah mountain is commonly referred to as Little Matterhorn. Wikepedia describes it as a summit that can be reached by hiking, though some scrambling is required. Um…. that’s a very gentle way to say it. Technical rock climbing with your bare hands and a steep vertical drop below you should that rock you planted your foot on with the hope of it not moving… moves, is a little more like it.
We challenged ourselves that day. We figured the hike would be a steep one and maybe a few hours, but one with a trail assigned to it and maybe some heavy breathing. Instead we relied on the previous mountaineers markings of stacked rocks on top of all of the rocks to guide us to the top. There was no trail. You made your own trail and you made a conscious effort to not look down as you side stepped and shuffled and crawled like a bear to the top…. for HOURS! Dear hikers, whomever you are – THANK YOU for those markers! To whatever my brain and body did besides panic – THANK YOU!
It was an incredible experience and one that has me completely prepped for Mt. Whitney.
And there’s one more thing…. all of this climbing has brought me to a decision. I will now commit to at least 3 challenges each year that will force me to get so uncomfortable and fearful. How else does one get better?