(from May 30th, 2011)
My ego was swelling and I could feel my frustration rising. We were practicing cravasse rescue and I was supposed to be demonstrating, but mostly I couldn’t stop noticing the things I missed. Chris was making me feel like a fool 16 minutes into the rescue and I was already mad at him, and more angry with myself. We stopped the exercise early to debrief but the mistakes continued through the afternoon. And then, I recognized how badly I needed the humility that seemed illusive.
It should have been obvious- until 3 days ago, I hadn’t traveled on a glacier in 2 years. Chris is a professional mountain ranger with hundreds of field days and some of the best training available. We all make mistakes- especially in the hot seat when our buddy is in the crack. We talked. I learned, energy and joy returned. We sweated together under the blazing Alaska sun and watched the avalanches cascades off the flanks of Mt. Francis. It was a great day. Slow is smooth, smooth is fast. Humility trumps ego every time– and don’t forget rule #6.