Cracks, part 1

(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.

Mt. Francis, just above Basecamp.

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