The Winds

10 years ago I went to the Wind River range with two high school friends in search of “adventure”- suffice to say we found it.  We spent 12 days on our own in the range, and walked over 85 miles.  I drove back to Chicago in love with mountains, and determined to learn how to climb them.

A few days ago I made a new friend at the climbing gym, and we realized that we shared common dreams of that place in Wyoming.  I haven’t been back since that first trip, but the Winds have been in the back of my head for every climb and every trip since.  If you had told me then of all the places I would climb in the following 10 years, and how those early determinations would shape my life, I probably wouldn’t have believed you.

One of my early trad leads in a quarry outside of Stirling, Scotland. 2005

I’m missing a few photos in digital format from some other early experiences (Granite Peak, Montana and the Weminuche Wilderness in Colorado), but it was fun to dig up more of the early inspiration.

Few places inspire like the desert- Canyonlands National Park, Utah. 2005.

Loving the granite bouldering at Groom Creek, Arizona. 2007.

One of my first Cascade summits, Mt. Colchuck via the North Buttress Couloir. Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Washington. 2008

Sometimes I wonder why burn all the gas, why suffer all the training, but when I think of the friendships built, the photos taken, and the experience shared, there’s no doubt it’s worth it.

Flying prayer flags for a friend on the summit of Denali. Denali National Park, Alaska. 2009.

Eyes wide open on my first mixed climb. Hyalite Canyon, Montana. 2009.

Learning open-hand strength in Squamish, British Columbia. 2010.

The weather looks rough again this weekend and I’m fighting to keep my stoke up.  Tonight I got looking through a bunch of old photos- it’s fun to see where this journey has taken me, so I thought I’d share a quick history.

Stoked to ride an elephant, on Elephants Perch- Sawtooth Wilderness, Idaho. 2010.

Sometimes this feels a little lunatic- leading Lunatic Fringe, Yosemite National Park, California. 2011.

Finding far flung goods in Seusca, Colombia. 2011.

Taking it to the next level on Cleopatra’s Needle, Hyalite Canyon, Montana. 2012.

I think I’m finally ready to say it- I’m ready to go back to the Winds.  Hopefully my new friend can join me, but if nothing else, I can thank her for pushing the idea back to the front of my mind.

2 thoughts on “The Winds

  1. Akanksha

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  2. Pingback: Plasir Means Fun | stickthefeeling

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