I started the climb up Bird Ridge at noon on Sunday. Visibility was poor, it was snowing and the temp was below freezing...I couldn't have chosen a better day. I had micro spikes and gators on my feet. The ice below the snow made it very tough to climb and the snow its self was to my hips at times. The small group I started with had gained 30 min of trail on me by the time I had made it to 2,700 feet. I came to an area in the trail where I was literally hanging on to a rock frozen in movement thinking I was either going to fall to the earth below or wait till a helicopter lifted me off. But I stood up and kept going, falling and regrouping with every other step. I had sweated out my under layer and my legs were completely fatigued. But the farther I climbed, the more internal strength I gained. It was the most exhilarating thing I have ever done. I was alone and at peace with myself and nature in survival mode. I had no one to rely on but myself. Every stress and worry in this world simply did not exist. When I made it to the bottom 4 hours later, I was physically spent but mentally recharged. Being close to death by one simple wrong step or move, made everything else in my life seem so unimportant. I didn't climb that mountain to prove I could to others, I did it to prove it to myself.
And that makes me smile :)
Posing for the camera!
Buried in the snow!
At the bottom of the trail, the sign is holding me up!
Warming up by the fire!