Talkeetna, Alaska en route to Denali (June 2001). - Photo taken with a disposable 📷
Before this trip, I had only climbed Shasta once and done two summit attempts on Rainier, both thwarted by weather, as well as a winter expedition skills seminar on the mountain. I trained for about six months for Denali, part of the time with an 80lb pack, and felt well-prepared. However, once I was on the mountain, it was an entirely different story. When the guides hooked up the 25-30lb sled to my backpack, the weight felt so heavy that I initially thought the sled was stuck! Long story short, I ended up throwing in the towel less than 24 hours into the trip. Though I definitely struggled with the added weight and awkwardness of the sled and snowshoes, among other things, I also simply psyched myself out. I remember seeing the plane depart from the glacier and thinking that I was now committed to being on the mountain for up to three weeks or longer. I immediately felt a sense of anxiety. In any case, after all of the time I spent preparing, as well as the money I had invested into the trip, I was devastated to have leave the mountain. (In fact, I was so broke that I had to resort to eating freeze-dried meals for the week after I returned home. 😭) Thinking back, I'm glad I had that experience. In climbing and mountaineering, I've had many more failures than successes, and I'm thankful for each one. Not only do my climbing experiences help me to be more present and teach me more about myself, each failure helps me to grow and adapt. I definitely want to return to Denali at some point, but in the meantime I'm looking forward to eventually exploring some more peaks in the Cordillera Blanca!
#climbing #climbingstories #climbing_pictures_of_instagram #climbing_is_my_passion #mountains #mountaineering #alpinism #Alaska #Denali