We weren’t going to make it for the total eclipse, but a partial is cool too, right? (And while yes, it was—I do regret this decision. It was nothing like the total eclipse. But that’s life, and I really hate driving in heavy traffic.) I picked up my friend Morgan in the Central District slightly after 8 am, she grabbed some peanut butter cookies and rhubarb bread and we headed to North Bend. Around Issaquah WASH-DOT had a very helpful sign “Eclipse today. No stopping on the road!” Thanks guys!
People often ask me why I climb and I usually just throw out some generic response like, ‘because I love it’ or ‘because it’s there’. I mean, of course I love it or I wouldn’t be doing it, right? Well, that’s not always the case, like when I’m actually doing it. When I’m really pushing my limits and scaring the crap out of myself, my head can get filled with irrepressible thoughts of imminent peril. “WTF am I doing up here? Who thought this was a good idea? I’m in way over my head! Please don’t fall, please don’t fall, pleeeeeease don’t fall.”
Climbing is a painful sport. Our toes are constantly snuggled against leather or synthetic boxes that smush our toes. Climbers feel pain the way ballerinas feel pain, not during performance. It before and after. How do we take care of our feet?
Although I am primarily a rock climber and trail runner, my feet took me on what I like to call the other long walk to nowhere: backcountry skiing (the first being hiking). I’m not just talking skiing the groomers at the resort every single weekend, which in hindsight is what I should have been doing. I am talking about the kind of skiing where earning your turns, hiking for one single run back down the mountain, and variable snow conditions make you respect the mountains. I learned a lot about my attitude this winter and what drives me to be out in the vast landscapes that surround us. Yet the backcountry is where I knew the most fun could be had so the struggles began.