I’ve been climbing, backpacking, and skiing for longer than I can remember; yet perhaps my reasons for doing so have varied over time. Early on, the simple practicality of it was to get out and enjoy the mountain lifestyle with my parents, but now there is plenty of evidence that I do it for the moments of exultation and sheer joy. To say that there aren’t moments of fear and timidity would be a detraction to the real dangers involved. Whether seeking out the easiest passage through mountain barriers or figuring out a perplexing puzzle at an airport, there are indeed few in this world who may be tempted to clamber higher or further for no more reason than the thrill of the morning, or for elevation and prospect and the satisfaction of doing what few have done before. The few who understand this are adventurists like me.
I have been inspired for this obsession by my parents and owe them for it. My first foray into the wild bounds and into the mountains started at six-months old, where, secured to my mothers’ back I was taken into the Sierra Nevada and it was there among those mountains that my life, obviously, was forever influenced. The lunacy took hold, however, slowly at first but gathering momentum as I grew up. I distinctly remember reading and looking at my father’s Freedom of the Hills over and over, in amazement over the cartoonish diagrams and vast information contained therein, and secretly yearned to get out and experience what those cartoons were depicting. When given the opportunity I took it upon myself to experiment with various methods and slowly learned how to keep myself safe. I was young, naïve, and invincible; impervious to anything that would have killed me or caused me harm and every foray into the mountains was always about having fun and making the most of the moment.
A time came when I could see myself living in the hills free from the constraints of urban life, able to do as I pleased and go where I wanted to. The mountains, valleys, and great precipices were becoming my home. Then reality sunk in and I was off to become a productive member of society. It was here that I was able to fully embrace the climbing culture and slowly make my way through the ranks to the mediocrity of my life now. I tackle many climbing obstacles routinely though reaching the top of a mountain generates challenge and excitement, regardless of the route taken. I recall a time when climbing the many peaks, ridges, and precipices was but a remote thought.
It is experiences that bring people together, create memories, and bonds us to those who we explore with. Without interaction we might be left wandering aimlessly amongst the hills in confusion as to what to do. I have been fortunate enough to find natural beauty in some incredible places with very memorable people. Through my travels I have gained a wealth of knowledge that would have taken centuries to acquire on my own had it not been for the insightful interactions with the many experienced people with whom I've come across.
My draw to the outdoors is the commitment to the unknown and what it may bring. I have experienced countless adventures and general outdoor pursuits on five continents and numerous countries; and have explored beyond what I ever dreamed of. Each place has a familiarity to it while at the same time being a completely new experience. I know that the farther I get into this mountain lifestyle there becomes more that I could learn. It’s often not about the movements, but about the journey getting there. And so far it’s been an interesting one.