Sunday, August 17, 2014

"That Which May Be Worth Knowing..."


"Who has not spread out a map on the table and felt its promise of places to go and things to do and see... Maps embody a perspective of that which is known, and a perception of that which may be worth knowing." J. Wilford

"Old Maps Are Old Friends..."

“Give me a map to look at, and I am content. Give me a map of country I know, and I am comforted: I live my travels over again, step by step, I recall the journeys I have made; half-forgotten incidents spring vividly to mind, and again I can suffer and rejoice at experiences which are once more made very real. Old maps are old friends, understood only by the man with whom they have travelled the miles. Nobody could read my maps as I do. Lend a book to a friend and he can enjoy it and miss nothing of its story: lend him a map, and he cannot even begin to read the tale it has to tell. For maps are personal things which books are not. The appeal of an old map is to the memory; an old map spread across my knees closes my eyes. The older, the more tattered it is, the greater my affection for it. I recall our adventures together in storm and sunshine; an occasion, perhaps, when it slipped from my pocket and I searched my tracks anxiously, as for a lost companion, until it was found; an occasion, perhaps, when the mist was thick and instinct and the map urged different ways, and I followed the map and came to a safe ground again. Ah yes, maps are grand companions.”
AW Wainwright

Friday, August 15, 2014

"Old Slings And Ropes..."

On the classic elusive routes they are often found...
Bits and pieces, lengths and sections of them, on the more remote high places where they can still be discovered...
Most of a material not seen out there now, but yet of very enduring fibers. Even while so aged and clearly not as secure as they were in their youth, they still stand ready, even if only as an encouraging sentinel to adventure experiences past.
Such rope and slings have a memory the technicians tell us, in being now unusable due to time, weathering, and many unknown stresses. We know though, that these braids have lasting memories for other elemental ephemeral things too...
They are wise, these old ropes and slings. They have seen and learned much. They are elders of their kind, both well worn and even better aged through long use and earned experience. Some, who while being weathered, are still strong enough to continue to brave the elements up so high, season upon sunrise, sunset, and then even further seasons. Something respectful to be said about that kind of endurance...
I enjoy testing their grip when they show themselves, yet never now would only trust their strength. They always remind us to do just that. Kind of like we often sense as well out there with other strands of connections, of beliefs, also perceived limitations, and in discovering routes and anchor points to more within each of us then we ever first realized...
Old, wise, and weathered ropes and slings - cords of experience that blend with past adventures, and also to those yet to come..... DSD

Thursday, August 14, 2014

"Sunrise, Sunset, And Solitude..."

Skoki in Banff is an area for me that is synonymous with solo adventures and long quiet solitude...
It takes a bit more to get way back in there from near Lake Louise. But with every every hour and day doing so, this journey takes us further and farther.
That adventure day I wanted to watch the sunrise yet again over little cherished Hidden Lake as I have so many times in the past. I also hoped to gaze upon the sunset across the valley over the top of the Louise Group of mountains, that gift such meaning for those of us who wander here.
The scrambling that day of those two summits back in Skoki was like visiting old friends. The solitude of these very long unfolding hours for climbing was just what was needed.
Time away, freedom to simply wander afar, moving among giants, only a gentle wind, the rustle of shifting rock and water, and the endless moments among the elements out there in our shared Skoki.
To begin before sunrise, to end with the sun just set, to be companionable within the solitude.
Such a wonderful, quiet adventure..... DSD 

Thursday, August 07, 2014

"Where Do We Go From Here..."


Inquiries within ponderings, dreamings among visions, questions asked yet often not needing answers - what wonderful musings wander through our mind out in the wild places...
Many times, certain questions, particular wordings, take on deep depths of meanings over the seasons for each of us.
"Where do we go from here", was the seemingly simple inquiry made by a fellow student on my first Outward Bound course.
It became one of those very fun, intriguing, and memorable things that we often discover, recall, then repeat a thousand times when adventuring. We asked it of ourselves, our Instructors, of the mountains, rivers & valleys, and even of the elements themselves when the winds picked up their pace and a storm began to brew.
We asked it of each other at the end of our course, with smiles, tears, and hugs of encouragement.
I even sensed that our Outward Bound Leaders, when asking this, often also meant it to reflect 'who we wanted to be as adventurers' as we each began upon that life course as well...
In later years, I would find myself asking it aloud, in the very same moment the Mountain Guide I was with, was also saying it on a very challenging climb.
It has been said with frustration when bushwacking and during navigational complications that pushed us so far off course.
Within the maze of some distant coastal islands, during a totally fogged in day, we asked it many times.
Deep in that cave and within those canyons too, we have whispered it to one another as well.
This question has been excitedly posed for me many times, when I am leading some novice adventurers out on their first scrambles.
It is a rhetorical comment I find myself saying quietly too, at the end of the day, upon returning to our trailhead, after a particularly rewarding adventure experience.
Many moments, just in the asking of this question itself - we found all the answers we needed, all the encouragement and inspiration, and that sense of direction as adventurers' we all seem to seek.
So Dear Friends, today I wonder once more, where do we go from here..... DSD

"Finding More..."

C. Houston wrote: "In this confusing and frenetic world we need to pause now and then for a moment to ask why are we here, where are we going, and what are we achieving. Humans do the bravest, wisest, and most foolish things, often not knowing why". He says the intention of such writing and musing is to: "At least it may prompt some people to look again at what drives them, look beyond today and tomorrow, and perhaps find in mountains more than climbing".
Such wise musings...

Monday, August 04, 2014

"Farther Memorable Whisperings..."

Quietly resounding, powerfully yet softly, through the tall trees, touching our faces... Quietly rewarding, of momentum and energy, brushed by the elements, painting each landscape... Quietly telling, gently whispering, of both warmth and our memories, always so giving... Unseen yet present, quietly recalling, of emotions and connections, gentle breezes of remembrance... DSD
Dedicated to Alan Arnette and his Seven Summits Climb for Alzheimer's -"Memories Are Everything".

"Memories As Gifts..."

"Memories are perhaps the best gifts of all...". G. Gaither

"Of Memories..."

"From my deepest and oldest memories, I was always fascinated with mountains. They had a magical quality about them and climbing was part of that... In climbing, you can have a very intense, sometimes spiritual, highly emotional adventure and you can turn around and have another one. That kind of thing keeps a lot of people going back...". W. Read

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

"A Farther Calling..."

It was such perfect timing, was this truly amazing calling...
A haunting, yet inviting summons it seemed.
The distant howl of a lone wolf calling out during my very early alpine start back then. One lone caller, giving voice to that adventure day and for another solo wanderer...
You could only make it out for some lingering moments. Yet that call gave meaning to many deep longings.
The language of that caller, was in my mind envisioned as an Elder Grey Wolf , and truly inspirational, potently significant, and very moving.
Such a beautiful cry speaks to so much - expression, symbolism, motivation, metaphor, and enduring meanings.
What is called to mind, then called into being, reflects upon reasons for why we do anything of what we do when we wander the wild places.
What is called forth within those intonations also speaks to our intentions for who we want to be on our wilderness journeys.
It was a calling that roused so many purposeful aspirations.
A voiceful memory never to be forgotten.
Then, when looking out upon that sea of summits, and those deep endless valleys, we each too will always find such song deep within ourselves..... DSD 

"Quietly Calling..."

"Wilderness is not just a place... It is also a state of being...". G. May
"If you are willing, and if you listen very gently and carefully, you will sense that this mysteriousness is ready to lead you, guide you to where you need to be... It is your wilderness calling...". G. May
Somewhere, something, is calling to you my Friends...
Whatever your wild places may be for you,
Where ever your wilderness may exist,
However you seek your adventure experiences out there,
Somewhere, something, is calling especially for you...
Such callings seek out our own answerings - and those answers, we know, are very personal, very individual, very special for each of us. You will be the only one to hear it calling in that way...
Our responses to these quiet callings often reflect freedom, fun, companionship, and challenge. Then our wild place adventures become the means for us to become the person we want to be - out there and then back here as well.
Somewhere, something, is calling to you..... DSD

Saturday, July 26, 2014

"Of Whispers..."


Whispered somethings are always mixed into the gentle sounds of small streams deep within canyon walls... They become part of the music of rain too, both as it falls and then when it strikes about us... Whispered somethings can be sensed just beyond the mists and fog of settled clouds on our solo summit days... They are heard as well when the winds move through old growth trees among the giant coastal forests...
These voices speak so quietly within the waves that caress countless small stones laying patiently upon an open ocean beach... Whispered somethings will always be found among the breezes that pass over shimmering midsummer heat as it moves across ageless desert rock...
We intuitively know they are there... We feel how they call for our return...
We have all heard them... All sensed these so special whispered somethings...
Sounds so soft, voices so quiet, they speak to our very being, say things to each of us in our own unique adventure ways...
They always say just what we need to hear, using a language for our own inner ear.
They help us understand what it means to balanced in mind, body, and spirit while wandering.
There are so many special wild places where they patiently linger, these ancient somethings, that we quietly listen for out there...

"For All That Is Given..."

"Hidden in and under the mountain, and all around it, is a mystical, linear elegance, an atmosphere, the long jewel-like ridges. There is a meaning for us, an extended journey, a project of inspiration to which our minds will be apprenticed...".
"The mountains... are an exultant image whose mirrors create the effect of endlessly receding planes. Their image is suddenly clear, then is blurred, an expression of our presence..."
"The mountain... obscures itself among other mountains, finds secrecy in its weather and moods... There is a strangeness, one of a beautiful worth. A storm breaks. We are called to its prismatic, poetic mood, a beauty that pervades every part of us... for all that is given, and that we are blessed to know, and must leave hidden." Pat Ament