Monday, November 30, 2009
Greater than the Bear whose strength is unmatched, the Wolf who understands more than we know. Greater than the Eagle which views all from above, the Rabbit that quietly watches us pass by. Why do we believe we are greater than, when we more truly are of the same family...
They are our Brothers, our Sisters, our Elders...". GrandFather, Mountain Elder
My thanks to J. Sartore for the upper image, and J&J Dutcher for the lower image.
Posted by SummitStones at 1:12 PM
Thursday, November 26, 2009
"Magic, as I am using the term, is a sudden opening of the mind to that wonder of experience. It is a sense that there is much more to life than we usually recognize; that we do not have to be confined by the limited views that our family, our society, or our own habitual thoughts impose upon us; that life contains many dimensions, depths, textures, and meanings far beyond our familiar beliefs and concepts." J. Welwood
From within my musings around the flickering campfires out there this last while, to the ponderings by the ancient hearthstones back here, thoughts begin to take shape about how we all sense the wondering importance of the magic of our wanderings...
As in the quotes from these last posts, we read and write such words quietly as we know of the elusiveness of alchemy... We each speak softly of these elements as we have experienced their ephemeral spells... Adventurers seek out our magics among the mountains and valleys, rivers and lakes, coastlines and canyons... We quest through these journeys to embrace the conjuring mysteries and the sorcery within these wild place moments...
Because we know as we sit by the warm hearthstones; we know these whisperings about such beautiful, natural magic...
Are all true.....
My sincere appreciation to G. Wiltsie for the above images.
Posted by SummitStones at 11:31 AM
Monday, November 23, 2009
"Magic becomes a kind of habit after we do the difficult, the near impossible, over and over and over again; a habit that operates down in those oldest and deepest levels of the brain and the mind. Where pain and fear can be alchemized into blissful, sublime confidence, and stumblebums wake up to find themselves dancing on the business end of pins." R. Schultheis
Magic... Another of the more elusive elements...
Appreciation to G. Wiltsie for the above images.
Posted by SummitStones at 12:42 PM
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
'Today'... I said to myself, 'Today, this is my mountain...' It likely was too in the physical sense as I was scrambling solo, with a very early start, in weather many would not venture out in, upon a very elusive Northern Rockies peak. Yet, I sensed what we all do at times too, within that quiet confidence we all experience, that indeed I felt something beyond the physical in that this day, this mountain was mine...
Not 'mine' in that loud kind of hubris, nor 'mine' as if I could ever own that particular element, but mine in a softer, more surely confident way. If I had an air about me of such positive belief, of such focused energy, in a manner of being so assured - it was only a byproduct like that which we all feel after really thorough preparation, very intense training, repeated reviews of maps & photos, and other details upon details. This was a quiet confidence too as this was a solo day out. None would know I was there, no one would ever see what transpired, no others there to prove something to about this summit. Only those who knew of these plans for safety were aware of these intentions. Such a quiet solo asks for confidence on another level; much as I was taught years ago through Outward Bound experiences. I believe to, that the wild place spirits allow us to embrace the adventure experience more closely at times, if we come to this journey with a certain sense of self blended with a real respect for them...
So, today this was to be my mountain, as I had already decided that notwithstanding all of the preparation, regardless of the end result, of any 'outcome', it was a day to be enjoyed, to have fun, to smile with the wind, to feel strong, to just do my best... Then with these perspectives, I set out surely and confidently, as indeed in those special moments, that day, it was my mountain...
My appreciation to MickRange at Flickr for his images of such mountain days included above:
Posted by SummitStones at 1:10 PM
Monday, November 16, 2009
"I love this lake, basin of heavenly tears, tilted from lunar pull, jostling its shore... I love these mountains, stark rock outcroppings, sculpted by the oceans, lifted at some unknown time, isolated in a field of vetch, cleaved by silver falls. A sentinel owl regards me unblinkingly, and beyond alpine forests form a cadence, to a distant moon..." Deng Ming-Dao
Memories of recent adventures... DSD
Appreciation to K.Lehmann for the lower image, and S. Kazlowski for the upper image.
Posted by SummitStones at 12:54 PM
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
I recently rediscovered an old passage that told the story of an Elder who planted countless trees during her life. In later years she was still doing so even though most of these trees, she would never see mature, nor would likely ever sit under and enjoy their shade after such efforts...
I was reminded of an adventure experience of our own from ages ago that happened during those impressionable, open eyed, early years we all pass through and often try and hang on to. We met an Elder, back then, who was labouring upon a newer trail bearing towards a valley and mountain range seldom seen. Clearly, the trail would be needed as the possibilities therein for hiking, scrambling, and climbing were many and so intriguing. Ours was likely one of the earliest groups to wander in that remote area, and we were all surprised by our encounter with this trail steward. His age seemed very advanced to ones so young as us, and I smile today when I think I am likely older now than he was back then - but his efforts and strength were drawn from a unique passion, a sense of dedication, a powerful commitment, and were not diminished by any typical chronological measure. Still, that Old Man of the Mountains was working that day upon the beginnings of a potentially very long trail, one that he may never have seen completed, might never have really trekked upon himself, towards a mountain range he would never likely climb among...
I have pondered in that timeless way we all do, over those moments we shared with him during our break that day. Our focus was on the distance, our efforts were to get further out there, and we were not wondering much about what we were standing upon then nor who we were sharing the ground with... Yet I carried that image of him with me throughout our adventures out there the following weeks. There was just something about him... There was a substance to what he was achieving that I had not touched yet, a reflection of commitments and adventures of another kind...
He is surely hiking other paths and climbing higher places of spirit now... That trail he was creating back then is used today by many each season, as they journey towards mountains he never likely climbed... I wonder if they can feel his presence out there as they pass over the ground he prepared and passed forward to us. I sincerely hope so...
Posted by SummitStones at 12:50 PM
Monday, November 09, 2009
The higher and farther we go, the more connection, quiet, and solitude we seek.
We don't wonder why...
We simply are grateful for, and accept, and enjoy.
The higher and farther we go...
With appreciation to H. Garber for the above images.
Posted by SummitStones at 1:05 PM
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
"No climber, active or inactive, young or old, can help but look back to one of their earlier climbs with a sense that they had touched something beautiful and elusive, and found movement upon rock and ice as creation... In these remembrances most climbers find necessary definition for the rest of their lives." J. Waterman
One of my most favorite quotes... DSD
With gratitude to Gerry Kollmuss for the above beautiful images:
Posted by SummitStones at 12:51 PM
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
One of the great things about wandering the wild places, and then sharing our musings about these priceless journeys, is the opportunity to develop kindred spirits - to enjoy the many friendships we have been given from our adventures... Stewart Green is a fellow adventurer, climber, and philosopher; one who connects with us not while only out climbing but through his writing and photography as well. His many musings and images about the wonders of the high places inspire us while also focusing upon the priorities of safety and fun. Being a Guide and a guide book Author seems to be a wonderfully important part of his life and is something that comes through in all of his efforts. We have shared many comments on each of our sites and I so enjoy his series at About.com - Climbing posts.
Stewart's bio notes that he is a native Coloradoan who is lucky enough to live at the foot of Pikes Peak. He is an accomplished Freelance photographer and writer who searches the world for memorable experiences and images to ponder and write about.
Stewart says with enthusiasm that "climbing and a love of high places and the wild places are my passions", and encourages us to join him. He also challenges us to discover the magic out there and to "make your life a grand adventure". I also appreciate his many efforts in giving back to fellow climbers who need a belay in their lives.
Isn't that all we can hope for in a kindred spirit and a fellow adventurer... So let's do our best, my friends, to accept his invitation...
Visit Stewart at: http://climbing.about.com/b/
Posted by SummitStones at 12:41 PM