Sunday, October 28, 2012

"A Raven, A Ram, And A Bear..."

It has been many years since I completed that challenging mountain scramble. It's name is reflective of its long history, both as a mountain to be climbed, and for how it has been a beacon for travelers down those long valley systems. Nowadays though, what I remember most after all this time, is not only about the route, the rock, or even the summit itself, but rather just as fondly - a raven, a ram, and a bear...
Three wild ones who made their presence known, who shared some brief moments with me, and whose inspiration kept me going that whole unfolding full adventure day.
The route finding there, the rock, and the ridgelines were very daunting at points for me in my younger years. I was out solo as well, having very much planned and prepared to do just that. But there were still lingering doubts present too, which we often learn to use as messages and for energy, to really focus upon what we each need for being safe and to keep going.
That beautiful raven appeared when I was off route a bit, and stayed up above for the next few hours. So whenever I looked up and around, there that raven was, almost beckoning me seemingly exactly right along the way I needed to go...
Then, just before the summit block, when I was puzzled by the seemingly endless possible variations up those difficult rock steps, I could no longer see the raven. But right up above was now a mountain ram. Just gazing down at me, almost with a little smile on his face, as they often look to so have. Quietly, calmly, patiently, just watching. Him observing this other two-legged creature who was soon to share his rock, sun, and air up there. The ram moved off in the distance as I moved up, and the summit then became everything I had hoped it to be...
Much, much, later when moving along the trail out, after an even longer decent, I heard what we are often listening for in such situations. That movement, a kind of shuffling, through the ground cover and the trees. So I moved far back and away, and then watched from a distinct distance. An old black bear then slowly approached the trail from within the darkening trees, glanced directly at me, then ambled across and towards another valley. I waited for quite some time before moving on, pausing to look in the direction this Elder went. There on the ground, just off the trail, was quite a lot of broken rock that made me smile greatly. Such perfectly formed shapes and flatness were these stones, making them a wonderful medium to splash a bit of paint on...
A raven, a ram, and a bear. Gifting me with moments, memories, and so much more to mark and muse about that mountain adventure day... DSD
My gratitude my Friends, for sharing your images with us all here.

Friday, October 26, 2012

"Truly, So Truly....."

"Truly it may be said that the outside of a mountain is good for the inside of a man..." George Mallory
The higher we climb,
The further & farther we go,
The more inner we often find ourselves..... DSD

Sunday, October 21, 2012

"Headlamp Wonders..."

So many experiences within our adventures are illuminated for us when out there, then later too in our minds eye of memories, by what seems simply at first to only be a headlamp...
Such a distinctly useful piece of equipment is this source of light. It waits patiently for us in the darker hours. Then in the midst of our awakening anticipations we bring it out and shine it upon all the gear laid out in our tent, or the back of our vehicle. Then its' beam blends in so well with the excitement of those first few steps upon the trail, sharing warmth of another kind as we set out within that circle of light.
Our headlamps truly bring focus to both our attention and our efforts, because we know what is to come, and what will shine forth from those adventure experiences...
I remember in particular, the wonders of my little headlamp so well, on one very cold winter trek. Way back then, that beam of muted light shone upon millions of crystals of snow falling slowly, quietly, endlessly, before me...
We smile when we recall how sometimes each step, each hand placement, is all that we are able to see, especially in those earliest alpine starts. This slowly brightening process makes elusive summits feel even more so...
It makes for such a moment of laughter too, when looking up quickly, and inadvertently shining that unexpectedly full light into the smiling, but startled faces of our companions.
Then there is the launching by such light, out into ocean surf long before first light, because we needed to make time before the storm. Or the fun & accomplishment of starting our campfires by headlamp, as we shiver in the dark, time and time again.
We can recall rappelling into that ancient cave, where no light at all ever resides, except but for what we each bring with us.
What amazing moments these all are. What beautiful shining memories they then become...
Each headlamp I have had over the years has always held its own. Even if the light begins to dim a bit at times maybe due to cold batteries. We simply warm them up and carry on.
We all share in such elemental enlightened headlamp wonders don't we my Friends, from out in our wild place adventures..... DSD

My appreciation for sharing your own enlightened images and memories above my Friends.

Friday, October 19, 2012

"Discovering Fire....."

The philosopher and wanderer, Teilhard de Chardin, described the human spirit, our natural passions, and the personal meanings we create within our lives as "The second discovery of fire...".
There are many, many, kinds and types of fires out there that we adventurers learn to embrace and be familiar with... DSD

Sunday, October 14, 2012

"Each Time Climbed, A Different Note Heard..."

Each adventure day, every single time, that I have climbed this mountain, there has been a unique and different arrangement of the mixture of the elements up there.
The forever changing winds, the shadows, rains, mists, alpenglow, late evening light, evolving sunrises and sunsets, sometimes snow conditions, distinct changes of temperature as well - all unfolding into so many kinds of wild combinations.
Almost notes if you will. Kinds of an assembled music and varied harmonies, all within those wonderful adventure experiences...
This is a front range mountain. One that is in shape very early in the year. Rock that lingers long too as an option even as the usual season sets. It may be ascended mid winter as well if the weather and the winds become agreeable.
Over the years I have come to believe this composition of stone & elements, especially when this all blends in with the melody of our movement up there - transforms the whole experience. Then this becomes a remarkable, artful, mixture for all of our senses and the way we each wish to express ourselves out there...
There is indeed an art and beauty within such personal expressions when climbing. Each moment, every single time up high, has been an opportunity for the making of such adventure music. Every step a note of harmony. Every bit of altitude gained another piece. Joining ourselves eventually, finally, with those ever present melodies upon that distinct summit.
Adventurers are music lovers of another kind.
Our musicianship is the creation of journeys of experience.
The stages we play upon are the wild places themselves.
Then each and every note we then hear elevates us higher, farther, further, and more within as well..... DSD
My appreciation to Kraig at the Adventure Blog for always inspiring us, especially recently with his adventure videos and the music they are set to.

Friday, October 12, 2012

"Welcome To The Broken Group..."

There is much to be savoured about sea kayaking in a later season. Crisper ocean air, mostly calmer seas, and fewer folks about if you are seeking solitude. A while back I passed forward a greeting to another solo paddler that reminded me of the first time I was welcomed so out there. Way back then, it was not my initial outing to the Broken Group Islands, but it was my first solo trip. A very full long anticipated route, with many islands to visit, and hidden coves and small coastal beaches to discover.
I was actually surprised after a few days of quiet paddling, out among the very early morning mist and fog, when I began to hear the swish of anothers' paddle moving through the waters...
We met shortly after, had clearly been heading along the same low tide course, towards a tiny beach near the center of our marine chart. He was an elder paddler, who very much was acquainted with these amazing islands. After our mutual greetings, landing, and settling in for a break, we began to share both snacks and stories. Me with my many questions, him with even more interesting and intriguing musings...
The guide books say there are a hundred islands there, but from the stories he told, there are likely many more, depending upon the tides and how you tally them up.
To spend time with an experienced elder, who has journeyed such waters more days and nights than can be counted, is a truly wonderful gift...
I learned so much in those few hours. About middens, coves, navigation, elusive sand and shell beaches, the oldest trees, even older rocks, campsites for the best sunsets, starting fires in the rain, hidden faces carved into wood, reading the tides and the channels, understanding the fog, and even more about the wild history of these ancient islands.
Later, when paddling away on our own courses, he waved, smiled, and said quite loudly, "Welcome to the Broken group!". And very especially welcome did I feel right then, and even more so now each and every adventure day I return back there these many years.
That is the greeting I recently passed forward as well, just as he did back then for me. A simple welcoming gift from one wanderer to another, and of course, with a big smile too..... DSD 

Sunday, October 07, 2012

"We All Know Those Looks..."

I've often mused here about the faces, the expressions, the smiles, what we see in each other's eyes during our adventures, and especially within trials of efforts and endurance. There seems to be much to sense and learn about one another in these ways, while we wander long and far out there...
There is just something so memorable, even moreso worth pondering, in what is seen in those kinds of looks we all share in...
There is still even more to be discovered within such adventure experiences, when we surprise ourselves so, by what we now see revealed in our very own expressions , which we never had known was there before. We find much more within than we ever first realized, and it is in those very distinct looks we see, and deeply feel, all of the meanings for what is displayed.
We all know those looks don't we my Friends...
That real anticipation before we reach a trailhead after endless preparations and long travels just to get there.
The distinct excitement of the first launch of our raft or sea kayak upon unknown waters.
Those prior anxieties and doubts, now overcome , through our own sustained efforts and endurance.
The concentration, focus, intensity, and intention that adversity within our adventures often loudly asks for us to develop.
Then, finally, eventually, just as surely out there as well - then there are those looks reflecting real contentment , pure happiness and joy , overwhelming fulfillment, and truly memorable smiles. Now those expressions we all know so very well too, don't we, and such looks will never, ever , be forgotten..... DSD

Saturday, October 06, 2012

"A Thanksgiving Homage Within Our Shared Moments..."

Let's all take a few moments, to simply reflect upon our appreciations, and the gratitude we each have, for having one another in our lives...
A thanksgiving homage for all of you my Friends...

"Deeper Within Our Moments..."

Back in those initial moments,
During all of that intensive preparation.
We each dreamed of eventually being on our way,
Towards a longed for journey of adventure - and then we began...
Up there in those unfolding moments,
Upon that long winding ridgeline,
Over rock we were not sure of,
We felt there would be so much energy and excitement - and there clearly was...
Amidst those very challenging moments,
Throughout the route, and then the crux of this chosen mountain.
We thought there would be those engaging sensations of such focus and concentration - and there certainly were...
Then deep within those forever moments,
Finally upon our so elusive summit.
Within that calmness of winds, clouds, and perceptions,
We hoped for those gentle emotions of contentment and connection - and now there always will be..... DSD 
Dedicated this quiet thanksgiving, as we reflect upon that which we appreciate , that which we are grateful for, and as we muse over the many meanings of our wonderful journeys. 
For the WWF , WSPA , IFAW , and Vital Ground .
For the Ascent For Alzheimer's Team .
For Mike & Chantal , Kevin , Rob , and Alan .
For all of you too who are still underway 'Adventuring For Another Reason'.
It is a privilege to share in your journeys .
It is an honour to know you all my Friends.......

Friday, October 05, 2012

"Memories Of Pitons..."

I so enjoyed a recent Article by Stewart Green on About.Climing about pitons, especially the very old ones. At times out there, usually up quite high, often in precarious places, we glance over and discover an old piton simply waiting there...
They always seem to have a story to tell - about their past, their placement, who has gone before us, and how they have become part of an adventurous climbing experience...
My own favourite one was found way up on Pinnacle Mountain in Banff, during a challenging ascent, over rock I was not feeling sure on. A storm was not far off in the distance, and later when we heard that rumbling, we knew it was time for a speedy descent and a series of focused rappels. For whatever reason, and even though we didn't use it, that old piton gifted me with a sense of sureness...
Stewart's musings about the history of pitons is a very enjoyable article as well. He also describes the types of pitons and their unique uses. What seemingly at first appears to be a simple piece of metal, has contributed so much to the development of climbing, and even moreso to the fulfillment of so many of our adventure dreams out among the high places.
Great articles and thanks for inspiring the memories Stewart..... DSD 
My gratitude for your sharing these images my Friends.