Saturday, May 31, 2014

"Again, Yet Wonderfully Again..."

"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

This quote echoed out so clearly to me the very first time I read it. It still resonates vividly time and time again. In those moments, often before sleep, or when I can't rest due to health concerns, then, when I close my eyes - I'm climbing that elusive mountain all over again...
It was a peak like no other for me. A truly, distinctly, challenging technical climb. This mountain has its' own history, and even the first adventurer's who initially climbed it, said others might doubt their completion of its ascent, such was its mystery, difficulty, and presence...
The rock is a wonder.
The height an amazing splendour.
The route is a puzzle.
The solution an emblazoned memory.
Vertical does not really describe it. For you meander and traverse endless cliffs and rock bands up there in so many delightful ways.
With early alpenglow it appears very imposing. Then, if you endure and move close enough to touch it, you are embraced, then welcomed by its' whispers...
The impact upon my perceptions still linger to this day, even though countless seasons have now slowly passed. As I learned on Outward Bound so very long ago, there is always more within to be found out there than ever first realized...
For now, when I close my eyes, I can envision every single forever moment, and even those longer precious hours. I still clearly see that unfolding adventure, from all of the anticipations, then finally to our humbled celebrations.
That mountain may not have changed much over the millenia, yet that summit and its' vivid memories have invited many changes within me.
Now, when I close my eyes, I'm climbing that beautiful mountain all over again.
What a wonderful gift that is..... DSD

"Dreaming Of Blue Mountains..."

We all have blue mountains within our dreams, and distant endearing islands too,
Hidden wild places we very much hope to see, with so many possibilities awaiting there...
We all have blue high mountains within our dreams, and hidden islands too,
Elusive experiences we simply call adventures, our personal journeys of effort, mind, and spirit...
We all have blue stormy mountains within our dreams, and misty islands too,
Such ephemeral memories that are yet to be, true paths and trails we are each destined to share...
We all have countless blue mountains within our dreams, and endless islands too,
Always echoing from our ancient selves, while we forever seek such horizons to this very day... DSD

"Cherished Blue Mountains..."

"The acid test of a true adventurer, if presented with certain anonymity, is whether each of us would still have made the journey beyond the last blue mountain...".  M. Clark

Thursday, May 29, 2014

"Farther Bearings..."


"We all have our own inner compass... The bearings are such that we can only read our own...". Anon
An old compass, my even older weathered list, a new map, and now to follow the inspiration... DSD

"An Adventurer's Rose..."

The Compass Rose... is often described as an ancient navigational symbol; a figure of direction; and a mandala for Adventurers...
It can be seen in so many forms, like on my Outward Bound pins which I am gazing upon at this moment... Countless references can be found in readings and stories that reflect on the historical values of its use; and in the meanings and analogies for compasses...
The Compass Roses' age old perspectives re-minds me to see adventure experiences through 'long term eyes'... Even as I have posted just before on the significance of experiencing our wild land activities in the moment...
There are powerful metaphors and depth of meaning in well applying concepts of navigation and direction within our outdoor lives, and not just in the most practical sense of finding our way...
This image of a Rose within the Compass holds mystery too in allowing us to set an unknown but intentional course over lands and waters previously only dreamed about...
We have owned many compasses over the years, and still have them all...
I enjoy discovering the Rose as the key placed upon antique maps, which displays the skill of the artist, and have often been put there for luck, especially when the world was uncharted as it is now...
I've often painted elements of the Compass Rose on these small Summit Stones under mountains and oceans, to capture a sense of their essence... If only a hidden one...
Some of the very first Summit Stones were only the painted face of a Compass. Now many have North, South, East, and West woven into the lines of paint on mountains...
I remember... Finding a Compass Rose carved into a large piece of driftwood just off Quadra Island...
I recall... a passage from a book in my youth, whose Author wrote...
"Under the rock was the rose of a compass that was not supposed to be there, carved as clearly into the stone as if etched that very day. If done by the hand of a mason or the elements I could not tell".
I love the sense of mystery that accompanies the Compass Rose...
I believe that while Maps carry promises... Compasses show us one way to fulfill these... DSD

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

"You Sense A Spirit Here..."

"This was one of his power places. You sense a spirit here, an unspoken strength. It almost oozes from the rock through its thousands of cracks and crevices. Overhead, ravens soar by...".  A. Hobson

"It Was On Fire..."

"When a summit is windblown and polished, forming a delicate ice layer over melting snow, and the sun is just right, you can see firn spiegel, or snow mirror. I came over a cornice once and the whole surface was dancing... Like it was on fire underneath...".  J. Auld

Monday, May 26, 2014

"Seashore Reverie....."

"Sit in reverie, and watch the changing color of the waves that break upon the idle seashore of the mind...".  Longfellow

Dedicated to all those hardy wanderers who are journeying upon the WCT and the NCT this season.

"Rock & Stream Song..."

"If it weren't for the rocks in its bed, the stream would have no song...".  C. Perkins

"Wandering Amidst Time..."

"Time is the wisest Counsellor of all..." Pericles
"Time is the coin of your life...". Sandburg
"Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in...". Thoreau
"Time is the most paradoxical of things... Time, the cradle of hope...". Colton
Time for adventurers, is an ephemeral thing. We seek the timeless flow of it all out there, while knowing we are really the timekeepers ourselves... Each journey is an era, each mountain a thing immemorial, every river and coastline a passage, all canyons a history. So our association with what we call hours, days, and seasons - evolves, or more clearly distills, into moments. Such as those I have shared in upon an elusive westerly summit near here. My high place wanderings there began when I was quite young, unfolded over the years, and now in a time honoured way, I return there each season still. The course of all these experiences, intervals of adventure and for introspection, has invited many perspectives of how we each may ponder time... I'm sure that is why, being more grey of hair and long existence, that I so very much enjoy certain Time Lapse adventure creations shared with all of us over the Internet. Many selected ones reflect so many wild places and journeys, in unique time lapsed passages, where the movement of the moments fill us with awe and inspiration... We do have the time of our lives out adventuring, and then viewing these Time Lapse wonders becomes a reflection too of our Time Lapse selves... A YouTube search by adventure topics, another search on The Adventure Blog by Kraig, or National Geographic Adventure, among other such esteemed sites will gift you with many remarkable experiential examples of these. Call them what we will, refer to time as we may - chronologies of movement, a time warped stillness to ponder, visual retrospectives of how we wander, antiquities or our own elapsed experiences - these are timely wonders of perception for time itself and our adventures. So, for the time being, turn the volume way up, enjoy these Time Lapse wonders my Friends, so they then inspire you to return soon to your own wild place adventures..... DSD

Saturday, May 24, 2014

"The Higher And Farther You Go..."

"Climbing, scrambling, and mountaineering require a very different kind of endurance. More than body, even more than mind - especially season after season, year after year, success after failure, the higher and farther you go...".  Anon

"Being Free..."

"May the fire be your friend,
And the sea rock you gently.
May the moon light your way,
Till the winds set you free...".   Cradle Song

Friday, May 23, 2014

"A Canyon In Front, A Mountain Behind, A Nexus Between..."

It has been a while, too long actually, since we have last wandered among those desert canyons. The last time out, when having a few hours to myself, I found a quiet secluded area to simply gaze, reflect, long ponder, and compose a few musings.
I didn't realize it at first, but this bit of rock and sand was in quite a unique location.
Picture this setting if you will my Friends, a distinct high point behind me, a very low one in front.
Quite a nexus it was.
Clearly a long desert mountain slope back there, and a deep canyon meandering right before me here.
Then, when simply quietly meditating for a bit, during the time when the sun was at its highest, it began to dawn upon me what a wonderful nexus of experience this was upon that particular point on the map.
A calm part of the day. The sun at its zenith. Breezes very gently moving about.
A canyon focused in front.
A grounded mountain behind.
A nexus is often about being centered between moments.
This is a bringing together for us adventurers that can be very meaningful, reflecting the energy of a place, and the spirit we bring as well, which all blend - then unfold, in such wonderfully contemplative ways.
Where will you discover your very next nexus my Dear Friends, for it is surely waiting patiently for your return..... DSD

"The Heart Of The Mountain..."

"I wait for the light and the mountain to show the way... I dig my way through pink dolomite, imagining in each a clear rock. Each stone that pulls free under my grasp shows more broken layers. What if I were to scrape them all away? Would I get to the heart of the mountain. Where there is no weathering and no cracks... Would I reveal the crystal core...".  J. Auld

Sunday, May 18, 2014

"Open Them At The Summit..."

The elements placed this mountain and its' knife like ridgelines, and even sharper summit, just so out there...
Right above Lake O'Hara. It is in the center of everything, holding one of three amazing alpine routes across its face, surrounded and embraced by the majesty of some of the most amazing peaks among these ranges.
Then there are the seemingly countless alpine lakes and hidden tarns that rest all around this summit and the many valleys too.
Mt. Yukness. Whose formal title actually means 'sharpened with a knife', is a cherished favourite among favourites in this backyard we call our Northern Rockies.
That mountain and I have shared many an adventure day, and its giving of these special experiences has inspired me to return the gesture when returning on my wanderings up there.
The one experience I enjoy the most, is to be the first one up on this summit, with as early an alpine start as I can make. This allows for time with my old rocky friend on my own, then to enjoy a much slower descent while waiting...
Waiting for the next scramblers on their own ascent. To meet with them on this path. To pass forward some smiles and greetings. Then just before continuing on, I so enjoy saying, "Oh, by the way, here is something for you on your adventure today. Open them at the summit".
Placing Summit Stones in summit cairns is a special experience.
Once in a while, placing them hands of fellow adventurers, on their way up, is a truly unique passing forward moment..... DSD 

"Explore, Dream, Discover..."

"Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the things you did. So throw off the bowlines. Explore. Dream. Discover...".  M. Twain

Friday, May 16, 2014

"An Echo....."

There were two climbers that adventure day, out upon a very elusive mountain peak. One was an elder adventurer, the second an enthusiastic and full of energy younger mountaineer.
The youth on this climb was pushing past limitations and challenging past perceptions of what was possible up there. While doing so, and when calling out climbing signals and commands, he noticed 'something else' kind of echoing back.
The higher these two adventurers climbed, the more clear the weather, the air, and these soft echoes became.
When finally attaining their shared mountain summit, the younger climber mentioned what had been heard throughout the day - when calling out, when yelling so, when then ensuring these calls were received.
There were responses of course, yet faint echoes too, of something.
Something else that was surely there as well.
The elder climber slowly smiled as this was being said, and then shared in turn how when out among the high places, we each begin to sense, so very much more...
The older climber, having been reminded of this gift, said that this was an experience many adventurers have. For what is being heard as time passes out there, are not just echoes of activity, or even of that moment, but for life itself...
Where you are when you call out. When, and how, and why you call, all then become echoes for your life.
They reflect echoes of your very self.
Of who you want to be.
For the way you are choosing to live your life.

These two mountaineers, these two adventurers, were both long pondering their discussion, more silently on their way down.
Yet each were also listening even more closely now, and both were again hearing, so much more than ever before realized..... DSD

Shared on one of my Outward Bound courses.
Dedicated this season to all those on their first Outward Bound experience, and the wonderful new leaders who are beginning their journey as well.

"The Grandeur..."

"The grandeur of the scene was but softened by the haze that hung over the valley - light as gossamer - and by the clouds that partially dimmed the highest cliffs and mountains. This obscurity of vision but increased the awe with which I beheld it, and as I looked, a peculiar sensation seemed to fill my whole being, and I found my eyes in tears with emotion...".  L. Bunnell

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

"Like Other Breaths..."

"Across the scraped stone we walk, headlamps floating through suspended mists like other breaths, the breaths of everyone who has come this way before, walking in the predawn darkness, towards a ghostly cone. Our lights reveal only ten meters, the rise and turn of the rock, and we follow it toward the glacier... A faint radiance seems to rise off the snow, as if the ice is transmitting the light that has fallen on it for years, melting the glow off at night in a beckoning incandescence. The dark peaks crouch.. front and centre, gradually rising...".  J. Auld

"Head Down... Head Up..."

Such a subtle transformation it was...
One of the processes of alchemy that Outward Bound Instructors are so well known for, as they lead wondering wanderers out there for their first time.
It was at the beginning of our course, with those heavy packs, the unknowns before us, some with new boots, others with doubts and fears, all inexperienced adventurers.
All of us were heads down it seemed, when hiking, when climbing, even as it felt at times when we were resting too.
If we looked up at all we would catch that inspiring glimpse of one of our leaders, head up, relaxed and contemplative. Mostly of us, but also of their surroundings, and even of something maybe not really seen, likely more elusive for those of us so new to these highlands.
As we so journeyed, we were coached and encouraged to keep our heads up. Initially because we would likely breath better, Later it was more about awareness... Of the wild places we were moving among, and the unfolding experiences we were going through.
As the long days became deep nights, and the nights evolved back to enduring days, then further to expansive hours, and more finally slowed to moments - one by one we individually found ourselves more heads up.
We began recognizing this in each other, and also saw the ongoing smiles this sparked within each of us.
The packs were still heavy. The terrain just as challenging. The footing as tricky at times. But we were no longer existing just with heads down.
These wild place perspectives had changed us as we had evolved farther while journeying through them.
From heads down. To heads up.
From enduring to enjoying.
From doubts to confidence.
From unknowns to welcoming embracements.
From just tired meandering to blissful wandering.
All with our heads up, held high, with great big full wonderful smiles to be found upon everyone's faces.
Heads up my friends..... DSD

Thursday, May 08, 2014

"The True Conquest..."

"We do not conquer mountains, nor tame the elements. The true conquest lies in penetrating those barriers of self-imposed limitations within our minds...".  S. Wood

"Each Of Us..."

"Each of us is on a climb of a different sort, facing our own mountains, struggling to cross our own rough seas...".  Anon

Monday, May 05, 2014

"But A Medium..."

"The more one goes into the mountains, the more one realises they are but a medium for exploration into oneself...".  D. Scott

"I've Always Been Fascinated By The Why....."

"The Greeks pondered the causes of things. If you had asked them, 'Why are there mountains' they'd give you four causes. The Material cause is the ground has the potential to become a mountain. The Efficient cause is that mountains are just elevated earth standing up. The Formal cause is the earth raised them up. But the Final cause is where it gets interesting. They'd say the Final cause of mountains is they exist because humans need to look up and dream..."
"I've always been fascinated by the why . You know, the oldest questions in the world...".  J. Auld  

Saturday, May 03, 2014

"Our Shared Adventure Stories..."

Oh, the tales we tell when we return from way up there.
The fireside reports we present of places so very wild and high.
The challenging accounts given of our wonderously elusive adventures.
All those forever moments about which we so wish to share...

There are many endless meanings to be gleaned.
Such immense laughter and fun to be experienced.
Even more to say and then reflect about.
Within the stories of our adventurous journeys...

Then, when resting in the quieter lingering moments .
As we gaze longingly back towards our distant summits and shorelines.
That is when we begin to listen ever more deeply.
Hopefully then to gratefully hear, and remember as well.
For how the mountains, islands, forests, and canyons.
Also begin telling us their own secret stories too..... DSD

Dedicated this adventure day to all those who are out there Adventuring For Another Reason. 

"Superb Experiences..."

"Camping in the glow of sunsets, paddling into the sparkle of coastal sunrises, cresting over the restless waves... combined to create a superb experience...".  P. Caffyn