• Where Have I Been? Part II

    Where Have I Been? Part II

    Two years. I guess that is the cadence I write at now. But two years ago, I ended my Where Have I Been blog post with a...

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Two years. I guess that is the cadence I write at now. But two years ago, I ended my Where Have I Been blog post with a goal to climb Denali in the spring of 2019. I missed that goal by a long shot.

My intentions were good – take a 12-day mountaineering course, learn the skills necessary to climb North America’s tallest mountain, train for a year and boom climb. The reality is that mountaineering is way more difficult than I ever imagined, despite reading all the mountaineering books I could find. While Denali is still a goal, I have extended my timeline.

Denali Mountaineering Course

One of the more difficult aspects of Alaska is the weather. It is bad and often changing. To get to base camp on Denali (where my course was to be held) you typically fly in. If there is bad weather you can’t fly. In my case, when I first arrived to Alaska it was raining and continued to rain for 4 days which meant we were stuck at the airport for 4 days desperately waiting for a weather window to open up. When it finally did, we rushed out onto the glacier.

In total I spent 8 days on the glacier at base camp for Denali. Of those 8 days, we have 1.5 days of sun. The rest was snow. Unfortunately because of the foul weather, we never really able to traverse beyond base camp, and managed only 2 expeditions outside of our tiny encampment on the ice. Still those 2 expeditions were awesome. The latter, we climbed a coulouir up the side of the Radio Tower, a large rock formation right outside of base camp.

It was hard and was my real experience with exposure. In total, it took us about 12 hours to go 3 miles, and despite feeling terrible at the end, I was extremely proud for having completed something like this.

What am I doing up here?

I live in cabin. It is a small cabin – roughly 430 square feet. It was built in the 1920’s as a guest house for the main house on the estate. Abandoned in the 1950’s, it, along with 2 other cabins, were remolded recently and put up for rent. I was lucky enough to find it online, and in October of 2017, I moved to the woods.

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“What did you do to yourself?” asked the doctor in a bit of disbelief. The date was November 4th, and I was sitting in Zen’s Medical Centre. My leg was swollen, and I was severely dehydrated. The last 48 hours had been fun to say to say the least.

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When I was 20, I thought I would finish up college, get a good paying corporate job, marry my girlfriend, work 40 years, have 3 children, and then retire.

That was my plan. Here was my reality.

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If only…

I say this all the time. A lot of my twenties have been spent living in a dream world where my mind plays out scenarios I wish I was experiencing in real life.

I’ll sit there at the cusp of a potentially awesome situation thinking about how it would go if I acted one particular way. The problem is — I rarely act on the situation I imagine.

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