The cabin is yet again a heap of gear, clothes and equipment basically looking like an un-organized garage sale.
The annual sweet smell of homemade maple glazed beef jerky radiates from the oven.
Why am I doing this again? Another winter mountaineering climb.
It is not like I need to go winter camping in minus 40 again, or need some alone time, or an epic adventure to save the planet. Somehow I feel the need to just do something challenging, something uncomfortable. I don’t mean in a “I want to suffer” kind of way; it is more for the healthy mental state one gets from being alone in nature.
Being tougher, faster, better has never been for me. When there is any competition I tend to shy away.
The saying goes: “The adventure begins when shit goes wrong.” We tend to rate an expedition’s validity by how much suffering has occurred, when in fact, the most epic expeditions are made to look easy with careful planning, getting in tune with the environment and leaving the ego back home. Example: When Roald Amundsen went to the South Pole in 1911 and was asked later how the journey was, he replied: “It was a good ski.”
I enjoy the simplicity of expedition life. It is nomadic, it is working out solutions to stay comfortable, it is about being alive to stay alive. Eat, keep warm, navigate, sleep and travel again. No beeping horns, phones, computers, bills, traffic or crowds. I crave the stillness of silence giving rest to the ears, crisp air to the nose, and layers of mountains to the eyes, the touch of a warm cup filled with coffee that you allow yourself each morning while being surrounded by snow and ice. All this helps clear the mind and clutter of our world.
The speed of our daily lives slow to a healthy pace of daily endurance which gives the body great exercise, increases metabolism and keeps your body and mind fit for months afterwards.