The last few months have been a whirl wind of activity and change.
March consisted of guiding another cycling trip across Cambodia. The trip was great and reaffirmed my love and connection with the people there. Many laughs and cultural lessons later I saw off my group in Phnom Penh.
The short time spent back in Chiang Mai was delightful. Hanging out with good friends and feeling sad to be leaving in such a short time.
After a short time in ND to see the family and collect my gear I made a b-line for Washington for a guides try out with Alpine Ascents International. Prior to the tryout I was given the grand tour of rock climbing in Index and Leavenworth, both of which are outstanding granite climbing destinations.
Arrival in Ashford, our staging ground for the tryouts on Mount Rainier, came quickly and led to some great conversations with other aspiring guides. There was a lot of self imposed weight on my shoulders, having moved back with the intention of getting a job and already securing a place to live for the summer in Seattle. Our three day tryout turned into a 7 day practical assessment on the mountain.
Having never been to the Cascades or moved on snow in 3 years I was sweating icicles. The whole process itself went very smoothly and even got to summit on a clear day. The ten of us aspiring guides felt in good spirits. When we arrived back in Ashford only 5 of us were offered jobs. It was a bit of shock to us all. Having cultivated relationships that we thought would continue into the guiding season. In some ways it was a great growth experience for those who did not make it, putting ego and desires into the forefront, and having to adapt to unforeseen things.
In the mist of all of this there was a terrible earthquake that shocked Nepal. Everyone at the company has deep ties not only to the clients, but also all the local friends and communities. Much of the try out was overshadowed by this, however everyone gave support and solace where needed.
Having weathered the storm the weight now is off. Tomorrow marks my first 3 day climb of Mount Rainier with clients. Nerves, excitement, fear, and pure joy are coursing through my emotional state. For once in a long while I feel at peace with myself and the world around me.
|the crew of cyclists at Angkor Wat|
|he bought this bike brand new 64 years ago|
|last sunset in Chiang Mai|
|ascending the Ingraham glacier|
|remote spire near Leavenworth|