This is one of my favorite photographs of myself. Looking down the slope, deep deep snow, about to drop in, and utterly petrified with fear.
This tour was up Pink Pine Ridge in Little Cottonwood Canyon, to just below Rainbow Peak. Not many people were in the backcountry, and we saw only one other party on this beautiful day. Some of the views were so beautiful, and I felt so full of solitude that it brought tears to my eyes. Then we pressed on, into the type II kind of fun.
Skinning is HARD for me, or maybe I’m still new to it, but I find it to be one of the most frustrating and physically demanding things I’ve ever done. It feels the complete opposite of hiking, like I’m using all of my muscles backwards or something! About halfway up, we heard an avalanche crashing through a slide path across the canyon with thunderous booming. I turned around just in time to see some of it drift around the mountainside like smoke from an explosion. We pressed on, but I had to ask for a lengthy explanation as to why that wouldn’t happen on the other side of the canyon, where we were. (Being on a northerly aspect vs a southerly one makes a world of difference due to sun exposure, etc.) When we arrived near the top, we dug a pit, did all the snow stability experiments, and found that the snow was good to go!
Many may not know this about me, but I’m fairly afraid of almost every badass or adventure thing I do and every new adventure I go on. Not initially. But as soon as I get in the thick of things, that fear builds and builds until it’s a physical sensation in my chest. But I try to never let it stop me. And that’s the most important thing. If I turned back every time I was afraid, I would literally never do anything. There is a difference between danger and fear, and knowing that difference is important.