PNW ?? | Life has no limit if you're not afraid to get in it.
The descent is always the hardest part for me. I’m usually hungry and tired but never want to leave the mountains, super stoked to reach a summit but eager to get into my cozy bed. So grateful these places exist within such close reach so I can go back and forth so many days a week.
Exposure. Standing on the edge has always been something I thrive on. There’s something about looking straight down thousands of feet and knowing I’m precariously balanced that makes me feel ultra alive. This ultra chossy ridge traverse was the first time I really noticed myself slow down a bit and respect exposure. Much as I sworn I’d never return to this peak due to every rock moving beneath my hands and feet, part of me longs for that feeling...
Celebrated America’s birthday by climbing a mountain and waving our flag from the summit!
This is what summer should be — sunshine, soaks in alpine lakes and playing in the mountains. My last two weekends have been rained on even when the forecast says 20 percent. I’m ready for the weather gods to smile down and bless us with the warmth and blue skies I’ve been dreaming about! Photo: @outofthewoods
The weekend did not go as planned. We were supposed to leisurely hike into a remote basin and set up camp beneath two peaks we'd climb in the morning. Check -- we did that with style. But the climbing portion of the plan fell through thanks to rain that way overstayed its welcome. We waited it out for hours in the tent, sharing stories and giggling and napping and listening to the weather rage around us. By midday, we'd run out of time to climb and of course that's when the storm moved on and blue skies stretched above us. I'm disappointed to not summit any peaks on my days off, but I'm grateful to have spent the weekend with my two favorite people, to be forced into relaxing, to camp in such a gorgeous place. Maybe the universe knows best?
I allllllmost didn’t catch this sunset. I was inside the Italian hut organizing my stuff for the next day’s climb and focused on getting into bed to get some sleep. But when a friend ordered me to grab my camera and come outside, I went running. Who could blame me?! The sky burned a brilliant orange for nearly a half hour before fading into the darkness. That view was more than worth losing sleep over!
We’re back from Europe and I’m slowly going through all the photos from our mountain adventures. We didn’t have ideal conditions on Mont Blanc — 80 mph winds on summit day and a blowing snowstorm with mostly socked in views on our way out — but I think the trip was exactly what we needed. It was a great reminder about why I climb. Challenging yourself, coming out of your comfort zone, feeling alive — these things matter far more to me than conquering a summit.
We climbed the tallest mountain in Italy! (Well, that’s fully in Italy). Our first summit in the Alps was less than perfect, but perfectly memorable. We started at 4:40 am in mild weather and roped on the glacier just after sunrise. Less than a half hour before reaching the top, a whiteout obscured the views and by the time we descended, we were pelted with hail, then snow. Add in ridiculously soft snow and you had an exhausted, unhappy team post holing our way back to the hut. Oh, and did I mention the wicked head cold that hit the night before? Suffice it to say that the Alps are testing us before our next big objective. Wish us luck! P.S. Photo taken in Alabama Hills. No time to go through my photos from yesterday’s climb yet!
My start to mountaineering wasn't normal. I began eight years ago on Mount Olympus, which is hardly a rookie peak. It's 44 miles through a breathtaking rain forest, across the Blue Glacier and up a loose rock pitch to the highest point on the Olympics. It's one of the most beautiful views I've ever seen. That experience started a love affair with mountains that hasn't slowed or dimmed in the slightest. I returned to Olympus in 2015 and swore I wouldn't do it again. It's tough on the body. But last weekend, I again summited and have no regrets. It wasn't easy. Carrying a heavy pack that far wrecked my shoulders, my feet still hurt and I slept fewer than 10 hours all weekend. But there's something special about that mountain, something wild, and I couldn't be happier to keep sharing it with good friends. No matter how my body feels about it!
Why is it so hard to relax? I work almost nonstop, feel guilty if I squeeze in fewer than two workouts a day, am disappointed if I don't arrive home late Sunday after a crazy weekend adventure and I start and end my days staring at an ever-growing to-do list. Yesterday I wrestled with whether to sleep in the rain and hope for another day of climbing, or drive home and sleep in. Someone persuaded me to head home and spend a day being productive around town so we did. When I woke up to the sun shining, I was sad and FOMO immediately kicked in. Yet, I didn't want to get out of bed. For hours. So I didn't. And you know what? It was nice. It was what I needed. New goal: occasionally work relaxation onto my list!
It’s not uncommon for us to rush, push, pull and try to make things go our way. We worry about things that already happened and things that are yet to come. We wonder if we’re making the right choices and waiting for the right time (and courage) to implement big changes. But today is as good a time as any to start living the life you want to live. What are we waiting for?
This was one of my all-time favorite sunsets. We spent hours frolicking around the mountain playing and giggling. And just when the show started and the sky lit up with brilliant colors... I had to run for the bathroom. There was no holding it, and I was soooo panicked I’d miss the sunset. I started racing back to Jake so we could share a special moment but realized there was no time. I plunked down alone and stared out at the horizon, mesmerized and amazed. Little did I know Jake was shooting behind me, thoroughly entertained by my crazy indecision. 🙈 📷: @intothinair
Every day is a chance to declare to the world who you are and what matters to you.
Planning a trip isn’t without headaches. For an upcoming trip to Europe, two airlines have canceled four of our flights and can’t seem to find replacements. That’s added up to a lot of frustration and a lot of time on the phone trying to sort it out. So I’m taking a deep breath and browsing photos from my favorite trips and reminding myself that it’s worth all the hassle to explore places like this.
Not many places are worth 16 hours of driving in a weekend, but this one was. Pure magic on the Oregon coast.
Sometimes you just need a splash of color in your day.
Add it to the list. Horseshoe Bend is another beautiful place affected by social media. It has become so popular that an entry fee is now required for all visitors. ($10 for cars, $5 for motorcycles). So many people have flocked to this scenic spot in Arizona that facilities were woefully unprepared to support the tourist crush. Nearly 2 million came last year! It can be frustrating to pay for access to our public lands but there has to funds to help maintain them. Have an opinion? Id love to hear it!
We found this lake in a rocky cirque after 14 miles of hiking and decided it was the ideal spot to set up our tents for the night. An alpine dip and gourmet dinner topped off the star-studded evening, but an unexpected rainstorm sent us packing home the next morning rather than pushing on. Sometimes the weather cooperates, sometimes it doesn’t. That’s the Northwest for ya. 🤷♀️