on top of my world

 tick, tick, tick, tick
the wash of blue is nauseating
but I must fight the fire
tick, tick, tick, tick
the dramas played here on this stage humble me
am I worthy?
will You let me pass?
tick, tick, tick, tick....

Last weekend I accomplished something that has defined me for so many years. As a climber I have little to number me with the experienced and knowledgeable. But recently I changed all that. By climbing my first real mountain I have fulfilled a calling that started so many years ago. What was begun on plastic in a gym in the flat state of Louisiana and nurtured on the sandstone slopers of Mid-North Alabama has become real. I am a climber.

Although The Brothers (6,998ft) is not as famous as any other mountain, it is beautiful and a formidable challenge for those new to mountaineering. Having never climbed anything above the Appalachians and never climbed snow not on a ski slope it was exciting and a joy to experience.

the bros as seen from seattle

All to often I find an opportunity to go on a great adventure and things don't work out. This time things seemed to be in my favor. The hike out was familiar (lena lake) and the company was the best collection of old friends and like minded individuals that anyone could ask for.  The weather couldn't have been better for the climb and the other climbers on the route were great people who just added that much more to the day.

Not only did I learn that real friends are hard to find, but I began to understand the emotion that could be brought forth by losing one in such an environment. This revelation instantly put into perspective the stories as told by John Krakauer, Jim Davidson and countless others who have left a friend on the mountain.

I also learned some basics in prep. Like, use sunscreen, don't clip things on the outside of your pack, carry ready to eat food, and have plenty of water. With that said, if you find a camo hat with RANGER on it, let me know.

can you dig it?

Now having the first one under my belt and a fairly large group of friends that also have mountain fever, I just don't know where the adventure will end. On the docket have been Mt. Adams, Leavenworth, and Mt. Constance. As long as I can continue to nurture the desire that is in me and grow and age with it I will be happy.

And since I started with a little poetry I will also close with a little poetry from the music of Purity Ring.

"I came down over the sleeping mountains where our 
Wide toes plunged into the weeping shale to tear our 
Skin up off from the bottom leaves our ankles bare 
Don't just wander back and forth and leave it 

Build it into pinnacles and shrines of some 
Some ghastly predicament of mine you'll find 
Leaves us plastered to a bed of hairs with 
Me all coiled up near the bottom with my chest un-bared"

- Purity Ring 'Obedear'