"Not all those who wander are lost"

Alpine Dreams

If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours.

-Henry David Thoreau


If you’ve climbed with me in the past year you’ve probably noticed that I’ve been avoiding crack climbing like it’s the plague.  I’ve always wanted to do some epic ascents, but over the last year my ambitions have strayed away from climbing cracks.  After climbing in Squamish and Yosemite last year I could barely walk for a week because my ankles hurt so much and my mini-epic on the Rostrum was the last straw.  Since that day, I’ve done everything I can to avoid crack climbing.

Now, my thoughts have been pulled back to the epic climbs; the long alpine ascents that people notice.  In short, I’ve spent a year getting stronger and becoming a better climber, but now I want to take those skills into the alpine realm.  I don’t expect to just jump into it and have success.  I should prepare, spend some time climbing crack other places, and hone my skills.

I want to alpine climb so bad that I keep dreaming of Patagonia.  When I say dreaming, I don’t mean just day dreaming about some amazing new line up Fitz Roy or Cerro Torre, although I do plenty of that too, I mean when go to sleep at night I’m really there for a few hours until I wake up.

In my most recent dream I had managed to exchange my flight from Athens to New York, the one I really have to go home for the holidays, with a flight from Athens to Patagonia.  I was even psyched that it didn’t cost extra.  I arrived, got the bus into El Chaltén, found place to stay, and even started finding climbing partners before I woke up.

I’m sure that all of the details of El Chaltén were completely inaccurate; I’ve never been there.  The eerily realistic parts were my spontaneity and drive to complete this dream.  For this trip to Kalymnos alone, the opportunity arose one evening, I booked my ticket the next, and got on a plane the third day.  After this trip, changing my ticket home seemed pretty realistic.

Waking up from that dream was a bit sad.  Realizing that I wasn’t there, that I might not be there any time soon, and the possibility that I never make it there was a downer, even though I’m in Kalymnos, one of the most amazing places in the world.

To top it all off, I have talked to several friends about going to Patagonia this week.  It’s a possibility this season.  Now I have a constant internal debate: do I try to scrape together enough money to make it there this year and just throw myself into it all or do I wait, train, get a job, and hopefully make it there next year, but risk a turn in my life that stops me.

I’m ready for cold nights and bad weather.  I’m ready for gobies, blood, and sore ankles.  I’m ready to suffer.  I want to be an alpine climber!

3 Responses

  1. Diana

    Always follow your dreams! Today is uncertain, tomorrow unknowable. Carpe diemm!

    November 21, 2012 at 4:37 pm

  2. jeff

    Some Maine Rock Gym guys just headed out to do more new alpine routes in Patagonia.


    November 30, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    • admin

      Jeff, that’s awesome. It just goes to show how small of a world it is that I actually ran into JB Haab when I was climbing in Ten Sleep. Don’t forget to ‘Like’ Climb the Globe on Facebook.

      May 27, 2013 at 10:57 pm

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *