| August 3, 2018 |
This was, by far, my favorite climb I’ve ever done. Not only that, but it was the most challenging and I feel like I learned SO MUCH. On July 7-8, I was lucky to join our team at Peaks of Life on an epic climb of Fisher Chimneys on Mount Shuksan. After our Peaks of Life team’s photographer/videographer backed out, I subbed in to take some video and experience my very first alpine climb (sorry, Mom, I know it wasn’t a “hike”).
As you may or may not know, I am the blog author for Peaks of Life and just released our trip report on our website! Believe it or not, it’s super confusing to write to versions of one trip. The public version that people will appreciate for the beta, and my personal account where my brain makes silly little jokes and sarcastic comments and overenthusiastic thoughts about glaciers and ropes and swirly rocks and trees and rappelling and gear and OH MY GOSH THIS WAS SO FUN AND ALSO TIRING AND JUST PLAIN AWESOME.
Please read the trip report on More Than A Summit Blog here, while I continue writing my personal account, which will include: limericks, incredibly random songs, bruises, cussing at crampons, bruises, magical QFC sandwiches, and a lot of learning to trust my feet (always a process).
Also I’m pretty sure I looked like a total dork (feature image for proof) with my skiing bibs and bright green Patagonia jacket. Anyone know where I can get better-fitting pants? Just kidding, I love my annoyingly colorful array of outdoor clothing. Functionality + Fun, that’s what I say.
| May 30, 2018 |
Sometimes, it’s really challenging to recognize what we need, ask the Universe for it, then ACT on our needs. A lot of us can feel the shift in our needs, but not many people actively seek resolutions.
This climb (and trip overall) was a feast for the soul. ‘Twas the day of Haley’s birth, and she arranged a trio of soulful girls to celebrate her entrance into the world! The weather was pristine: not too hot to induce uncontrollable sweating, a warm & refreshing breeze, and consistent clear skies. Minimal wardrobe changes were required and the vibes were high. Plus, we saw minimal people on the trial and the views of the southern Pickets and Mt. Triumph were gosh darn inspiring. Not too shabby for 2018’s first North Cascades summit, eh?
Here’s our journey to the summit of Trapper’s Trappers Peak!
| March 12, 2018 |
KConn’s Adventure Reports from April 2017, Part One
As I mentioned in my last post, 2017 brought the realization that my wanderlust soul is most satisfied in Washington state at this time. The mountains offer a constant challenge and opportunity to travel outside of my comfort zone, and the people I’ve journeyed with are surely a reason to be grateful! I guess I officially have a shitty track record for writing about my adventures in a timely fashion. Maybe I’ll get better, but it’s always fun for me to go back and write about a trip, decide which pictures are my favorite, and relive the moments.
Unfortunately, in the case of some 2017 memories, I just couldn’t seem to write fast enough because everything changed so quickly. It doesn’t serve me to write about the details (will it ever? Still unsure of this.), but early May brought my outdoor crew and I a lot of hurt and deep contemplation about our places in the mountains. The next few posts in this wee little blog of mine will, over and over, prove how important it is to have the right people to make all journeys worth it–no matter how joyful or painful they may be.
Well, April 2017 sure was busy! From an extremely fun fail at Mt. St. Helens summit, a pond skim, tulips, and whale burps, my heart felt oh-so-full. I’m delighted to sit here today and recount these moments that mean so much to me–starting with April 1 on a beeeeeautiful day on Mt. St. Helens National Monument. I was so ready for an up-close view of the volcano…
| February 21, 2018 |
[drum roll] Long-awaited “New Year” post. Ha… ha… haaaa… Kristen, it’s been 2018 for basically two months. I know, trust me. Can I say I’ve been busy? How about… tired? Can I make excuses? Nope. I won’t. Quite simply, I’ve been a lazy writer, and my creative self is very mad at procrastinating Kristen. [I forgive me.]
Honestly, I love writing these reflective posts. Not so much because you really want to hear all about my year, how much I changed, the good/bad/ugly… but because it’s so revealing to myself. I love looking back to see where I’ve been, even if some of the moments in the past were painful. It’s like looking in the rearview mirror while driving on the highway: you just kind of peer back every so often, just to be aware of what’s going on behind you. I try not to let this metaphor get too far though, because then I can justify making decisions in the present based on what’s in the “rearview.” I don’t let the past affect me. Instead, I just… let it be (thank you, Beatles). So, I guess I wouldn’t be driving on I-5 (WA!), the Southern State (NY!), or I-95 (FL!) in this instance… instead, I’d be on the Seward Highway (AK!), taking the scenic route, just kind of curious about what’s going on around me.
In all seriousness (why so serious?), life is oh-so-curious to me. I love how the unexpected often comes from within. It’s not always external circumstances that keep me guessing, but my own heart and intuition that make me go “woah!” at times.
One year ago, I returned to Washington state to work in Yakima for my second job as a Traveling Doctor of Physical Therapy. I planned to stay for three months. Then, I was off! I was going to Wyoming, Colorado, Alaska… anywhere! I was only going to be in Washington state for a short time (again).
Well, turns out, this was the second time I lied. I couldn’t leave Washington.
2017 was a big year for more self-discovery and learning opportunities in a variety of colors and flavors (oh my gosh now I’m thinking about ice cream… mmm, mint chocolate chip…).
Okay, I need to get on with this post before I take the metaphor game way too far…
| November 2, 2017 |
– From August 20, 2017 in Tanzania, Africa –
By August 20th, it felt like I had been in Africa for an eternity. It wasn’t because time was dragging, and it certainly wasn’t because it had been too long. Rather, it felt as though our group had accomplished so much! Although I didn’t feel ready to be done with service, I knew it was time for some well-deserved rest with our service group. We had put a great deal of energy into making our volunteer work at Step-By-Step Learning Centre and Shanga successful, so we were ready for the second part of our journey together in Tanzania.
Our first day of “rest” was a hike at the base of Mt. Meru. This dormant stratovolcano sits 70 kilometers west of Mount Kilimanjaro and 14,977 feet above sea level. Located in Arusha National Park, the mountain is visible from many parts of the city. In April 2016, I only saw Mt. Meru on the day I left Tanzania as the rainy season clouded its view (even on this same hike!). However, in the dry season, the prevalence of Meru was notable on most days. It looms over Arusha in a similar way Mount Rainier overlooks Seattle; some days its presence is hazy and barely visible, while others it’s features are clearly exposed.
Our Stony Brook Seawolves crew of Physical Therapists and students headed on a memorable and active day together, in the mountains and valleys of Tanzania that had completely shifted my gears in 2016…
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