Question: If your friend told you that you were heading to the farthest peak in the distance – would you follow?
This is what happened last week to me. I looked at the rounded peak in the distance and my heart sank. I have lived and breathed mountain air for the latter half of my life. I love it. But when I look at the peaks in a distance my brain goes onto autopilot and attempts to convince me I am crazy, there is no way I’ll make it.
The peak is 5 miles from where this photo is taken. This summer I had the pleasure of finding solace in the high peaks around the Bozeman area. It is where I find peace and happiness for my soul. When I looked at the peaks in the distance, I shook my head knowing that it would be a grunt, but I could do it. I trusted my friend on how many miles and time it would be. I knew how to prepare mentally.
We had around 5 hours until darkness set in, and we both realized that we had forgotten our headlamps, and my friend, her phone as well. Should darkness set in before we were done, the only light we would have to depend on would be my phone flashlight should we not make it back to the car in time. As true adventurers we kept going knowing we could turn around if we really wouldn’t make it.
As we pushed forward towards our goal of the peak, my heart rate was elevated. I had gotten on the struggle bus convincing myself to keep going was becoming more difficult as we passed the miles. On the last stretch, my heart rate was still elevated, breathing was heavy and my head was light. I had to stop multiple times to catch my breath. Defeat started to sneak in, my thoughts were that I wasn’t going fast enough, able to keep up with my amazing friend.
Looking at my watch which was tracking my stats stated that we had just approached 2 hours from when we started. The surrounding scenery was out of this world, and my head dropped. When I saw our time, I chilled out. We were moving at a rapid pace, and at 10,000ft. Hence, answering my questions to why I was spent and out of breath. The peak was close in the distance, and I kept putting one foot in front of the other. Another half hour and I was at the peak.
We hiked up to the peak which was 5 miles in 2.5 hours with around 3,300ft of elevation gain. Traveling uphill can be challenging, but if you push yourself you will succeed.
Mountain travel rules:
1. Distance in the mountains is deceiving. Peaks are closer than they appear.
2. Mother nature wins, always.
3. Go prepared to avoid dire situations. Meaning bring food, emergency gear, water, and proper clothing for the trip.
4. Mother nature wins, always. (yes that is redundant) We are not God or Goddesses, we will all lose to her in the end if we don’t take care of her. Do your duty to vote for the person who will protect our earth, the environment and the air you breathe.
5. Know before you go. Do your research and know what you’re getting yourself into.
6. Never give up. Keep putting one foot in front of the other until you make your destination.
We made it to the car at dusk, with just enough light to soak our weary feet and ankles in the frigid cold creek nearby. Laughing at our nonsense that we put ourselves through, we cheered our success to a beer while our feet painfully went numb.
About Diana – Owner of Your Adventure Rx
If you thought you couldn’t do it, think again. If you hang out with us for too long you’ll start believing in yourself and leave knowing you can accomplish anything. Diana is an Adventurer, Certified Therapeutic Recreational Specialist (CTRS), worked as a professional outdoor recreation educator for people with and without disabilities for the last 20 years, traveled to over 20 countries, and is also certified in Wilderness First Aid. She climbed many mountain peaks, biked numerous trails, and paddled all around the world.