First Post - what is this website?

I started this site because the domain was cheap. I looked it up one day, and it was $12 on Google Domains, so I nabbed it.

In February of 2020, I went snowshoeing in Rocky Mountain National Park up to Emerald Lake with some friends. We ran into a guy on skis. He looked like he knew what he was doing - we started chatting. We shared some chocolate. Eventually, he said “you need to read ‘Freedom of the Hills.'”

I picked up a copy, and I was hooked. A whole world of backcountry travel, technical skills, gear, and adventure opened up before me as I read.

My wife and I took a rock climbing class. We got some gear and started sport climbing outdoors. In June, I took a five-day Mountaineering course from the fabulous Colorado Mountain School up in Estes Park.

In late July, I had an accident. A close call, really. I lost control of a glissade, lost my axe, tore some clothes, and was very lucky not to hit some rocks at the bottom of the Isabelle Glacier in the Indian Peaks Wilderness. Read more about it here. Reflecting on the event, I emailed my guide from the mountaineering course to get his thoughts. What stood out to me was what he had learned from his mentor: “we all learn the most from our mistakes, but in the mountains you better make sure that those mistakes are survivable ones.” He pointed out that we can make mistakes, even intentionally set ourselves up for mistakes, as long as they’re survivable. This mindset is pivotal in deciding what is worth experimenting with.

Later that summer, I took a Wilderness First Responder course from NOLS. It was amazing, and I highly recommend it to anybody who spends time outdoors, particularly away from immediate help.

That fall, we took a trad climbing course with the same guide. On Halloween, I sent my first trad lead in Eldorado Canyon.

Now that it’s winter, we’re getting ready to do a backcountry skiing lesson with that same guide again.

My vision for the site

I think I’d like to use this site to write about my survivable mistakes - my experiments with different equipments, techniques, and approaches - and my learning.

I’ll probably write more posts here about some of the things I mentioned above. Behind each of these adventures is research, thought, planning, re-planning, execution, and reflection. My next post will probably be about my research and planning process (heavily influenced by my mentor/guide from CMS).

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2021-01-15 09:41 -0700