great topic. i am a nature fanatic.
i was a mountain climber for many years.
took my first summit at the age of 12.
we had no idea what we were getting into.
it started out as a day hike,
and ended up a near death disaster.
there were three of us.
my mom's boyfriend, his friend and me.
he said he had done the hike before.
we got lost.
his friend fell off a cliff and broke his foot.
we had to take turns carrying the guys pack.
then my pack fell down a cliff and i did not want to climb all the way down to get it.
lost all my food.
then it got dark.
we slept above the tree line.
in the open on the snow.
burning dry bushes for fires that flared and died.
i lay on a boulder all night shivering.
when i suggested we cuddle to conserve body heat (saw it in a tv show) my mom's boyfriend refused,
because he thought it would be gay,
and he told me it would be inappropriate to cuddle with a 12 year old boy anyway.
(he was definitely not an abuser).
i was exhausted enough to finally pass out.
we woke up a few hours later at sunrise and saw that we were just below the summit,
so we left the guy with the broken foot behind,
hit the top, came back down and grabbed him,
then proceeded to get repeatedly lost trying to find our way back down the mountain.
this proved to be scarier than getting lost while climbing up.
late that afternoon we finally hit level ground again,
but had no idea where the car was.
we wandered in the bush for hours,
being eaten alive by giant bugs,
until we found a road,
but it was on the other side of a river,
which we tried to cross.
i got swept away by the current,
and my mom's boyfriend had to rescue me.
when we finally reached the road,
we figured out which direction to walk and ended up at the car after a few miles of gravel.
broken foot hobbled behind us all the way.
it was already dark again when we got in the car,
my mom's boyfriend discovered he had lost his wallet on the mountain and refused to drive without his license.
this forced broken foot to drive 2 hours back to the city.
it was one of the best experiences of my life,
and i couldn't wait to climb more mountains.
but... i made sure that i was fully prepared and trained and properly equipped before i set foot on another mountain. here is my first mountain.
Williams Peak (2123 m - 6965 ft)
and the view from the summit (this was worth all the trouble)
have been up this peak several times since, and if you know the route, it actually is a day trip.
more mountain climbing stories to come if you like this one.