Adulting.

I finally feel like my life is coming together. It is clearly an ongoing process that will never cease, as I will always strive to be a better man.


My routine here is getting to feel comfortable, and I am beginning to feel at home. It has been a long time since I have truly felt comfortable and in control in a house. Leaving the ‘real world’ to go meditate in the mountains in 2016 set me back, and I still do not even own a bed. Life is good though. I have a bike, a room full of gear, my dog, good friends, and everything I need to train for alpinism.

I have not been running much in the mornings of late and that needs to change. My morning meditation and yoga routine, followed by breakfast and working out, is going well and I feel complete. Afternoons are walks, studying, gardening, and music.


I ordered internet today and aquired a kitchen table, plus some bedroom furniture, so I feel mega adult-ish at the moment. I have a bill in my name, a bank card, and a tenancy agreement. My not-so-busy life is non-stop. I am active all day long and I expect to become more active soon. Having a home, a garden, and a community to be a part of has brightened my smile to a level I never thought possible. Well, if I was on the rope more, she could be brighter I suppose.

Leading.

Moving forward in life is easiest when you are following another, following a known route, or at least knowing that someone has been there before. There is a comfort that is found in this, and it is something we all seem ashamed about.

There are cycles to this reality, and therefore nothing is ever truly new. Spring may come every year, yet it is a new spring. The shedded comfort of leading into the unknown, and moving past protections placed behind, is refreshing. The exhilaration and achievement one feels after such a venture is not just a thrill, for it is life.

I am trying to live a simple life, for I am not a simple man. I feel so thankful for being invited to climb with the locals here, and am loving every minute at the crag, even when not climbing. The sharing, the learning, and the community found here brings smiles to my face and a light enough heart to help me send.

I am skipping a few steps here I suppose. I want to be honest in my climbing, as I am new to pro. My first day at a crag ever was Sunday. On my first climb there, I attempted a lead on a 5.10, got 3 clips in, and fell on the crux… I am so thankful for the support I received from the crew there. I decided to top rope the route next to it instead of continuing to attempt to lead on my first ever crag climb. I sent the 5.10a with zero issues and realized the seriousness that leading has on the mind while climbing.

I returned to the Esler Bluffs two days later with a new mindset. I was going to lead a route. I had studied the other climbers and top roped a few more routes on Sunday and was actually ready. I had real support. People who I could trust that wanted me to succeed. I am so thankful for the belays, the coaching, and the time they put in to keep me safe while learning.

As soon as we got to the crag, I got ready to lead a route. I knew what I needed to do, and how to do it. I successfully lead my first route in a crag yesterday and it was because of patience, as much as that sounds crazy due to it being my second day at a crag, but I studied, trained, and prepared for this for a long time. I am now one more step forward on my journey.

A response to TheDihedral.com’s ‘Why #LeaveNoTrace is pointless – Prove me wrong’.

I read TheDihedral.com’s post on #LeaveNoTrace a while ago and shared it with a partner, but it has been sitting on my mind. I grew up, out of town, in the woods, and was big into trekking over the past few years. The principles I grew up with, and the experiences I have had random camping in Canada, have lead me to take LNT to heart.

Over the years I have ended up taking out many newcomers to the hiking, and specifically the backcountry camping, world. LNT is something that I pounded into thier minds. This was 90% about safety and 10% trail preservation.

I do fully agree with all the points in your blog, and have had a few hikers with me that needed an explaination like yours. For the most part, the city folk who accompanied me would have no clue about any park etiquette and some would continue thier littering habits right onto the trail. They would need LNT constantly reminded to them, and they still would be dripping food all over there clothes, or the ground, or wherever. For these people, LNT is but an unachievable dream that they NEED to strive for in order to remain alive.

My seriousness here is that hiking or climbing from Kananaskis AB, to the Coastal Ranges in BC, involves a fair bit of dangerous wildlife. We have wolverine, bear, cougar, wolf, moose, and elk as some of the larger animal friends that could potentially cause you harm. The smaller ones can be issues as well, deer can kick your dog, and I have had issues with some larger weasels other than the wolverine.

Throwing your apple into the bushes on a mountain trail may seem like a fine idea, and I love your example, yet smaller food waste discarded from a throw will bring the smaller animals to eat it. Squirrels and rabbits will learn that food is easily found near the hiking trails, and often this food will be human food, high in sugar content (addictive). It may not seem to be a big deal having a load of cute mountain bunnies on a approach trail, but cougars eat the bunnies and you just brought their food to where the humans are.

Once one of our bears in Alberta eats human garbage, it is sentanced to death. Feeding a bear, kills a bear we say. This is because the bear learns of the easy, high carb and high sugar, food that can be found near human activity. Yes LNT helps keep our trails looking nice, and a good bivy site will ensure the alpine meadows that take hundreds of years to grow will not be damaged, but not letting your beer spill at camp will save the beer, and possibly your life.

#Leavenotrace is what the people who live the backcountry tell the newbies repetitively to break their bad habits. I did not know that there was an actual society, where one could volunteer their time to propagate. That seems ridiculous, but if that is what is needed to educate the new wave of insta-pic chasers, then I am all for it.

For me personally, LNT has just been a way to stay observant on my actions while random camping. If I cut down a dead tree for firewood, I will cut it down as close to the forest floor as possible, and burn all the cut pieces of it, so the area is ‘untouched’ for the next team on the same approach. I will ensure that I spill no food, because food is precious and it attracts unwanted attention. I will also not bring soap for dishes nor myself, as all of the water sheds I venture up lead into water sources for many of the communities here.

As human’s, we destroy and build. I think this is just fine. Trails and backcountry campgrounds are made to house us in the mountains. If I toss my apple an arms throw from a trail, it may not be a big deal, but if every new hiker to Banff National Park does that this summer, we will have serious issues. We are never going to live to the code of #LeaveNoTrace, but it needs to be talked about with anyone new to the backcountry. Sadly in our current day and age, snagging a summit selfie for your Tinder bio is far more important than doing beta, training, and actually dedicating a small portion of your care to the backcountry.

One month.

I have been writing, and it has been corrupted. The blogs I write never get posted and I feel like it is not completely my fault but something screaming at me from my subconcious to wait. It is one month until I am in the Columbia Icefields, and that means it is crunch time for training.

I finally made it to the local crag, the Esler Bluffs. I was told the entire day how the place was special to the long-term locals. How it holds a spiritual meaning almost, as their centre of community. The crew there is small and they are a tight family of support and strength. I was honoured to be invited and thankful for the belays.

The life here is simple. The people work, mostly for natural resources and government/park relations, and they climb. They care about the community and the well being of the land. And I stick out as a newcomer.

I am a newcomer to climbing, and a newcomer to the town. I currently am not working, just volunteering while training for my passion and my fun. I am treating this training for alpinism as a job, and take my time at the crag as a blessing. I have not settled in a place since moving into my car in 2016, and am more than ready to be back to reality.

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I have not been discussing my physical training much here, as I am not an expert in Kinesiology. I do discuss my training for the mind. As the spiritual journey of self and perseverance associated with climbing is half of the game.

The balance I am finding daily in my life is found as I follow my intuition and instinct. I am looking forward to visiting the crag again tomorrow and working on my skills in a practical way. The cycle that brings new experiences and challenges also brings healing, and my time of solo meditation is done. It is my time to move forward with respect and an open mind. I have one month until I begin my climbs in the alpine.

Dreams.

Last night I had a dream.

A real dream, not a lesson, not a meditation, not an astral projection, this was a dream.

In this dream I was in a crowd of others. Everyone was blank faced. We were being lead by adults down strange corridors. No windows. Everything was grey. Yet, these adults leading us down the maze of halls were not adults. I realized we were not kids, maybe children to them, but I was surrounded by other human adults.

The men leading us were huge. They were tall, strong, and their mental capacity was clearly much more than ours. There was only 3 men and too many of us to count. They had dark hair, dark eyes, and dark skin, yet appeared almost Caucasian.

It became apparent that these men had no good intentions for us, and no one but me cared or noticed. They were controlled like sheep. Blank faced, no emotion, no care, the people around me walked on. No one but myself was awake, alive, and understanding what was happeneing to us.

I needed to do something. Anything. Yet I am a pacifist. I have never stood up for myself. I have never stood up for another. Not once in my adult life, but I needed to do something. No one had any ability to stand up for themselves. They were being controlled by these large men. It was clear that only myself was not affected by them.

I stood up for myself. I fought. It was so unlike the old me, but there are things in life worth giving your life for. And it is life itself, as we are all one. I knew that fighting these men would be the last thing I did in my life, and that if I did not stand up for life, it would be the end for all of us anyways.

I had something in my hand. It had 3 small, and hard, tubes sticking out of the end of a handle. The tubes were different sizes, from a pencil thickness to a broom stick. They were hollow. I took an opportunity, as the men did not expect any of us to fight back. They were behind us and leading us into a room with a locking door.

I jumped on the back of the man who seemed in charge, and I began to attack the man with the instrument in my hand. It was the last effort of life in me, and it took every ounce of mental and physical strength I possesed to stop this man. I felt that it was a futile effort. I did not expect what came next.

As I was on the back of this large man, and hurting him in the neck and back with the tool, he went down. He collapsed. I don’t know if his 2 friends, or myself, was more shocked. Instantly, all of the other people with me, the blank faced, programmed, zombie sheeple, woke up. They finally understood what was happeneing to them, and we took the power.

And then I woke up.

I am sharing this with you now for multiple reasons. First is the clear indication of the cycles of life repeating. Second is the fact that we can all change. The third is the most important. The meaning behind the truth. The programming we all need to shed. The need to stand up for life. Our life. The need to stand up for others. The need to know what is really going on in this world. The need to take chances with what you believe in, what is important to your life, as what is important to you is important to others. The rewards for standing up for life is innumerable and going forwards, I will be fighting for my life and what is important to me.

It’s easy to be thankful for the things you’ve got. It takes guts to give thanks for the things you’ve lost. We grew up believing good wins over bad, so you gave away your heart but the wolves attacked. But then a bigger heart grew back.” – Craig Minowa

Welcome to hell.

If you want to choose this prison as a sentence to pain, then so be it. There are other ways to spend your time here, and for me it is escaping to the mountains.

Life goes on. Things grow. People change. The thing that gets me out of the bed in the morning is my plans. I have plans to do some serious mountains. I need to train. I need to look after myself so that I am able to follow through with what has been set up. And this is what keeps me going.

The people I meet on a day to day basis here in BC is an eye opener. Daily. It is a non-stop deal. I am constantly reminded of my place, where I am, and what life can be to those who take it on their knees.

I love that I have the escape I do. My freedom here is self chosen, and by doing so I am giving up many luxuries that many could not deal with. I do not have a TV. A computer. Not even wifi. My days are spent on foot. I live this life, finding epic daily. I strive to have fun, but also be prepared.

Life is truly what you make it. This place is a prison, but it is the nicest one in the galaxy.

Thursday. Community.

Today is a reflection of my community.

I have been reunited with my son, Jet. He is a little fat, but we will shed some weight on the trails here.

I had a short visit with a great friend of mine.

I went camping.

And I have wrote several blogs, even if I did not post them.

I had a good week, but it is time to wrap this one up, move into my new pad with Jet. And then take him for a walk in our new home.