Monday, January 01, 2007

A New Year

At the start of last year, I posted an incredibly ambitious (in hindsight) list of outdoor goals for 2006. Never mind how many I accomplished: Given the way the year turned out, I feel lucky just to have survived. It was a brutal year for the mountain community, with far too many deaths, among them Doug Coombs, J.C. Lafaille, Sue Nott, Karen McNeill, Todd Skinner, Hari Berger, and now Charlie Fowler and Chris Boskoff, to say nothing of the lesser-known adventurers whose lives were cut short. I have trouble just getting my head around the loss of so many strong, inspirational characters and, in some cases, old friends. To make matters worse personally, I just returned from a long-anticipated climbing trip to the Costa Blanca in Spain that turned into a disaster. On the very first day of our trip, on our way to the casita we had rented for 10 nights, our car was robbed of everything we had brought to Spain: clothes, climbing gear, computer, camera, etc., etc. We spent the next three days in a dismal round of shopping and bureaucracy, followed by four days of uncharacteristically cold and rainy weather that kept us mostly inside, watching DVDs and drinking way too much cheap wine. It did clear up eventually, and we got some fantastic climbing done (I'd show you pictures, but the bastards stole the USB cable for the one camera we still had). Frankly, we were lucky not to be injured by the thieves, whom we very nearly caught in the act. As I said, I feel fortunate just to have survived the year.

I didn't get to nearly as many of my goals for 2006 as I'd hoped, but I suppose that just leaves more opportunities for this year. Right now, though, I don't even feel like climbing—right now, the mountains just seem like the source of too much sadness. That will change. It's a fact—no less true for being a cliché—that the most valuable lesson we draw from the unexpected deaths of friends is to live each day to the fullest. One reason I didn't get as much done in the mountain world as I'd hoped in 2006 was too much writing and editing work. I'm proud of the work I did (and the money doesn't hurt, either), but if I made a list of resolutions for the New Year I'd top it with the desire to rebalance my life a bit and spend more time outside. So, right now, I'm going skiing.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just remember that climbing is a reflection of life. Mix of the up and down. The good moments are precious, as it can all be tough and bleak at times. Have fun skiing.

Lou, WildSnow.com

DSD said...

These are very similar reasons for why I began a long journey of pondering and musing about my own adventure experiences...
And why I do and write what I do on my own blog as well...
The nature of the goals, the emotions, adversities, lessons, and trying to understand and balance it all...
I do believe that it is worth these trials... and that a change can be just what we need to then begin again...
DSD