Home > Blogg > Natalie climbs Mount Rainier

There are times in your life when you think, “Why am I doing this? I’m cold. I’m miserable. There’s not enough oxygen in the air—I can’t breathe.” The gremlins continue whispering intoxicating phrases: “Turn around. Go down. Why push onwards?”

It was 6 am. I was on the flank of Mt. Rainier, a 4,300 meter dormant volcano in the United States, a couple hours into an alpine start up at 3,300 meters. But I wasn’t taking in the views of the neighboring peaks, or watching the sunrise, or even admiring the altitude we’d gained. All I could see was the yellow rope extending forward towards my dad, the 30 meter crevasses to both sides and the ice ax in my hand, oh, and also the 1000 vertical meters that we still had to ascend.

Despite what my mind likes to tell me during such slightly uncomfortable situations, I enjoy climbing. It’s hard, it hurts, and I don’t know why I aspire to reach the summit, because if you think of it, it is man and men who give value to the mountains, and not the other way around. It builds confidence, while at the same time making you humble. My dad and I untangled the network of crevasses and ice falls, jumped across some smaller snow bridges and reached the summit five hours after leaving our tents. The summit isn’t everything, but it’s remarkable how the last 100 meters can feel like ages. Determination is key.

The sun was shining, there was a breeze and I was happy, but I realize that climbing is a selfish activity, and I often find myself thinking, “There must be more. This can’t be all there is to live for.” There has to be a way to give back, which is why I admire Mike Horn for putting his own expeditions and climbing projects to the side for four years, and giving back to the environment and the world’s youth. He could be chasing after his own personal goals, but instead he’s helping us realize our own potential. Thank you Mike for pushing us all forwards, forcing us to experience new things and opening our minds to new ideas. Without you I probably would have never decided to become an ice climbing guide in Alaska, or have started doing multi-pitch trad climbs. You are an inspiration. Thank you.

Quick Info:
  • Date: Fall 2011
  • Location: Mount Rainier, USA

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