1100 meters up to Wedgemount Lake and 960 meters from there to Mount Weart and finally Kathia and I were beginning the heart of our ridge traverse. It was snowy and loose and at times a perfect knife ridge. We were climbing in shorts and boots- a rare combination. But the forecast was for hot temperatures and we knew we would be travelling across lots of snow. The alpine was beautiful and reminded me of all the adventures we have right in our back yard. Looking across at Wedge had me longing for skis and winter. We truly live in a mountain playground. We followed the ridge to Cook. Finally I was relieved to know our uphill travel in the day was over. But the descent from Cook involved wet snow that filled our boots and ankle biting large scree. A little less than 10 hours later we reached the car, a bottle of wine, and lemonade. Now, if the weather will just cooperate, we will set our sites on the next adventure!
I love adventure with women. We were not sure if we would make it. Our shoes were soaked. Our fingers were frozen and swollen because we were using them in place of our ice axes left at home. We were going light and fast. Sarah, Katy, and I were soloing a route that is convoluted and requires bravery when perfectly dry. It had snowed 12 cm’s the night before. The snow fields and avalanche paths covered most of the approach trail and any ledges on route. But we were determined to journey to the alpine. We kicked steps in the snow hardened my a winter’s worth of snow packing it down. And we talked like women do.
The three of us are no longer young with our lives an open book. We have had careers and successes and failures. But somehow, in our middle lives, we all feel like we at the verge of something new and something wonderful. So we dreamed about what matters to us: encouraging women to support women, starting a brand, running camps and retreats to help girls and women find their confidence. We talked about how women’s health is such an important indicator of the health of a society and how easy it is to do nothing.
And we climbed sopping wet ropes that dripped water down our shirts, held on to ice cold rock, and balanced our wet running shoes on sharp edges. The clouds swirled and I worried that we would not make it up before rain and that we would have a hard time down soloing what we had ascended. But we kept going.
Finally, the sun peaked out of the clouds and we walked the last slab to the summit. While we warmed ourselves on the rock, we imagined a world where we could be our best selves and where all women are empowered to reach through fear and limitation and follow our dreams. And we were only half way there.