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Monday, November 21, 2011

Living Life Breathlessly!

I am very happy to introduce you to today's guest writer, Ian Timberlake.  Ian is an adrenaline loving Eagle Scout Air Force veteran who is also an aerospace engineering student.  As if he wasn't busy enough already, he is currently writing a science fiction novel about the possible outcome of humanity.  Ian has a website named Insanity is Just a State of Mind that is a very interesting and thought-provoking read.  In particular, I would recommend that you check out his post about 7 Life Changing Reasons To Get Outside.  His progressive thinking, outdoor philosophy and adventures are absolutely awesome.  Here is Ian's post:

Here I am, huffing, gasping for air... desperately trying to regain my composure as I crest up and over Boulder-Grand Pass right around 12,000 ft. I had just ascended thousands of feet in a matter of hours, on fifty degree terrain that consisted of loose rock and soggy foliage well above the tree-line. I was leading a team of friends on a week-long grand loop of Rocky Mountain National Park and our day was only half over once we made it to this mountain ridge.

We all had heavy packs on and could barely muster the strength to keep moving, wind proving to be a more difficult obstacle than anything.  Each step took a separate breath in the oxygen deprived atmosphere as we slowly but surely saw the crest of this mountain ridge near.

Just as we could barely go any further, just as our minds were telling us to stop, just as our legs were wobbling and about to collapse, the sight of the horizon began rolling into view. Wind now gusting enormously at our backs as we were now standing on the crest, we could finally see what lay before us.  The mountain we had all come to conquer, the tallest mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park, Longs Peak, lay monstrously before us about 2 days out. And to think, it was 2,400 ft. higher than what we had just successfully climbed.

Longs Peak is on the right with the notch.  It stands at 14,259 ft.  This is a view from the south side, which is the most infrequently climbed side but also the first climbed side.

I fell to my knees in awe, this was the first time the whole trip we could see her. And there she was, staring us down, saying, "ha... how infinitesimal, how puny".  I threw my pack off, stood up and placed my hands on my head and slowly turned around to see where we had come from.  Any form of breath I had remaining, was now gone.  I was speechless, breathless, sobered.  Fifteen or so miles back I could see the distant lake we had come from two days prior and nearly 4,000 feet below us.  I continued spinning around taking in everything, as if that was possible.  It was like I was unplugged from life.  Nothing mattered.  I was fully committed to "the now", and I had no choice.

This is the view looking back from Boulder-Grand Pass.  The lake you seee in the far distance s Grand Lake, a small town that we used to resupply on food

This is another photo of us looking back from Boulder-Grand Pass

This is me looking down the other side of Boulder-Grand Pass, the drop off was immense, to say the least.

Now I ask you, have you ever had an experience that has truthfully taken your breath away?  I don't mean in the poetic sense, nor the metaphorical sense.  I literally mean have you been blown away speechless by an experience you have had?  If you can't recall a specific point in time and space, then you have yet to wholly fathom the world in which we live.  The blinds to this window of beauty will always be closed for you.  Beauty is a word that is overused... when I say "beauty", I am referring to a word that exalts no higher definition of pleasure to the mind. 

One of my goals in life is to introduce people to the world in which they live.  Society is becoming more and more closed off to reality as technology grows, leaving people blind to the home we call "Earth".  I want more people to experience breathlessness.  I want more people to get out and take in the world.  I want more people to put themselves in sticky situations to see what they are capable of at a primal level.  I challenge you to get in touch with true nature.  Nature that hardly sees a human footprint.  Your life is summed up by the experiences in which you have.  You aren't really living if you're not striving to find pleasure in the pathless woods and yielding to the constraints of your curiosity. 

I would like to extend my gratitude towards Darren for allowing me the opportunity to write a bit on his website, Taking a Walk on the Wild Side.  Below are a few more pictures from this same Rocky Mountain National Park trip. It only takes one step to get involved with nature, if you're hesitant, I'm sure Darren and myself can aid you in such endeavors... your resources are endless. 

All photos are courtesy of Ian Timberlake.

This is coming down from the Grand Lake and moving towards Boulder-Grand Pass.  The low point of those joining mountains ahead can be seen three photos up at the point you see Grand Lake in the distance.

Flattop Mountain
Descending Boulder-Grand Pass through several snow fields.

Getting ready to set up camp after a long day's hike from Grand Lake.

One of the many beautiful places in the area of Bear Lake.

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