My start to mountaineering wasn't normal. I began eight years ago on Mount Olympus, which is hardly a rookie peak. It's 44 miles through a breathtaking rain forest, across the Blue Glacier and up a loose rock pitch to the highest point on the Olympics. It's one of the most beautiful views I've ever seen. That experience started a love affair with mountains that hasn't slowed or dimmed in the slightest. I returned to Olympus in 2015 and swore I wouldn't do it again. It's tough on the body. But last weekend, I again summited and have no regrets.
It wasn't easy. Carrying a heavy pack that far wrecked my shoulders, my feet still hurt and I slept fewer than 10 hours all weekend. But there's something special about that mountain, something wild, and I couldn't be happier to keep sharing it with good friends. No matter how my body feels about it!