My Silver Lining

As you read this, I am on a plane bound for Argentina.

I am returning for my fifth austral summer to my southern home of El Chalten, Argentina. I'm sure you're scratching your head right now wondering how this all came to be. Rest assured your questions will be answered in due time. I'm certain as I while away the bad weather in Patagonia, I'll be able to wax philosophical about, my silver lining.

This was painted by my good buddy, Jacqui Hudson. Here is the Torres, and a beautiful Andean Condor.

Patagonia has embeded itself deep in my soul at this point. In part, because I crave adventures on those impeccable granite spires. And, I guess I'd be lying if I didn't admit that, I also have an ongoing love affair with a man that spends almost four months of every year down there. I have goals for this season, but like any wise Alpinist -- and I giggle at the fact that I am even using such a word to describe myself -- I will not reveal what they are, unless I manage to achieve said goal. Each season leading up to this one has effectively been a building block for the next one.

My very first season in Patagonia I was wide eyed and ignorant, and we got lucky. My second season in Patagonia, I just followed Colin around, kind of like a lost puppy. As much as I hate to admit, I learned alot from him that trip, and I suddenly I found myself a lot less ignorant. My third season, we upped the ante, and accomplished some pretty awesome things. Things I'm super proud of, and can look back on fondly, because I accomplished them with the person I love.

My fourth season I wanted more than to just follow Colin around. I wanted to start making decisions for myself in the mountains. I got to take the lead a few times, and though "my" routes were small on the grand scheme of things, they were huge steps in the development of my confidence in these mountains. I even had the opportunity to partner up with some women, and share the decision making responsibility. I have said before, and I'll say it again, I find it most satisfying to climb in the mountains with my girlfriends. When women team up together, there's is an awesome synergy that happens, and your successes, or failures, are a shared responsibility.

This season will be another progression in my Patagonian education. I'll be climbing with Colin, but only for a couple weeks. The rest will be spent with my good buddy Doerte Pietron, accomplished Patagonian hard woman, and Jenny Abegg, a girlfriend from Seattle who I consider to be somewhat of my soul sister. Doerte definitely holds the most experience in the mountains, and I have a lot to learn from her. If the weather, and our abilities permit, we've got big aspirations. For the last couple weeks of my season I'll partner up with Jenny. This will be Jenny's first time to Patagonia, and we'll focus on climbing many of the smaller objectives that I could never convince Colin to climb with me. I'm super stoked for the opportunity to put my Patagonian knowledge to use when Jenny and I climb together.

This season will be slightly different than the last, for one more reason. My amazing former employer, and now sponsor, MEC, will be sending me down with a bunch of radical prototypes to test out, and indeed they're going to let me share the whole process with you..."as it happens". I'll be posting to the MEC Instagram once per week for the full two months that I'm in Patagonia to share images from my adventures, a storey or two, and some "as it happens" insights from the gear testing grind. The culmination of this whole deal will be a second round "The Gear I Love" blog post.  I'll do my best to break it all down into bite sized pieces of gear I'd recommend for certain alpine applications. And, like any clothes loving girl, I might let you in on a few MEC pieces that I love just simply because they make my butt look cute. Throughout it all, I'll be keeping my personal blog up-to-date with stories straight from El Chalten.

I get excited about this stuff, because if you've not already gathered from previous blog posts, I love this shit; I love writing, I love sharing experiences, and I LOVE clothes. I'm honoured to take you all on this journey with me, and to do so with the blessing of my favourite Co-op. So, I guess I need to give you details of where to find me this season, other than in Chalten. I'll be posting to the MEC Instagram site, and the MEC Facebook page. I'll also be updating my personal blog, here. And, my own Instagram, and Facebook. Then, I'll work with MEC to broadcast "The Gear I Love Part II", once I return from Patagonia and have a chance to complete it, that will be sometime around the end of February. 

Finally, with all big life changes, I often find myself fixating on certain songs with lyrics that speak to the current state of my emotions. I've already shared with you a ski video featuring this song, but I'm going to paste the lyrics to this song below. Interpret them how you will, but ruminate on them a little all the same.  

And with this in mind I might just make my own hashtag for the whole adventure,

That's where you'll find me folks...

My Silver Lining First Aid Kit

I don't want to wait anymore I'm tired of looking for answers
Take me some place where there's music and there's laughter
I don't know if I'm scared of dying but I'm scared of living too fast, too slow
Regret, remorse, hold on, oh no I've got to go
There’s no starting over, no new beginnings, time races on
And you've just gotta keep on keeping on
Gotta keep on going, looking straight out on the road
Can't worry 'bout what's behind you or what's coming for you further up the road
I try not to hold on to what is gone, I try to do right what is wrong
I try to keep on keeping on
Yeah I just keep on keeping on

I hear a voice calling
Calling out for me
These shackles I've made in an attempt to be free
Be it for reason, be it for love
I won't take the easy road

I've woken up in a hotel room, my worries as big as the moon
Having no idea who or what or where I am
Something good comes with the bad
A song's never just sad
There's hope, there's a silver lining
Show me my silver lining
Show me my silver lining

I hear a voice calling
Calling out for me
These shackles I've made in an attempt to be free
Be it for reason, be it for love
I won't take the easy road

I won't take the easy road
The easy road, the easy road