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Memoirs of A Mountain High


It was the summer of 94 when I took a Wilderness Leadership
Semester from the Colorado Outward Bound School . Needless
to say that it was the most emotional, challenging, and
rewarding experience that I have had in all of my 19 ears
of existence. One week spent running the Upper Green River
in western\Colorado and northern Utah. Through The Gates of
the Ladour Canyon and Dinosaur National Monument, we
floated to end where the Green meets the Colorado River
just beyond Echo Canyon. The high desert canyons echoed
with rapids ovarious classes; Hells Half Mile and Disaster
Falls were the most memorable. Upon completion we headed to
climbing camp in Wyoming at a place called Vedauwoo
(va-da-vu).Two weeks of vigorous climbing these granite
towers left many scars both physically and emotionally for
this rock was indeed as sharp as knives. Somehow no matter
hard climbed; even if successful, this rock always seemed
to have the last say. By this time a month had passed and I
was very grateful to have that one shower on the way to the
Gore Range in Colorado. This section of the course was by
far the most demanding, the mountaineering section.
Stepping off the bus in Frisco, Colorado we looked back
knowing that we were not to see civilization for at least a
month. There were 8 men and women in my group from all over
the country. Each one had a unique personality not knowing
that we would all become closer to each other than family,
possibly being dependent during life threatening situations
which we experienced on many occasions. This in itself
could be another long story. By the end of this section we
were required to do what they call a solo. In addition to
rest up for the 15 mile marathon and finals, (a week of
travel) this was also used for reflecting on our
experiences. The solo was for three days. During these
three days we were all to be separated about a quarter to
half mile apart, alone. All of our flashlights, candles,
and watches were taken away along with any books which were
left at base camp. All we were allowed to take was our
clothes, a tarp(not a tent) which wasn't but 5ft by 2ft, a
water bottle, a pencil, paper, and our iodine to purify the
water.I also want to note that we had the choice to fast or
take a survival pack which consisted of a few crackers and
raisins. I wanted the full experience so I chose to fast.
This was a trip in itself, no food for three days. My spot
on this solo was at around 12000 ft, the highest of my
group. the only water I had was from an alpine stream which
dried up on me the first day, after searching for a while I
did find another stream. The first day it rained all day,
the next was clear, I didn't do much...just thought allot.
I have never been this long without seeing or talking to
another person,not even pictures...everything I had was in
my mind.No toys...no material possessions.....no
problems....just me....at this time I felt the true essence
of the wilderness and everything that is so sacred to me,
It is much too difficult to explain, I didn't feel human in
some respect, truly a wild creature....possibly like a
wolf.....this is where I thought of Of the Wolf, every goal
I stated on this solo has come true so far. There is much,
much more to the story but due to time I will condense it.
On the second day it was rather warm so I decided to wash
my clothes in the stream, yes I spent the whole day naked,
clothes...as natural as one can get....of course I didn't
think much of it because I was far from any other living
creature. Not much lives that high. While my clothes were
drying I sat naked on a rock.... the view was
incredible.... absolutely stunning......and I wrote.....A
crack in the glass and I'm thinking....Alone in the field
and I'm sinking, Soaking in breeze on a rock and I'm
hypnotized, the world inside me Cranking the weight off of
my mind...testing the strength of a fine line Relative
no control... become justified, the world defied me Tasting
the sweat off of my lips...feeding my soul with the suns
kiss laughing out loud I'm remembering everything...
foolishly sighing Now I'm lost inside these words that
speak so loudly in my head Honestly I'll take the vow to
cut these chains off of my wrist This freedom feels just
like a bird soaring onto a higher plain Overcome my fear of
falling....standing on my feet again.


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