I have not climbed Mt Rainier. My second attempt was also foiled due to a death in the family. It happened less than 18 hours before my flight to Seattle. Difficult and ultimately right decisions were made and I bowed out to emotionally present for my daughter. I have had a year to work through my feelings about putting in all the time, energy, training and financial investments into the whole process for a second time and not being able to join my teammates on their adventure. I honestly have not even worked through it and probably will not – my thoughts are still all over the place and it is a weird grieving process that I have put too much into several months ago I decided it is really just time to move on and put myself into new adventures. I tend to dwell but this is just something I need to put behind me – it isn’t someplace I want to be stuck.
What have I been doing in the meantime? Self care, increasing my training, correcting my least beneficial training habits, cleaner eating, streamlining my climbing equipment and hiking in Colorado. A book that I have been leaning into is Training for the New Alpinism: A Manual for the Climber as Athlete. I have learned so much from this book, it is invaluable for something who is new or even someone who has been climbing for years. I also picked up a copy of the training log.
I honestly have such incredible support in my life. Friends who will pick up with my for a quick morning hike, a longer weekend adventure or just an evening out to catch up on life. Sisters who drop everything when I need to talk or want to climb that next 14er. A husband who is unequivocally ambivalent about my passion for adventure, which is honestly the most perfect support system I could have asked for in a partner. He supports my desires to do it all with very little judgement and just enough pride in my efforts to make me know that he cares in his own way. Lastly my climbing muse is always sending me tips, new documentaries to watch, new books or podcasts to devour. Sustaining these relationships has put me in a good place and is ultimately setting me up for the big goals I have for myself.
Trying new things is my current focus. Adding something new into my training routine, making changes to my nutrition that have been put off for far too long, I will be doing some ropes training in the coming months and last month I did my very first solo hike in the backcountry. That was definitely a little bit out of my comfort zone and was a little unnerving but I felt physically prepared and mentally capable. The photos in this post are from my time alone in nature and if you ever have the opportunity, I highly recommend trying a solo hike.
For my hike I carried a Garmin inReach mini device and a can of bear spray. I pay for the monthly subscription for the Garmin, it just makes me feel safer to have it even when I am just traveling with my kiddos. We go off the beaten path frequently and often don’t have cell reception, God forbid anything ever goes wrong but it gives me peace of mind to know that I could call for help. I took the camera that I bought for Mt Rainier just to try it out. I’m a Canon girl but could not really find anything comparable to what I needed from Canon. The main reasons I bought the Olympus Tough camera was because it’s waterproof, drop proof and lightweight. The pictures turned out well (they are very similar to the quality of my iPhone photos) and I like that I can drop them to my phone with their app so I can edit them with VSCO on the go. I very highly recommend purchasing the lens barrier, this made it fit my camera goals even more because I could one-handed close the lens and toss it in my pocket without scratching the lens. If you are a camera snob then I recommend that you definitely do your own research but I was looking for something super easy to snap photos but that would be protected from my rough use.
So will I be climbing Mt Rainier? The short answer is yes. I will be signing up for a group climb with RMI this Fall for a climb in summer 2023. I have the intention of completing the climb but I am cautiously optimistic. I will be posting here more frequently as my training routine starts picking up. If you ended up here because you are hiking, have hiked or are considering a climb I would love to hear from you! Drop a comment below or reach out to me on Instagram @rebekahbaier. Have an amazing day!
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