Our adventure into the Goat Rocks was both the worst and best mountaineering adventure Travis and I have experienced together. We backpacked into one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen -- kinda reminded me of the Swiss Alps. The wildflowers were blooming like it was their once-in-a-lifetime chance to show off. As you'll see below, our tent door opened up on a view of Mt. Adams. Every tumbling waterfall and brilliant bloom and snowcapped peak made me so grateful to be alive.
Then we climbed that dastardly peak. I don't even remember what it's called, which is just as well because I don't recommend it to anyone. It was dangerously steep rock scree and snow fields and just-techincal-enough-to-be-treacherous scrambling. Travis has a really good head on his shoulders, and we're both experienced climbers, so he devised ways to keep us reasonably safe on everything. But it never felt safe, and it took an almost inhuman amount of concentration to maintain our safety. We spent that whole long day relying on one another, completely dependent on each other, and commiserating in the knowledge that this was the worst climb we've ever done. Our usual mountaineering goal is to see the greatest sights with a challenging, but mostly enjoyable, amount of effort. This was the most effort and terror I've ever put into a climb and, honestly, the view wasn't much better than at our campsite.
Why didn't we turn around? I'm seriously asking myself that right now ... ... I think we did it for the sake of facing a great challenge together. Sometimes life offers you a lesson and you take it. Most couples don't have the incredible opportunity to rely on one another for their very lives. I could feel our marriage bonds tightening in areas I'd let them grow slack. I wouldn't have climbed that peak with anyone else -- it was the motivation to share the challenge and fear and triumph with Travis that kept me moving. I don't think you can get to a certain level of intimacy without taking some calculated risks together. Some couples have babies, some invest in real estate. We dangle one another by a cord off the edge of a cliff. ;)