Independence

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Elevation: Rising
Rising Wolf Peak: 9,513 ft (Glacier NP)
Beehive Basin Cirque: 9,800 ft (Big Sky)

Happy Independence day y’all. My freedom has rung through scrambling up mountains and strolling along ridge lines. Roaming these intimidating landscapes, my existence feels at ease. My ambitious spirit always curious of the next escape. I question tradition, and naturally rebel against the established.

The last few weeks have been memorable – a nice line of lessons I’d like to share.

– The one time you don’t bring bear spray you will get run off a trail by a bear.
– When you can feel the static in the air at 8,000 ft and get shocked from a rock – GET OFF OF THE RIDGE and RUN LIKE A GIRL.
– Believing you can float on top of snow is naive, you will fall down to your armpits and   laughing will be the best coping method.
– Stubbornness can lead to trekking through glacier creeks and lakes to bag a summit. Wet feet builds hella character.
– Climbing through roofs and cracks in Eureka, MT is not the highest risk: trying to save your orange from rolling off the cliff is.
– While lead climbing/bouldering I forget everything: feet, movements, holds. Just know that I am -leading- my reality. Leave the worries of success behind. Relish in your limits and you will overcome them. Awareness of the present moment and you will find your flow state.
– Snow is abundant in the summer in Montana and I’m digging it – literally and figuratively.
– My “fuck it” attitude towards running has been quite a spiritual experience. Running 10+ miles with no water seems to be a trend; with elements of survival I tend to run faster, longer, and lighter.
– You cannot run away from your darkness, confront it and release the tension. Darkness is only the absence of light.
– Life is more enjoyable with humans to share it with. Grateful for all the people I’ve been making memories with lately.
– Motion may be my identity, but stillness is where I get my energy.

Get out there and establish your own traditions. Deep-root into the terrain that uproots your convictions. Genuinely desire growth and embrace change. Adapt and yearn for understanding. Be compassionate towards humanity; our individuality thrives on the vitality as a whole.

When the air is thin – the oxygen low – I am freed from the influences that push me off my path. I travel the trails with expertise and quest for the simplicity of life – to live, love, and accumulate experiences. Express yourself freely, and your independence will follow. But my dear, freedom comes with a cost: the cost of risking everything to live your dreams – and I sure hope you conquer that mountain.

(( More photos depicting these experiences on Instagram: @elevation.rising ))

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