Approaching Mt Baker

I grew up in NYC, but I knew the neighboring Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania better than I knew Times Square. To this day one of my favorite pastimes is catching frogs and snakes. When I wasn’t playing in the forest and streams, I was fervently training my voice since my second life was that of a singer. I performed in Carnegie Hall and attended a performing arts High School. My third life was that of a cowgirl as I spent half of my summer working on a horse and cattle ranch…and of course there was was fourth life as an athlete. I was always involved in some kind of sport from figure skating to karate. In my spare time I painted, published some poems and wrote some unpublished novels.

Skip a few years to the present and I cannot got enough of of playing outside. As an adult I still love being in nature and sharing my passion with others.  I worked as  Park Ranger in Gateway National Recreation Area located in Broad Channel, NY. However, my heart was always with big mountains, I never desired to stay in NY. In 2011, a sequence of events changed the direction of my life.  My best friend, Eric, of 9 years and I decided that we needed to stop denying our obvious feelings for each other and became a couple. Five weeks later he was offered a job at the Boeing Plant in Everett, WA. Three days after that I was offered a position as a seasonal Park Ranger in Yellowstone National Park. A month passed and we packed up everything we owned and drove across the country to Wyoming where I stayed and he continued on to Washington. I later made the journey to join him on the West coast and together we became addicted to climbing. On Sept 6, 2013 Eric and I became husband and wife in the mountains we loved. Then on September 6, 2014, Eric was killed in a climbing accident descending Le Petit Cheval in the North Cascades.

Climbing The Kautz Glacier on Mt Rainier

The events of Sept 6, 2014 redirected my life in many ways, but one thing that never waived was my passion for climbing. In fact, I think I might have become more enamored with the mountains. After joining up with a few different teams on some climbing trips, I ended up climbing Eldorado with a team that included Eric’s former climbing instructor, Damien. We both suffered tragedies is 2014 which left us with a mutual understanding of each other.  But more importantly, we also both have an indescribable passion for the rugged peaks regardless of the weather (our first date was a very wet and cold trek to Snow Lakes) and being humorously ridiculous. It goes without saying it didn’t take us very long to fall in love. Partners in the wilderness and in life we have tackled many summits and treks together. We’re easy to spot because almost all our gear (including our clothes) matches! Damien proposed to me on the summit of Mt Rainier in July 2016 and we were married in March 2017 on top of frozen Colchuck Lake.

 

I am addicted  to climbing and trekking in every way shape and form both locally and internationally.  I love being out in the wilderness carrying 35-60lbs of gear on my back (what I love more is figuring out ways to cut pack weight) and sleeping in our tent. I love placing a cam into rock and screws into icy glaciers. But I enjoy the front country too as I have a real zeal for bouldering and waterfall ice climbing! And then there are joyous scrambles and treks into the wilderness without the rope that I cannot get enough of. Of course winter does come… but then it is time to break out the skis and snowshoes. There is never a shortage of outdoor sports here in WA. I am known for never taking rest days. The word “relax” is just not part of my vocabulary. I am also a big fan of trips that involve lots of suffering as I find these are often the most rewarding and character building adventures. My love for writing has endured my move across the country so my trip reports and training for these endeavors will be recorded here. I hope these accounts will be useful to other climbers and outdoor enthusiasts.

The Prow V2, Birthday Boulders, Bishop

If I’m not outside climbing, I’m probably training at the fitness center or climbing gym. My days are filled up endless endurance training, pull-ups, campusing, core work and pulling on plastic, but in the end it is the feel of real rock and ice outdoors that I crave. Oh, and somewhere in-between I somehow squeeze in my paid job too!

Visit our YouTube Channel for videos of our adventures!

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 Comments

  1. Thanks. Dandelion. I have followed Eric’s and your blog website here and there…and I knew the pictures of you two. I was happy for the two of you and your adventures…This one time…I think I came across you two as I was hiking to a climb and I said nothing to you two. I was embarrassed to talk to the two of you. I thought I might have been construed as a little “stalkish” by recognizing you instantly. Anyway, I thought some of your little adventures together are awesome.

    I then heard of the incident. And now I read what you have written. I am sorry for this occurrence and what you went through. I am sad something has changed. Its different.

    Stefan Feller

  2. Dandelion,
    Thank you for the beautiful pictures of your latest adventure/ climb of Mt. Maud. it appears that you and Damien had a wonderful time. I am still impressed with your love of the outdoors and all that you continue to do and the passion with which you do it.

    Thanks for sharing your blog and for keeping Eric in the fore front of your mind.

    Louis

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