Winter is approaching so fast, it was such a short summer here in the NW, I can hardly believe  that it is almost snow time!

REI is big here in the NW and we love our seasons! While I am not a mountain climber, I do respect them immensely. So many awesome climbers come from here, I find it odd to even fathom that I am aware of so many off them, and that they seem so much like family to me.  It is a sport that I hold close to my hear, &  I have so much respect for those that have the courage to do it.

I always think about the friends that we have all lost, even ones who have not died while climbing the mountain, but died practicing what they loved.  It is a sport that is true to our hearts here in the NW.

I do miss a close family friend who was an experienced climber, who died tragically while on an afternoon training exercise.  My friend Joel was a strong and educated climber who had many mountain adventures without mishap, but the one sad day still remains in my heart.  It wasn’t a mountaineering expedition like normal, but instead an afternoon exercise up at the Snoqualmie pass, it was sudden & tragic, and none of us who loved him will ever really recover from the shock of the accident that caused his death.  The only good that came of it for me  was the respect that I gained from recognizing that everyday could be your last & appreciating  every day as such. I respect the strength and character of the individuals who make the choice to participate in the sport!

If you are interested in the Northwest Climbing scene, check this out, it’s a great story. http://www.everestnews.com/stories2007/everesttoge0124504042007.htm

Read about a pretty incredible guy Phil Erschler, this will make you want to strive to be just as strong as you can be after you read the story ! He is inspirational & gives you the motivation to be the very best you can be no matter what challenges you might face.  I’ve had the pleasure of talking to Phil  & his wife Susan! They are inspirational.  http://www.mountainguides.com/ershler.shtml Read their book, it’s great!

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