Failure

view from tent in winter

Well, it’s Tuesday and I’m back in Santa Barbara instead of up in the mountains.  Had a bit of a technical problem, compounded by a stupid oversight on my part, which forced me to call off the mountain.

The problem, my stove didn’t work.  No stove in winter camping means no water to drink.  A bit of an issue.  Ya, that’s a frozen lake in the foreground of the above photo, but it wouldn’t have been the smartest decision in my life if I had tried get get water out of it.  The stupid mistake on my part was that I didn’t bring a lighter/matches – which I normally always have in my bag, but I had to take everything out when I last flew, and I guess things never made it back in.  Now the stove is supposed to be self lighting with one of those ‘clicker’ things, but being a new one, I never tested it out at 12,000 feet, where it apparently doesn’t work.  Started up just fine once back down in the valley.  Stupid me…

Had it been sunnier, I would have tried putting my water bladder on top of my snow shovel (black) to maybe get some heat radiation to melt some snow; likely not enough to continue the climb, but at least for a less thirsty night/hike out.  My best attempt  was to fill up a small bottle with snow at keep in next to my body under my jacket.  Managed to get a couple sips for the morning at least.  I wasn’t in that far, so I didn’t have any worries about an ‘epic,’ just more anger at a situation I could have easily avoided.

I could have gone back in the next day, but I sort of lost my motivation for suffering.  Spent the afternoon bouldering at the Buttermilks, but I still wasn’t feelin’ it.  I’m a bit distracted at the moment with trying/hoping/figuring out how to get a work visa for Norway, which isn’t looking all that hopeful, unfortunately.  If I had $20,000 sitting around, I might qualify for a 6 month ‘skilled migrant job seeker’ type visa, but I’m a little poor for that.  At the beginning of the year I had hoped to be in Lofoten by June where I want to work on a book project over the course of a year, as well as run some photo workshops/tours for more adventurous types.  Not just the walk 10 feet from the road type stuff, but camping in the mountains and longer hikes, more of less what most of my own travels are.  I basically want to be some sort of photo/travel ambassador for the Lofoten islands as anyone who’s ever been knows it’s the coolest place in the world!  More thoughts on this later, I’m still hoping that I can pull something off, somehow, someway…

On the bright side, at least I walked away less sunburt than normal.

sierra nevada mountains winter landscape

sierra nevada mountains winter landscape

winter camping sierra nevada mountains

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