The Friend Zone

“Why couldn’t I have just loved bowling or had a wild passion for Sudoku?”

We were standing at our basecamp under Antisana, scoping the next day’s route through binoculars. Both Tyler and I were on the Ecuadorian Weight-Loss Plan. We had spent the last few days downing charcoal tablets and passing off the dwindling roll of toilet paper as we sprinted to the plastic barrel that was our camp latrine. Despite that, we had continued with our glacier travel training, learning and practicing all we could that week on the blue and snowy ice looming above us. We were exhausted. Everyone was. Continue reading

Girls on 14ers

As we huddled against the wind we came up with a system. Like penguins, we rotated and whoever was big spoon got the less destroyed half of the emergency blanket. Initially, I was big spoon to my much colder friend and we shared the intact piece of flimsy yet surprisingly effective silver, plastic sheeting. We ate what we had, drank what we could, and stuffed emergency hand warmers into the belly pockets of our jackets. Our rope and packs insulated us from the rocks beneath us and we left our helmets on, as concerned by spontaneous rock fall as the cold. Two hours into our bivy, the emergency blanket had torn and we were shaking like half-drowned cats. Continue reading

“Walking” by Edward Abbey

My co-instructor read this to our students on our most recent Outward Bound course. As Abbey tends to inspire in his readers, we all laughed and all felt properly humbled, awed and buoyed. That is the one of the dangers and joys of being an Outward Bound instructor: we are as likely to fall victim to the magic we wield as our students. It fills the air – no one is safe.

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Eric and Parker and Ella Talk About Things and Stuff

I’m on a podcast!

Ten years after learning how to cut onions together in home ec, Eric wrote me an email asking if I would be willing to be on their podcast! Eric and Parker Talk About Things and Stuff! We had a great conversation about New Zealand, Outward Bound, Ben and Jerry’s, and dad humor. I laughed A LOT. Maybe an annoying amount… sorry I’m not sorry. Hope you enjoy listening to this as much as I enjoyed recording it! Continue reading

This Is Living

A year ago, and a year after I started working for the Colorado Outward Bound School, I wrote this article for the COBS blog. I am about to embark on my third summer season at the school, this time as a lead instructor. It’s a position to which I have aspired since first starting here as an intern. It’s scary and exciting and… let’s just say I’m feeling reflective. Continue reading