Nery Solano

Lessons from the Backcountry: Be Adabtable

It was late September, the weather had been a bit chilly, but the sun was shining. I was hiking to the Minarets in the Sierra Nevadas and all was going well. The elevation of these peaks tops out at about 12,000 feet, so I packed as lightly as I could. I knew at this elevation that snow would be present near the top, but the forecast said sunny skies.

As you may have guessed, the weather took a turn on the first night and I was not prepared. As it began to snow, I quickly began to panic; then after a bit of cursing the heavens at the top of my lungs, I collected myself and built a makeshift shelter and a quick fire near a tree and slept a terrible nights sleep.

But that morning was one of the most beautiful sights I had ever experienced. The land had been transformed and the snow glowed in effervescent shades of pinks and oranges as the sun peaked over the mountains. The fear and discomfort an afterthought as the new day began.

Whenever I take a trip or start any new endeavor, I often find myself wildly unprepared. To be honest, this happens much more often than I would like to admit, but as the Backcountry has taught me, this is life and all we can do is adapt. And more often than not, as we take on these challenges we did not plan for, we find ourselves in a much better place than we began.



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