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Best day entry: Up through the scree, proving I’m greater than my fear

By on December 22, 2019 in Uncategorized with 0 Comments
Carolina See and her friend, Ginny Kerstetter, on the mountain top: No fear.

By Carolina See

The most common reaction in a fear situation is the attitude of “I can’t!” 

This is the fear of failure that stops us from taking action. It is experienced in the pit of your stomach. 

When I encounter a situation of fear and am truly afraid, my heart starts to pound and my stomach starts to flutter. My breath becomes shallow and my anxiety level rises well above any mountain I’ve scaled. Fear can paralyze me.

This past summer on my 48th birthday, I overcame my greatest fear — the fear of scrambling up a scree going to the top of Sahale Glacier (elevation 7,570 feet in the North Cascades National Park) ascending and descending back down. 

I grew up in Asia and never experienced any hiking or backpacking growing up. Not to mention I am ultra cautious given my first-born syndrome.

My friend, Ginny Kerstetter, and I started out early at the trailhead on a brisk fall day winding our way through the woods savoring that fresh smell of the forests and exploring the majestic mountains. 

We then began to hike along the ridge leading up to the Cascade Pass. The views began to open up here after a hike up a rocky hillside to reach a lovely meadow with breathtaking views of Doubtful Lake below the ridgeline. 

As I began my ascent to the glacier, I looked up and there was a mountain of scree staring back at me. My steps soon became heavy. I concluded this was my chance to prove that I am greater than my fear. 

What seemed like eternity to climb was really only a half-mile stretch of scree leading up to the summit. 

I successfully navigated the course by carefully charting my footing and following many stacks of cairns. 

Once we summited, we were in awe of the majestic view. 

All of my fears were forgotten as I stood amidst the tops of the mountains. 

It was so freeing to know I had conquered my fear of scrambling over scree and to realize that, “I can.”

Carolina See is an interventional pulmonologist by trade who grew up in the Philippines with no hiking experience. She started a lot of her outdoors exploration when she moved to Wenatchee in 2006 and has never looked back. In addition, she is also a landscape photographer.

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