Why I Climb-Why i climb-
Most people don't understand why we climb, they say there is no point your just standing on some big hill, they say its to dangerous why would you want to risk it, and they say there are much better things to do with your time don't waist it. I don't think i can ever make those people fully understand why we love to do this, its something your born with i guess. But i will do my best to explain at least why I climb, and what it does for me.
When i was only three years old my father took me on my first overnight hike to a lake near my house. The only thing i remember from that trip was that when we got home i wouldn't stop crying cause i wanted to go back. My dad continued to take me out hiking, and i think its some of my favorite memories with my father. Being able to spend a few days with him fishing and making fires is something i will never forget. When i was 9 he came to me and asked if i wanted to climb Mount Saint Helens this year for our trip, and of course i said yes. Only being 9 i still didn't have to pack much, so it was pretty easy, I ran up that thing! But i remember is seeming like just another hike, which i loved but there was a lot more exciting stuff to come.
The next year we decided on Mount Adams, I had no idea what i was in for. I was ten, and only had to carry my sleeping bag, and water (haha sorry dad). Once again i ran up that first day, and still having energy at base camp, i had a ball running around there. But the second day was a little different. As we got up and got ready, looking up that huge snow field we had to climb was very scary, and only being ten it seemed impossible. My father told me to go ahead with the other guys and he would catch up. But as i started to climb without the safe feeling of my father right behind me i started to cry. i ran back down to him. After he was able to calm me down he said "Lets just start climbing and if at anytime you want to stop we will come right back down". I agreed and we started off for the summit. After a hour i began to lose the fear of this big mountain and started to love it. I was moving fast up it since i didn't have a pack. Many times stoping and waiting for my father. As the summit drew close i was so excited! Only a few hundred more feet! We came over the last little hill and we were there, standing on top of Mount Adams, feeling very sick from the attitude, but it didn't matter. I made it, and at that point there was a change in me, i don't know what it was but it happened.
Fast forward a year and we were climbing our way up Mount Shasta down in California. This was the first time really experiencing attitude sickness, and i didn't like it. When we got to base camp i was so sick that i just laid in the tent for 3 hours until dinner was made. The next morning was not any better. When i got up, i got up way to fast. I fell down inside the tent, and was unable to move for a few minutes cause i was so dizzy. The day never got better after that. The climb to the false summit was hell, and to much for a little eleven year old. We were only one thousand feet from the summit but i couldn't do it. My little body was done. I tried so hard to keep going cause i didn't want to disappoint my father but we had to turn back. And at that point something else changed. I hated climbing, I didn't want to do it anymore.
Years past, and still no drive to start climbing again. Until one day that i don't think ill ever forget. I was a sophomore in high school and i was driving home on a clear winter day. I was on Highway 2 heading to my house in Sultan, when i looked far ahead and saw the beautiful Gunn Peak, and said "I want to be there". I went right home and asked my dad if he would take me out, but at this time the years of hanging drywall had started to catch up with him, so he was not really into it. Over a year past and i still was not able to get out. Until one day i realized, Im going to be 18 soon, I can go without my dad. Right then i texted one of my best friends who i know might go with me. He quickly text back, and it was a go! Date set for the summer, and i could not wait.
Graduation soon came and went and before we knew it, it was time. After months of planning and excitement we were ready to go. We set out from my house at 3am on our way to Mount Adams once more. We were so excited, but very nerves at the same time. We made it there by 7am and started a climb that would eventually change my life once more. We met some amazing people that first day. Most of them were very shocked that two 18 year olds just decided to do this one day. And many gave us hope that we could do something great if we wanted to make climbing a career. We made it to base camp, set up our tent and took a very nice little nap.
The next morning was a tough one. We both had a bad night of sleep but we were ready to get going. Once again i felt scared though i wasn't sure why, even though i was 18 it felt like my dad should be there with me, like he had always been before. But we headed out early for the summit with a beautiful sunrise behind us. The climb to the false summit was tough due to me not training very much, and this time my father wasn't there the carry everything. We got to the false summit and was wiped out. Laying down for a few minutes the feeling of hatred of this sport start to come back. Even though the idea of turning back never entered my mind, my body was done. But iv never been the type of person that likes to give up. We got up and set off once more, one foot in front of the other. Some how i was making it up that damn mountain. As we started to climb the last thousand feet i stopped looking up and just watched my feet. I knew that if i didn't look up eventually i would get to the top. Many hours later, i saw the little hut that sits on top of Adams and i knew i made it. As we dropped or packs, and looked back on what we had done, it happened again, the same feeling i had experienced years before on Adams, but was unsure what it was. But now i knew, this is where i was ment to be, I AM ADDICTED!
I learned so much about myself on that trip. I learned what I can do when your mind does not give up even when your body cant go anymore. I learned that brotherhood is a very important part in getting through hard times. And i really was able to realize the person i was, and if i can overcome something like that i can do anything.
I now climb as much as i can, usually once a month at least. My thoughts are consumed by what mountain to do next and the challenges that await on it. I climb for the challenge to see what i can make my body do, i climb for the friendships that have been made, i climb cause its a natural high that nothing of the kind can beat, i climb cause God gave us this amazing world and i want to explore it all, and i climb simply…for me. My name is Bradley Green, Im a 18 year old college student from Sultan, Washington, and Im addicted to the mountains.